NY Times Mag Adds Documentary Shorts to Year-End Memorial Issue (Exclusive)

/ Dec 17, 2013

OP-Doc_JJ_Cale

At the end of every year, The New York Times Magazine releases The Lives They Lived Issue. The year-end special honors those who have died in the past year, highlighting their triumphs and failures as experienced personally and publicly. As read at 2012’s interactive The Lives They Lived landing page, “This issue is meant to be a celebration of life, not an expression of grief.”

Now, for the first time, The Times Magazine has commissioned five filmmakers to create short documentaries about five individuals who passed away in 2013. The first of these digital documentaries is “Naturally, J.J. Cale” by Drew Christie, an animator, illustrator, and filmmaker who has previously created documentaries for The New York Times Opinion Pages documentary initiative Op-Docs.

“What makes these pieces different than traditional obits is they all make a point,” says Jason Spingarn-Koff, Op-Docs commissioning editor for The New York Times Opinion Pages. The films, which have been developed in conjunction with Op-Docs, all tell a story beyond a standard remembrance piece. “The mission is, in part, to spark a public dialogue in the same way op-ed does,” explains Spingarn-Koff. For example, the J.J. Cale doc tells the story of the musician turning down an opportunity to appear on “American Bandstand” due to his unwillingness to lip-sync his own music. The refusal, as Christie theorizes, would keep Cale from superstardom despite his revolutionary musical offerings, which many of his contemporaries like Eric Clapton borrowed from.

Launching digital video docs around The Lives They Lived issue, according to Samantha Henig, web editor for The New York Times Magazine, simply made sense because it provided an opportunity to not only expand the mag’s video output, but also to offer a different point of view on a particular topic. “The idea of the issue is already commissioning pieces from a variety of writers with a variety of voices,” said Henig. “It just made sense to throw filmmakers in there, too.”

Additional documentaries include “Spider Drove a Taxi,” a film about Johnnie “Spider” Footman, New York City’s oldest cab driver, by Joshua Z. Weinstein. On December 20, The Times Magazine will also release a doc highlighting WWII pilot Nadia Popova titled “Night Witches.” This film was directed by Alison Klayman, one of The New York Times’ 20 Directors to Watch.

These two will be followed by director Elaine McMillion’s “For Seamus,” which will premiere on December 23. The doc shines a light on Seamus Heaney, an Irish poet and Nobel Prize winner.

The series will end on December 26 with “Daredevil on a Snowmobile” from two-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker. The documentary will examine the tragic death of Caleb Moore, a professional snowmobile racer who died in a crash at the Winter X Games XVII. Walker’s most recent film “The Crash Reel,” which is on next year’s Oscar short-list, is currently in theaters. It also examines the traumatic effects of snowboard injuries, focusing on those sustained by Kevin Pearce at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Some (but not all) of The Lives They Lived shorts will also show as part of a 10-week Op-Docs series at New York’s IFC theater before feature films.

Tags: , , , ,


CableCross

FCC Cancels Vote on ‘Unlock the Box’ OTT Proposal

 
lights-out-shoot-blackbox-tv-collab

Collab Signs Horror Channel BlackBoxTV to Network, Partners on...

 
PewDiePie 3-2-15

PewDiePie Expands Revelmode Gaming Slate with DoubleMoose Deal

 
storyful-marketplace

Storyful Launches Viral Video Marketplace

 
Industry Tickets Selling Fast!
Click above to lock in your registration for VidCon 2015!
 
lyor-cohen-youtube-music

Pioneering Hip Hop Exec Lyor Cohen Joins YouTube as Global Head...

 
alpha-legendary-digital

Legendary Digital Reveals Alpha Subscription Service Launch...

 
time-inc-jash

Time Inc. Teams with Digital Comedy Producers Jash for Branded Content

 
Amazon Logo

Amazon Greenlights Three Comedy Pilots as Series

 
cartoon-network-app

How the Cartoon Network Combined the Best of VOD and Linear TV...

 
jukin-media-ethos

Jukin Media Goes Viral for Brands with Ethos Division Launch

 
Streamy Awards

Streamy Awards Trade In VH1 for YouTube, Again

 
zefr-alignment-report

Matching Ads to Videos Not So Simple, According to Zefr’s...

 
shomi

Plug Pulled on Canadian SVOD Service Shomi

 
Twitter

What’s Trending on the Twitter Sale

 
Machinima Logo

Machinima Teams with SiriusXM for Daily Esports Radio Show

 
Hearst

AwesomenessTV, Vice, Complex to Power New HearstLive...

 
dirty-30-hannah-hart-mamrie-hart-grace-helbig

VIDEO: ‘Dirty 30’ Confessions with Stars Hart,...

 
facebook-thumbs-down

Facebook Says It’s Sorry It Vastly Overestimated Video...

 
craig-piligian-pilgrim-media-group

Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian (‘The...

 
youtube-heroes-for-change

Heroes or Rats?: YouTube Unveils New Program for Creators Who...

 
Vessel says it's doing well in its first month

Why Verizon is Pursuing Vessel, the...

 
jared-feldman-and-sam-hui-ph-d-at-the-2014-canvs-launch

How Canvs Media is Harvesting Emotional Insights on YouTube,...

 
marlon-wayans

Marlon Wayans Getting ‘Naked’ for Netflix with Regina Hall

 
huffpost-ryot-aol

HuffPost RYOT Launching Virtual Reality Comedy Series and News...

 
youtube-vote-irl

YouTube Launches #voteIRL Campaign Targeting Digital-First Generation

 
tyler-oakley-camp17

How Top YouTubers (incl. Tyler Oakley & Meghan Rienks)...

 
charlie-sheen-anger-management

Charlie Sheen to Star in Crackle Feature ‘Mad Families’

 
filmbuff_videoink_300x250

Gunpowder & Sky Buys Distributor FilmBuff As Vision for...

 
toy-freaks-youtube

Toy Freaks Top Viewed YouTube Channel in August According to...

 
jeffrey-tambor-transparent-amazon

Emmy Wrap-Up 2016: Jeffrey Tambor (‘Transparent’)...

 
Twitter

Twitter Scores 2.1 Million Viewers for Thursday Night Footall Kickoff

 
youtube-sad-face-error

Vloggers Not Unique Snowflakes: 90 Million Flag YouTube Videos...

 
Mode Media

‘Billion Dollar Startup’ Mode Media Shuts Down

 
raised-firsts-branded-tv

Who Is Winning The Marketing Revolution And Why?

 
shes-gotta-have-it

Netflix Orders ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ Series...

 
swedish-dicks-peter-stormare-keanue-reeves-viaplay

What Is ‘Swedish Dicks’ and Who Is Selling It?

 
seamlessly-she-monica-potter-aol-partner-studio-gmc-acadia

How GMC is Using the AOL Series ‘Seamlessly She’...

 
Netflix_new

Liberty Global to Put Netflix on Set-Top Boxes in 30 Countries

 
vincent-cacace-vertebrae

Getting to the Spine of VR’s Monetization Challenges with...

 
meredith_brandfront_videoink_300x250

Meredith Hosted Its Own “Front” Stacked with 20 New Series