The Evolution of Natural History Footage

NatureFootage_CFI150511_0018.jpg

Natural history, a content category including wildlife, earth science and weather footage, is home to some of the most dramatic, breathtaking and expressive images in the footage market. Advanced production technology, now accessible to both experts and non-traditional filmmakers, is having a huge impact, both on how these images are captured, as well as on the quality and quantity of clips available for reuse at all price points. And while the overall natural history licensing market remains “healthy and growing,” according to Andrew Delaney, Director of Creative Content at Getty Images, it is “definitely showing higher levels of competition from greater volumes of well shot content.”

The Impact of High Tech Capture Tools

Just a few years ago, most natural history footage was shot with a telephoto lens from a semi-fixed position such as a blind or Land Rover, and aerial footage was the domain of manned aircraft equipped with expensive Cineflex rigs. Today, the availability of relatively inexpensive high-tech production tools has opened up a wider array of creative options for capturing natural history footage, and filmmakers in the field have rapidly integrated these new capture tools into their workflows.

“The core of wildlife cinematography has always been long lens photography,” said Matt Aeberhard, a leading wildlife cinematographers with nearly three decades of experience in the field. “This is changing with the advent of drones, remote cameras and other production technologies. Any major shoot is going to include remote cameras, handheld gimbals and aerial drones in order to achieve the current style of production.”

“High quality 4K camera platforms are getting smaller and ever more capable,” said Andrew Delaney of Getty Images. “Low light capture capabilities are creating new opportunities for behavioral studies. Smaller action cameras can be put anywhere and drones are being cleverly employed, not just as a cheaper alternative to helicopters, but as completely new viewpoints with minimally invasive environmental footprints.”

These tools enable skilled shooters to capture higher resolution images under more challenging circumstances, shoot from a much wider variety of perspectives, add movement to what were formerly static shots, and get up close and personal with subject matter. The result is a very different look to the final product.

“There is an interesting return to the deep dive of high end blue chip natural history storytelling, with the new tools and technology that make it possible to capture so much more than was possible 20 years ago,” said Lisa Samford, the executive director of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. “Both Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II speak to that. At the same time, with the proliferation of digital distribution and the broad accessibility of high quality imaging, without the steep barrier to entry, there is also a big uptick in personal story-driven narratives, short form and consumer-created content. I’m eager to see what unfolds as Augmented Reality is refined and Mixed Reality programming grows in importance.”

“I think new technologies offer us a different way to capture or see a scene,” said Martin Lisius, president of Prairie Picture/StormStock. “I film with a DJI Inspire 2 [aerial drone]. It’s fairly compact and I take it with me often. I filmed Hurricane Harvey here in Texas with my Sony FS7 and the drone. When I got back to my office, I noticed that even though the Sony captured some dramatic imagery, it was the aerial footage that told the story best. The drone was able to see dozens of houses, streets and cars submerged in flooding, all in one framing. It was stunning. As far as the drone camera could see, all the way to the horizon, there was city and water, together as they were not meant to be. So, perhaps technology is offering a huge leap in how we capture nature.”

The Market for Natural History Footage

Advances in production technology have had a major impact on the business of licensing natural history footage, both in terms of the quantity and quality of images available for licensing and reuse, and in how the content is priced. While end-user demand, driven by both traditional clients and online programmers, remains strong, footage suppliers have had to adjust to the realities of the current platform-driven market and offer natural history footage to meet all price points.

“We are seeing substantial growth in clips sales,” said Dan Baron, CEO of Nature Footage. “Overall, there is massive growth in the use of video, and nature is no exception. Nature and wildlife is an important message for a huge variety of productions, from educational exhibits, natural history television documentaries, web documentaries, as well as feature films and advertising.”

“There’s an increased demand overall for video, driven primarily by online consumption,” concurs Andrew Delaney. “Our clients are looking to differentiate their products or services from the visual clutter, and arresting natural history content achieves this effectively.”

User demand notwithstanding, many footage suppliers are facing increasing pricing pressure from low cost footage platforms, and, despite the unique characteristics of natural history footage, have been forced to adjust their pricing strategies.

“I don’t think there is any category of footage that has not been disrupted by microstock,” said Jessica Berman Bogdan, President and CEO of Global ImageWorks.  “I think the difficulty and skill involved in capturing amazing nature and wildlife footage is truly underestimated and misunderstood. That said, price often drives the sale and there’s a lot of royalty-free footage that fits the budget and the creative brief.” 

“It’s not the license model that is the issue here, its technology,” said Andrew Delaney. “As with stills ten years ago, the move to digital has leveled the playing field in a lot of areas and competition is fierce. The cost of capture has been greatly reduced and overall the quality and volume of content has greatly increased. Specialized areas such as animal behavior in the wild, shot to the standard of the BBC Natural History Unit, for example, are still unique and carry a premium but sweeping vistas and establishers are being videoed, with increasingly high quality, by ‘non-traditional’ filmmakers.”

“NatureFootage focuses on providing premium quality footage, the best cinematographers, and the most current formats,” said Dan Baron. “Although there is a glut of video on the market, wildlife can be very challenging to acquire and requires expertise. We always need to keep our collection current. There are novice shooters who are lucky and get the rarest wildlife behavior and will share it at low cost, not knowing about the potential opportunity of the industry. We do our best to educate shooters of the value of their footage, and we also do our best to maintain the value of their footage, while also being competitive in the industry. It can be a tough balancing act.”

So, to put a fine point on it, is there still a qualitative difference between the footage shot by the experts and the footage shot by the non-traditional filmmakers?

“In some cases yes, but not all,” said Andrew Delaney. “For example, the keen amateur ornithologist is now able to capture stunning footage at relatively low cost that can be on par with some of the best traditional broadcast coverage. However, as in any creative endeavor, there will always be true visionaries and artists whose work is way better than everyone else’s.”

Pricing

So how are providers pricing natural history footage? The answer is that, at many footage companies, it depends on the shot, with unique, higher value shots ending up in rights managed or premium pricing tiers, and other, more ordinary shots being offered at lower price points.

“While much nature content may be priced the same as other subject categories, we also provide a huge collection of exceptional and unique natural history behavior that may be priced in a higher pricing tier,” said Dan Baron. “Cinematographers choose their own pricing tier, based on the uniqueness of their footage.”

“I think the value of any footage depends on the specific shot, or at least the sub-category, rather than the broad category,” said Martin Lisius. “An average sunset is cheaper to produce than filming tornadoes and hurricanes. The latter is very time consuming and even dangerous. So, a good tornado or hurricane shot is worth more than most sunsets. That is not to say the sunset isn’t beautiful, it’s just easier to plan and acquire, and safer too.”

Who Uses Natural History Footage?

While documentary filmmakers and long-form television producers continue to make regular use of natural history footage, online programming appears to be the area of biggest growth.

“We of course have what I might call our more traditional consumers of natural history content as you outline above but we have seen massive growth in content used online for both commercial and editorial purposes,” said Andrew Delaney.

“There will always be a market for nature content in documentary television, educational exhibits, and online videos,” said Dan Baron. “We also see the huge growth potential in video décor (slow tv) for use in home and commercial settings.”

Subject Matter in Demand

Subject matter most in demand ranges from  “striking, beautiful, cinematic subjects and unique animal behavior,” as Dan Baron put it, to “an increase in demand of content that transcends the purely descriptive and embraces the conceptual,” according to Andrew Delaney. “For example, Nurturing: mothers and babies interacting; Strength: powerful animals lifting and pushing; Speed: Fast animals travelling at full tilt; Competition: animals fighting, chasing and posturing; Anthropomorphic: animals behaving like humans. And of course, anything humorous and clips of, as one colleague puts it, ‘The Fuzzies’ – cute baby animals. Additionally, there will always be a demand for footage of Mother Nature behaving badly: from storms and twisters to crashing waves and red hot magma.”

“There seems to be a higher demand for material that demonstrates global warming concerns,” said Jessica Napoli, founder of Content Brick and a former senior executive at both National Geographic and Discovery Education. “The requests that I’ve recently seen seem to be for material demonstrating thriving as well as dying environments, such as coral Reefs.  Organizations looking to demonstrate such circumstances also tend to have a greater interest in older dated materials even if the content wasn’t natively captured in HD.”

“Natural events have an effect on the need for natural history footage, of course,” said Martin Lisius. “If there’s an outbreak of West Nile virus, then there would likely be an increase in the need for mosquito footage, for example.”

“The format (4K) and new ways of shooting (drones, GoPro for instance) might drive the shifts in demand,” said Sandrine Sacarrere, Head of International Sales at INA, the Institut national de l'audiovisuel, based in Paris. “On the other hand,  current events (like Jose and Irma hurricanes for instance) may increase demand.”

4K and Older Footage

If 4K is not the current standard for natural history footage, “it soon will be,” according to Andrew Delaney. “Partly from a pure quality standpoint and partly as a way of future proofing one’s work.”

“4K has been the new standard for a few years now and many are shooting 6K and even 8K to future proof their content,” added Dan Baron. “Shooting RAW is also becoming essential.”

So where does that leave older footage collections with large volumes of HD and even SD footage? The answer seems to be that it depends on the inherent value of the shot and whether the subject matter can be easily duplicated with a higher resolution shot.

“During my time at Nat Geo, it was the shot that was of most importance, not necessarily the age unless landscapes or identifiable locations had changed significantly over time,” said Jessica Napoli. “The demand was more for the best shot that fit the client’s needs in the best format.  If the content was older but available in HD, clients were happy.”

“Natural history footage diminishes in value with every major format change, like from standard-def to HD,” said Martin Lisius. “That’s overall. But, there will still be a need for significant historical events like Hurricane Katrina, the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, a major tsunami, fire, etc. Those are once in a life time occurrences…unless you are a natural history shooter, of course.”

 “There is a market for archival nature and wildlife if it covered a unique moment in time that no longer exists or is capable of being captured,” said Jessica Berman Bogdan. “If the original footage was shot on film, it might have a second life if transferred to HD.”

“It has a longer shelf life than other forms of footage that age due to changes in things like fashion and technology for sure,” said Andrew Delaney. “There are stunningly original pieces that still resonate well passed their natural sell by date (as dictated by capture format) and we are still selling arresting clips shot on film and SD. However, if clients find newer versions shot on 4K they will gravitate to them.”

“There is certainly a market for older natural history footage, especially unique content not readily available in more recent formats,” said Dan Baron. “However, clients have a strong preference for content shot with high quality cameras in 4K+. Access to RAW content is becoming increasingly important as adoption of HDR rapidly takes hold. NatureFootage always retains access to the highest quality masters to ensure long-term viability of all our content.”

Older natural history footage is especially useful in the documentation of climate change and ecological destruction.

“In order to show the ravages caused by climate change, new productions may be led to use older footage to witness the evolution of the land by showing the 'before' and 'after',” said Sandrine Sacarrere of INA. “INA holds an older collection shot by Christian Zuber (1930-2005), a filmmaker, photographer, journalist, and writer who devoted his life to protecting nature, and to showing how nature and less-developed cultures were being destroyed by the onslaught of modern civilization. French television ordered a documentary series, and Zuber pioneered on land what Commander Jaques-Yves Cousteau later did with the oceans. ‘Handheld Camera’ (over 150 episodes) was the first nature series to be broadcast on French television. This collection is a brilliant testament to how Christian Zuber, one of the first environmental advocacy filmmakers, taught us to love the earth and accept responsibility for its safekeeping. One of Zuber’s long-feature films, ‘Galapagos III’ (filmed over Zuber’s three expeditions in the Galapagos from 1958 to 1972) was screened in March 2017 at the DC Environmental Film Festival in Washington DC and it has been a great success with the public.”

“There is increased demand from non-profits and documentary film makers seeking to build awareness of the current trend of environmental degradation,” said Dan Baron. “We provide critical support to nature cinematographers to allow them to continue documenting both pristine habitats and the trends in habitat and species loss.”

 

Bridgeman Footage Joins Footage.net

bridgeman-logo-image.png

New preview clips from Bridgeman Footage, the world’s premier destination for art, culture and historical footage, are now available for screening on Footage.net. Bridgeman Footage is a division of Bridgeman Images, the world's leading specialist in the distribution of fine art, cultural and historical media for licensing. Bridgeman Images represents over 2,000 image suppliers - including museums, galleries, artists, stately homes, photographers, private collections, libraries, universities, auction houses and picture archives.

“We are delighted to be making the Bridgeman Footage archive searchable through Footage.net,” said Edward Whitley, North American president of Bridgeman Images.  He added, "We’ve had a very successful partnership with Footage.net for a number of years through their Zap Request service; and in making our clips searchable through their portal, we are now opening up our entire archive to Footage.net’s extensive network of media professionals worldwide. Bridgeman Footage continues to digitize, catalog and upload hours of film every week so it is important to check with our research team if there are clips a customer can’t find.”

“We’re very excited to welcome Bridgeman Footage to the Footage.net platform,” said David Seevers, Footage.net Chief Marketing Officer. “Since we started working with the folks at Bridgeman Images we have been extremely impressed at the breadth, depth and richness of the footage they have brought into their collection. They are unique in being the only archive to offer a complete range of art, culture and history in both stills and clips.”

Footage.net works with a wide variety of stock footage companies to enhance their visibility across the global production community. Bridgeman Footage clips will be available for screening through Footage.net alongside motion content from other leading footage companies.

British Pathé Joins Footage.net

image001.jpg

British Pathé, considered one of the finest newsreel archives in the world, has added its complete database to Footage.net.

British Pathé is a treasure trove of 85,000 films unrivaled in their historical and cultural significance. Spanning the years from 1896 to 1976, the collection includes footage from around the globe of major events, famous faces, fashion trends, travel, science and culture. It is an invaluable resource for broadcasters, documentary producers, and archive researchers worldwide.

“We’re excited to partner with Footage.net in order to provide a new level of service for our customers,” said Alastair White, general manager of British Pathé. “Footage.net is a terrific tool for painlessly searching multiple archives worldwide all at the same time. We wanted to be a part of that project and make it possible for researchers to search that way if they wish to do so. We also hope that new customers who would otherwise have been unaware of British Pathé will discover us there.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome British Pathé to the Footage.net community,” said David Seevers. “They’ve done an outstanding job of restoring and digitizing this historically invaluable collection and making it available online across a range of platforms. We’re very excited about helping them bring their collection to our global user base.”

Footage.net works with a wide variety of stock footage companies to enhance their visibility across the global production community. British Pathé data and thumbnail images will be available for search through Footage.net alongside motion content from other leading footage companies.

StormStock Now Exclusive Source for World’s Best Katrina Footage

Martin_Lisius_filming_Hurricane_Katrina_StormStockWM2.png

Veteran storm cinematographer Martin Lisius battled fierce winds and  catastrophic flooding to capture the fury of Hurricane Katrina on film as the historic storm made landfall on the US coast in August 2005. Lisius shoots for StormStock, the world’s largest storm footage library which he founded in 1993.  He acknowledges the uniqueness of Katrina. “It occurred to me the day before Katrina made landfall in the Gulf of Mexico that it had potential to become the costliest storm in US history. It has since captured that title.”

The material photographed by Lisius on Super 35mm and HD video was recently made exclusive to StormStock. Some TV and film producers consider it among the best hurricane footage ever shot.

“We were able to capture the usual things like horizontal rain, trees bending over and debris flying through the air and scraping across the ground,” Lisius said. “But the most amazing scene we encountered was in Moss Point, Mississippi where we came upon a parking lot that was flooding with storm surge and covering cars. People were stranded inside the hotel there, staring down from the upper floors when a high water rescue team arrived. The team, from the local fire department, battled winds gusting to 100 mph to search each vehicle. It made for some very powerful imagery.”

“Katrina was an impressive hurricane from a scientific point of view,” Lisius said. “Unfortunately, there was a high level of human suffering associated with it unlike any other US storm since the Galveston, Texas hurricane of 1900. I thought that event, which killed 8000, would not be duplicated again considering our modern day ability to forecast, track and effectively evacuate for dangerous storms. We did well on forecasting and tracking Katrina, but failed to effectively evacuate. That’s unacceptable.”

The StormStock team photographs extreme weather footage for licensed use in film and television productions. Footage can be viewed, licensed and downloaded at www.stormstock.com. Clients that require personal service can e-mail the staff at info@stormstock.com or call (817) 276-9500.

Clearing Audio Visual for Documentaries: Advice from Cathy Carapella of Global ImageWorks

Cathy Carapella began working in the music clearance business in 1984. She met Jessica Berman Bogdan in 1995 when they both worked on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction films.  Jessica was in charge of audio-visual research and Cathy was heading-up the rights clearance team.  Today, Cathy and Jessica work together at Global ImageWorks where they continue to provide research and rights and clearance services to filmmakers and specialize in archival music documentaries. 

Recent projects include: The Beatles: Eight Days A Week, Danny Says, Who the F**k is That Guy? The Fabulous Journey of Michael Alago, Sidemen: Long Road to Glory, Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall, Montage of Heck, and Supermench

The top three things Global ImageWorks would like all archival music filmmakers to know are: 

1. The clearance work starts in pre-production.

This is essential when making a music documentary. Sadly, this rule is all too often ignored. Knowing what needs to be cleared, creating a game plan for dealing with clearances and clearance related issues (i.e. fair use), organizing the audio-visual elements and its associated copyright data are all part of an important foundation.  Integrating the research and clearance schedules into the production schedule, budgets and grant of rights are all issues that need to be discussed in pre-production.

“It’s best to get all your legal documents such as talent and material releases together in pre-production. This way you can send the paperwork over with the request rather than after the fact. This will save you valuable time” advises Carapella. 

2. Budget time as well as money for music clearances.

Most producers know they need a licensing budget. What’s often not understood is the amount of time it can take to secure the clearances.  Record companies and music publishers may be required to secure “prior consent” from performer(s) or writer(s) before they’re at liberty to quote on your project.  This process can add to the clearance timeline.  

3. Source as much material as you can directly from the copyright holders.

“Building a rough cut out of YouTube downloads and then looking to unravel the rights ownership is not a cost-effective process” says Carapella. “At that point, you’re starting with a deficit of knowledge that needs to be completely rebuilt.” There are several first-rate professional archives that represent performance footage, like Reelin’ in the Years, Historic Films, Retro Clips, WPA and Global ImagesWorks to name a few.  “Sourcing your footage directly from the right holder is the way to go. Doing so saves time, money and it makes ordering edits masters much easier” recommends Carapella.  

Overall, rights and clearances is an organic process. There are known considerations, but not a lot of consensus or hard and fast rules. It’s fairly standard for each production to review their clearance related issues with their legal and clearance team. Generally speaking, the lawyer assigned to the project will establish the clearance guidelines, policies and set the strategic foundation. Then, the clearance team facilitates the assignment. “In the end, you want the person who’s going to defend the decision to make the decision,” says Carapella.

A major factor that plays into the clearance strategy include an understanding of what is and is not covered by E & O insurance. "Once you know that, you can work backwards and figure out your clearance requirements," advises Carapella. 

Know the possible financial investment. When working with music performance footage, there may be multiple layers that need to be cleared and each layer will likely require a fee. For example, a single performance clip may include: The copyright holder of the clip Artist consents The music publisher of the song being preformed   Record company rights Unions and guilds permissions.

Clip Rights

Clip rights are obtained from the copyright holder of the footage. This may be a footage archive like Reelin’ in the Years Productions or Historic Films, or an individual rights holder. Music performance footage is typically considered Premium footage and is licensed at rates higher than standard stock and archival fees.

Artist Rights

Artists rights are typically obtained from the artist, band or estate. In the case of a band that’s still together, one clearance will usually suffice. In the case of a band that is no longer together, rights must be obtained from each individual band member.

Music Rights

Often referred to as synchronization rights, this permission covers the use of a specific song or piece of music. In most cases, these rights are represented by a music publishing company. If the song is lip-synched, a record company clearance will be required. Record companies may also have a Blocking Rights clause in the artist contract which would require you to seek their consent, even if the song is not lip-synced.  

Guilds & Unions

Unions and guilds have authority over content created pursuant to a union contract. The main unions to consider are: Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG/AFTRA); Writers Guild of America (WGA); Directors Guild of America (DGA); and the American Federation of Musicians (AFM).

"In almost cases, the fees are negotiable," says Carapella. "The variable is too great to guesstimate – it can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars depending on the clip and its union obligations. This is why it’s important to work with someone who knows what they’re doing and to address these issues in pre-production."  

A Production Bible is the End Game for Clearances

Ultimately, all clearance documentation, including fully-executed agreements, releases and payment records for all third-party material, ends up in the production bible. “A fantastic clearance bible is the pot of gold at the end of the project,” says Carapella.

Rock Docs

Our highly subjective list of rock & roll documentaries, available for streaming now on Netlflix and Amazon Prime.

Anvil (2008)

Anvil tells the story of the Canadian heavy metal band Anvil, who, after a brief moment of glory in the early 80s, fell into obscurity. The two lead members remain committed to their dreams of rock stardom, working day jobs and making records as the years wear on, and the film captures their enduring, quixotic hunger for recognition and success, which is equal parts charming and wistful. While their early work is considered influential by the likes of Slash and Lars Ulrich, who speak respectfully of them in the film, the band mates are now in their fifties and still hoping for a breakthrough. We follow them on a European tour that is more an exercise in humiliation than comeback. The film concludes with the release of their thirteenth album, aptly titled “This is Thirteen,” and a brief return to the spotlight at a rock festival in Japan, where they play to an enthusiastic crowd of young metal heads at 9:45 am. Directed by Sacha Gervasi.

Crossfire Hurricane (2012)

Using 100% archival footage and voiceovers from the band, Crossfire Hurricane revisits the Rolling Stones’ early years, when they were regarded as dangerous and decadent, and their shows regularly devolved into riots. The film makes clear that this outlaw image did not come about by accident. “Andrew (Oldham) wanted to make the Rolling Stones the anti-Beatles,” Mick Jagger says in a voiceover. “Andrew decided the Rolling Stones were the bad guys. It wasn’t just an accident.” The film deftly conveys the excitement and mayhem of these shows, as well as the Stone’s canny evolution from local UK sensation to international superstardom. Directed by Bret Morgen.

Janis – Little Girl Blue (2015)

Ambition, Janis Joplin writes to her mother, ultimately comes down to “how much you need to be loved,” and in Janis – Little Girl Blue, we see just how much that need drove Joplin. While the film captures Joplin’s rapid ascent from small-town misfit to larger-than-life generational icon, her letters, read by Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power), provide a sort of first person narration, exposing the insecurities and vulnerabilities beneath Joplin’s outsized public persona. “The only way to tell Janis’s story was through Janis’s voice. Her letters show the vulnerable artist, daughter and lover Janis was in her short but impactful life,” said writer, director and producer Amy Berg.

Lemmy (2010)

“If they dropped a nuclear bomb on this planet, Lemmy and cockroaches is all that’s gonna survive,” says a devoted fan in the documentary Lemmy, a worshipful testament to the enduring legend and influence of Lemmy Kilmister, the founding member of the seminal heavy metal band Motorhead. An unrepentant avatar of hard-living rock & roll, Lemmy was something of a rockstar’s rockstar, and everyone from Ozzy Osbourne to James Hetfield to Dave Grohl show up in the film to pay homage. “You could definitely say, without Motorhead, there’s now Metalica, there’s no Anthrax, there’s no Megadeath, probably no Slayer,” says Scott Ian of Anthrax. “There are no words,” says Lars Ulrich. “He’s just Lemmy. It should be a verb.” Directed by Greg Oliver & Wes Orshoski.

Long Strange Trip (2017)

An epic, sprawling history of the Grateful Dead, Long Strange Trip follows the band’s journey from their early gigs at Kepler’s Bookstore in Menlo Park, California to their years on the road as one of the biggest touring acts in the world. Coming in at just under four hours in length, the film captures the unique blend of musical, cultural and personal elements that went into the formation of the Dead, from their avid interest in psychedelics, to their technical proficiency as musicians, to their nearly pathological aversion to commercial success. “The Grateful Dead explored freedom,” says longtime Dead biographer Dennis McNally. “And they were on the cutting edge of a phenomenal reexamination of American values.”  Directed by Amir Bar-Lev.

Metallica – Some Kind of Monster (2004)

Some Kind of Monster follows Metallica as they embark on the production of what would become St. Anger, their eighth studio album. The band is showing signs of strain. Bassist Jason Newsted has just quit. Their lawsuit against Napster resulted in a backlash from fans. Something is clearly amiss between lead singer James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich. In addition to allowing the recording process to be filmed, the band retains Phil Towle, a “performance enhancement coach” to help them work through their issues in a kind of group therapy setting. These sessions are also filmed, providing a window into the band mates’ dysfunctional relationships, longstanding resentments and overall fatigue.   Directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky.

Supermench (2013)

Supermench chronicles the life and career of consummate Hollywood insider, Shep Gordon, who began as Alice Cooper’s manager and then went on to be both an entertainment industry power player and beloved confidant of countless boldfaced names. Possessing both an upbeat, disarming manner and a keen eye for opportunity and talent, Gordon has a genius for “making people famous,” and his career building efforts on behalf of Alice Cooper, Teddy Pendergrass and Anne Murrary are legendary. He is also, despite a long career in the cutthroat world of music and entertainment, “the nicest person I’ve ever met, hands down,” says the film’s director, Mike Myers. Directed by Beth Aala and Mike Meyers.

Elizabeth Klinck Helps Build an All Archive Portrait of Frank Zappa

Eat That Question – Frank Zappa in His Own Words, includes no originally shot footage, relying on 100% archival material to build a portrait of the iconoclastic musician and composer.

Elizabeth klinck and thorsten schutte  at the 2017 focal awards. With Raphaëlle Cittanova from Films du Poisson and Paul Bowman, Head of Film Culture at Film london (the award sponsor).  

Elizabeth klinck and thorsten schutte  at the 2017 focal awards. With Raphaëlle Cittanova from Films du Poisson and Paul Bowman, Head of Film Culture at Film london (the award sponsor).  

"There was this pure need for this film to be made in this form, to give Frank the platform to speak for himself," said director Thorsten Schutte. "Because if you look at this archive footage that we've been working with, the hundreds of hours, a whole different Frank Zappa emerges."

Finding archival source material from around the world was a huge research effort. More than 70 sources were approached, and 40 archival sources were used in the final film. 

We spoke with Elizabeth Klinck, the films Archive Producer, about the process of organizing this archival mega-search, finding rare archival gems and clearing the rights from a wide network of international sources. 

Footage.net: Eat That Question took over eight years to produce. How much of that time was spent sourcing and clearing archival materials? Were you on the project for the entire time?

Elizabeth Klinck: The work was done in various stages.  I was on the project for the last five years.

Footage.net: The film consists of 100% archival footage. That must have necessitated gathering an enormous amount of archival material. Was this one of the larger projects you’ve worked on?

EK: Yes it was.  Other films have come close (How To Change the World was 85% archival) but this was unique in that there were no current interviews with family members or musicologists, but just Frank Zappa “In His Own Words” 100%.

Footage.net: How do you get a project like this started? What are the first steps in sourcing archival materials of this scope? 

EK: Luckily, Frank Zappa has a legendary number of fans around the world so we were able to start by sourcing material through lists built by various Zappa fan base groups.  The “vault” belonging to the Zappa family was important as another starting point.  Then it was a wide net thrown to the main archive houses, international broadcasters, private collectors, photographers, and even a show produced by a Pennsylvania based Educational Broadcaster hosted by a State trooper!

Footage.net: How big a factor is YouTube in a project like this?

EK: YouTube is an invaluable research tool and offers a researcher a visual cue (URL) for searching and clearing with the copyright owners.  A YouTube clip URL is worth three paragraphs of description in an email request!

Footage.net: How does that all-archive approach affect the filmmaking process? Does the film’s structure and narrative emerge from the archival materials? Or did the director have a very clear idea of the story he wanted to tell from the outset? 

EK: It is both. Thorsten had a clear idea of what he wanted to tell, but there were some lovely archival surprises that helped shape the film as well. 

FN: What are the main differences between working on a music-related doc and working on other kinds of films?

EK: The main difference is the many layers of rights and clearances to consider – the underlying synchronization and master music rights, the droits d’auteur, and in this case considering copyright issues from many different countries.

FN: Was getting clearances and rights especially challenging? Why? 

EK: There were many sources of materials in many countries.  And due to the age of some of the early clips, it was a challenge tracking down any copy not only the masters.  

FN: How significant, in terms of obtaining rights and clearances, was the involvement of the Zappa family?

EK: Very.  Thorsten Schuette, the director of the film, spent several years negotiating these rights with Gail Zappa on behalf of the Zappa Family Trust.  They were very supportive and Gail Zappa loved the finished film. Sadly she died before the premiere at Sundance but she had seen the finished film before she died.

FN: Aside from the usage licenses, what were the main rights that needed to be cleared for most of the footage you used?

EK: We needed to clear all media including theatrical.

FN: You approached 70 archival sources, 40 of which were ultimately used. Were you dealing mostly with large institutions or with individual owners/collectors, or a mix of both?

EK: A mix of both.

FN: Were there sources that you wanted to work with but just could not come to terms with?

EK: A few sources no longer had the master material available to license.

FN: Was there a lot of footage readily available? Or did it all take extensive digging?

EK: There was a lot of digging!

FN: Were there interviews or performances that you really wanted but could not find or otherwise obtain?

EK: An early Dick Cavett interview had been lost.

FN: What’s the most satisfying part of this work for you?

EK: Working with a great team: Thorsten Schuette (director), Willi Wonneberger (editor) Estelle Fiallon and Claire Babany (producers) and Liz Etherington (visual researcher) were all fantastic. It takes stamina, dedication and commitment to work for eight years on one project.  It wouldn’t have happened without such a terrific group of people making sure that it happened on budget, on time,  premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and opened worldwide theatrically.

FN: Lastly, Eat That Question won a FOCAL Award back in May. Congratulations! That must have been exciting.  

EK: Winning the FOCAL award this year in London was the perfect reward for so many years of dedication and work for our entire team.  It was a wonderful evening!

 

Reelin' in the Years Productions to Exclusively Rep ITV's Vast Music Footage Holdings

Reelin’ in the Years Productions is now exclusively representing ITV’s vast musical footage holdings (formerly handled by ITN). ITV, known as one of the world’s leading broadcasters, has granted RITY the rights to rep their musical holdings spanning nearly 60 years and including thousands upon thousands of performances and interviews with the world’s most influential artists, such as The Who, The Clash, U2, Muddy Waters, Madonna, Prince, Doors, Cat Stevens, Police, David Bowie, Judy Garland, Elton John, Little Richard, Public Enemy, Nina Simone, Ozzy Osbourne & R.E.M. 

ITV’s archive holds iconic moments in music such as The Beatles at The Cavern Club (1962); The Rolling Stones At Hyde Park (1969); Billie Holiday performing “Strange Fruit” (1959); The Sex Pistols TV Debut (1976); Johnny Cash’s famous concert at San Quentin Prison (1969); the only footage of The Yardbirds featuring Eric Clapton (1964); John Lennon’s last ever TV appearance (1975); and a rare TV appearance by rap pioneers Grandmaster Flash (1982.)  

The rest of ITV's archive (non-music related) will be represented by Lola Clips

Since 1992, Reelin’ In The Years Productions has been recognized as a world leader in footage licensing. The archive houses over 20,000 hours of music footage spanning 90 years and 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 primarily from the archives of Sir David Frost, The Merv Griffin Show, Rona Barrett and Brian Linehan’s City Lights from Canada.

WPA Film Library Now Represents NET Journal Archives from WNET

The WPA Film Library now represents clip licensing rights to NET JOURNAL programming from WNET, New York’s flagship public broadcasting station.
 
NET JOURNAL, first broadcast between 1966 and 1970, features incredible source footage of the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, the Nixon administration, New York’s Spanish Harlem, life on Native American reservations, and much more from this revolutionary time in American and world history.

"NET Journal is tremendously fascinating and historically significant," said Diane Paradiso, Director of Licensing and Sales, WPA Film Library. "We are delighted to play our part in making this unique collection accessible to our clients.”

“WNET is very pleased to expand our footage licensing partnership with the WPA Film Library, which has represented our Soul! collection for more than 16 years," said Joe Basile, Director of Rights & Clearances, WNET. "Like Soul!, NET Journal is another historically noteworthy series that hasn’t been seen on television for decades and whose archival treasures are not well known by documentary filmmakers, let alone the general public.  We are confident that WPA is the right partner to reintroduce this rare and valuable content to footage buyers the world over.”

The WPA Film Library has been supplying high-quality stock footage for over 30 years. Covering world history, pop culture, politics, celebrities, landmarks, and much more since the dawn of motion pictures, WPA has met and exceeded the needs and demands of the advertising, motion picture, and television industries. Highlights of our collection include the WETA’s extensive coverage of important political events; exclusive rock, soul, and classic country music performances.

www.wpafilmlibrary.com

Sherman Grinberg is Live!

The Sherman Grinberg Film Library is digitizing its 35mm black and white library to 4K, using new technology contained in its own digitization scanner built by Lasergraphics, in Irvine, CA, and outfitted with special lenses that are calibrated to optically remove or hide scratches and dust.   "Grinberg has scanned about 2 million feet of film and has maybe another 8 million or so to go," said the library’s chief archivist, Bill Brewington.   "We are also doing our own metafiling, in-house, with the help of a librarian from UC Berkeley.” he said.  

"It has taken a long time to figure it out, but Grinberg now has a smooth-operating program for preserving our film,” said Brewington. 

He noted that the film is being uploaded for licensing at ShermanGrinberg.com.  The most important content consist of the Paramount and American Pathe’ newsreels, dating from 1896 to 1957, and Grinberg is methodically working through the whole library.  The prestigious old collection has been used by filmmakers since the late 1950s and has been mined by Ken Burns and others for their projects.

Because Grinberg has its own digitization machine operated by its own in-house staff, it can locate and pull 35mm film from the shelf and ship it electronically to customers within 24 to 48 hours.  

Brewington has been with the Sherman Grinberg Library, located in Los Angeles, for more than 40 years, and has seen it go through many owners and technological transformations.  For information, call (310) 382-0637.  

Watergate - The End of a Presidency

This June marks 45 years since the Watergate break-in, the burglary gone wrong that toppled a presidency.  
 
A series of clandestine events started on June 17, 1972, when five men broke into the DNC headquarters at the Watergate office complex, attempting to wiretap phones and steal documents.  The burglars, connected to President Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign, were arrested.  The subsequent investigation revealed that President Nixon had been complicit in attempting to cover up the incident, raising hush money for the burglars; trying to use federal officials to deflect the investigation and destroying evidence.   
 
Rather than face impeachment and the possibility of being removed from office, Nixon resigned. In addition, 40-plus members of his administration were indicted or jailed.  His successor, Gerald Ford, pardoned Nixon for crimes “he committed or may have committed” while in office. 
 
The incident inspired the 1976 feature film All the President’s Men and the upcoming 2017 film, Felt (which includes footage from NBC News Archives). Remember the scandal with NBCUniversal Archives' collection of Watergate-related footage, including testimony from the Watergate hearings, b-roll from the scene of the break-in, and selected clips of Nixon addressing the nation.
 
To view, license and download this footage, go to:  Watergate at NBCUniversalArchives.

FootageBank Adds Boxing to its Growing Sports Playback Library

FootageBank has added fully released professional boxing clips to its exclusive sports collection. Fast action multi-round fight sequences include head and kidney punches, boxers being knocked into the ropes, referees separating boxers, corner sessions with coaches fixing broken noses, and winners being declared and given the champion gold belt. All boxers, coaches, and referees are fully released upon script approval.

FootageBank’s exclusive sports collection is prized for its playback potential in television, theatrical, and commercial projects. Its library of released sports also includes competitive swimming, track and field, basketball, football, soccer, hockey, water polo, marathon running, bicycle racing, tennis, and extreme sports.

www.footagebank.com

 

Archives Take Center Stage at FOCAL Awards Gala

The footage industry has made great strides over the last decade, growing in both its capacity and stature, and the FOCAL International Awards has played an important part in this evolution. Now in its 14th year, the FOCAL Awards shine a light on the critical role of archival footage in the production of world-class films, and bring together stakeholders from around the world for an evening of recognition, celebration and fun.

"The FOCAL Awards competition is a way to fully acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of archival footage to the global screen and creative industries,” said Madeline Bates, co-executive director of FOCAL. “Whether it’s in cinematic documentaries, dynamic advertising, innovative visual arts exhibitions or historical exposés - archival footage plays a key role in immersing audiences within all these forms of storytelling, and without which many of these stories couldn’t even be told.”

The 2017 FOCAL International Awards took place on May 25th before a packed house at the Lancaster London Hotel.  This was the first awards gala under the leadership of Mary Egan and Madeline Bates, new FOCAL co-executive directors, and it went off seamlessly. With over three hundred people in attendance at the black-tie gala, the event was elegant, festive and professionally produced. Host Hardeep Singh Kohli, wearing a pink turban and white gloves (in honor of his early experience with archives), set a light-hearted, playful tone for the evening, providing just the right amount of levity, lest anyone get too carried away.

“The annual gala ceremony has become a joyful opportunity to showcase all this work as well as the unsung heroes of the industry who dedicate their careers to preserving and making footage accessible to future producers,” said Bates. “It’s a truly global event that recognizes talent from across the world, evident not only by the nominations and winners but also by the number of international guests from around the globe who attend.”

Big Winners

OJ: Made in America, which took home an Oscar for Best Documentary earlier this year, was honored twice, with one award for Best Use of Sports Footage, and another going to Nina Krstic, who won the Jane Mercer Footage Researcher of the Year Award for her work on the film. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week won two awards as well -- one for Best Use of Footage in a Music Production, the other for Best Use of Footage in a Cinema Release. Eat That Question - Frank Zappa in His Own Words, won for Best Use of Footage in an Arts Production.  British Pathe won for Library of the Year, edging out stiff competition from Reelin’ in the Years Productions and ITN Source. Simon Wood of ITN won for employee of the year. Serge Viallet won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Most of the winners were in attendance to receive their awards, including Caroline Waterlow and Nina Krstic for OJ, and the team from White Horse and Apple on behalf of Eight Days a Week. And while all seemed extremely pleased to have won, perhaps no one was happier than Serge Viallet, who celebrated his Lifetime Achievement Award with a joyous dance around the room and a rousing acceptance speech, culminating in three cheers for FOCAL. An inspiring conclusion to an exhilarating evening.

See below for a full list of Award Winners

Best Use of Footage in a History Production Sponsored by Getty Images - Hitler's Games - Berlin 1936 - Roche Productions (France)  

Best Use of Footage in a History Feature Sponsored by LoLa Clips - Letters From Baghdad - Letters From Baghdad Ltd / Between the Rivers Productions LLC (USA/UK/France)

Best Use of Footage in a Factual Production Sponsored by Screenocean - The War Show - Fridthjof Film (Denmark)

Best Use of Footage in an Entertainment Production Sponsored by FremantleMedia - When Magic Goes Horribly Wrong - Crackit Productions (UK)  

Best Use of Footage in an Arts Production Sponsored by Film London - Eat That Question - Frank Zappa in His Own Words - Les Films Du Poisson, UFA Fiction / Sony Pictures Classics (France/USA)

Best Use of Footage in a Music Production Sponsored by Shutterstock - The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years - White Horse Pictures and Imagine Entertainment (USA/UK)

Best Use of Sports Footage Sponsored by ITV Sport Archive - O.J: Made in America - ESPN Films and Laylow Films (USA)

Best use of Footage about the Natural World Sponsored by Nature Picture Library -  Zoo Quest in Colour - BBC Natural History Unit (UK)

Best Use of Footage on Other Platforms Sponsored by Visual Data Services - Terence Donovan: Speed of Light - Dog and Duck Films (UK)

Best Use of Footage in a Cinema Release Sponsored by British Pathe - The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years - White Horse Pictures and Imagine Entertainment (USA/UK)

Best Archive Restoration / Preservation Title Sponsored by Pinewood Studios Group - Napoleon (1927 Dir. Abel Gance) - BFI National Archive (UK)  

Best Archive Restoration / Preservation Project Sponsored by Prasad -  1912-1992: 80 Years of Olympic Films Restored - International Olympic Committee (Switzerland)

The Jane Mercer Footage Researcher of the Year Award Sponsored by AP Archive - Nina Krstic (USA)  O.J.: Made in America Footage

Employee of the Year Sponsored by Creative Skillset - Simon Wood & ITN Source team ITN Source - UK  

Footage Library of the Year Sponsored by Broadcast - British Pathé - UK

Lifetime Achievement Award  - A gift of the FOCAL International Executive - Serge Viallet

A Netflix Doc Binge

With hundreds of great documentary films available for streaming on Netflix, the main issue is where to begin. With that in mind, we've pulled together a shortlist of binge-worthy docs from our ever-growing queue. While our picks are admittedly long on politics and history, and typically rich with news and archival footage, they are each in their own way fascinating, compelling and compulsively watchable films. 

13th 

This Oscar-nominated documentary unpacks the "intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States." It's titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which freed the slaves and prohibited slavery (unless as punishment for a crime). Directed by Ava DuVernay. Released in 2016.

Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox documents the explosive media maelstrom and prosecutorial overreach surrounding the trial, conviction and eventual acquittal of Amanda Knox for the murder of Meredith Kercher, her roommate in Italy. Directed by Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn. Released in 2016.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Renowned filmmaker Stanley Nelson's timely examination the rise of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s and its impact on civil rights and American culture. Directed by Stanley Nelson. Released in 2015.

The Blackout (American Experience)

The Blackout returns viewers to the pivotal night in July 13, 1977, when, following lightning strikes at several critical power lines, New York City was left in total darkness. Teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, the city was ill-prepared to respond, and by the time power was restored, more than 1,600 businesses had been looted, more than 3,000 people had been arrested, and firefighters had battled more than 1,000 fires. Directed by Callie T. Wiser. Released in 2015.

Dirty Wars

Dirty Wars follows Jeremy Scahill, the national security correspondent for the Nation magazine, as he works tirelessly to expose questionable US military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other war-torn locales, many of which were carried out by the shadowy Joint Special Operations Command. Directed by RIck Rowley. Released in 2013.

E-Team

E-Team follows a group of four activists from Human Rights Watch known as the E-Team as they work on the ground in Syria and Libya to gather detailed evidence of human rights abuses and possible war crimes and bring these stories to the world's attention in real time. Directed by Kate Chevigny and Ross Kaufman. Released in 2014.

Emmanuel Macron: Behind the Rise

Emmanuel Macron: Behind the Rise tracks the rapid political ascent of Emmanuel Macron, who survived a bruising campaign to become the youngest president in French history. Directed by Yann L'Henoret. Released in 2017.

Five Who Came Back

Five Who Came Back explores the experiences of five U.S. film directors – John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens – and their frontline work during the Second World War, drawing on over 100 hours of archival footage. Narrated by Meryl Streep, the film includes extensive interviews with directors Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Greengrass, and Lawrence Kasdan. Directed by Laurent Bouzereau. Released in 2017.

Get Me Roger Stone

Get Me Roger Stone reveals the life and career of "larger than life" Republican political strategist Roger Stone. Directed by Dylan Bank, Daniel DiMauro and Morgan Pehme.  Released in 2017.

Hank: Five Years from the Brink

A humanizing character study of Hank Paulson from renowned documentarian Joe Berlinger. Paulson, who reluctantly accepted the post of Treasury Secretary under George W. Bush, was charged with preventing the collapse of the global economy in 2008. Directed by Joe Berlinger. Released in 2013.

How to Win the US Presidency

This whimsical look at rough-and-tumble American politics examines the influence of money, religion and even ancient Rome on presidential campaigns. Directed by Cal Seville. Released in 2016.

Oklahoma City (American Experience)

Oklahoma City traces the events — including the deadly encounters between American citizens and law enforcement at Ruby Ridge and Waco — that led Timothy McVeigh to commit the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history. Directed by Barak Goodman. Released in 2017.

Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States

A provocative, ten-part series from Oliver Stone on American history since World War II, intended, as Stone says in his introduction, to “bring you back to the meaning of this country and what so radically changed after World War II.” Directed by Oliver Stone. Released in 2013.

Tower

A riveting, emotionally powerful film using archival footage and animated reenactments to reveal the untold stories of the witnesses, heroes and survivors of the University of Texas Tower shooting, America's first mass school shooting. Directed by Keith Maitland. Released in 2016.

Truth and Power

An "investigative docuseries", narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Each episode reveals the stories of "ordinary people going to extraordinary lengths to reveal corporate exploitation and infringement on civil liberties resulting from government overreach." Executive Producer: Brian Knappenberger.  Released in 2016.

The White Helmets

Winner of the 2017 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short, the 40-minute film follows three Syrian rescue workers with a group called the White Helmets -- also known as the Syrian Civil Defense. The film is based on footage shot by Khaleed Khateeb, a volunteer for the Syrian Civil Defense forces, who filmed his fellow volunteers’ during search and rescue missions in war-torn Aleppo. Directed by Orlando von Einsiedel. Released in 2016.

Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom

A riveting portrait of unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich. As the New York Times' A.O. Scott wrote in his review of the film, "Mr. Afineevsky succeeds brilliantly, turning an after-the-fact reminder of events that have faded from the headlines into a grippingly suspenseful real-life action film." Directed by Evgeny Afineevsky. Released in 2015.

 

 

FootageBank Celebrates Golden Birthday with Treat for Clients

Paula Lumbard, founder & president

Paula Lumbard, founder & president

A Golden Birthday is a once-in-a-lifetime event that occurs when your age matches the day of your birth. It’s also referred to as a Grand BirthdayStar BirthdayLucky Birthday or Champagne Birthday… Did someone say champagne?

As FootageBank raised its glasses in celebration of 15 years in business on April 15, team members reminisced about the days of its birth…

Carol martin, vice president

Carol martin, vice president

“I opened a high definition company and learned what high definition was all on the same day! Talk about a learning curve… But that’s the thrill of being an entrepreneur. Now, we are embracing 4K and buying storage instead of stamps.”’ - Paula Lumbard, Founder & President

“I had an education in film (yes, celluloid) and a background in sales but someone had to set up the systems. Excited and unqualified, I jumped on what would be the wildest ride of my career. Who knew I’d become the engineer my father always wanted?” - Carol Martin, Vice President

Erik Dahlgren, Content Coordinator & Office Manager

Erik Dahlgren, Content Coordinator & Office Manager

“The first time I had to access the innards of our website, I was so nervous I crashed it! I remember our web host calling and asking, `What are you guys doing over there?!’ Now, I spend most of my days practicing internal medicine!” - Erik Dahlgren, Content Coordinator & Office Manager

FootageBank is grateful to all of its clients. Mention its Golden Birthday with your next order and receive a 15% discount. Cheers!

 

 

ARCHIVES ABOUND AT NAB 2017

With over 1,800 exhibits spread out across the entire Las Vegas Convention Center, and 100,000 plus attendees roaming the floor, NAB is like a small, frenetic city, and homing in on points of relevance takes some perseverance. That said, there’s a lot there of interest to the footage community, including products and services directly tailored to current needs, as well as technology and trends that are sure to affect the footage industry in the near future.

With that in mind, we’ve assembled a highly summarized “mini-directory” of companies that offer products and services that we believe will be of interest to footage companies, as well as other stakeholders in the archival footage business.

The list is divided into seven categories, including: digital asset management & storage; digital rights management & protection; logging and metadata; file sharing; film scanners and restoration; footage companies; and sessions.

We hope it gives you some sense of the state of things at NAB!

Digital Asset Management & Storage

Actus ClipFactory

Actus ClipFactory™ includes a content management system that allows users to enter and edit metadata, search and find specific clips, send the clips via mail, save the clips as files, distribute the clips to any destination such as CDN or social networks, download the clips and more.

www.actusdigital.com

Atempo

Atempo’s ASG-Digital Archive is a versatile, scalable file archiving software solution for the media industry that makes large data volumes available when and where needed, and integrates easily into user workflows. Data is secured and stored in open formats on a variety of storage media including tape, disk, cloud or object storage. Data movements are traced and logged. Users can preview assets with low-res proxies and make a partial retrieval of large assets. The AGS-Digital Archive is currently in use at the National Film Board of Canada, where they are archiving all digital masters and source files, including related metadata, for restored and new works.

www.atempo.com/ASG-Digital-Archive.aspx

Avere Systems

Avere Hybrid Cloud NAS enables use of cloud storage for tier-2 storage (active nearline storage), creating an accessible active archive at the lower cost of object storage. Avere Hybrid Cloud seeks to change the economics and functionality of data storage and computing for rendering, transcoding and encoding by allowing clients to leverage public and private storage clouds, IaaS, and elastic compute for workloads previously limited to on-premise high-performance (HPC) storage systems.

www.averesystems.com/active-cloud-storage

Cantemo

The Cantemo Portal helps manage video files, from creation through editing to distribution and archiving. The Cantemo Portal can be used for post-production management, as a distribution and sharing platform, for workflow file management and as an archive front end. Deployment can be done in the cloud, in front of a large tier-2 storage, or a tape library.  Having proxies and metadata for all items means that anyone can search the archive from almost anywhere without having to know how the tape library works, where the storage is, or where the assets lives in the storage. Portal is used for finding and recovering files that are then copied to production storage or to distribution methods for sharing or re-use. Cantemo is currently in use by media companies around the world, including the Boston Red Sox, who use it to “transition the Red Sox workflow, expand accessibility, and empower their creative team to get content to market more efficiently.”

www.cantemo.com

Cinegy

Cinegy develops software solutions for collaborative workflow encompassing IP, capture, editing and playout services tools, integrated into an active archive for full digital asset management. Cinegy Archive is the innovative media asset management solution for any organization with an archive or productions to manage. With its scalable and open architecture, Cinegy offers an affordable solution to digitize tape-based archives and production workflows. With advanced logging and metadata accumulation over the entire lifecycle of the media assets, content becomes easily searchable and reusable, saving time and money. Cinegy Archive enables local and remote real-time collaboration allowing loggers, story and video editors to work on video material in real-time, even while it is still being ingested. Using the Cinegy Workspace browser-based interface, clips can be searched, browsed, selected and even edited from anywhere.

www.cinegy.com/index.php/products/media-asset-management/cinegy-archive

Crawford Media Services

Crawford Media Services, Inc. provides premium content services, including mass digitization, human generated descriptive metadata, and digital archive storage for all owners of media content. Crawford’s service based model allows them to provide the customized solutions necessary to meet the specialized challenges now faced by content owners and make unruly media collections ready for market. 

www.crawford.com

Dalet

Dalet Galaxy is an enterprise Media Asset Management platform which unifies the content chain by managing assets, metadata, workflows and processes across multiple and diverse production and distribution systems. Dalet offers end-to-end Archive solutions to optimize workflows and to maximize assets, managing all type of multimedia content, including video, audio, texts, documents and more. Ideally suited for News, Sports, Programs and Radio workflows, Dalet’s Archive solutions makes media easily accessible and findable from any location through a Web client, but also to third-party systems thanks to the integration layer. With Dalet Archive solutions, media companies can build a truly unified environment where content is made available to everyone who needs it, no matter what system they are using, and extend the reach of owned content through easy and fast repurposing on multiple devices.

www.dalet.com/business-solutions/archives-and-media-asset-management

Imagen

The Imagen Enterprise Video Platform helps companies of all sizes and industries preserve, navigate and monetize their ever-growing media libraries. The latest update - Imagen Version 5 - has been built with both content owners and their customers in mind, providing the most efficient platform for managing and monetizing video content. With the focus on improved speeds and creating a more agile platform for media managers, Imagen version 5 enables content owners to adapt to the marketplace quicker. New features include optimized ingest tools for rapid content on-boarding, new payment models allowing customers to license clips using micro credit payments and high speed fulfillment of high resolution content. New language localization features also enable content to be licensed by a worldwide customer base, or streamed to paying audiences across the globe. Used by a number of key customers such as Premier League, Channel 4, Endemol and IMG to manage, distribute and commercialize legacy and near live content, Imagen’s latest version of its Enterprise Video Platform creates even more opportunities to generate revenue for content owners, as well as preserving large libraries of media with best in class workflow and archiving tools.

https://imagenevp.com/

Imagine Products

Imagine Products, Inc. develops high value, innovative digital video utilities to backup, view, share, transcode and archive assets. Imagine’s array of applications offer simple to use, elegant user interfaces with powerful back-ends that are affordable for both professionals and beginners. Some popular applications include ShotPut Pro (offloading application), PrimeTranscoder (transcoding application), PreRollPost (LTFS archiving application) and HD-VU2 (native file viewer). 

http://www.imagineproducts.com

Masstech

Masstech’s scalable archive and storage management solution automates the archive process, ensuring that media and metadata are stored safely, while making it easy to find, retrieve and restore content in required formats. Whether archiving on-site, across multiple facilities or remotely for disaster recovery, Masstech enables media companies to preserve and protect valuable content and build deep media libraries that can be mined and repurposed.

www.masstech.com

Object Matrix

Object Matrix provides digital content governance & object storage platforms. The company was built on the philosophy that archive systems should be scalable and interoperable, as well as ensuring instant access to data and metadata. Its flagship product, MatrixStore, is an integrated object storage software solution, providing protection and governance for the lifetime of any digital content. Customers include NBC Universal, TV Globo, Imagina, Miami Heat, EDF, the BBC & BT to name a few.

www.object-matrix.com

Quantum Corporation

Quantum StorNext production & archive solutions power modern workflows, enabling content creators to collaborate in real-time and keep assets accessible for future use and re-monetization. Evolving for 4K and beyond, new camera formats, delivery options & tighter deadlines. StorNext supports every step of media workflows, managing content files from ingest to archive. Leading studios, broadcasters & thousands of smaller content creators use StorNext to create award-winning productions.

www.stornext.com

SGL

SGL is a leading provider of content archive and storage management solutions with over twenty years’ experience in the media and content management sectors. SGL’s FlashNet archive solution delivers unrivalled levels of resilience, flexibility and adaptability and the addition of FlashNet Infinity, an elegant suite of web-based dashboard tools, adds further sophistication to FlashNet. 

www.sglbroadcast.com/products/

StorageDNA

StorageDNA helps film, video, and broadcast professionals master their digital workflow, work more efficiently and save storage costs. StorageDNA helps media professionals address the challenges of high-resolution digital file-based workflows, including cost-effective backup and storage; the long-term protection of digital assets; and the need to easily archive, search, find, restore, and directly access content when needed. StorageDNA is known for the intelligent workflow solution DNAevolution built on Linear Tape Open (LTO) and Linear Tape File System (LTFS) technologies. StorageDNA’s solutions power some of the most complex and critical workflows for a wide range of customers, from major film studios and television production companies to sports organizations, government agencies, and Fortune 500 corporations.

www.storagedna.com

Vectracom

Vectracom is a mass digitization service company specializing in the preservation and valorization of audiovisual heritage, including films, video and audio. Vectracom operates worldwide, with offices in Europe, North America and North Africa. From inventory to delivery, from manual cleaning to automatic metadata creation, Vectracom has developed innovative solutions and workflows to adapt to the specific needs of each client.

www.vectracom.fr/en/

Wazee Digital

Wazee Digital demonstrated how they can capture content in real-time, upload it to the cloud using file acceleration where Wazee Digital Core (asset management platform) kicks off workflows that include creating file renditions, metadata extraction, archiving and publishing to multiple digital endpoints including Core, Digital Media Hub, Commerce, YouTube and Facebook.  All of which was accomplished using a 25 Mbps wifi network – proving the benefit of having a lightweight browser based front end with all the heavy lifting and transformation of video assets being processed and stored in the cloud.

www.wazeedigital.com/

 

Xeric Design

Xeric Design is the developer of Cinematica, a feature-rich professional video management system designed with powerful tools and an intuitive drag-and-drop interface to manage growing libraries of video files, with a range of options to suit every need. Features such as thumbnails, storyboards, and keywords make cataloging a snap. 

www.xericdesign.com

Digital Rights Management & Protection

ContentArmor

ContentArmor creates, develops, and commercializes security solutions for entertainment content, providing audio and video watermarking technologies to deter piracy for premium multimedia content across creation and distribution workflows.

www.contentarmor.net

FilmTrack

FilmTrack’s cloud-based platform provides the tools to manage mission-critical data, including contracts, rights, financials, royalties and asset management in one solution, simplifying the complexities of managing and licensing intellectual property. FilmTrack services broadcasters and other media and entertainment organizations by providing an end-to-end solution for the back office. FilmTrack can complement current systems by integrating with ERP or finance packages, mastering media management, or scheduling solutions with secure, RESTful APIs. 

www.filmtrack.com

Markany

ContentTRACKER,  MarkAny's forensic watermarking technology, facilitates multimedia business models and protects content in high piracy environments. ContentTRACKER enforces security policies by embedding unique and robust identifying code without altering the viewing experience for the legitimate user.

www.markany.com/eng/

Vistex

Vistex partners with clients to provide powerful cross-platform content, rights and royalties management solutions, allowing complex businesses to fully automate their requirements. With (17) offices and (1,200) employees worldwide, Vistex works with clients to manage the full life cycle of their Go-to-Market programs through strategy, software, implementation, execution, and analytics.

http://vistex.com

Search & Metadata

IDENTV

Whether from live TV streams or recorded video, IDENTV's pioneering Intelligent Video-fingerprinting Platform (IVP) processes visual content at ultra-fast speed with highly scalable & accurate recognition of objects, faces, brands, logos, scenes & more in an integrated self-managed environment. Creating powerful video analysis capabilities and actionable insights from Video Big Data.

www.identv.com

Primestream

Primestream’s FORK Logger delivers a user interface optimized for tagging real-time feeds with the metadata needed to make a quick turnaround – making sifting, sorting and finding the right clips easy. FORK Logger is now available as a self-contained turnkey solution tailored for sports production –facilitating faster and more efficient workflows. Automatically add rich metadata and markers with FORK Logger using live data from STATS, the leader in sports data and content. The module’s extensively configurable and contextually dynamic user interface gives sports loggers the tools to quickly tag video with pre-defined metadata – making assets easier to manage, move and ultimately monetize.

http://primestream.com/simplypowerful

Malgn Technology

Malgn’s KeyFlow Pro is a simple, elegant and surprisingly powerful media manager. Upload, preview, organize, role edit, tag, annotate and more with KeyFlow Pro, featuring deep integration with Final Cut Pro X. It's on the Mac App Store.

www.keyflowpro.com

ReCAP

ReCAP is a consortium of European companies that has recently received funding from the European Union to develop a Real-time Content, Analysis and Processing (ReCAP) software platform. The consortium includes NMR (UK) ToolsOnAir (Austria), nablet (Germany) and Joanneum Research (Austria). ReCAP will enable media companies to automatically analyze and extract time-stamped descriptive and technical metadata, in real-time, from live broadcast quality video content, as well as process their existing archive content.

www.recap-project.com

File Sharing

Aspera

Aspera, an IBM® Company, creates next-generation software technologies that move the world’s data at maximum speed regardless of file size, transfer distance and network conditions. Major film studios, post-production companies, visual effects houses, and broadcasters rely on Aspera to reduce production cycles while securely delivering high-resolution media worldwide, with the utmost quality of service, providing consumers with content faster and more efficiently than ever before.

www.asperasoft.com

FileCatalyst

FileCatalyst is a pioneer in managed file transfers and a world-leading accelerated file transfer solution. FileCatalyst is a software platform designed to accelerate and manage file transfers securely and reliably. FileCatalyst is immune to the effects that latency and packet loss have on traditional file transfer methods like FTP, HTTP, or CIFS. Global organizations use FileCatalyst to solve issues related to file transfer, including content distribution, file sharing, and offsite backups.

www.filecatalyst.com

Signiant

Signiant’s intelligent file transfer solutions help the world’s top media companies move petabytes of content every day over standard IP networks. Built on Signiant’s patented file transfer acceleration technology, the company’s on-premises and cloud-native SaaS solutions are the market leaders for moving large files over distance - between systems, between people, and to and from cloud object storage.

www.signiant.com  

Film Scanners & Restoration

Black Magic Cintel Film Scanner

The new Blackmagic Cintel film scanner includes the most advanced Image Mill image processing Cintel has to offer, built into the machine itself, providing powerful grain reduction and optical stabilization technology, which makes the Cintel scanner a perfect choice for historical archive conversions and restoration projects. Cintel’s ultra thin size means it can be desk-mounted or wall-mounted. There are even multiple accessory mount points for adding audio pickups or key-code readers. The Cintel film scanner produces stabilized, grain-reduced files that are ready for digital restoration and mastering.

www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/cintel

FilmFabriek

FIlmFabriek is the creator of the cost effective, high quality, modular frame-by-frame film scanner, used by archives and scanning companies worldwide to replace their telecine scanners. The scanner is sprocketless, offers sound heads and the unique wetgate system to optimize the digitization of damaged film.

www.filmfabriek.nl/filmscanner/

LaserGraphics

Since 1981, LaserGraphics has been at the forefront of film imaging system technology.  Their still-frame high resolution photo and slide film recording systems exceeded the rigorous demands of customers in the medical, military and digital photography markets.  This, coupled with innovative engineering, exacting levels of quality, and superior service is why LaserGraphics has sold over 25,000 still-frame film-recording systems.

http://lasergraphics.com/index.html

MTI Film, LLC

MTI Film provides world class digital film restoration services to studios and libraries that need the highest quality work delivered on time and on budget. The MTI team of experienced restoration artists use DRS™NOVA to remove all types of defects - ranging from warping, color breathing, and 3-layer misalignment, to dust, dirt and scratches. In addition, MTI provides expert color correction, editing, and transcoding tools for HD, UHD, and DCP delivery.

www.mtifilm.com/

RTI Film Group

The RTI Film Group specializes in providing a variety of equipment and technology for those involved in the digitization, preservation and migration of media content. That content may be residing on motion picture film, broadcast video formats or optical discs. Products such as digital film scanners for all film gauges, scanning at up to 5K resolution. The RTI Group includes Lipsner Smith, TapeChek Evaluators, BHP, Calder, Filmlab Systems, Imagica, and CIR. Over 100 specialized products are available.

www.rtico.com

Vintage Cloud

Vintage Cloud recently acquired long-established film editing table manufacturer Steenbeck, and now offers the world’s fastest film archive digitization system. The Vintage Cloud Steenbeck uniquely offers the ability to digitize separate image and audio at the same time at up to 4K resolution and up to 60 fps. The all-in-one system has now been enhanced by the introduction of Smart Indexing, which uses AI and machine learning to dramatically increase the speed and precision with which metadata can be included within the asset – giving it substantially more value.

www.vintagecloud.com/

Footage Companies

The footage industry was well represented at NAB 2017. In addition to our exhbition (Footage.net), exhibitors included Dissolve, Filmsupply, INA, Pond5, Shutterstock and VideoBlocks. We spent some time at all their booths and all seemed to agree that NAB was a productive venue for footage companies. 

Sessions

Investing in Stock: Getting Paid to Follow Your Passion

Robb Crocker, author of Stock Footage Millionaire, gave a presentation at the Adobe booth on how to produce and market stock footage. He discussed strategies for successful stock footage production including: shooting footage you would want to buy; using equipment you would want used in your own productions; developing a niche; looking for developing trends; leveraging your resources and special access; and playing to your strengths.  You can watch his presentation here

From Lens to Archive: Media Management for NewTek NDI

Workflow experts at ProMAX walked attendees through an end-to-end production process utilizing NewTek devices and the NDI protocol, showing attendees how to instantly manage media from first capture all the way though archive. The session looked at each specific step along the way, including: ingest; immediate backup; encoding & proxy generation; metadata tagging; searching; editing/post production; and long term archiving.

Attendees were guided through capturing and storing NDI video streams to a storage device; how to best protect media, short term & long term; understanding how live production broadcast can integrate into a post-production workflow; how to set up an integrated "production - post production" workflow utilizing NDI devices; how to organize, tag and search for media in a dynamic production environment; and how to archive content while still having access to proxy media.

How “Saturday Night Live” Built Private Cloud Storage to Accelerate Workflows and Archive Assets for the Next 40 Years Presented by Cloudian

Session covered how SNL manages and archives assets from 40 years of programming, and ensures those assets deliver value for the next 40 years, featuring media management and storage experts from SNL and presentation of their approach to building an open architecture and saving costs, while accelerating media access in their highly time-pressured workflow.

Footage Hacks: Smart Practices and Strategies for Better Footage Research, Acquisition & Use

In many important ways, finding footage has become easier than ever before. There’s an enormous amount of footage online, both on commercial sites like Footage.net, as well as consumer-directed sites like YouTube, offering researchers nearly instant access to clips. That said, finding, acquiring and using third-party footage remains a complex process, and high-level footage research requires skill and experience. With that in mind, we pulled together a list of hacks and suggestions from industry experts to help you raise your footage game. 

1. Dig Deeper

Not every piece of footage has been digitized and not every clip is online, so don’t assume that because a clip is not available online that it doesn’t exist. Comprehensive footage research will involve some level of direct interaction with the footage providers, and most footage houses are ready, willing and able to help you out. In addition, almost all archives can now digitize footage on request and send it to you via FTP very quickly for review. For the most, part this means allowing a bit more time for bringing in sample material, but otherwise the process should fit seamlessly into your workflow.

“Unless an archive has exclusively ‘born digital’ materials (like archives that feature contemporary footage) most archives have a vast array of archival source formats that were cataloged but never formally migrated to digital formats,” says Stephen Parr, president of Oddball Films.  “These formats, ranging from 16mm and 35mm film to multiple analog and digital videotape formats are almost always available to be digitized to the format of a clients choice. In fact, most archives are continually digitizing materials to new file formats, whether SD or 4K. You should always ask an archive if they have additional undigitized materials. If so, they may be able to transfer them for you on demand, or at least send you logs before you move forward with transfers. Some archives will digitize original source materials for free, others will charge a fee. Either way it’s incumbent upon a good researcher to ask about undigitized materials - if you don’t ask, you won’t find it.”

2. Provide as Much Information as Possible about your Project and Footage Needs

Talk directly to footage providers about your overall footage needs, not just the specific items you think they have in their collections. Most footage providers know their collections inside and out, so if they understand your project, and what you are looking for, they can offer suggestions you may not have considered. Additionally, providing as much detail as possible on your footage needs will expedite your search.

“There have been numerous times where we would receive an email for a very specific item and rather than just merely send them the requested clip, I would call them up, and because of a direct dialogue, I was able to suggest material they had not thought of, which then turned into many more licensing opportunities,” said David Peck, president of Reelin’ in the Years Productions.

These conversations, whether on the phone or over email, are also the place to dig into the details of your footage needs, especially when looking for editorial footage.

“By being more specific and providing more context in your footage requests, we will get the right footage to you faster, rather than spending more time for us to get you footage and you having to sort through footage you don’t want,” said Eileen O’Donnell, content manager at NBC News Archives.  “With editorial footage, information is important - locations, dates, time periods. If you have a specific event you’re looking for, let us know more than ‘Early Vietnam War’ or ‘Late Vietnam War.’  The more information you provide, the more accurate the search results will be.”

Other issues that warrant deeper communication include the “context [in which] the footage is going to be used,” said O’Donnell. “Are you looking for branded content with reporters to present as a news story, or are you looking for b-roll on the subject in question? If you’re doing a project on a famous person, do you truly need everything we have on that person, or is there a specific interview or topic they’ve spoken about that you need for your story?”  

3. Look for New Sources & Underused Footage

Finding new sources of footage, underused collections and less obvious footage can make a big difference in the final outcome of your film, both in its quality and its marketability. Finding new sources is “very critical - not just to make a sale, but for me to be excited about the project,” said documentary filmmaker Tom Jennings. “When you tell a network you've found something no one has seen before, they get excited. You have to remember their needs. They want to set this program apart from others that may have been done about the topic. For them, it's a marketing tool -- we have something new. For me, it's being able to see something that I think is familiar through new eyes. That's a major part of making these films feel special.”

“Look on either side of the iconic moment,” added Jennings. “Too many producers just go for the usual when it comes to telling historic events.  For our Pearl Harbor show, because we had no narration and no interviews, we heavily relied on playing major moments in ways not seen.  I swear if I hear President Roosevelt say, ‘a day that will live in infamy,’ and nothing else, I’m going to go crazy.  It turns out that speech is less than five minutes long.  The ‘Infamy’ part is the first 10 seconds.  The rest of the speech lays out the entire reason why the U.S. is going to war… what Japan had been up to, how they must have been planning this attach long in advance, etc.  It’s fascinating and sums up the entire entry into the war — in less than 5 minutes.  But all we know is, ‘a day that will live in Infamy.’  In our show, we used the entire speech and illustrated it with footage along the way.  I don’t know of any other doc that has played the entire speech, but I believe our viewers are much better informed for having heard it.  So my advice is, look for what’s on either side of the iconic moment. What was said and done before and right after?  Usually, there’s something very rich that just never made it into the highlights reels that so many producers rely on.”

4. Don’t Fall In Love with that YouTube Clip

Relying on YouTube as a footage search engine is a double-edged sword. On the plus side, it’s a great platform for accessing a large amount of video and seeing what’s out there. As documentary editor Cindy Kaplan Rooney put it, “YouTube and Google searches can be very helpful, especially when you are working independently. I recently edited the independent documentary Levinsky Park, about the plight of African Asylum seekers in Israel.  I did not have a staff.  It was the producer and myself.  We did use the name sources such as CNN, Getty and F.I.L.M. Archives, but to tell this story we needed to search far and wide and really hunt because this is not a widely covered topic. YouTube and general Internet searches were great research tools and helped to connect us with people that the producer then contacted.  Those contacts led us to very important footage that helped us tell this story.”

On the downside, identifying rights-holders for YouTube clips can be daunting, and sometimes impossible. “You do have to be willing to give up material that has been in your cut that you love if you are not able to get in touch with the rights holder,” said Kaplan Rooney. “This did happen on Levinsky Park.” Or, as Tom Jennings put it, “my researchers have made me swear-off looking at YouTube. The biggest challenge is not falling in love with footage before you know it can be cleared.”

Another issue to be aware of when using YouTube and other consumer-oriented video platforms to source footage is that a most of the large, commercial footage houses have not added the bulk of their collections to these sites. These commercial footage collections are much better accessed directly through their owner’s sites or through a footage aggregator like Footage.net.

“Only a tiny fraction of the footage industry’s collective archives are available on YouTube,” according to David Peck. “Relying solely on YouTube (which sadly many inexperienced people in this industry do) and not contacting archives directly does a great disservice the film you are making. Most of the archives out there (mine included) want to help you but if you come to us after the film has been cut with bootleg YouTube footage, than there’s not much we can do. Most companies don’t charge screener fees so there’s really no excuse not to come to us directly.”

5. Some News Footage May Need Additional Clearances

“Remember that while every network and local news station has their content on their websites, not all footage in those stories is available for licensing,” said Eileen O’Donnell of NBC News Archives. “News stories come from a variety of sources, in addition to [the networks] own reporters and camera operators.  Networks and local stations subscribe to agency news feeds where they have broadcast rights or may have secured rights for other third party videos or photos for broadcast.  For this reason, you cannot assume [the news] content you’ve found online is available to license for your project until it’s been fully vetted by the library.” 

6. Send a Zap

Sending a Zap Email through Footage.net is an easy, effective can way to kick off your footage research project, allowing you to send your footage request instantly to Footage.net’s full list of stock footage partners, where expert researchers at each company will review your request and get in touch with you directly if they have footage that meets your needs. The process is very straightforward and will ensure that your request goes out to a wide network of footage providers, some of which you might not have considered contacting directly. To send a Zap, just go to Footage.net, click on the Zap button on the homepage, fill out the (very brief) request form, hit send and you’re done.

7. Understand Third Party Rights

When licensing footage, it’s important to remember that while footage houses usually control the copyright to the footage itself, they may not control the underlying rights, especially those pertaining to the rights of privacy and publicity of recognizable individuals shown in the footage.

“Researchers should always check on the talent and location release status at the start of a search so that later they are not disappointed if their selection does not have the releases they need,” says Paula Lumbard, president of FootageBank HD.

Third party rights can be especially complicated when dealing with musical performances.

"Probably the most important thing to keep in mind when working with a company like Reelin' in the Years, and others such as Historic Films and BBC that have a large archive of music performance and entertainment oriented footage," said David Peck, "is that while we control the copyright to the footage in our collections, we do not hold the underlying rights, such as the rights to the performer's image and likeness. Which means that before using a clip from Reelin' in the Years of the Rolling Stones performing ‘Satisfaction’ from a 1965 appearance on German TV, users will need to obtain clearances from, and often pay license fees to, a variety of other entities, such as music publishers, record companies, unions and directors and, of course, the band members themselves.”

Property and locations may also be subject to privacy rights. Many of the houses, restaurant exteriors and other physical locations used in television shows and movies to set a scene come from stock footage agencies. And, like shots of recognizable people, these location clips typically require releases from the property owner. One of the more famous examples is the Hollywood Sign, the rights to which are controlled by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which has appointed Global Icons to manage these rights and negotiate usage fees.

8. Get the Rights You Need

When licensing rights-managed footage, the distribution rights you ask for and the duration of the license term form the basis of the license fee. To cover their bases, producers will often ask for all rights, for all media, in perpetuity. Many have no choice but to acquire these rights in that they are producing a program for a specific network, which has mandated that all elements of a particular program be cleared for all uses, whether now known or hereafter invented. But if you’re producing an independent production and don’t have the budget to afford this all-encompassing grant of rights, talk to the provider about forming a step-up agreement, wherein minimal rights are acquired in the near-term and a price is set for add-on rights in the future, should they become necessary. 

“If you can't afford to secure all rights up front, it's advisable to discuss licensing options with an archive and have these options included as possible upgrades in the licensing agreement,” says Jessica Berman Bogdan, president of Global ImageWorks. “Options usually have some type of time limitation as to when they can be exercised. It's also helpful to know the costs you'll need to pay to secure additional rights when negotiating with distributors. Narrowing the grant of rights is another good cost control option. In our experience, oftentimes clients really don't need theatrical rights, for example. Overall, if you're not required to deliver this broad rights package or if the budget isn't there, don't ask for rights you really don't need.”

9. Negotiate License Fees

Prices for footage vary widely among footage houses. In the case of rights-managed footage, there is often some room to negotiate. Some archives have a pricing schedule for bulk deals, for example, wherein they will offer discounts for buying more footage from them for a specific project. For others, it’s more of an art than a science. Either way, it’s a good idea to give the archive a sense of the kind of project you are working on, how it is funded and what sort of budget you are working with. Without that knowledge, they’ll have no basis upon which to consider potential discounts.  

“Most archives want to have their footage licensed and want to support the production community,” says Jessica Berman-Bogdan. “Archives can be flexible but only to a point. Keep in mind there's a range within which archives can operate. If you're outside that range, you need to be able to justify why you should get a reduced fee.”

10. Work with Multiple Formats

Third-party footage, by definition, will originate on a wide variety of native formats. So a big consideration when working with third party footage is how these varied formats and aspect ratios will be integrated into your final production. “In addition to archival film and video formats, now with the introduction of Ultra HD, 4K, and even higher resolution clips into the footage world, it is wise prior to licensing to understand the master format options of the clips you are considering,” said Paula Lumbard, president of FootageBank. “Consider asking about the native capture format, the camera used, the resolution of both native digital file as well as the stock clip file, and delivery options.”  Some footage houses may offer to convert their clips from standard definition to high definition, or to assist in scanning of film elements.  Fees are often involved due to processing. Again, these are conversations to have with the footage providers. 

11. Hire a Researcher/Rights & Clearance Specialist

Online footage platforms have made footage research more accessible, convenient and efficient. With a bit of practice, you can get pretty good at finding clips. But deep, extensive and effective footage research takes experience and skill, especially if your project requires a lot of third-party content. For complex projects, the services of an experienced film researcher can be essential. An experienced researcher can not only find great footage, but can often rack down and negotiate with the rights holder, consult on your footage budget, negotiate license fees and help design and implement your in-house production archive. And, as Paula Lumbard put it, “experienced researchers/rights and clearance professionals have relationships with rights holders and archives that can benefit you. In addition to saving time, they may be offered discounts, or granted rights not ordinarily extended to those fresh to licensing.”

12. Organize Your Production Library

A large-scale footage research project will require an in-house system for storage, indexing and retrieval of clips. This is essential for your production workflow, as well as for tracking and accounting for the clips you actually end up using in your production.

“I frequently edit on shows that have many editors sharing material on a server,” said Cindy Kaplan Rooney. “An absolute must is to have a cataloging system started from the first piece of footage that comes in house.  Typically, we set up our system so the clip name tells you what the category of content is as well as the footage source and date if the date is pertinent for the show. The same type of database is created for archival stills as well as footage.  The log also includes a description of the material because you rarely get good descriptions these days. We used to get cards that told you exactly what was there on the clips. So once that footage is out there on the server and various editors are working with it you can always track it back.  Another database is also created for material that is more general in nature and can be used for many different types of sequences. “

“Periodically, an assistant editor or production assistant reviews the rough cuts and makes note of what has been used,” said Kaplan Rooney. “This is also a good check to make sure that there is no duplication.  It always amazes me that on a big history show, or series, with tons of good footage editors often zero in on the exact same shots!”

“If the schedule is tight, the staff will begin immediately to work on the rights clearances, if they haven’t already made an upfront deal with the footage source,” added Kaplan Rooney. “Most places require a log of exactly what shots you are using with time codes and lengths before they will give a quote.  This is pretty much in flux during a rough-cut stage, but it’s a starting point and you can update it later on. By doing this early, if there is a problem making a deal, the editors have time to find alternatives. When working on a big archival show, it’s pretty impossible to clear rights on everything ahead of time because there is so much gathered and only a fraction of that will actually be used.”

Conclusion

We hope these suggestions have been helpful. Obviously, it is not an exhaustive list and learning about the process of finding, acquiring and using footage is an ongoing process. Please let us know if we missed anything important. We are always happy to add to the list!

Footage.net Announces Final Exhibit Partners for NAB

Footage.net's exhibition will feature a diverse group of leading footage companies, including ABCNEWS VideoSource, Bridgeman Images, FootageBank, Global ImageWorks, HOsiHO, INA and Reelin’ in the Years Productions, offering attendees a unique opportunity to discover new footage sources, meet footage providers in person and delve into the ins and outs of locating, acquiring and using footage. 

NAB has long been known as a technology and hardware show, where broadcast engineers come to find out about the latest gear. But over the last few years, with cutting-edge production technology becoming more available to independent producers, NAB has evolved into an annual destination for production professionals of every kind. They’re eager to learn about new production tools and trends, so it’s a great forum for introducing them to our footage partners and presenting footage as an easily accessible creative option.

“Providing our footage partners with a forum to meet producers and present their content is a top priority for us at the NAB Show,” said David Seevers, Footage.net Chief Marketing Officer. “So our partner companies will be front and center at our NAB booth.” 

The 2017 NAB Show is set to take place for April 24 to 27 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Footage.net booth will be located in the South Hall, Lower, #14,810. As one of the world’s largest production shows, NAB brings together a huge number of production professionals, the majority of which are there to learn about production resources and make purchase plans and decisions.

NBC News Archives Marks 25th Anniversary of LA Riots

On March 3, 1991, Rodney King, a paroled felon, led police on a long, high-speed chase through Los Angeles.  King surrendered and four officers subsequently beat him more than 50 times with their batons. Footage of the beating videotaped by a witness was broadcast on KTLA and aired numerous times around the world.

King was released without charges and the four officers were indicted by a grand jury in connection with the beating.  On April 29, 1992, the four white LAPD officers were acquitted and protests and violence erupted in South Central Los Angeles, starting with the beating of Reginald Denny, and spread throughout the metropolitan area. The riots lasted for six days and left dozens dead, over 2,300 people injured, and more than 11,000 arrested, leaving Los Angeles with an estimated $1 billion in property damage.

25 years later, NBC News Archives marks the anniversary of the LA Riots with a compilation of footage that includes the outrage of the LA Community, aerials of the rioting and looting, the call for Chief Gates resignation, Rodney King and his representatives’ reaction to the violence and Los Angeles attempting to rebuild after the riots. Footage from their extensive LA Riots collection has been used in countless productions, including A&E Network’s “L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later”, National Geographic Channel’s “LA 92”, Universal feature film, “Straight Outta Compton”, and ESPN’s “O.J.: Made in America” amongst others.   To view, license and download this footage, go to:  LA Riots at NBCUniversalArchives.

StormStock’s Martin Lisius Acquires Final Elements for New Storms Doc

Filmmaker, and veteran storm chaser, Martin Lisius has announced that the sequel to his 1995 award-winning documentary The Chasers of Tornado Alley will be completed later this year. Three years in the making, the doc (working title “TCOTA2”), will focus on the wonder of storms and the people who study them to improve public safety.
 
“It has been more than 20 years that I began working on the original, and I felt it was time to produce a sequel to reflect on the changes we’ve seen in our discipline,” Lisius said. “Both technology and the public’s perception of storm chasers have evolved significantly since the mid-1990’s. I want to reveal that despite the difference in how we handle data, the majority of the people behind it are the same; responsible and serious individuals dedicated to mitigating severe weather risks. If you told someone you’re a storm chaser in 2017, they would think you were a crazy, loud, reckless person. But, the reality is most storm chasers are not that way at all. And, many are making huge contributions to the community,” he said.
 
The new documentary is a production of Texas-based Prairie Pictures, and is being shot on DCI 4K. The production crew has already acquired unique and stunning footage of tornadoes, massive storms and incredible lightning displays utilizing aerial platforms, time-lapse and motion control.
 
No specific distribution channel has been determined, but according to Lisius, a television, Internet or theatrical release are all options.
 
Fans can follow the progress of the documentary at the TCOTA2 Facebook page.