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How Newsweek Made Its First Moving Cover Art

Newsweek's new digital cover art on its iPad edition is a video

Newsweek's provocative print covers of yesteryear may be gone from newsstands, but the now all-digital magazine is tinkering with ways to attract potential subscribers.

NewsweekThe newsweekly released its first moving-image cover art — an eight-second video of a submersible descending into Hawaii's sapphire waters — which it tweeted Friday morning as a .gif.

"This is something that we can do now without the boundaries of print," Andrew Kirk, a spokesman for Newsweek and the Daily Beast, told TheWrap.

Newsweek hired photographer Hugh Gentry to shoot images of Pisces IV, one of the world's deepest-diving submarines, as reporter Tony Dokoupil dove down with marine explorer Sylvia Earle.

Also read: Newsweek Announces Newsroom Layoffs, 3 Executive Promotions (Updated)

His cover story documents how, in the age of unmanned robotic subs, funds for human oceanic expeditions have begun to dry up.

"[Gentry] took it at 125 feet," Kirk said, adding that the photographer used a Canon 5D Mark II camera. "He went down to do the piece, which is about reduced government funding for oceanic exploration."

He said design director Sean Noyce used photographs to create a still-image cover, brandished with the headline: "Have We Hit Bottom?" Modeled after the octogenarian publication's defunct print design, the cover fades onto an iPad screen just as the video reel of the sub ends.

Newsweek suffered a round of layoffs last month as the magazine downsized after terminating its print edition. The final issue, emblazoned  with the hashtag #LastPrintIssue, hit newsstands on Dec. 24.

Also read: Newsweek's Final Cover Bids Adieu to Print With a Hashtag

Still, Kirk said the newsweekly's trimmed down staff is getting along with its reduced budget.

"We have a great in-house team that are able to work with the resources that we have," he said. "We're putting together a very interesting portfolio issue every week with a  nimble team."