After a year of planning, JFK 50 YEARS On Demand is going to launch tomorrow. It's very exciting to see this partnership with Comcast come to fruition for several reasons:
- It confirms that we have succeeded in making the John F. Kennedy 50th anniversary celebration a transmedia, multi-media, cross-platform campaign. That's just a fancy way of saying that we've managed to find creative ways to expose people to the JFK legacy and its importance through many different programs that can be found across many media. As executive producer, that has been my goal. If we can engage a new generation and re-introduce an older generation through this material, the results will be exciting to watch.
- The JFK Presidential Library archives are an amazing repository of the history record of JFK's life, before and during his White House years. Until now, access to the archives required a trip to the JFK Library in Boston (which I recommend to everyone!). Yet, with the recent web digitization project and this On Demand content offering with Comcast, people can find the gems of the collection from the comfort of their homes/schools/offices. This is a prime example of how access to digital technology enables information such as these treasured films and documents to be accessed in new ways.
- JFK was the first U.S. president to understand the importance of television and its power to influence large audiences at the same time. Therefore, it's only appropriate that we use the platform of television to make parts of the archive and other key films about JFK available to a large audience.
- There are some films being offered that haven't been seen by the general public in a very long time. They are key historical documents that present JFK in ways that should excite novices and history buffs alike. Make sure to check out:
Years of Lightning, Day of Drums: It was commissioned by the U.S. Information Agency as a tool to show the world the indelible impact that JFK had in just one-thousand days in office. It also screams early '60's in its style.
John F. Kennedy 1917 - 1963: Academy Award-winner Charles Guggenheim's biography of JFK is an unforgettable and intimate portrait of the man and his ambitions.
- This campaign is more than a remembrance and celebration. It is an attempt to connect a new generation to this important legacy. There are many exciting ways that the legacy and archives are being put to use, especially at JFK50.org. This On Demand offering will help to promote that destination, as well as challenge people to define their own call to greatness. I encourage you to check out the offering On Demand as it has certainly helped me start down that path.