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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Doc Filmmakers Errol Morris, David Guggenheim, and Joe Pytka help IBM celebrate 100

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The Following is courtesy of a Tweet from prolific Tweeter Roger Ebert:

"A 30-minute film by Errol Morris, with music by Philip Glass, sponsored by IBM to mark its Centennial."

A quick search uncovered the fact that Morris' film is one of three commissioned by IBM to celebrate 100 years of success for International Business Machines.

The other two filmmakers are fellow documentarian David Guggenheim, as well as commercial and music video pioneer Joe Pytka.

It is an interesting moral dilemma when documentary fIlmmakers like David Guggenheim (Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth) and Errol Morris (Thin Blue Line, Fog of War) are co-opted hired by a company to create short documentary films.

Will it affect their approach to future documentary projects? No one ever claimed doc filmmakers were journalists.

It just feels icky.

(In Morris' defense, he's been working in the commercial arena for decades, and his films continue to be remarkable.)

Here's the official IBM press release:

ARMONK, N.Y — 10 Mar 2011: IBM is marking its 100th year as a company of innovators and inventions through a series of documentary films that chronicle the ways in which the company has changed the world through scientific and technology achievements and the “IBMers” who have been behind those breakthroughs.

The three films take the viewer on a series of journeys through IBM’s past, present and future. The first film “100 x 100,” features one hundred people who describe an IBM achievement that took place the year they were born. Joe Pytka, one of the most influential and prolific commercial directors, shot the 100 x 100 film. The second film, They Were There, shot by Oscar-winning documentary director Errol Morris with music by famed composer Philip Glass, examines the leaders and inventors behind some of IBM’s most noteworthy contributions such as the invention of the UPC code, helping put a man on the moon and the launch of the first mainframe computer. The third film, Wild Ducks now being filmed by Oscar-winning Davis Guggenheim, director of “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Waiting for Superman,” seeks to capture the spirit of invention and risk that defines the character of IBM.

Watch the first two films after the jump:

Errol Morris (with a hypnotic Phillip Glass score)

Joe Pytka

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