Recreating What’s Lost: Pamela Mason Wagner on Shooting Reenactments

Pamela Mason Wagner is a producer, director, and writer specializing in historical docudramas: retelling stories from both the recent and ancient pasts, which necessitates a certain amount of artistic license to fill in missing details. She directed the Vancouver segment of Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 8, and she has worked on a number of documentaries that have been broadcast during primetime on channels like PBS, CBS, ABC, NBC, Discovery, National Geographic, History, TLC, Hallmark, and MSNBC. Her IMDB profile reveals she even worked with the Irish actor Liam Neeson on a documentary about St. Patrick.

Directing and producing documentaries on such historical topics as the Civil War and Joan of Arc means acknowledging the limited availability of factual information about the subjects, and telling such stories visually requires the use of reenactments. Perhaps the clearest example of something inspired by a true story, a reenactment attempts to communicate the truth of past events through an interpretation that’s recognized and understood by viewers.

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