History professor in demand at HBO
Published: Friday, March 15, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 15, 2013 09:03
If you have learned history from professor Donald Miller, you have something in common with Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. The two film tycoons are basing their latest mini-series on Miller’s recently published book on World War Two, Masters of the Air.
Miller, who has worked with Hanks and Spielberg before, has made a career out of balancing his academic discipline with working on television shows and documentaries. Miller worked on HBO’s 2010 miniseries, The Pacific, as historical consultant,writer, and on-camera historian for the mate- rial for the documentary film.
He was also the writer and chief historical consultant for WWII in HD, a ten-hour miniseries that was inspired by his best-selling book, The Story of World War II. The book recounts oral stories of both airmen and civilians who were a part of the bombing campaigns in Great Britain and Europe. The book also includes unpublished diaries, letters, and recently declassified government documents to augment the already detailed account.
One of the reasons for Miller’s success as both a writer and professor is his approach to illustrating historical moments. “Our objective is to entrance and pull you in. I’ve always written my books for a general audience,” Miller said.
Working on shows like The Pacific or the upcoming Masters of the Air, Miller must maintain a balance between rep- resenting the history accurately, while still making it enjoyable to watch.