Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns wants to sift through Nashville's attics.
He's working on an epic 16-hour film on the history of country music. His team has interviewed a hundred musicians and historians so far. But he figures there are some home videos that should be included. Specifically, he's looking for fan footage from the 1950s through the 1990s.
For instance, Burns says he's already digitized photo albums from the family of Ricky Skaggs.
"They weren't well off enough to have a movie camera," Burns says. "But maybe there was somebody at that music park that recorded him when little Ricky Skaggs was forced up by the crowd, and Bill Monroe goes, 'ok, let's bring this kid up.' And then his surprise at how well he can do bluegrass."
Burns says he also incorporated home videos in his recent documentaries on the Vietnam War and the Dust Bowl. Contributors are given a thank you gift and a mention in the credits.
The Country Music film is expected to air on PBS in 2019. To help pay for the rest of production, the Metro Council approved a $375,000 incentive package at its meeting this week. On Wednesday, Belmont University also announced it would become a leading underwriter of the project.