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Realscreen January/February 2019

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JBB: It depends on the project, but I'll tell you one of the bigger challenges. With YouTube, you might fi nd something that someone posted and took from their iPhone, but they weren't the ones who shot it. We get projects where people are saying, 'We found all this great stuff on YouTube — can you clear it for us?' That's the bigger issue. It's found there but you have to peel the onion back to fi nd the original owner. Trying to fi gure out ownership [with those clips] has to be our biggest nightmare. EK: There's a special place in Hell for editors who just grab stuff off of YouTube. (laughs) RS: In terms of your specifi c businesses, with the ubiquity of video sharing platforms, does it make it easier to fi nd the hidden gem clips, or does the process have an added degree of diffi culty now? It seems like everything is out there now… JBB: No it's not…. (laughs) RS: Are you fi nding you're having to incorporate more of that kind of footage into the projects you're working on? EK: Perhaps more material is readily available than 30 years ago when you'd go to an archive, get your 3x5 index cards and look at a Steenbeck all day. It's easier now to screen material and you can certainly use the YouTube links to fi nd comparable material. But you still have to clear the stuff — that's what takes the time. TJ: What I tell my staff when they fi nd something terrifi c is that's a great place to start. What's on the Internet is a small fraction of what else is out there. But yes, sometimes something really terrifi c pops up in some obscure archive that no one has seen or heard before. That's the good part. The bad part is tracking down who owns the rights to an image or footage and clearing the copyright. That can be an arduous and often frustrating process. NK: But here's another scary thing. I did a fi lm about 10 years ago on the Occupy Wall Street movement and there was a lot of iPhone video, and because we collected so much stuff from people's phones, it is an archive of the movement, in a way. And it's so easy to just delete that video from a phone. People have all these personal archives but then when they run out of space, they're constantly erasing modern history. With this new technology, we're kind of willy-nilly about it, but 20 years from now, people will want to see that footage again, because it is modern history. There's a special place in Hell for editors who just grab stuff off of YouTube." NK: At the start of every project, I have a class of dos and don'ts before anyone does anything, because it can be an absolute nightmare if people are cruising YouTube and pulling things in and then it'll take six months to fi nd someone, if you're lucky, who posted that random video. It can give you the fl avor of things that exist out there, but then you go and do your real research. JBB: On the complete other side, it's also become an amazing tool. I worked on the Kurt Cobain project [the Brett Morgen- directed Montage of Heck] and that helped me fi nd connections and uncovered footage. It was a process of months when it came to fi nding everybody, but it gave a richness to the project. NK: If you're able to fi nd the people who shot the stuff, you're able to get that fi rst-person, in the thick of it stuff. So there are amazing opportunities there. EK: I remember being asked to fi nd footage of people fi lming themselves being hit by lightning [for Jennifer Baichwal's Act of God], and I thought there'd be one or two, but there were hundreds! It's amazing what people will photograph. My idea would be to run for cover, not pick up my phone. 054 JANUARY / FEBRUARY '19 ARCHIVE REPORT

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