NBC White Paper Credits

A little later today, we are finally going to explore the origins of one of Jim’s most famous, enduring projects, Sesame Street, but firstly, a brief bit of non-Muppets footage. Earlier in 1968, NBC had been extremely impressed with Jim’s Youth 68 documentary and so hired him to create a credits sequence for a three-part documentary series called Ordeal of the American City, which was itself part of an NBC news series called NBC White Paper. And here is the footage, which follows Jim’s penchant for juxtaposing quick shots to create an overlapping collage effect. Here, the images are all urban in nature, the images being used to underline the fraught tensions underlying city life:



Fascinatingly, Jim’s next big undertaking, Sesame Street, would stand in sharp contrast to this, proving to be a very hopeful project, one of whose major goals was to make the lives of city people better via childhood education. And if you check back in a few hours, I’ll be discussing the beginnings of this show, which has become an American institution.