Nearly two decades after the end of the American involvement in Vietnam, the remnants of war still linger. For this half-hour documentary in the TBS series Network Earth (and Earth Matters on CNN), we ventured to the country with an American epidemiologist and his Vietnamese counterpart, to explore the lasting health effects of the defoliant Agent Orange, which contained cancer-causing dioxins. And we found Vietnam-era vets who claim their health issues stem from exposure to the chemicals.
Covering three continents, the four compelling stories in this hour-long show highlight novel ways that people in developing countries are using technology to move forward—from the use of hand cranked radios in Africa to an Information Technology boom in India to a small village in the hills of the Dominican Republic where people have taken the initiative to develop their own hydro-electrical power grid, Internet access and computer systems. This documentary program aired on CNN International on June 20, 2000 as part of their Global Challenges series. Produced, directed, written and shot by Craig Duff, in the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Mozambique, India and Bangladesh.
The Mexican gray wolf (a subspecies of its gray wolf cousin in the north) was considered a nuisance to early settlers of the American West, and the US government put a bounty on its head. By the 1960s, the animals were virtually extinct in the wild. This film chronicles the work of US Fish and Wildlife Service biologists to return this wolf to its original territory in the wild. Hosted by Kenny Loggins, who, along with his son Crosby, learns the story of one wolf’s journey back to wildness and the obstacles it faces along the way. Produced, Directed and Written by Craig Duff for Red Sky Productions and the National Wildlife Federation.
In a special cooperative venture between CNN and Time Magazine, this program profiles some of America’s best in the areas of Science and Medicine. Craig produced a segment about Ohio State University professor and paleo-climatologist Dr. Lonnie Thompson, whose work to document the world’s receding glaciers has proved to be a veritable smoking gun for global warming. The web version of this Lonnie Thompson Profile is still viewable on CNN’s special website.
A week in the life of the carrier USS John C. Stennis at it first arrives for duty in Operation Enduring Freedom. With full access to the carrier during wartime operations, the audience is allowed inside this “city at sea,” with 5,000 sailors and aviators keeping it ship shape and battle-ready. This hour of explanatory journalism describes the operations on the flight deck that launch and recover the ship’s 73 aircraft on sorties over Afghanistan. Produced and written by Craig Duff with CNN National Correspondent Frank Buckley. Aired January 26 & 27 2002 (with several reruns).
In the air war over Afghanistan, the War Birds of the US Armed Forces, quickly commanded the skies. Among these thundering jets: the B-52 bomber, which recently celebrated its fiftieth year of flight, and the F-14 Tomcat, arguably the world’s most recognized fighter jet. This program takes the audience into the cockpit for a rare look at how the crews of these aircraft train and carry out their missions in Operation Enduring Freedom. CNN National Correspondent Frank Buckley also takes the ride of his life in the Navy’s newest fighter jet – the F/A-18F Super Hornet – and meets the air wing of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln as the squadron that will be first to fly the Super Hornet in combat prepares for battle. Produced and Directed by Craig Duff and written by Duff and Frank Buckley. Aired July 28 & 29, 2002 (with several reruns).
The summer of 2002 brought one of the most intense fire seasons in fifty years. Drought and overgrown forests led to huge conflagrations that raged hot and wild. Three states saw their biggest fires in a century. Tackling these blazes are thousands of firefighters and personnel, confronting the flames like an enemy on the battlefield. CNN National Correspondent Bruce Burkhardt brings the audience to that battle, with an inside view from the fire line on the summer’s biggest blaze, the half-million-acre Biscuit Fire in Oregon. And our crew shadows a twenty-person Hot Shot squad for a two-week shift on some of the most challenging flames of a Summer of Fire. Summer of Fire aired June 8th and 14th of 2003.
In June 2003, I ventured to Baghdad, Iraq, where I shot elements for an hour-long documentary called “Hunting Saddam.” The program — which I co-produced with Mary Dore at New York Times Television — chronicles the attempts to assassinate and otherwise remove Saddam Hussein from power. Among the stories in the hour are the two major decapitation strikes during the recent Iraq war. The show also follows the continuing investigation into Hussein’s whereabouts, including attempts to follow the money trail to search for Saddam through the billions of dollars he pilfered while in power. The film aired on The Discovery Channel on July 27th, 2003, garnering the highest ratings ever for their Spotlight documentary series. The network made an encore broadcast of the program on August 17th of that year.
This ancient work of art has a story to tell. Crafted more than 2,600 years ago, this funerary stele was unearthed in 1994, smuggled out of Egypt and eventually sold to a wealthy Manhattan collector. The FBI got involved and returned the artifact to Egypt in 2005. Along its journey in the illicit antiquities trade, this stele passed through the hands of a notorious British smuggler, an ambitious New York art broker and some of the top dealers in Ancient Art. Based on the reporting of New York Times reporters Barry Meier and Martin Gottlieb. Read the NY Times Story here.
How does the press cover a presidential candidate? How does a candidate get his/her message out through the “filter” of the media? Follow along on the campaign trail as we turn cameras on the press to explore the quadrennial political dance of politics and the media. Hosted by political satirist Andy Borowitz. This Campaign Essentials Documentary on the Discovery Times Channel premiered July 20th, 2004.