Arts & Culture

Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.

History, Meet the Future: The Gettysburg Story

Written by Joe Ulrich, Arts & Culture Desk and WITF Host | Mar 26, 2013 8:08 AM

With the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg taking place this year, how does a filmmaker go about making the story of Gettysburg new again? One way is to go to the folks at the Gettysburg National Park and say, "I had an idea for a film to use helicopters...and also potentially to use this new technology of an RC aerial drone helicopter with a camera." That's how the new documentary "The Gettysburg Story" got its start.


"The challenge with Gettysburg," says filmmaker Jake Boritt, "is to tell it in a way that hasn't been done before." He and his crew, which included RC drone operators and helicopter pilots, shot for ten days in June of 2012 on the battlefields of Gettysburg using cutting edge technology to capture the location in ways that are not only new for any documentary about Gettysburg, but new to film in general.

The arial drones "basically allow shots going from a few inches off the ground to 400 feet in the air, so it's really like no other camera possible." Another technology of note is the motion-control time-lapse. A camera moves slowly along a track, covering maybe six feet in the course of a few hours, taking a picture a handful of times each minute.

"The time-lapse gives you a real sense of the geography of the place itself," says actor Stephen Lang, the narrator of "The Gettysburg Story". In addition to his recent work as Colonel Miles Quaritch in "Avatar", Lang has also played "Stonewall" Jackson in "Gods and Generals" and George E. Pickett in "Gettysburg". "The power of the story, the beauty of the photography and the dramatic impact of the film techniques [Jake] used will tell the story in a very different and fresh way."

Jake also employed the use of the Kickstarter website to help fund the "The Gettysburg Story". The Kickstarter campaign ends March 31.

Listen to the feature:


See some of the film and hear Jake talk about making and funding the project.

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  • Jake Boritt img 2013-03-26 15:53

    Thank you for putting together this segment and post. It's been an amazing experience to work on this project. You can also see more video clips from the Gettysburg Story and read updates on the project at this link:

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  • img 2013-03-28 14:43

    Incredible footage. Looking forward to the finished product.

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