An Interview with Stephen Slater, Apollo 11 Archive Producer

Stephen Slater, Apollo 11 Archive Producer

Stephen Slater, Apollo 11 Archive Producer


Footage.net: Congratulations on the film. It’s amazing. It must be very gratifying given your background with NASA archive footage and the work you’ve done on space related films. How did your interest in that footage evolve?

Stephen Slater: Thank you very much, the reaction has been really heartwarming.

I guess my work on these long form projects started when I produced and directed a documentary called “Destination Titan,” about an unmanned spacecraft that landed on the moon of Saturn called Titan, which first aired on BBC FOUR in 2011. Apart from shooting interviews I pretty much had a hand in everything on that project, and it involved a significant amount of archive, which sparked my interest in that side of storytelling.

The film detailed how a group of British scientists built an experiment for this European space probe and the personal sacrifices involved, and given that much of this had happened in the mid 1990s (when I was a child), I needed to locate stock footage of them building the probe, from the mission control room during the encounter when the scientists were waiting for the data to come back, and all that kind of thing. It was a real labor of love doing all that.

FN: Was that when you started collecting NASA footage and building your space archive?

SS: I’ve always been interested in the Apollo programme since watching Apollo 13 at the cinema as a child, and so that occurred parallel to the Titan project, and it was around that time (circa 2010) when I started taking a deep interest in the extant archive from the Apollo era. I undertook this rather crazy project where I would attempt to lip sync audio from the "in flight" air to ground communication loops, to the 16mm mission control footage, which was all shot completely silent. 

There was only one guy in mission control who was talking to the astronauts, he was called the capsule communicator (CAPCOM), and so I’d look for footage of him where his lips were moving, and I'd then try and locate the corresponding audio. I was also working with a stock footage library (no longer in existence) who supplied a lot of NASA material, and that led to me working on projects related to Apollo, and becoming known as a specialist archive producer... although I’m still not really sure what that title means! 

FN: So that experience led to your work on the Apollo 11 project?

SS: I worked on quite a few space documentaries.. I suppose the main one being “The Last Man on the Moon,” which is a biographical documentary about Gene Cernan, who was the last of the Apollo astronauts to leave the lunar surface in 1972. It was probably a good year of research that went into that film.

By the time of that project I’d already built up this large collection of NASA footage, and it had become easier for producers to come to me for material than to go directly to NASA (mainly because of their cumbersome bureaucracy, and fast turnaround schedules). So I was already used to receiving enquiries, and supplying footage specific to various productions.

In early 2016, Todd Douglas Miller, who is the director of Apollo 11, contacted me about a short film they were making about the Apollo 17 mission called the “Last Steps" (actually the same Apollo mission which Gene Cernan commanded). Todd's idea was to tell that story only with archive, in exactly the same style as Apollo 11 would become. It was a short, 30-minute film, from CNN Films / Great Big Story, which premiered in late 2016, and it was during the production of that film that the key relationships were formed for the Apollo 11 film.

So, a couple months after I’d sent Todd all this Apollo 17 footage, he came back to me and said, ‘here’s a rough cut, what do you think?’  And my reaction was "wow, this is great".  It just really jumped off the screen.  The music and the editing were pretty much perfect.

"The Last Steps" premiered at the Hamptons Film Festival in the first week of October 2016, and it was after that screening when we all met face-to-face for the first time that I first pitched the idea, "well you’ve got the anniversary coming up and I have this background with the Apollo 11 synchronised footage.. I think that’s something we could work with for the 50th anniversary"... which by that stage was 2.5 years away.  So that’s how it started.

FN: Got it. So how did you begin putting together this NASA archive? If I’m not mistaken you have something like 20,000 hours of NASA footage in your own archive.

SS: Yeah, it’s a combination of my own research and relationships I’ve formed with NASA, but then also through projects I have worked on over the years I’ve just accumulated a lot of that material, but more importantly the knowledge of how to navigate the sources, and being able to find where things are. So I see what I have as the "greatest hits" of NASA (although I obviously have a lot more than that), and that's probably good enough for most films, but then there’s a huge other layer of material behind that, which we can tap into for more in depth projects like "APOLLO 11", when I'm fully deployed as a researcher.

I didn't have absolutely everything related to the Apollo 11 mission when we started production on "APOLLO 11", which is why we went and scanned things like the 70mm footage. That came to light what we started to dig very deep.

FN: So most of the material in the film came either from NASA itself, from the National Archives or from you.

SS: Correct. Some of it was material that I had anyway.  Anything that was shot in space came directly for me, so we didn't go back and re-scan all that stuff, but for all the footage that was shot on the ground, like the 70mm reels and a lot of the 16mm reels, it was a case of assessing whether we had the best quality, and if we needed to go back in and have it re-scanned.  So we actually went in and upgraded some of the footage I already had available.

The 70mm reels were completely unknown to me so that’s the real new "headline" element I’d say we found for this film.  There’s actually quite a few things, but that was the most significant.

FN: So you were doing a couple of key things. You were attempting to get the most definitive visual record of the mission, and you were also going back and trying to get the best quality restoration of it.

SS: Well the first task was to locate (as crazy as it sounds!) everything that existed in the NASA archive related to Apollo 11. We set ourselves that challenge.  I obviously already had a lot of stuff anyway, so it was a case of sourcing additional bits and pieces. We can never know for sure that we have everything of course, but once we had a good idea of what existed it was a case of transferring it all in the best possible resolution, and that involved working out what format it was shot on, and whether what we currently had access to was the original, or some kind of duplicate. We would also have a team at the National Archives inspect the film keycodes to ensure that the team were scanning an original source every single time. Then there’s the 70 mm footage of course, which we found out about via an email from one of the supervisory archivists in May 2017. That was one of the greatest days of my life as a researcher, because it was so unexpected.

I remember before we really came to terms with just how amazing it was that I was viewing 16mm shots of things like the astronauts suiting up, or the Saturn V on the way to the pad. At the time I was thinking we might need that, but it obviously proved completely superfluous once we saw the quality of the 70mm, as it turned out that the 70mm operators had covered very similar scenes, and this footage was just light years better in terms of resolution.

For mission control there was a lot less 70mm available, and what we had was badly underexposed, therefore we had to rely largely on the 16mm. But having the large format reels available for other elements of the mission significantly changed the scope of the project.

FN: I’m amazed that the 70-millimeter footage could have stayed hidden for so long.

 SS: It’s actually not true that I didn’t know of its existence. There was a film that NASA commissioned called “Moonwalk One,” directed by a quite an avant-garde filmmaker called Theo Kamecke. NASA wanted to document the moon landing and have a sort of official film, and they hired Theo to do it. He worked with the Francis Thompson Company, which produced a lot of large-format films in the 60s, and it was actually Theo’s first project as a director.

In 2009 for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing I worked with a team to restore “Moonwalk One” and release it on DVD.  It’s quite a trippy, avant-garde, and in some respects quite dated, piece of work. But it has a lot of very famous shots in it, including shots of the crew walking out and people watching the launch, with the rocket reflected in peoples sunglasses, etc.  All of those shots originated in “Moonwalk One.”

Theo supervised the "restoration" 10 years ago, and actually for that project we used a 35mm print that he just happened to have. At the time we thought we were using the only surviving or the best original copy of the film, but that turned out not to be the case. It was common knowledge that they shot many scenes in the film, particularly of the Apollo 11 launch, in 70 mm, and I'd been led to believe that those elements had been destroyed.

FN: So you knew that it had been shot but you didn’t know that it had survived?

SS: I certainly knew that the “Moonwalk One” launch scenes had been shot in 70mm, but I wasn’t prepared for the fact that there was so much other footage from that time, shot in that format. There were hundreds of reels that we found spanning from the Gemini programme, all the way through to Apollo 13.

FN: So how many total hours of footage was there?

SS: Well it’s approximately 165 reels of 70 mm film, plus a lot of additional engineering footage of the launch, which was shot in a format called 70mm 10 perf (no, me neither!!). But I would say an average of between 5 and 10 minutes per reel. We are not talking hundreds and hundreds of hours of 70mm footage, but we are talking about several hours of very high quality stuff. They didn’t just leave the camera running to shoot the floor, after all film was expensive, even with NASA's budgets! So it’s quality over quantity for sure. But still there are hundreds of times more than we were able to include in the completed "APOLLO 11" film.

FN: Was there a particular type of camera that was used to shoot the 70 mm?

SS: It was a format called Todd AO. The inventor's name was Mike Todd, and he was (one of many people!) married to Elizabeth Taylor. The company is still going although they are actually not making film or cameras anymore, I think they provide sound related services.

Their 70mm process was used to shoot the “Sound of Music” and “Lawrence of Arabia” and a lot of those cinerama types of films in the 50s and 60s, and then it just kind of fell out of fashion and I guess IMAX took over. So it was a precursor I’d say for IMAX.  But 70mm as a format has obviously had a recent resurgence with Tarantino and Chriostopher Nolan, albeit not with exactly the same flavour of 70mm

FN: I understand that the restoration was done with some kind of new prototype scanner?

SS: Well there’s very restricted scanners in the world that can deal with 70mm film, and for the ones that did exist, I think before this project there was one in L.A and one in London, however it’s extremely cumbersome, they’re very slow at scanning stuff, and it’s not something that we could contemplate because the National Archives will not just send this film anywhere. We had to enter a partnership agreement with them, which meant that the film was then sent to our facility at Final Frame in New York, who had developed a prototype scanner that could really deal with the reels properly and scan it in a far less cumbersome way, and in the timeframes that we needed, so we wouldn’t need to have a 10 year production schedule!! With this scanner, essentially it's a lot more flexible than most, in that it’s not pin registered, and the film doesn't need to physically touch the scanner, it rides on a bed of compressed air.  But you need to talk to somebody more technical than me, to understand the inner workings!! The short answer is that yeah we invented the scanner effectively to do it, although not me personally. I do have certain skills but I don’t know how to do that!

FN: The lip-syncing really adds a lot to the film. The idea that you got that audio synced to the shots in mission control, it is just a crucial piece of the film.  So that’s something you’ve been doing for years.

SS: Yeah, to follow on from what I said earlier, all we had available when we started this project was the CAPCOM audio, so whenever the crew spoke to the ground there was a guy in mission control who could communicate with the astronauts, and I had lip-synced some of that dialogue from the Apollo 11 descent and landing in particular. But what we started this project we gained access to an additional 11,000 hours of what’s known as the "30-track audio".

All of the guys in mission control had communication headsets, and in each of those headsets they were talking on their own unique loop. There are essentially 60 channels of audio from the nine day mission, so when one of those guys was talking and it was an official communication he would key his microphone and then what he said would be recorded onto that loop. So for example, you could listen through the guidance officer's loop if you wanted to know what he was saying at a particular time in the mission (e.g during the landing!) , and you could isolate that channel.

It might sound easy, but actually the way we received the audio was on a hard drive full of random files, and because it had come from analogue tape, there had been a lot of technical issues introduced when it was digitised like wow and flutter,  which basically meant that you couldn’t lock it into a timeline.

A lot of our production team's work mirrors the controllers at the time. We were guided by something called the Mission Elapsed Time, which is a clock that starts when the rocket launches and ends when they splashdown. And for us to be able to work with that effectively we needed to get all of that audio into a timeline and lock it to the mission clock. One of the 30 track channels actually had contained something called I-Rig Timecode, and my colleague Ben Feist and his team worked out a way of deciphering that, and correcting all the audio so that it was locked to that timecode, and therefore to the mission clock.

The end result of that is that we had an audition project for each tape, and a nine-day timeline where I could on/off any of those channels at any time.  So if I want to know what the retrofire officer is saying at 103 hours into the mission I can go to that point in the timeline, isolate that channel and voila. Where my skills really come into play is if we have 16mm footage showing (for example) the retrofire officer talking, and we know he was on shift at a certain time, then we can use that information to go to an approximate mission time, and I can do my lip-syncing and hopefully eventually match the words with the footage of him mouthing!!  So we did that for every clip like that throughout the whole mission. Eventually, pretty much every time we had a shot of a controller who appeared to be talking, I would find a way of locating that audio.

There are hundreds of those clips from the mission now correctly matched, but obviously we were only able to use a certain number of them in the film.

FN: What kind of cameras did they have in the capsule and on the moonwalk?

SS: They had two 16 mm cameras, one that went down to the lunar surface, and one that stayed in orbit.  And they could be shot at varied speeds (24 frames a second, 12 frames a second, 6 frames or 1 frame per second were their parameters).

When Buzz Aldrin went down the ladder he left the camera running in the window at one frame per second in the window, and it captured them erecting the flag, etc.  So there is 16 mm and there is also television footage, which we haven’t talked about. That was obviously significantly lower quality than the 16mm.

FN: And that was being broadcast from or sent from the capsule and being recorded on the ground?

SS: Yeah, it was sent to tracking stations on the ground and relayed to Houston. But there's a whole other story of how those pictures were recorded, and in some cases misplaced or lost. We didn't actually include very much of that in the film because it isn't very cinematic.   

FN: So in terms of getting most of the footage, you didn’t need to track it down from people around the world, like collectors and so forth.

SS: The National Archive was the main repository for the film. The 16mm footage from the flight I already had, so we didn’t need to track any of that down. I’m not sure there would have been any benefit in re-scanning that because what I have is very good, with it being a high-definition transfer.

It’s not entirely true that we didn’t rely on other people.  There are some amazing researchers in Australia who actually supplied us with the television material, but you'd need another four articles to describe that saga!

FN: Do you have any favorite moments in the film?

SS: My favorite archive in the film is the shots of the people on the beach on the morning of the launch. It just puts you right back in 1969, like opening a time capsule. I think that’s really powerful when you can see hairstyles and trends from the time, coupled with the realisation that many of the individuals pictured are now dead.

My favorite sequence in the film is actually when the landing module is rendezvousing with Michael Collins in the command module.  I like it because of the music, and pacing really. That is footage which I’ve had in my collection for 10 years, so it wasn't a "never before seen" moment, but Todd just let it run and let it breathe. And, although I do think the 70mm material is amazing and everyone’s been amazed by it, I don’t think that’s what makes the film a success. It’s been well-made, it’s been well edited, there’s been a vision behind doing it a different way, and I think people are responding to that. So if we lived in an alternative universe where that 70 mm stuff had been destroyed, Todd would still have made very good film because I think he knows what he’s doing.

FN: So had you ever seen that footage on the big screen before? What was it like to see it at that scale?

SS: No I hadn’t. No one had. The first time I saw it we had a test screening at the IMAX Theater in DC at the Air and Space Museum in late 2017. We selected some reels to prioritize and get transferred, which was the reels of the astronauts suiting up in the crew quarters, and the crawler taking the Saturn V rocket to the pad.  So as I’m sure you can imagine it was amazing seeing all that for the first time. It was amazing, although I felt more emotional seeing it with Matt Morton’s music in the finished film.

At one of our Sundance screenings, during some of the shots of the recovery depicting the naval helicopters winching the crew up from the floating capsule, I remember feeling quite emotional. That’s when it really hit me I think.

FN: Your space archive, do you make that commercially available?

SS: Yes I do.  I get a lot of inquiries about it.  Obviously those are becoming more numerous now, given the wide release of the film. But I don’t really have a set way of working with producers. Licensing is not really the right term to use when people want to work with me, as it’s not really the service I’m providing. I’m not trying to sell myself as a footage library really.  It got a bit crazy during the anniversary, particularly last minute requests the week of the anniversary!

The other thing I found is that it seemed that every broadcaster in the world was trying to do the same thing that we did with "APOLLO 11", so it puts you in this rather weird position where you almost want to say to people, why don’t you go and do a different film? Tell a different story. Why would someone want to do exactly the same thing that we are doing? It’s something that frustrates me about our industry sometimes... the lack of imagination. But I suppose it’s ultimately flattering that there are lots of interest in this subject, and therefore interest in my archive.

FN: What’s next for you?

SS: Well actually I’m not sure I can talk about that. Let’s just say I’m doing a non-space related film!

FN: Will you do more space related projects in the future?

 SS: I’ll see. I mean, if someone comes to me and wants access to footage, and I’m just supplying the material, then I can see that that’s going to carry on. As to whether I’ll be involved in a project like "APOLLO 11"… it’s hard to see how you could really improve on that, as it was such a unique thing to be part of. It would have to be something completely different I think.

Global ImageWorks Exclusively Represents Outstanding Music and Entertainment Films and TV Shows Including Austin City Limits, The Dick Cavett Show and the Films of Robert Mugge

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The Dick Cavett Show

Some of the most influential politicians, celebrities, musicians, and authors appeared on The Dick Cavett Show. Running from 1968 until 1996, the popular and often controversial program, is considered the cornerstone of the talk show format. 

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Films of Robert Mugge

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Historic Films Acquires Rare 1907 35mm Nitrate Film of NYC

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While pre-1910 film of New York City does exist, much of it is derived from the re-photographing of “paper prints,” long-ago deposited at the Library Of Congress for copyright purposes.

Sadly, these archived films do not have the rich clarity of the original (and now largely lost) 35mm nitrate films they represent. After 112 years Historic Films has unearthed a gem in the form of an unseen and immaculate 35mm nitrate print, filmed on the streets of New York City in 1907.

Historic Films CEO Joe Lauro states: "We are delighted to offer researchers access to this previously unseen footage from the Gilded Age in Manhattan. The reel includes some of the earliest moving images I have ever seen of MACY’S Department store on 5th Avenue and the only footage I have ever seen of the legendary Reisenweber’s Cafe, where historically, in 1917 the Jazz Age began."

This impeccable print is perhaps the last surviving asset of a long forgotten motion picture company by the name of Spitz & Orth. The reel, which runs five minutes, was purchased from them in 1932 by one Meyer David Strong and comes to Historic Films from his great grandson Henry Strong.

The footage exists in 4K and is now available for licensing. Call or visit our website at historicfilms.com.

Reelin' in the Years & White Horse Pictures Sign Multi-Picture Production Deal

Nigel Sinclair, Chairman of White Horse Pictures

Nigel Sinclair, Chairman of White Horse Pictures

White Horse Pictures and Reelin' In The Years Productions have formed a far-reaching multi-picture partnership to develop and produce documentary feature film and television projects. White Horse Pictures has produced a number of award-winning films, including the BAFTA Nominated, Critics’ Choice and Grammy Award-winning The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years, also directed by Ron Howard. Reelin’ in the Years Productions is one of the world’s leading archival footage and licensing companies.

Building on a thriving relationship dating back to 2006, the White Horse team, led by Nigel Sinclair and Nicholas Ferrall, and including Head of Documentaries Jeanne Elfant Festa and Head of Television Cassidy Hartmann, will work with David Peck, owner of Reelin’ in the Years, to develop archive-based event documentary projects that draw on his company’s extraordinary catalogue and his knowledge of the wider universe of archival footage. Peck will continue to operate Reelin’ in the Years Productions for the range of clients they service, at the same time as producing select projects with White Horse Pictures on a non-exclusive basis.

David Peck, owner of Reelin’ in the Years Productions

David Peck, owner of Reelin’ in the Years Productions

We caught up with both Nigel Sinclair and David Peck recently to find out more about their new partnership.

Footage.net: Nigel, how did you come to the idea of partnering with Reelin’ in the Years?

Nigel Sinclair: We’ve worked with David Peck for at least 15 years on different projects. Over that time, we became aware of not only the magnitude of his library, but also the fact that he himself had developed an incredible knowledge of archive, and a point of view about where the likely best material for any project lay. It seemed natural to us to find some projects to do with David in a more committed way.

FN: Is the focus mainly on developing projects from the Reelin’ in the Years archive? Or will you also be licensing footage from other archives as part of this deal?

David Peck: The starting point will be our archive but that in no way will exclude any of the amazing archives such as Retro Video, Global Image Works and Historic Films, all who have rich invaluable content that would be a crime to ignore when producing a documentary.

FN: Why is a production partnership preferable to a bulk licensing deal?

NS: Creating fine documentaries is about magic, not volume. Like a good curator of a museum, David Peck curates his own library, and because that is where his interest lies, he will help you curate your project to find material that is not even in his library. Of course sometimes he wishes it was and will try to get it!

FN: Nigel, what are the main benefits to you and White Horse of partnering with Reelin’ in the Years?

NS: The main benefits are that David Peck’s skill, which is normally available to his customers through his ability to supply high quality material and advice in terms of other clearances and so forth, is now actually harnessed with us to develop high quality archive-heavy projects. David not only knows his own enormous archive like the back of his hand, but he talks to people all of the time in the community and he knows when a private collector’s special items are available. Also, he has a producer and a storyteller’s point of view on how to use archive. When you look at the way Reelin’ in the Years is organized, the scope of its library, and its sense that these are treasures, that vision is David’s.

FN: David, can you talk a bit about your role as a producer and adviser within this production partnership?

DP: I started my fascination with footage, music specifically, in 1984 at the age of 18 and to say I was obsessed and still am would be an understatement. I was relentless in trying to collect and see as much archival music footage as possible and it was because of that I started to make a name for myself as a person with extensive knowledge of music footage. My first gig was thanks to Jessica Berman-Bogden, who now runs Global Image Works, who called me in December of 1989 to help find footage for The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction ceremony. I think I got $400 and my name in the program, which at 23 years of age was pretty cool. In 1998, I started to represent archives around the globe and now 20+ years later we rep the rights to over 30,000 hours of music footage, 7,000 hours of interviews, and now also still photography of music artists. I bring all of this up because after 35 years immersed in archival music footage, in addition to my own sizeable archives, I have a very good idea of all of the other footage that’s out there as well. Also, and this will no doubt sound egotistical, but one by-product of obsessing over music footage for as long as I have is that my knowledge base has become rather encyclopedic, something that very few in the industry can offer. So what I bring to the partnership with White Horse Pictures is a vast high-quality archive, experience as a director/producer, and a rigorous and deep knowledge of music footage.

FN: Will you be focusing primarily on developing music-based projects?

DP: While music is my passion this will not necessarily be just music based projects as we control the rights to 7,000 hours of in-depth interviews with the 20th century’s icons of Film and Television, Politics, Comedy, Literature, Art, Science, Fashion, and Sports, filmed between 1962-2012. The interviews are from legendary talk shows around the world, including those hosted by Sir David Frost, Merv Griffin, Rona Barrett and Brian Linehan.

FN: Have either of you ever done a deal like this before?

DP: No, and to the best of my knowledge no one else has ever done a deal like this. Yes, archives have done bulk deals but no archive company has structured a deal with a major producer where they join forces to produce documentaries around an archive.

NS: We work closely with other archives, but we have never developed this kind of production relationship.

FN: This is a multi-picture deal. How many films do you plan to produce?

DP: Our goal is to do at least three over the next few years and if they do well then of course there will be more.

FN: The Beatles film was a pretty massive undertaking. Are you looking at projects of a similar scope?

DP: Nothing is off the table. Yes, we may produce something on that scale. I hope so. Or it may also be smaller subjects. The ideas, archive and clearances will dictate where the projects will take us.

FN: How will this deal benefit the companies whose footage you represent? Is it a straightforward licensing arrangement or will those payments come out of the fees paid to your joint venture by the networks?

DP: This deal is amazing for my archive clients and let me stress 100% that any footage used in the films that I will produce with Nigel will be licensed with payment for those clips up front. Yes, there’s an overall lower license fee but there will be more volume so my clients will be very happy to have their material front and center for consideration in his projects. All of my clients that I’ve spoken to were very excited that I was making this deal with Nigel.

FN: Nigel, will this partnership matter to the networks? How will it factor into your pitches?

NS: Assuming by networks you mean our customers, this partnership will be evidenced in the richness of storytelling that better archive resources produce. We will weave our relationship with David into our pitches, particularly with archive-heavy projects.

FN: David, you’ve done some producing in the past. Can you talk a bit about the shows you have produced previously?

DP: I started producing in 2003 when I, along with Experience Hendrix (the Jimi Hendrix Estate), released The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966 series on DVD. It was a series of performances of legendary blues artists filmed in Germany & England in the early to mid-1960s. I was nominated for a Grammy Award as Producer for Volume One in that series. In addition, we shockingly beat out Martin Scorsese, yes, that Martin Scorsese, in 2004 at The Blues Foundation in The “Achievement In Film” category when we were up against his seven part documentary series “The Blues.” In 2005 we created the Motown DVD series called “Definitive Performances” and released ones on Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, and The Temptations. Each release featured full performances of the hits that made them famous but all were filmed at the time of original release from various TV shows around the globe. Between the archival performances were newly shot or archival interviews with the artists so that it told the tale of their career solely focusing on the music. We also did something very unusual with those Motown releases, we created a bonus section where you could hear the original vocal tracks from the sessions synced up to the footage in cases of lip sync. Our attention to detail was rewarded in the fact that these three titles each sold over 50,000 units garnering gold, and in the case of The Temptations, platinum awards. I should point out that these were very unusual numbers for archival release such as these. In 2006 we created the Jazz Icons series which focused on full length performances of the legends of Jazz filmed primarily in the 1950s and 1960s. Between 2006 & 2011 we produced and released 36 DVDs and five boxsets featuring artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck & Duke Ellington. During that time I also directed and produced documentaries on Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield & six films on the artists from The British Invasion – the Hollies, Dusty Springfield, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Small Faces, Herman’s Hermits & The Pretty Things. All of the films I’ve directed would always have new or archival interviews with the artists between full performances. It’s a very different style of filmmaking, it was very successful and we built up a huge fan base around the world. With the exception of a 12 DVD release of The Merv Griffin Show in 2014, we have not produced anything else in that world due to the collapse of the DVD/home video market. Since then I have put all of my attention towards licensing footage and representing new archives.

FN: Is there anything else either of you would like to add?

NS: Creative work in the documentary area is exploding at the moment. Producers are trying to lock up first look deals with magazines and sources of IP.

DP: Personally I was so honored that Nigel thought so highly of our work and wanted to partner with me, because I have the utmost respect for all that he has done and am so excited to start to create with him and his amazing team. I think it’s important to note what makes this deal so unique, and really is a message to our industry, is that we need each other. There’s so much that we the archive houses can do with the producers and there’s so much they can do with us. We need to try to work with them on budgets and they need to respect our footage and not always rely on fair use - you know who you are!

Producers Library Launches New Stock Footage Website

Producers Library has launched a new and completely upgraded website, offering unparalleled ease of use to search, view and license stock footage.  From the original creators of pay-per-second technology, the most powerful and accurate per-second-slicing feature is now available with high resolution download, a first among stock archives on-line.  Productions pay for only the portion of a clip to be used in their final cut, a welcome cost saving measure in post-production budgets.

The newly redesigned website, built in conjunction with Bold Endeavors’ Big Easy Software platform, premieres a unique feature called Pay Per Second (PPS).  For the first time, producers and editors can choose the exact portion of a clip displayed on-line, pick in & out points, pay by credit card and directly download master HD or SD video files to their desktop.  4K content orders can be arranged on-line as well.

Researchers will find improved advanced search capability, batch download and clip-bin management.  According to Producers Library owner Jeff Goodman, “the new web-site with its PPS feature will offer a break-through process in obtaining hi-res stock footage clips.  Really this is just a step forward from some twelve years ago with our first website that offered the capability of choosing in and out points but only sending an e-mail order to be fulfilled manually.  Now it all works seamlessly on-line”

The new website is live and located on the web at https://www.producerslibrary.com 

FootageFest, the Three-Day Footage Extravaganza, Returns to Hollywood for Second Year

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FootageFest ‘19, the three-day footage conference, is set to begin on Friday, September 6th in Los Angeles, CA. Hosted in partnership with AMCUP and the Visual Researchers' Society of Canada (VRSC), FootageFest '19 will feature screenings, panel discussions, an exhibit hall and multiple networking events.

Admission is free to all current members of AMCUP or the VRSC – but those wishing to attend need to register at www.footagefest.com – as there is limited capacity. Last year’s FootageFest sold out three days before the event.

Click here to see the full FootageFest '19 schedule.

Founded in early 2018 by Dominic Dare and Steve Kozak, FootageFest debuted in the fall of last year. The idea of holding a footage-based conference in Los Angeles emerged from a simple realization on the part of Kozak and Dare: they were fed up with traveling.

“It seemed like every content convention was on the East Coast, or else in Canada or Europe,” said Kozak. “Why on earth we had to leave Hollywood – where the heart of the content industry remains -- to trek all over the world baffled us.”

The inaugural two-day “footage extravaganza,” hosted in partnership with FOCAL and AMCUP at the Garland Hotel in North Hollywood on September 22-23, 2018, was completely sold out, drawing vendors and attendees from around the world.

This year’s event, set to take place at the historic Women’s Club of Hollywood, will be co-hosted by AMCUP and the Visual Researchers’ Society of Canada (VRSC). Several Canadian vendors and more than a dozen Canadian researchers will be coming to Los Angeles for the event. Veritone, the company that acquired Wazee Digital last summer, has signed on as FootageFest ‘19’s platinum sponsor. Retro Video, Jukin Video and ITV Archive are major sponsors, as well.

Friday Night Kickoff

The official Hotel and Social Hub for FootageFest ‘19 is The Hollywood Roosevelt, a Hollywood Landmark. Come for a drink and meet your fellow attendees for an informal get-together in their historic lobby bar.

Saturday Panels

After a scrumptious Canadian breakfast on Saturday morning courtesy of ITV Archive, attendees will be able to attend the following panels:

  • Acquiring/Licensing Local News Content, featuring licensors from KTTV, Fox, NBC and KCBS.

  • Acquiring/Licensing Content from Libraries & Institutions, featuring UK’s Imperial War Museum, UCLA Film & TV Archive and the National Film Board of Canada.

  • Acquiring/Licensing International Content from all over the World, featuring RTE Ireland, the Visual Researchers' Society of Canada, Footage.net as well as licensing experts specializing in Australia and the Middle East.

  • Acquiring/Licensing Public Domain Content, featuring Veritone, Film Archives, Periscope Film and Peter Kuran.

  • Roundtable: The Fair Use Defense, featuring counsel from Hulu, Jimmy Kimmel Live, as well as Partners from the firms of Donaldson + Callif and Davis Wright Tremaine.

  • Tech Talk: All About Compression and Codecs, featuring reps from R2 Store, Retro Video, Grinberg Library, FootageBank and Action Sports Footage.

Saturday Night Networking Cocktails

After a dinner break, the action picks up down the street at the legendary Hollywood Roosevelt, where drinks and appetizers await partaking, courtesy of Retro Video.

Sunday Screening in Santa Monica

On Sunday, FootageFest moves west toward the beach -- Santa Monica, specifically -- to screen the magnificent documentary “Apollo 11”. Afterward the film’s archive producer, Stephen Slater, will do a Q & A before drinks and appetizers are served at a local Santa Monica bar.

Click here to see the full FootageFest '19 schedule.


Exhibitors

Just some of the international vendors attending will be:

  • Brave Bison

  • Bridgeman Images

  • British Film Institute

  • British Pathe

  • Footage Farm

  • Fremantle Library

  • FOCAL International

  • Huntley Archives

  • Imperial War Museum

  • ITV Archive

  • LOLA Clips

  • National Film Board of Canada

  • R3 Store

  • RTE-Ireland

  • Science Photo Library

…..and from the United States:

  • 123rf

  • All Stock

  • CNN Newsource

  • FootageBank

  • Footage.net

  • Fox Movietone

  • Framepool/Rightsmith

  • Global Image Works

  • Jukin Media

  • NBC News Archives

  • News Exposure

  • Retro Video

  • Periscope Film

  • Reelin in the Years

  • Screenocean

  • Veritone

  • WPA

Special Guests

And our special guests from New York and London, respectively:

Archive Producers Rich Remsberg (Netflix’s Bobby Kennedy for President)

and Kate Griffiths (HBO’s Leaving Neverland). Leading the Canadian contingent are veteran researchers Elizabeth Klinck, Elspeth Domville and Nancy Marcotte.

Admission & Registration

Please go to the FootageFest website to register. Remember, only current AMCUP and VRSC members will be allowed free admission. New members can apply at the AMCUP website , and members who need to renew their memberships can send their $55 annual membership fees via PayPal to amcup.org@gmail.com.

Screenocean Wins "Footage Company of the Year" at the 2019 FOCAL Awards

The Screenocean Team at the 2019 FOCAL Awards

The Screenocean Team at the 2019 FOCAL Awards

The prestigious “Footage Company of the Year” award, recognizing Screenocean’s success in innovative search, delivery and retrieval of content was collected during the FOCAL Awards’ dinner at the Troxy in London.

The FOCAL International Awards is the premier program recognizing the researchers, technicians and producers that access, maintain and use archival footage. Honors were presented in three categories – Production Awards, Restoration and Preservation and Personnel Awards. Finalists were selected by a diverse group of judges and, from that group of finalists, one winner from each category was awarded.

Founded in 2009, Screenocean has continually developed their One Search platform, powered by Imagen, to provide easy, self-serve access for researchers to content and images in one place and make the unfindable, findable.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized at this year’s FOCAL International Awards,” said Ali Blake, General Manager of Screenocean, who was part of the team to receive the accolade at the ceremony in London. “Footage Company of the Year is what all organizations aspire to. The award is a testament to Screenocean’s passionate and dedicated team who deliver world-class content to a global client base of film makers, producers and curators.”

For more information the FOCAL Awards, please visit https://focalintawards.com/. Submissions for the 2020 awards will open later this year.

Jane Fish, Senior Curator, Imperial War Museums, Wins FOCAL's "Footage Person of the Year"

Jane Fish, Senior Curator for Film at the Imperial War Museums Media Sales and Licensing, was named “Footage Person of the Year” at the 2019 FOCAL Awards, held on June 20th in London. Footage.net sponsored the award, and we sat down with Jane after the celebration to find out more about her work at the IWM.  

Footage.net: Congratulations on winning the “Footage Person of the Year” award at this year’s FOCAL Awards. That’s quite an honor.

Jane Fish: Thank you. I was surprised and delighted to receive the FOCAL “Footage Person of the Year” Award, which I see as an award for all of us in the IWM Film Curator team – myself, Fiona Kelly and Helen Upcraft - as I could not have achieved the work cited without the support of my colleagues.

FN: To start, can you tell us a bit about the Imperial War Museums?

JF: Imperial War Museums, or IWM as it is known, is a unique organization – a UK national museum set up in 1917 to record everyone’s experience of war, both civilian and military, and to commemorate the sacrifice of all sections of society. From its beginnings, IWM included film amongst its collections and as such is one of the oldest film archives in the world. IWM’s remit was extended to cover the Second World War and later conflicts and is the repository for British official films. IWM is an international authority on conflict and its impact, focusing on Britain, its former Empire and the Commonwealth, from its origins in the First World War to the present day.

FN: What type of content is in IWM collection?

JF: The IWM film collection is an exceptional archive reflecting the history and remit of the museum, with substantial collections of British official films (unedited material produced by cameramen of the British Army, RAF and Admiralty, official newsreels and test and instructional films produced for government ministries), material covering the Cold War and more recent British military involvement, a matchless collection of unique amateur films, fascinating foreign collections and well as collections from various organizations including the newly digitized NATO film collection.

FN: As Senior Curator, what is your primary role at the IWM?

JF: I have been working with the IWM film collection for more than three decades and throughout this time I been involved in access to the collection and am always very pleased to help users research and understand the wealth of primary historical material held by IWM and available for use. I also have a specialist interest in amateur filming and have been involved in many productions using amateur footage from our collection. My current role sits within IWM’s new Media Sales and Licensing Team, with core responsibility for the development of our film commercial offer, while continuing to assist and advise users of the film collection. I am also supporting the alignment of our film offer with the commercial offer for the IWM’s renowned images collections and the lesser known IWM Sound collection, to provide more coordinated access to these three IWM media collections, all of which are invaluable resources for program makers.

FN: Over the past 12 months, you have been a driving force for change within the IWM Film Archive and the way in which it delivers a service to its commercial customers. Can you talk about some of the changes you have implemented and how this had made the IWM more relevant and competitive?

JF: IWM is partly funded by the UK Government, but relies on donations, sponsorship, volunteers and income from commercial activities to support its work. The film commercial offer is one of these activities and it is important for both IWM and our users that we constantly review and improve this offer. One of the recent changes has been our ability to supply HD content direct to our users, which been a significant improvement in our service to our customers.

FN: One of the specific reasons you were nominated for the “Person of the Year” award was your role in “enhancing the design and functionality of the IWM Archive website based on researchers’ needs.” That sounds very exciting. Can you talk a bit about the development of the website? How is the new site helping you work with customers?

JF: Yes, we have also recently upgraded our IWM Film website , which is specifically designed for our commercial users. The upgraded site has better functionality and an improved and swifter process for adding newly digitized films as well as new themed clip-reels to help users navigate our collections and articles and news items to engage our users.

FN: You’ve undertaken a “major digitization of the collection.” That sounds daunting! Can you tell us more about the digitization project? How far along are you in digitizing the IWM collection? Do you think it will ever be fully digital? What are the biggest challenges?

JF: IWM has an ongoing project to digitize its collection, including film, but has to work within its funding. Digitization is one of the biggest challenges for IWM - the film collection is over 23,000 hours of material, with currently less than 10% digitized and available online. IWM is, however, committed to the digitization of the film collection and more material is digitized daily and we have recently completed a large project with NATO - digitization the NATO film collection, held at IWM and available for licensing via IWM.

FN: You have been “reviewing the archive’s terms and conditions.” Have you been able to streamline them and make them more commercially oriented?

JF: IWM releases material for commercial use under specific conditions which reflect IWM remit as well as the source and content of the material. The current version of the terms and conditions needed updating not only for ease of use but also to include more recent legislation and new IWM policies designed to meet the needs of our users – for example, colorization of original black and white film.

FN: Business has been good for many historical and editorial archives over the last few years. Has that been your experience at the IWM? What would you say is driving customer demand for your images?

JF: Not surprisingly, considering the nature of our collection, anniversaries are always an important factor for users of the IWM film collection – with considerable demand for the First World War anniversary commemorations and more recently the 75th anniversary of D-Day. We have also seen a rise in demand for our amateur collections reflecting a growing interest in the unique and unusual images that amateur film can offer.

FN: What keeps your work IWM interesting and challenging?

JF: I appreciate the privilege of working with such important primary historical documents and the responsibility to ensure users understand the nature of our collection. I am keen to make our remarkable collection more widely known and understood, so am always available to talk with researchers and development producers about projects. Despite working with the IWM film collection for many years, I enjoy the challenge of responding to a new and unusual request, which might require research of non-online documentation.

YouTube Recognizes British Pathé with Gold Creator Award for Exceeding 1 million Subscribers

Alastair White, CEO of British Movietone, with YouTube Gold Creator Award

Alastair White, CEO of British Movietone, with YouTube Gold Creator Award

The number of subscribers to the British Pathé YouTube channel has now surpassed 1 million. In recognition of this landmark achievement, YouTube has presented British Pathé with a prestigious Gold Creator Award.

The British Pathé YouTube channel now has more subscribers than the YouTube channels for ITV, Channel 5, UKTV and the Daily Mail combined.

Alastair White, the CEO of British Pathé said, “British Pathé is one of the oldest media companies in the world, but we have proved that age is no barrier to success in the digital era by achieving 1 million subscribers. We’re now averaging 800,000 video streams every single day on YouTube and it is wonderful that YouTube itself has recognized this success and presented us with this award.”

British Pathé released its entire historical newsreel archive of 82,000 films on YouTube in 2014. Making headlines at the time, it was the largest single upload in the platform’s history and even featured as a segment on Have I Got News for You.


But, for Alastair, the real prize has been the enthusiasm shown by the general public: “We’re delighted that so many people have shown such an interest in this historical resource. It’s a treasure trove of twentieth century life and culture and it is brilliant that new generations are discovering it online.”

Rediscovered Kent State Footage Available at Historic Films

The Kent State student protest and subsequent shootings of May 4, 1970 were a tragic and defining moment of the early 1970’s anti-Vietnam War student protests and counter culture.

The repercussions of this event spawned many subsequent protests and even an era and reved the pressure up in Washington to stop this very unpopular war. The event inspired musician Neil Young to write the era defining anthem Ohio recorded and performed by Young and his group Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Student Larry Shank captured several of the Kent State demonstrations with his handy Super 8mm camera. These films have recently been re-discovered and are now available for licensing at Historic Films. Click here to see highlights of this footage.

Alternate Beat TV, an Archive of Rock Interviews, Available at Historic Films

Alternate Beat TV was born from the love of music. Started in Cleveland, OH in 1987 when Patrick Wilbraham, musician, introduced Tom Common, video director, to John Latimer, music business professional and together the three sat down and scripted a rough idea for a new show. Common’s background in television combined with Latimer’s contacts in the music industry was a perfect combination for something new and fresh.

The first band that Latimer lined up was the Psychedelic Furs when they performed at the Blossom Music Center near Cleveland, Ohio. After that, it became obvious that this was a viable venture.

Some notable interviews include: The Ramones, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Echo and the Bunnymen, Concrete Blonde, The Sugarcubes, The Replacements, New Order, The Smithereens, The Bodeans, Adrian Belew, Faith No More, Crowded House, Jerry Harrison, Love and Rockets, Gene Loves Jezebel, The Alarm, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and many more.

The Alternate Beat archive is now available for licensing through Historic Films. Click here to see some highlights from the show.

Amalie R. Rothschild Music Photo Archive Now Available at Global ImageWorks

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From 1968 to 1974, Amalie Rothschild was a freelance photographer based in New York City, specializing in music photography. She also worked with the Joshua Light Show at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East Theater where she was the unofficial house photographer. Her amazing collection of music photography is available now for licensing through Global ImageWorks.

She was on staff at the 1969 Woodstock Festival and photographed the 1967 Cannes Film Festival, the 1969 Newport Festival, Tanglewood 1969 and 1970, Bob Dylan and The Who at the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival, The Who's 1969 US premier of "Tommy," the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden 1969, Bob Dylan’s 1974 tour and many other music events.

Amalie's rock music photo archive of around 20,000 pictures remains a major part of her professional life through licensing for books, magazines, CD & music packaging, film, television, museum exhibits and other media.

To search Amalie’s photos visit: https://photos.globalimageworks.com and search for “Amalie.”

NBC News Archives Marks 50th Anniversary of Manson Family Murders

In August of 1969, members of the Manson Family would commit two of the most notorious murders of the 1960s.

On August 8, followers of Charles Manson set out for Beverly Hills, where they murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others at her home on Cielo Drive. The next night, Manson and company set back out, killing Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in Los Feliz.

Five months passed before the Manson Family was connected to the crimes. When the Tate-LaBianca trials finally began, the proceedings were marked by wild outbursts on the part of the Manson Family—followers camped outside the courtroom, shaved their heads, and carved Xs into their foreheads as an act of allegiance. Manson tried to attack the judge. Finally, after nine long months, all were convicted of their crimes.

In advance of the 50th anniversary of this infamous historical episode, NBC News Archives has assembled a collection of news coverage surrounding the event and subsequent trial.

LOLA Clips Expands Music Offerings with Eagle Vision Partnership

LOLA Clips has added a huge new catalogue to its rapidly growing slate of partnerships with Eagle Vision, part of the Universal Music Group. Eagle Vision is a leading producer and distributor of music based documentaries and high quality live concerts, covering all genres from Jazz, Blues and Soul to Pop and Rock.

"Eagle Vision is delighted to be collaborating with LOLA clips," said Eagle Vision's Harry Irving. " Sandra and Dom know the archive world inside out and their enthusiasm has been clear to see from the outset. In a fast developing market with a growing array of broadcast platforms providing new opportunities for film makers, we look forward to bringing our leading catalogue of Music related footage to new clients globally."

LOLA’s Sandra Coelho, who spearheaded the deal, said “I’ve wanted this catalogue for LOLA as it not only adds to our increasing music catalogue but it cements LOLA Clips as one pf the most comprehensive sources of rights managed content anywhere in the world. We love this industry and our goal is to provide the highest quality material to our new and extremely loyal clients alike, the best service, material and experience out there.”

LOLA, based in both London and Los Angeles, represents an expanding portfolio of footage collections, including StudioCanal, and, in North America, clips from the UK’s ITV.

Now Streaming: Studio 54

It’s hard to believe that Studio 54 was open for only 33 months. And that it’s founders, Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, had almost no experience in the nightclub business when they launched their era-defining disco on the west side of Manhattan in 1977. Studio 54, from director Matt Tyrnauer, chronicles this brief but dazzling period when Studio 54 was the unrivaled superpower of New York’s nightlife scene and throngs of people waited outside every night, hoping to get past the velvet rope.

The story is told mainly from the perspective of Ian Schrager, the more introverted of the two partners, and fleshed out with archival footage, photos and print media elements from the time. The filmmakers cast a wide net for archival elements, with close to 100 archival sources credited, and made excellent use of never-before-seen archival footage shot by Susan Hillary Shapiro and Glenn Albin - both NYU film students at the time – who had shot footage inside Studio 54.

Both from Brooklyn, Schrager and Rubell met as undergrads at Syracuse University and recognized in each other a kindred spirit, forging a deep, lifelong bond based on their common roots and shared ambition. 

“From the beginning, they had this intuitive understanding that they were getting out,” said Norma Kamali, the fashion designer and Schrager’s former girlfriend. “And they were going to do something big together.”

The film, which marks the first time Schrager has spoken at length about his time at Studio 54, is very much about their friendship, and a certain kind of once-in-a-lifetime moment that they recognized and exploited. Rubell, who died of AIDS in 1989, is clearly missed. “I’m lucky that I had one of those friendships,” Schrager says toward the end of the film. “Not many people do.”

Though the pair had some experience running dance parties, Studio 54 was their first nightclub. But if Schrager, then 29, or Rubell, then 33, had any fear or hesitation about diving in, they didn’t show it. Once they found their venue, in an old theater in what was then a seedy part of Manhattan, they jumped headlong into renovations and were ready for business in six weeks. Unable to secure a liquor license prior to opening, they used a series of one day catering permits for most of the club’s first year.

Schrager and Rubell were prodigious promoters, sending out “thousands of invitations” and relentlessly working celebrity connections to build buzz in advance of opening. And it clearly paid off as the club was mobbed from the first night on.

“Something happened from that first night opening party,” says musician Nile Rogers in the film. “The message was sent out. It was like, boom. This was the spot.”

“They invited the people that everyone else wanted to be in a room with,” says Sandy Linter, a Studio 54 regular.

The pair seemed to understand the burgeoning obsession with celebrities in a way that few others did at the time.  They knew from the start that celebrities would bring publicity to the club. But what quickly became apparent was that Studio 54 could become an engine of celebrity culture, making everyone more famous, or at least feel that way, and feeding the insatiable appetite for celebrity news.

“There was this paradigm shift away from reading about crime and sports heroes and people became fascinated with celebrities. It was the beginning of the age of celebrity,” Schrager says. “We were there at the right time and we rode it for all that it was worth.”

Their gift for scene making, attracting celebrities and risk-taking propelled their meteoric rise and ultimately led to their downfall, which began with an IRS raid in 1978 and ended with convictions for tax evasion in 1979. While the initial tip to the IRS came from a disgruntled former employee, many people still believe that an ill-considered remark from Rubell in a New York magazine article, in which he said that “only the Mafia does better but don’t tell anybody,” attracted the attention of the feds. Either way, resentment against the club and its owners had been building since the club opened.

“They thought they were so important that they could do anything,” says Steven Grimes, a writer and Studio 54 regular. “But people started to get angrier and angrier at Steve Rubell and Studio 54 because they couldn’t get in.”

Though the two would serve only part of their sentence in federal prison, their incarceration marked the end of the Studio 54 era. Once out, they moved into the hotel business, becoming part owners in Morgans Hotel and the Royalton, both in Manhattan, and launched the 1980s nightlife institution, Palladium. The two are credited with originating the boutique hotel trend, which Schrager would build into a global empire following Rubell’s death.

Studio 54 is streaming now on Netflix.

Footage Industry Now a $570 Million Business, Says Newly Released ACSIL Global Survey of Stock Footage Companies

Netflix, other Streaming Services Fund Footage-Rich Programming, Largest Source of New Revenue for Footage Licensors

Report Available Now

The fourth survey of the footage licensing business from ACSIL and Thriving Archives examines current business conditions, key trends and best practices within the footage industry. Results highlight market stability, confidence in future growth and shifts in customer demand.

The Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors (ACSIL) and Thriving Archives announced today the release of the ACSIL Global Survey of Stock Footage Companies 4 (AGS4). ACSIL and Thriving Archives have worked together to publish three previous AGS reports, achieving strong industry support and participation in each effort. Like it's predecessors, the AGS4 provides a snapshot of the global stock footage industry, tracks evolving trends and examines how footage companies operate, market and serve their customers, providing footage industry leaders with strategic, practical information to help them compete more effectively.

The AGS4 is now available to for $950. Click here to buy and download a copy. Click here to read the Executive Summary of the AGS4.

Assessing the overall health and well being of the footage industry has been a top research priority since the inception of the AGS series. Based on the performance of the 84 companies within the 2018 dataset, which represent 20% of the estimated 415 footage companies in operation currently, the footage industry is in solid shape, with total industry revenue now estimated at $570 million, a 3% increase over the 2015 estimate of $552 million.

“While we did not find significant growth in the dollar value of the overall industry, we did find that the mood had shifted on many key topics, and individual companies appear to be more stable, confident and optimistic,” said Matt White, ACSIL executive director.

Highlighting this sense of optimism, the majority of companies said that their revenues had increased over the last two years; that demand for footage was up; and that they expect their revenues to grow over the next several years. Conversely, only 37% believe that production budgets have gotten smaller. All of these findings represent improvements over previous years.

“Another key takeaway from our current survey is that while footage companies have rallied to integrate the tools and benefits of the digital revolution, many long-standing business practices have endured,” said David Seevers, president of Thriving Archives and the principal author of the AGS series. “And while online media marketplaces are now fixtures in the footage licensing business, they do not appear to have displaced the older, more traditional footage licensing operations, which seem to be co-existing with these technology driven powerhouses.”

While traditional buyers such as such as “independent producers” and “broadcast networks/commercial TV” remain leading customer types, newer categories such as “SVOD Services,” (which includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.) increased the most in terms of overall importance to 2018 companies’ billings, followed by “independent producers” and “ad-supported streaming services,” underscoring the growing importance of these newer streaming services, as well as their future potential.

The AGS4 is based on an anonymous 47-question survey completed by a group of 84 stock footage companies, launched in mid-July 2018 and running through late September 2018. During this roughly two-month period, multiple attempts were made to contact as many footage providers as possible and make the existence of this survey known to the industry at large.

The 191-page report includes 85 pages of detailed analysis and 90 full-color charts visualizing results from the 47 questions asked in the survey. The report covers 11 separate categories, including: Business Conditions; Company Types; Footage Holdings; Headcount; Ecommerce & Order Processing; Order Volume; Pricing; Licensing Practices; Customer Types; Marketing, Customer Development & Growth; and Threats & Opportunities.

The AGS4 is now available to for $950. Click here to buy and download a copy. Click here to read the Executive Summary of the AGS4.

About ACSIL

The Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors (ACSIL) is a not-for-profit trade association representing the interests of the stock footage community. Our members are the world's leading providers of stock and archival footage. ACSIL members represent and license high quality clips and unique deep content. We service traditional markets such as advertising, film, television and home entertainment while also working with a full spectrum of non-traditional, new and reinventing markets like book publishing, museums, educational vendors, video gaming, internet apps and beyond. Since its inception in 2003, ACSIL has focused on developing a professional network for its stock footage library members as well as negotiating benefits on our members' behalf. ACSIL sponsors multiple stock footage based initiatives including: gathering data on the global stock footage market, forming a Code of Practices committee to lead discussions about new licensing paradigms and monitoring shifts in domestic and international copyright law. ACSIL also reaches out to meet the needs of the production community. We sponsor events, host panel discussions and present seminars on a wide range of footage industry subjects. Whether it's sharing best practices for footage research or talks about licensing and rights clearances, ACSIL is there to support the production community. If you are interested in having ACSIL speak to your group or organization, please contact us so we can make the necessary arrangements.

About Thriving Archives

Thriving Archives works with footage companies to develop and execute marketing and business development strategies. Thriving Archives also produces market research reports on the global footage licensing industry and partners with companies providing services to the stock footage industry. In partnership with ACSIL, Thriving Archives has produced the ACSIL Global Survey of Stock Footage Companies 2007 (AGS1), 2011 (AGS2) and 2015 (AGS3). In 2009, Thriving Archives published the Footage Customer Survey: Non-Fiction USA, an in-depth study of the attitudes and perceptions of footage customers from the documentary film/non-fiction program making community in the United States.

Press Contacts:

Matt White

Executive Director

ACSIL

matt@acsil.org

(301) 920-4054


David W. Seevers

President

Thriving Archives

davidwseevers@gmail.com

(415) 609-7642

Elizabeth Klinck Receives Academy Board Tribute for Achievements in Archival Research

Janice Tufford and Elizabeth Klinck at the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Awards in March.

Janice Tufford and Elizabeth Klinck at the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Awards in March.

Archive researcher and producer Elizabeth Klinck received an Academy Board of Directors Tribute at the 2019 Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Awards at the end of March.

“Elizabeth Klinck is the filmmaker’s secret weapon",” said producer Janice Tufford in her introduction at the awards ceremony. “In her role as Archive Producer, she’s worked on hundreds of films. She’s renowned for her ability to forage in the far corners of the world to find just the perfect image or piece of music. The directors and producers who come calling for her services -- everyone from Sarah Polley to Werner Herzog -- attest that their films are incomplete without her presence.”

Some of notable projects Klinck has worked on over her thirty year career include Werner Herzog's Into the Inferno; Thorsten Schütte's Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words; Barry Arvich's Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story; Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell; Hrund Gunnsteinsdottir's Innsaei; and Neil Diamond's Reel Injun.

Klinck has has contributed to Emmy, Peabody and Academy Award-winning films and has herself been nominated for an Emmy Award in the craft of research. She has won the 2014, 2015 and 2017 Barbara Sears Award for Best Visual Research from the Canadian Screen Awards. In 2015 she won a Prix Gemeaux for her work on Apocalypse World One and in 2010 she won a Gemini for Best Visual Research for her work on Reel Injun. She has also won a Yorkton Golden Sheaf, been nominated on three occasions for Best Visual Researcher at the FOCAL Awards in the United Kingdom and was honored with the FOCAL International Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. She is also the founding chairperson of the Visual Researchers' Society of Canada.

“Elizabeth is one of the unsung heroes of Canada’s screen industry,” said Tufford. “Because of her tireless work, her legendary skills and her courtesies to all, she is respected and adored by countless colleagues in this country and throughout the world. She’s a stellar human being and quite simply ‘a national treasure’.”

Bill Banks's Hollywood Stills Available at Producers Library

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Back in Hollywood's heyday of the 50s and 60s, legendary photographer and cinematographer Bill Banks captured all the glitz and glamor of the stars at their premieres, industry events, and all-night parties. Producers Library exclusively represents Banks's collection and is now making more than 1,000 still photographs of Hollywood available for licensing. Banks's work is brimming with candid shots showing Jerry Lewis cracking up Frank Sinatra, Richard Nixon and Bob Hope comparing noses, and Don Rickles hamming it up.

In addition to those funnymen, Banks managed to capture Jayne Mansfield in her usual stunning form and comically chowing down on a slice of pizza, along with the odd couple of Kim Novak and Vampira dining together at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Banks also shot numerous photos of beloved African-American entertainers such as Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Pearl Bailey, Louis Armstrong, and Lionel Hampton palling around with guests. Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, JFK, Anthony Quinn, Doris Day, John Wayne, Liberace, Conrad Hilton, Charlton Heston, Robert Wagner... the list of celebrities that Bill Banks photographed is seemingly endless.

Whether it was snapping photos of the 30th annual Academy Awards arrivals at the Pantages Theater in the heart of Hollywood, the world premiere of Peyton Place at the Beverly Theater or wild partygoers in garish costumes at the annual Halloween bash thrown by Sy Devore, "the man who dressed the Rat Pack", Banks documented everything the era had to offer.

The black and white and color negatives have been digitized to 1200 DPI and now join Producers Library’s vast archives of Hollywood and entertainment history.

For information on licensing, pricing and to view the clips, contact via research@producerslibrary.com or 818 752 9097.

Reelin' in the Years Moves Into Photos

Pete Townsend

Pete Townsend

After decades of exclusively dealing with footage, Reelin’ in the Years has expanded their business to include photos (strictly pertaining to music-related artists). While opportunities to rep music-related photos have come up throughout their 20-year history, RITY always turned them down, opting to focus on footage. Their views changed recently when they were offered a number of stunning photo archives to represent, and, based on their vast knowledge of music and the size of their existing footage archive, they realized that they were in a unique place to offer both footage and photos.

Currently, the RITY photo archive is quite extensive, spanning the 1950s - 2000s, and will be growing rapidly as they are add more and more images from world-class photographers. Additionally, they’re working on launching an online database where customers will be able to view and download low-res photos. In the meantime, please send requests for projects directly to nnn. If they have photos that fit your needs they will send you lo-res watermarked copies free of charge. Stay tuned for more news over the next few weeks.

Now Streaming: The Inventor - Out for Blood in Silicon Valley

The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, premiered on HBO this past Monday, March 18. The film, produced and directed by Alex Gibney, tracks the rise and fall of the biomedical company Theranos and its charismatic founder Elizabeth Holmes, who sold the world on the idea that hundreds of tests could be performed on a single drop of blood, taken painlessly by finger stick and analyzed automatically using a proprietary testing device called the Edison.

About the size of a microwave oven, the Edison was designed to be deployed locally to pharmacies, doctors' offices, and, ultimately, private homes, allowing people to obtain regular, low-cost screenings for all manner of disease. Theranos would upend the medical testing industry and become the Apple of health screening. It was an audacious plan with a huge potential upside.

With this story in hand, Holmes secured nearly $900 million in venture capital and packed her board with big names like Henry Kissenger, George Shultz and General Jim Mattis. By 2014, the company had grown to 800 employees and reached a value of nearly $9 billion, making Holmes, its largest shareholder, the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire.

The only problem was that the Edison never really worked and, following the publication of John Carreyou’s investigative report in the Wall Street Journal in October 2015, the company’s failures, and Holmes’s elaborate efforts to hide them, were becoming widely known. By 2018, Theranos was out of business and Holmes, along with Sunny Balwani, the former president of Theranos and Holmes’s boyfriend, were charged with multiple counts of fraud by the Department of Justice.

Gibney makes excellent use of existing footage of Holmes prowling the halls of Theranos’s glass-walled office building, as well as clips from her countless public appearances. Again and again, we hear her lay out her vision for the company - from the TED stage, in media appearances, in corporate pep-talks, even sitting for a promotional video directed by documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, in which she quotes Yoda - “there is no try, there is only do.”

Throughout the film Holmes remains a mystery. Was she a true believer in over her head? Is she pathological liar? A sociopath? An old-school scammer dressed up in a Steve Jobs costume? Regardless of her motivations and mental condition, she was clearly able to pull a whole lot of people at the highest levels of finance, government and business into her vision. As Gibney says in a voiceover early in the film, “to understand what happened, it pays to look past the price of the stock to the value of the story. This compelling tale of divining hundreds of diseases from a drop of blood was a testament to the imagination of the inventor.” And the credulity of everyone else , he might have added.