The American Civil War Museum
breaking down myths
The American Civil War Museum Robins Theater project began in 2020, the capstone of the Museum and its core exhibit, which opened in 2019. The project’s goal is sharing the human story of the Civil War through the perspectives of the individuals who lived it—the complex choices, the costs, and the consequences—breaking down many of the broad, stereotypical myths. Film allows us to add great dimension to the storytelling, and to create an even deeper emotional connection with the individuals and the events they experienced during the war through historic imagery, film re-enactments, visual effects, voices, sound effects and an original score created expressly for this piece.
Our process involved engaging with the museum staff and board, historians, and scholars to develop the script and focus the messaging to help visitors understand why the war was fought, and its outcomes. The 13-minute orientation film, A People’s Contest: America’s Civil War & Emancipation, represents a powerful compilation of individual accounts conveying the arc of the war and the multiplicity of perspectives from both sides that were at the core of the conflict—those of politicians, military leaders and soldiers, blacks—enslaved and freed, women, and children.
In collaboration with audiovisual engineering partners, CED, we developed a new layered projection technique, creating a sometimes-dreamlike quality, in order to portray this complex and uncertain period in history.
American Civil War Museum