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Print Brands Extend Storytelling with Video

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 12, 2013 03:52 PM

Two of America's most venerable print brands are embracing the currency du jour by making greater investments in video content to extend the life and quality of its print features.

TIME magazine has launched Red Border Films (aptly named for the magazine's red print border) which will produce monthly 10-minute short documentaries and two long-form projects per year. Born out of the brand's hour-long HBO and CNN special on interviews with people affected by the 9/11 attacks, the films will serve to extend a story beyond what is published in print or online. 

“Red Border Films will combine TIME’s authoritative journalism and perspective with the unique power of cinematic storytelling,” Kira Pollack, Time's director of photography said, according to Deadline.

TIME will release its first documentary on Wednesday, tied to the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. Other upcoming films include "Ashes to Ashes," which takes its cue from an article from the June 13, 2013 issue on the cremation industry, as well as "Healing Bobby," which follows up on the story of Bobby Henline, an Iraq war veteran turned stand-up comedian, which coicides with a photo essay in the magazine. 

Similarly, the New York Times has launched an animated video initiative that allows the brand to build upon existing stories and columns. The first installment extend's columnist Steven Petrow's account of his journey to find a husband in the paper's Modern Love column. "No one wants to watch a video that's exactly the same as what they just read," Times video producer Zena Barakat told Mashable. "The idea was to do a video that can stand alone, but also talks to the column."

The move is part of a broader effort by the Times to incorporate more video. In addition to Modern Love, the company has also launched a video series to accompany the Frugal Traveler column and is working on one with food columnist Mark Bittman, but it won't stop there. Video production head Rebecca Howard says there are plenty of columns and journalists that could benefit from the addition of "sight, sound and motion."

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