World Screen News - Published January 27, 2010
By Kristin Brzoznowski
A mix of commissioning editors, producers and international programming delegates come together in New York for History Makers 2010, a three-day event presenting the most innovative ways to make history resonate with contempory events. The latest programming trends, changes in technology, new platforms, the spread of digital and HD services and new VOD channels are just some of the topics History Makers will be touching on this year, as it looks to explore in-depth the issues that are at the forefront of the current affairs and history genres.
"Our people like content," says Bill Nemtin, the executive producer of History Makers, on the take-away value of this year's sessions. "One-third of the people attending are commissioning editors, so we're supplying our producers with the people they want to pitch their ***Bill Nemtin***projects to. But, more than that, our program is really content heavy, aimed at producers who are interested in content."
The event kicks off with a keynote from Daniel Goldhagen, author of the international bestseller Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, who will be on hand to discuss his most recent work: Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity. The themes of understanding and re-conceptualising genocide are the basis of a new feature-length documentary of the same name, and Goldhagen will present the making of Worse Than War as part of his keynote, sharing his experiences from his nearly two decades of study.
During this time of rapid change in the archive and stock-footage areas, History Makers will be examining the digital future of archives in a round-table discussion, Future of Archives in a Digital Age. The session will look at key issues like new storage technologies, image transformation, and the challenges of meeting multiplatform and HD demands. A separate session, Hidden Archives: Finding and Using New Sources, looks at the rapid uptake of programs using home movies and videos, amateur footage and old local news material, giving a personal touch to storytelling that can provide a new perspective on an over-produced topic. The speakers will discuss the art of finding and using these "hidden gems" and never-before-seen footage from a variety of sources. Another session, Who's Ripping Off Who?, explores the rights issues of dealing with archives.
There's also a session on finding new ways to make history immediate, important, compelling and entertaining in Making Old History New. View from the Broadcasters: The Next Big Thing brings together leading broadcasters and commissioning editors from around the world to share updates on the kinds of shows they are greenlighting. Further sessions explore the depiction of gays and lesbians in history, the resurgence and next generation of experience-based history programming and the trend towards big event history productions that use techniques like CGI, epic drama re-enactments and 3D.
"We've been quite a bit heavier on master classes, so that people can learn from the best," Nemtin says. The idea to ramp up the number of master classes offered at History Makers came as a direct response from speaking with board members about what it was they wanted to see more of. "Last time we had an evaluation I asked a few of them, What do you really want? Quite a few of them said, 'I want to come away feeling like I've learned something I didn't know before.' That's really my goal."
Among the lineup of master classes is Hollywood and History, looking at how documentary filmmakers can work with Hollywood to reach a wider audience and present history in an innovative way. The master class will be led by Chris Moore and Anthony Arnove, the co-executive producers ***The People Speak***and co-directors of HISTORY's The People Speak. The series is currently being adapted by AETN UK for British audiences, and AETN UK’s channel director, Richard Melman, will also take part in the master class to discuss how the words and actions of ordinary activists and dissidents have had an impact on history, and how the concept of “People’s History” was dramatized for television. Arnove and Moore will discuss the historical and the production aspects of The People Speak, while also looking at strategies for adapting the format for the international market.
Professor Guido Knopp, the head of the history department at ZDF and the recipient of this year's History Makers Lifetime Achievement Award, leads his own master class on January 29. Knopp has been a prolific producer, says Nemtin, particularly as a chronicler of World War II and the German experience. "He really gave Germany back its voice, in terms of making programs on the Second World War. Before him, there hadn't really been films from Germany on the whole WWII experience, and that was well into the 1980s. I think he's a bit of a hero." Knopp's programs have been shown in more than 60 countries and he will be screening clips from his favorite and most influential programs as well as discussing some of the highlights, challenges and breakthroughs he's experienced throughout his career.
In addition to the more formal sessions and master classes, History Makers is characterized by a continuous buzz of meetings, where new projects are being pitched, discussed and brought to fruition. In partnership with ZDF Enterprises, History Makers is also hosting a Co-Production Town Hall, where producers and broadcasters will have a forum to discuss how international co-productions really work and how they could work better.
Lastly, the summit will honor the year’s outstanding programs, and those who made them, with special awards. "This year we've expanded and we have five award categories," Nemtin explains. "We also have juries from around the world. We have the beautiful and talented Daljit Dhaliwal [anchor of WNET.ORG's Worldfocus], who's hosting them. I think it will have a little bit more glitz than usual. Just looking at the clips from our awards show you're going to be exposed to some of the best programs in the world."
Thought Equity Motion's CEO to Participate in History Makers' 'Future of Digital Archives' Panel
Thought Equity Motion, Inc.—the world leader in digitizing, delivering and monetizing video content—announced today that the company’s CEO and founder, Kevin Schaff, will be a panelist at History Makers, an international summit of history and current affairs producers, taking place Jan. 27-29, 2010 at the Grand Hyatt New York. Schaff will be speaking on the “Future of Digital Archives” panel from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Jan. 28, 2010.
“I’m looking forward to contributing to this roundtable and discussing the future of digital archives. I think new robust forms of access to digital news, sports and entertainment video archives are ‘what’s next’ for documentarians,” said Kevin Schaff, CEO and founder of Thought Equity Motion. “Rather than spending weeks or months creating a documentary, producers will be able to access ‘intelligent’ archives to more rapidly and effectively tell their stories, including the ability to generate ‘instant documentaries’ in the web and broadband media within hours to supplement current event stories and programming. Richer tagging within archives will help manage rights and enable production through metadata.”
“Kevin is a leading thinker in the digitization and emerging media space and he’ll add great insights to our Future of Digital Archives session,” said Bill Nemtin, executive producer, History Makers.
The Future of Digital Archives panel will cover issues such as new storage technologies, image transformation, and the challenges of meeting multi-platform and HD demands. Schaff and the other panelists will work to identify how the digital transformation will impact archive libraries and the producers and broadcasters who rely on them.
“Kevin is a leading thinker in the digitization and emerging media space and he’ll add great insights to our Future of Digital Archives session,” said Bill Nemtin, executive producer, History Makers. “I think documentary producers and broadcasters will be interested to hear Kevin’s thoughts about how next-generation online video libraries will allow them to create documentary projects more efficiently.”
For media inquiries, please contact Abby Lurie at 720.382.2890. For more information on Thought Equity Motion, visit http://www.thoughtequity.com. For more information on History Makers, visit http://www.historymakers2010.com.
The People Speak's Moore & Arnove Join History Makers Lineup
By Kristin Brzoznowski
TORONTO: History Makers has signed up Chris Moore and Anthony Arnove, co-executive producers and co-directors of HISTORY’s The People Speak, to present a master class: “Hollywood and History.”
The series is currently being adapted by AETN UK for British audiences, and AETN UK’s channel director, Richard Melman, will also take part in the master class to discuss how the words and actions of ordinary activists and dissidents have had an impact on history, and how the concept of “People’s History” was dramatized for television. Arnove and Moore will discuss the historical and the production aspects of The People Speak.
History Makers will take place January 27 to 29 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.
World Screen - Published: December 17, 2009
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen Joins History Makers Lineup
By Kristin Brzoznowski
TORONTO: Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, author of the international bestseller Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, has been named as keynote speaker at the 2010 History Makers Conference, being held in New York City from January 27 to 29.
Goldhagen will discuss his most recent work, Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity. The themes explored in Worse Than War are the basis of a feature-length documentary of the same name, produced by JTN Productions and WNET. The film follows Goldhagen as he travels around the world to interview survivors of genocide, and also the perpetrators and politicians involved.
With his keynote, Goldhagen says he will, “explain how we have thoroughly misunderstood what genocide is and why it happens, illuminate why the killers killed, and, based on this new understanding, propose a set of new policies that would be sure to radically reduce the incidence of mass killing, saving potentially millions of lives. My work and my talk are devoted to making the phrase ‘never again’ finally mean it for everyone.”
RealScreen - Nov 20, 2009
ZDF's head of history named History Makers' Lifetime Achievement recipient
by: Kelly Anderson
History Makers 2010's advisory board has selected Professor Guido Knopp, ZDF's head of history to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is given to a person who has consistently achieved excellence in performing services to history and current affairs programming. Michael Katz, chairman of the History Makers 2010 advisory board and Vice President of AETN International said of Knopp, "Throughout his career as an historian, journalist and producer, Guido Knopp has been regarded as one of the most prolific and insightful producers of historical programming of the 20th century. Around the globe, Knopp is known predominantly for programs dealing with the 3rd Reich and WWII." The award will be presented on January 28 at the Grand Hyatt in New York.