BRONWYN SPA final paper by Levone

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									10th SEAPAVAA CONFERENCE & GENERAL ASSEMBLY The Visible Archive: Access, Advocacy and Accountability
Shine Dome Canberra, Australia November 12-17, 2006

Film Archive or Footage Library: Explaining the Difference Bronwyn Taylor. New Zealand Film Archive So what is the difference? 
 To many commercial clients these are just different names for essentially the same thing. That is, a collection of films and videos, archival and contemporary, that hopefully include the clips they have in mind for their documentary, breaking news or video project, in order to give an historical perpective, offer a nostalgic look back, or simply fill a gap... 
 Such clients call with an expectation that the entire collection is available for re-use, that there will be time-coded preview tapes or, even better, a facility to select clips online, access to broadcast quality masters, a quick turn-around [they’re editing 
Friday..!] and that they can purchase all rights, for all media, in perpetuity... with no questions asked. They assume that the business of a film archive, simply put, is selling footage. So, not surprisingly, they sometimes have difficulty grasping immediately that essentially we are a preservation and research facility, and while ‘happy to assist where possible’ that we do not in fact ‘own’ the collection, that our first responsibility is to our depositors and rights-holders and that the clips in question are in fact a primary historical record, not stock footage. They are puzzled as to why we would like more information about their project and to hear that considerable time will be required to check out the clearance and format issues for each title that they’ve requested, on a case by case basis. 
 So why do we encourage commercial clients? In terms of access, commercial clients guarantee the largest, widest, broadest audiences, often world-wide, and they also introduce archival footage to brand new audiences, unfamiliar with the notion that film has been around for more than a 100 years. They bring in the creative talents of filmmakers, artists and programme makers to interpret or curate new perspectives or stories from the collections, and at the end of the project may decide to become depositors themselves. And of course a little income is always useful...especially, in our case, as a charitable trust
operating on a limited budget.
 
 
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10th SEAPAVAA CONFERENCE & GENERAL ASSEMBLY The Visible Archive: Access, Advocacy and Accountability
Shine Dome Canberra, Australia November 12-17, 2006

But how to strike the balance? How to attract commercial clients to use a film archive, while making it clear that it does not operate in the same way as a footage library? Developing this two page commercial access ‘procedures’ brochure [see copy attached] has certainly helped us, in getting that message across. 
 It’s what we send out or refer to at the first point of contact, and it’s available as a 
hand-out, pdf; as well as on our website. We’ve found that it provides a good starting point, a basis from which discussion with the client can proceed. And, most importantly, it spells out the archival principles and responsibilities which distinguish us from a commercial footage library.
 
 I’ll just take you through some of the main points of the brochure, and how they work 
for us. Introduction: While inviting clients to explore the extensive, wide-ranging collection at the Film 
Archive, the point is made right at the start that access to footage is subject to 
preservation requirements, depositor and rights-holder clearances and that cultural and ethical standards apply. Research: We emphasise the options available for research, inviting clients to browse our online catalogue, access the Film Archive databases and viewing facilities in Wellington or Auckland or at one of our eight nation-wide video access sites [the locations are listed]. Viewing is on-site only. We can arrange interloans to the video access sites but we do not send out personal preview tapes [no matter how persuasive the client]. Past experience has shown that when we have sent out research tapes, that clients have down-loaded clips into their rough cut and then, at the very last minute ordered up ‘footage library style’ from dubbing masters, which in many cases did not yet 
exist!

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10th SEAPAVAA CONFERENCE & GENERAL ASSEMBLY The Visible Archive: Access, Advocacy and Accountability
Shine Dome Canberra, Australia November 12-17, 2006

We do not use time-coding. We explain to clients, when they point out this ‘omission’, that for a film archive or research library it is more important that the content can be viewed unobstructed. We suggest that they make use of the DVD counter and supply us with a clear description, when it comes to requesting specific clips. 
 Requests: Once clients have identified the footage that interest them, we invite them to send in their ‘wish-list’, along with a detailed description of their project, the context in which the clips will be used, and [importantly] their time-frame. At this point, again, we stress that access to any individual title is subject both to its preservation status and clearances. In some cases we may be obliged to refer them to another institution or organisation such as Archives New Zealand [for government films] or the Television New Zealand archive, to obtain the clips directly from them. Preservation issues: These are not spelled out in the brochure, but may come up in the ‘wish-list’ conversation. Fundamental to film archiving principles, if material is too fragile or too damaged, then it is simply not available for client viewing or access. And at the Film Archive, it is only after passing a thorough Conservation check and [if necessary] cleaning and repair, that preservation prints are transferred via our inhouse telecine to a library DVD, purely for content viewing. However when a client requires clips for television broadcast we generally insist that 
the print is re-transferred in its entirety, with grading and variable speed where required, at a top level commercial company, at the client’s expense. The Film Archive retains the resulting master, using it to dub the selected clips for the client. Most clients accept this added expense, appreciating the fact that they are the first to have access to what may be a unique piece of footage. The clients that follow, wanting access to the same footage, are pleased to hear that we already have a 
quality master. And of course the Film Archive gains a quality master from which to dub best quality access and screening copies. For amateur and small gauge films we do allow a certain flexibility regarding access to dubbing masters generated inhouse, providied the overall picture quality, speed etc are of an acceptable standard. 3

10th SEAPAVAA CONFERENCE & GENERAL ASSEMBLY The Visible Archive: Access, Advocacy and Accountability
Shine Dome Canberra, Australia November 12-17, 2006

Our insistence on the best quality possible reflects more of our responsibility to depositors and filmmakers [both past and present] than in meeting a client ‘s requirements.. In fact it’s not uncommon for some clients, rushing to meet their 
deadline, to suggest that dubbing from a library VHS will be perfectly OK because, hey, it’s just ‘old’ footage! 
 Clearances: The main difference that we stress constantly is that, unlike a footage library, the Film Archive does not hold the rights to the films in its collection. That materials 
have been entrusted to us, principally for the purposes of preservation and research access, and that any requests for use outside the Film Archive will require written permission from depositors and rights-holders. Seeking clearances is the most time-consuming part of the footage access process and the reason why generally it is not possible to release footage to a tight deadline, or even estimate how long the process might take [we’re often asked this..] Clearances generally fall into three categories: copyright, depositor, kaitiaki. 
 Copyright: Where copyright is involved we refer the client directly to the producer or production company to seek clearance and [where applicable] negotiate a copyright fee. We keep entirely out of that discussion, requiring only the written clearance in order to release the clips. 
 Depositors: However when clearance is required from depositors of amateur and/or family films, and from the kaitiaki [guardians] for films in the Taonga Maori collection, the Film Archive acts as a conduit, undertaking to forward, with a covering note, the written request and description of the project on behalf of the client. Depositor or kaitiaki contact details are not made available to clients. 
 Kaitiaki: Arranging access to clips from films in the Taonga Maori collection requires, in addition to copyright or depositor clearance, an authorisation from the kaitiaki of the images within the film. If the designated kaitiaki representing the particular iwi or hapu featuring in the footage are not able to authorise the

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10th SEAPAVAA CONFERENCE & GENERAL ASSEMBLY The Visible Archive: Access, Advocacy and Accountability
Shine Dome Canberra, Australia November 12-17, 2006

proposed use [often insufficient time has been allowed for this] then the Film Archive will not supply the clips. For a description of the principles behind the process of establishing the Film Archive’s kaitiaki network please refer to Himiona Grace’s paper:Te Hokinga Mai. 
Indigenous Filmmakers and the New Zealand Film Archive 
 Costs: In common with many other archives we charge a per second usage fee on a sliding scale according to use. Some clients confuse this with a royalty fee, as charged by a footage library or rights-holder, so we often need to explain the difference, Generally we say that the usage fee is a means of recovering part of the huge cost of preservation, storage etc of the individual film and that the funds generated go towards preserving further films at risk.
 
 
 We also stress that the rate-card simply provides a starting point, that rates are negotiable and discounts may be available for bulk footage, small budget projects or student requests.The fee may also be reduced in cases where a client has something to offer in return, such as the deposit of an important collection, or a special opportunity to promote the work of the Film Archive.. 
 The Film Archive’s rate-card applies to New Zealand clients only. For international clients, rates are priced on application and all payments are required in advance. Contract. Prior to ordering dubs or arranging telecine transfers, we get the client to sign our contract which confirms agreement to costs and conditions of use. Our current contract [see copy attached] is currently being revised but the new one will include similiar requirements relating to specified period of use, types of media, and a screen acknowledgement. 
 Not unexpectedly perhaps, requests for website use are on the increase. Our position currently is that we are happy to discuss the possibility of providing links to those same clips on the Film Archive website, but we do not otherwise supply for internet use. 


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10th SEAPAVAA CONFERENCE & GENERAL ASSEMBLY The Visible Archive: Access, Advocacy and Accountability
Shine Dome Canberra, Australia November 12-17, 2006

Special Projects: From time to time we receive requests that make us reflect on what is ‘appropriate ‘ use. Many are fairly obvious and easier to decline, such as archival footage wanted purely as background or ‘wallpaper’, and advertising or television programmes 
designed to mock, make fun of, or otherwise misrepresent the original material. Others invite closer questioning, lengthy discussions with colleagues, and ultimately, if we feel unable to assist, a referral to a stock footage library. 
 Which is not to say that we are ‘closed’ to interesting and creative projects. The Film Archive curated a major exhibition some years ago titled re_worked in which various artists selected clips from the collection which they re-edited and presented on monitors, in a new and different way. Needless to say this was done with full permission of all depositors/rights-holders, the original footage showed alongside, and the exhibition created huge interest.
. More recently we have collaborated in a live music performance project Fly My Pretties which involved screening clips from a number of early scenic and promotional films accompanied by origlnal music composed and performed by local musicians. An essential part of our collaboration was that it was agreed that the footage would have an equal importance to the musical performance, the screen was high enough so that the clips were never obscured, and there was constant ‘previewing’ by archive staff, and consultation with depositors and right-holders, to ensure that the lyrics and selected images were linked ‘appropriately’.
 
 Fly My Pretties toured New Zealand late 2005 and again in July this year playing to 
sell-out concerts in cinemas and performance venues. The performances were filmed resulting in a DVD release and a television documentary. Reviews were excellent, many making special comment about the ‘moving’ and ‘spectacular’ archival clips. I’d like to leave on that note with a short clip from the Fly My Pretties DVD of ‘Catch the Light’ composed and performed by Barnaby Weir and Lee Prebble, and footage from the New Zealand Film Archive. 
 ww.filmarchive.org.nz/services/loans

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