Sunday, June 13, 2010

Jim Henson's Short Films For Big Blue Sales Department

Before Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, Jim Henson made short films for Big Blue. IBM contracted with Jim Henson to create a series of short films designed to help its sales staff. These films remain fresh, funny, and surprisingly irreverent to this day. Henson would return to their gags and situations in his famous later works–and he even plucked the Cookie Monster from one of them when assembling the Muppet cast for Sesame Street in 1969.

"The films Henson made for IBM fell into two basic classes. The first were short comedic “meeting films,” which acted as icebreakers or to signal breaks in long corporate, sales, and training meetings. The second category consisted of longer industrial films which explained IBM’s products, service, and approach. Though the industrials look like commercials, their purpose seems to have been to motivate IBM’s sales team and/or to serve as a primer to potential corporate clients."

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