Searching for a Path to a New Market and New Partnerships at the CIC

The inaugural Talent Development Scholarship Program from AEP, supported by Jim McVety of First Step Advisors, is intended to help professionals new to the educational resource community learn, grow, and network at one of the industry’s most important events. Winners receive a full pass to AEP’s Content in Context (CIC) conference, as well as guided networking provided by veteran AEP members. Before and after the CIC, scholarship winners will contribute articles to Educational Publishing.

Here, scholarship winner Max Segal, Curator for The March of Time, discusses why the consumer media company is entering the education market and the partnerships and collaborations he hopes to find at the CIC.

My name is Max Segal from the HBO Archives featuring The March of Time documentaries. We are thrilled to be one of the inaugural scholarship winners.  Attending CIC is a huge opportunity for us. We would not be attending otherwise, if not for this generous scholarship.

HBO Archives joined AEP last fall. We are a footage clip licensing library. We regularly license our footage to documentary producers around the world.  We also do some footage licensing with movie/TV producers, as well as commercials. We have very little presence and knowledge in the educational community.  The sole reason we joined AEP is because of a very unique collection we curate and own in our library: The March of Time documentaries.

March of Time is from the newsreel era, but not like anything ever seen before. The series won an Oscar for revolutionizing the newsreel business.  The documentaries were produced from 1934 to 1967 by Time and Life magazines, giving them more journalistic credibility than the Hollywood produced newsreels. Unlike the traditional snapshot news-style featurettes of the typical Hollywood newsreels, the longer, deeper documentary style of The March of Time stood out from its competitors and uniquely shaped the way American saw the world and how the world saw America. There was no mainstream documentary movement in America until the March of Time.

During last year’s 75th anniversary of The March of Time, we were embraced by The National Gallery of Art, a 10-day retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Turner Classic Movies dedicated 10 hours of marathon time. For these reasons and more, we feel there is a natural place for The March of Time in wide-ranging educational programs.

These March of Time programs cover domestic politics, entertainment, news in great detail, as well as international exposes and events. These single topic documentaries of the day featured now-timely topics on Iran, Palestine, Pakistan and Burma, along with lighter stories on teenage girls, the fashion world and the laugh industry. These mini-documentaries and/or clips seem to be a perfect fit for educational publishers to better inform and enlighten students. CIC is an ideal opportunity to meet publishers and make them aware of the special nature of The March of Time.

We have not been proactive in reaching out wider to educational publishers, because we just didn’t know where to begin. We have read many stories and heard much talk of being on the cusp of a new publishing era. A digital era with interactive books using more and more motion content. The tablets, led by the iPad are growing strong. At some point textbooks may be replaced with tablets with these interactive programs. With all this exciting but confusing buzz in the publishing air, we are hoping CIC will give us some clarity.

Our biggest expectation in coming to CIC is to meet publishers and producers who have started to embrace the still to motion transition. We are looking for companies to partner up with, using clips from The March of Time, to enhance and to further the missions of both teacher and student. We are looking forward to as much guided and targeted introductions as possible. Being new to the educational publishing world, we can’t think of a better place to learn and grow than at CIC.

Looking forward to meeting our next partners and having some fun too.

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May 2011


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