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Old March 26th, 2008, 01:07 PM   #1
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Newsreel footage for a short film?

Hi all,

I've just written a short which I would love to shoot - the only thing is that it would require me to use some generic news footage of protests, bombings, riots - things like that. I know I've seen footage like this used in low-budget movies, etc. and I'm wondering if there's any way to get any of this kind of footage other than buying individual clips from stock footage places. This being a short, I don't have a big budget and going that route would just kill the project altogether. Just to clarify - this is not a documentary, it's a fictional narrative short film. Any help would really be appreciated, I'd hate to have to put this one up on the shelf...

Thanks,
Luke Hill
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Old March 26th, 2008, 01:28 PM   #2
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check the Prelinger collection at archive.org
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Old March 26th, 2008, 04:16 PM   #3
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Here's an awesome site for exactly what you're looking for:

http://www.archives.gov/
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 04:09 AM   #4
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Stock footage from Prelinger caveat

I don't know where you are in your film process, but I would be careful with Prelinger. because though it says you can use the footage free of charge, lots of film festivals want written clearance and if thats the case you can only get that at Getty. And there are things to consider with using footage, even public domain footage, there are different rights you have to get if you can see a person's face-- so as long as its bombing and stuff you're good, but start getting into people and then there's trouble.

Trust me... i know. I discovered all of this after the fact, and learned an extremely expensive lesson.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 12:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carole Holli View Post
Trust me... i know. I discovered all of this after the fact, and learned an extremely expensive lesson.
Please share with us. What happened?
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 08:49 PM   #6
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Oh-- I just reread my post-- It was not to say that I had any trouble with any relatives, It was the trouble I had with trying to cough up dough for an expense I was not expecting. Finding out about model rights(I think its what its called when you use a person's likeness in your film even if its public domain) was a bonus.

I found Prelinger and was elated because they said on the web page that it could be used for free, with the inclusion of a tag at the end of the film that said where the footage was found. However, if any legal paperwork was needed that one had to got Getty to get the rights.

As I started looking into festivals, I saw that they wanted to have the film make sure the rights were properly documented so suddenly I needed the rights in writing. I first contacted Getty and they said categorically that they don't just give you anything in writing, you have to take the footage as well. So I tried to see if the film would suffer without the footage.

It would.

The footage was inextricably incorporated into the movie so I had to contact Getty and pay for the usage of the clips, which is not inexpensive. They did give me a discount, but it was not a huge one because there was something particular about those clips that prevented them from doing so. The thing I learned about getting clips from Getty (as far as the ones I wanted) was that a clip could go as long as a minute. So If I had three shots in that minute time frame it would be one price. Originally, when I contacted them I told them that it was seventeen clips. a very high price for the clips.

Now, the seventeen clip amounted to one minute and six seconds. sigh.... I prayed about it and the idea popped into my head to ask-- "just what is a clip?" And they told me anything that falls within a one minute range is considered in the same clip. So my clip needs came down to seven clips from seventeen. Sometimes there would be two or three clips in the minute span. Getty then brought the price down too and then discounted it, but even still it was a little off putting considering that the clips were supposed to "free."

ahhhhh yes, there's no such thing as a free lunch, my economics teacher told me in high school.

I tell myself that I have the comfort of knowing I cannot be sued by a relative of someone on the screen and i also have incredibly beautiful pristine copies of the footage I need-- but wasn't expecting to pay for.

If you can get around using it-- by all means do.

Unless you aren't entering it into any festivals, then Prelinger's great!

Last edited by Carole Holli; June 4th, 2008 at 03:23 PM.
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