Inside the Great Magazines

The story of the first mass media
and how it changed our world.

Inside the Great Magazines takes us into the editor’s suite, to the photo shoots and on location with the greatest magazines in the world. From the established players like Time, Paris Match, and Rolling Stone, to upstarts that are defining the cutting-edge like Colors and Vice, the inner workings of magazines is captured and revealed.

From their European origins to their current popularity, the series explores the powerful influence magazines have on our social, political and cultural identities. Along the way, we encounter a world of media barons, savvy editors, world-traveled writers, and edgy designers.

PART I: The Power of the Image
Part One explores how magazines define our cultural and personal images, and fuel the growth of democracy and consumerism. We go back to London in 1731, for the introduction of the first magazine, and to Paris for the first photographs. Soon Vanity Fair is bringing art to the public and everyone in North America is reading Life. We cover Valentino’s haute couture, and poverty in the developed world. We learn how editors juggle artistic demands, financial constraints and the expectations of their readers to create a great magazine.

PART II: Igniting Social Change
While magazines reflect our values, they also have the power to change them. Part Two examines the trailblazers, from Playboy’s impact on the sexual revolution, to Ms. Magazine as a rallying cry for feminists, to The Advocate, the latest revolutionary magazine still fighting for sexual and civil rights. We see how magazines find the way to challenge us with ideas that have the power to shape our political and social landscape. We see their vision, their influence, and their fight for change.

Part III: Mags Inc.
With corporate mergers accelerating, money and size are now the defining factor in a magazine’s influence. Add in the Internet and increasingly segmented niches, and many wonder how the great magazines can survive. Part Three investigates the work of impassioned individual editors, writers and photographers within the new market realities. We will follow Time magazine’s acclaimed Person of the Year issue, as well as a new women’s magazine in Afghanistan, started on a penny and a prayer.

Intelligent and provocative, glamorous and entertaining, this series shows the inside pages and inner workings of the first international medium for a thoughtful portrayal of the images, writing and ideas

Film information
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MTV Hungarian (Hungary (2008), Documentary New Zealand (2008), SVT (Sweden (2008), NRK (Norway), Channel 8 (formerly) (Israel), VEA/Classroom (Australia), Classroom Video (UK), Against Gravity Sp. (Poland), ABC Pacific (Asia/Pacific), ZDF Arte (France + Germany), TV3 Television (Span/Catalan), The Cinema Guild (USA), Denmark Radio (Denmark), RTVE Documentos (Spain), Qantas Airways (Australia), Against Gravity Sp. (Poland), Distrify Limited (Worldwide), VPRO-VARA-NTR (Netherlands), Universidad (Mexico), Global (Canada 2007), Telequebec (Canada 2007), TFO (Canada 2007), Argentina (2007), Brazil (2007), ABC Australia (2008), Hungary (2008), South Korea (2008), New Zealand (2008), Poland (2008), Israel (2008), Norway (2008), Sweden (2008), Italy (2008), Canal Plus (France 2009)