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The one-hour documentary film “The Charles W. Morgan” tells the extraordinary story of America’s last wooden whaleship and the incredible saga of whaling, the first global industry dominated by the United States. From her 1841 launch in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the film follows the Morgan on 37 voyages around the world where this “Lucky Ship” survived freeze-ups in the Arctic, attacks by hostile natives, fire aboard ship, and a host of other stories, each of which had the potential to end the vessel’s life. Yet, more than 170 years later, the Charles W. Morgan lives on and sailed again on her 38th Voyage in 2014.
Millions of people have walked the Morgan‘s decks, from ship builders to whalers to movie stars; the whaleship is a lady with a past as complex and unexpected as the era she signifies. In her lifetime, this vessel has witnessed nearly every human emotion, experienced radical changes in technology, and survived the transformation from wind and wood to oil and steel. Yet with all of this progress, in her time of need, the only way to restore this unlikely survivor was to return to the old ways of wooden shipwrights, an experience that transcends generations and redefines a long-forgotten art form.
From her early days in New Bedford to her restoration at Mystic Seaport, the Morgan‘s story is the story of American maritime history. Combining stunning archival material with evocative live cinematography and powerful on-camera interviews, the film chronicles the rise and fall of America’s first great industry using the only remaining vessel of the time period as a portal to the past.
Filmmaker Bailey Pryor
Five-time Emmy winner Bailey Pryor has worked in the film and television industry for more than 25 years. He has produced six feature films and more than 150 television programs for ABC, PBS, Outdoor Life Network, Versus, Fox Sports Net, ESPN, Discovery Channel, Spike TV, Animal Planet, Tennis Channel and Travel Channel. He is currently the President & CEO of Telemark Films, and has previously held the positions of President & CEO of Warren Miller Entertainment, Staff Producer and Associate Vice President of Production at Sonalysts Studios, Marketing Assistant for the Samuel Goldwyn Company and Producer’s Assistant on the feature films “Mystic Pizza” and “Home Alone.”