January 17, 2022

“Wanted Dead or Archive: How Film-Makers Repurpose Old Footage “

From The Guardian:

Archive film-makers dig like storytelling palaeontologists, unearthing skeletons and piecing them back together without full knowledge of what they are making. There is an element of serendipity, letting the images you are attracted to lead the way before working backwards to find a story.

“There is a lot of tone in archival material that has its own message to convey,” says the Los Angeles film-maker Courtney Stephens. “I’ve found it useful to view images without their original sound and freestyle experiment with other sorts of audio. Archives ask for a form of visual listening about what a thing would like to become. It’s a little like giving material a chance to self-determine. In that way it’s a little choosing things in a thrift store. There’s a joy in finding potential in things.”

Even with a ton of carefully catalogued metadata, you never quite know what you’re going to get. A clip tagged as “glass” might be lightning striking desert sands. Viewing each clip feels like unwrapping a gift. How might it be reshaped towards a new emotional purpose? What will happen when it’s spliced with something else?

Read the Complete Article (approx. 1250 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.