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How Hard Can It Be?

How Hard Can It Be…to fly a house with balloons, send a rocket to space, or dive the deep ocean floor? Welcome to the one place on TV where you can find out. Three ultra-ambitious hosts tackle fascinating engineering tasks with nothing more than ordinary materials and their infectious, boundless enthusiasm.  Vin, Paul and Eric…

Inside Mafia Detectives

  Whoever said the Mafia is dead has not been to Bensonhurst lately. We are on patrol with retired New York Detective Frank DeMarco.  Frank knows these streets like the back-of-his hand.  For two decades he hunted and ran surveillance on mobsters living in Bensonhurst. On this day, Frank is going to show my film…

Meet the Rocket City Rednecks

  Meet the self-proclaimed Rocket City Rednecks.  They’re five “backwoods” guys from the rocket city:  Huntsville, Ala., home to NASA’s Marshall Flight Center and the birthplace of the U.S. space program. Sure, they love to shoot stuff and drink beer, and one of ‘em lives in a trailer, but with a family tree full of…

Directors Diary: Inside T. Rex

Today we finished shooting at the St. Augustine Gator Farm. It was one of those days when you realize how crazy close we come to death in our jobs! In this episode we explore what we can discover about T. rex’s senses, so we came here to film alligators because crocodilians and birds bracket dinosaurs.…

Meet the Johns Family: NGC Greenlights ‘American Gypsies’

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National Geographic Channel is excited to announce we have greenlit a brand new series called ‘American Gypsies’ from Stick Figure Productions. Meet the Johns family, one of Manhattan’s most prominent Gypsy families, who are struggling to preserve their age-old customs amid the vices and virtues of the city.  Witness the inner workings of the Gypsy…

Hitting Cows and Other Hazards of Eastern Montana

My second assignment on “Frontier Force” sent me to Miles City, Montana. It’s a small town two-and-a-half hours from Billings. One of the largest cities in Montana, Billings itself still isn’t exactly a metropolis. Miles City has a small old-fashioned downtown and a string of fast-food chains, but it doesn’t take long to get into…

Confederacy’s Secret Weapon aka Sweaty Death-Mobile

One of the greatest challenges of making this film was using dramatic recreations to illustrate the different scenarios that may have led to the loss of the Hunley and her crew.  There are about a half-dozen theories that we chase down in the show, and each one had to be re-enacted, in part, inside an…

Filming the Dreaded Chicken Experiment

Will the smell ever go away? That’s how I’m feeling tonight after we filmed the dreaded and forever named chicken experiment. The idea was to visually reveal how the process of decomposition can be slowed down. It all began a few weeks ago when we were still in pre-production in New Zealand. Our amazing fixer,…

George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview

How would Abraham Lincoln have recalled April 12, 1861, the day the Confederates attacked Fort Sumter, igniting the Civil War? Or, what would Franklin Roosevelt have said about his experience on December 7, 1941, after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor? As the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11 nears, the National Geographic…

In-Depth Interview with Producer/Director Peter Schnall

George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview Director/Producer Peter Schnall recently sat down with Polioptics hosts Adam Belmar and Josh King to discuss the extraordinary opportunity of working on this film. Known for living a very private life since leaving office, President Bush has only commented publicly on rare occasions. For Schnall to be able to…