Wednesday, February 01, 2012 12:00 AM

The history of the DP
(in 17 minutes, 33 seconds)

At the start of 2011, Executive Editor Lauren Plotnick said she wanted to start four days of training for new editors and managers with a session on the history of the DP -- something that would make them better appreciate the magnitude of running the 127 year-old organization. 

DP General Manager Eric Jacobs says the idea blossomed in his mind immediately: a video slideshow which would trace the paper's long history, interspersed with alumni memories to inspire the staff. "Standing in front of the group to talk through the DP's history would be dry, but I pictured a movie with historic photos, front pages, quotes from alumni which make you laugh and which make you cry, and dramatic music to heighten the emotional connection." 

Two long days of hectic work by Jacobs and Operations Director Katherine Ross later, the DP History movie emerged.

"I knew we had a ton of great source material in the book we produced for the DP's 125th anniversary in 2009," Jacobs said. "I had never used this software before, so I taught myself as we went along, and as we ran out of time before the first training session, the dramatic film score I had in my head emerged as a very random collection of bombastic soundtrack clips from movies and theater from my iPod. It's cheesy, but it does deliver the emotional punch I had in mind. The opening text, done Star Wars-style, adds to the cheesiness."

Since the movie's "premiere" in January 2011, it has become a staple of training sessions for a wide variety of new DP staff members. Alumni who visited the DP during last year's Alumni Day enjoyed viewing the video, so with the new DPAA website, Jacobs realized he could share it with the full DP alumni family.

And the movie is still undergoing change, Jacobs said. "This year, I went back and added a few details which I realized we had missed in our rush to create the original version last year." Any DP alumni who spot important omissions in DP history, or have a memory to add, should email a note to, and they'll be considered for inclusion in the next revision of the movie.

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