I was the executive producer of 20 short documentaries for TIME’s 100 Most Influential Photos project. The films took viewers behind the scenes of how these iconic pictures were made and revealed backstories that had never been told before. Below is a selection of six of the films.
Windblown Jackie explores the picture that celebrity photographer Ron Galella calls "his Mona Lisa". Galella made thousands of pictures of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis during her years in New York, but it was this picture, which he made through a taxicab window in 1971, that became the first blockbuster paparazzi photo.
Falling Man Through an interview with photographer Richard Drew, the film tells the story behind one of the most haunting and provocative photographs from September 11, 2001.
Behind Closed Doors was the most revealing film of the entire series, as it included interviews not only with Donna Ferrato, the photographer, but also with Elisabeth, the subject of her picture. Ferrato’s shocking picture brought the issue of spousal abuse out of the shadows; in our documentary, the subjects revealed their true identity for the first time.
Untitled (Cowboy) In 2005, this picture sold for $1.2 million at auction, then the highest publicly recorded price for the sale of a contemporary photograph. What made the sale even more incredible was the fact that Richard Prince created the photograph by simply re-photographing a Marlboro ad and removing the text. Prince’s experiment helped to create a new art form—photography of photography—that upended our understanding of a photo’s authenticity and ownership and foreshadowed our new era of digital sharing and reproduction.
Dali Atomicus. Before Halsman, portrait photography was often stilted and softly blurred, with a clear sense of detachment between the photographer and the subject. Halsman’s approach, bringing subjects into sharp focus as they moved before the camera, redefined portrait photography and inspired generations of photographers to collaborate with their subjects.
ALI vs LISTON features Sports Illustrated photographer Neil Leifer, who shot perhaps the greatest sports photo of the century, in 1965, as Muhammad Ali squared off against Sonny Liston. Leifer’s perfectly composed image captured Ali radiating the strength and brashness that made him the nation’s most beloved and reviled athlete.