Thursday, 22 March 2007

Be Experimental! Just Play by the Copy Right Rules...

Ah my homies...

So as you may already know, I make experimental films at art skoolzor and I enjoy it, mostly.

So that's awesome and everything, and the project I'm working on at the minute is awesome and everything, and everything is awesome and awesome. Or so I thought -- until I went to my skoolzors Learning Resource Centre (HAHAHAH) which is pretentious asshat speak for library.

The peeps that instruct me told me at the beginning of the year that we have excellent stock and film archives and that I totally should use them so I can be awesome and make awesome films. So this week, after making a vague outline of out film, we realise that we want some stock footage of: light reflecting on water, time-lapsed night sky, and time-lapsed clouds at dawn/sunset/midday and maybe some funky 80s light things if we can find it. We wanted stuff that was free of copyright and royalties, so we could potentially show our film at festivals and suchforth if it ends up being as awesome as we believe it will be.

But would you have guessed it? Our archive at skoolzors does not offer those kind of options -- we actually have no physical stock footage for moving images, but we do have a list of resources of where you can get that footage. for a hefty fucking price.

Six minutes and twenty-one seconds of high resolution 720x576 px PAL Quicktime footage of the sky at night is $199.00.

...Why am I even shocked? I don't know, but I most certainly am.

Last weekend in London I spoke very briefly to Paula Ledieu of Magic Lantern Productions, who used to head the sadly idle BBC Creative Archive project. It was all in regards to the Open Media portion of OKF's mini-con -- what people were talking about are the lack of accessibility in archives from public funded media such as the BBC and the BFI.

I was incised then at the lack of access we have as Brits to archives of products that we pay for through TV licences and suchlike. But I didn't actually physically realise what a drain lack of open source copyright-free media assets is on creative force. As a student I cannot afford in any way to pay $199.00 for six minutes of film footage - and the equipment I rent out for very brief periods of time from my school is not at all designed for taking clear high-res shots of the night sky.

So if I want a piece of footage of the night sky? I am left with only one feasible and economical option, which is to steal footage. And I don't want to do that. Is it because I ethically feel it's wrong? Hell no; footage of nature, of all things, should be open. But It's because I have to disclose all footage sources in my final project, and if I'm caught lying about the origins of footage, then my piece will (apparently) fail and I cannot enter it in festivals.

Or so they tell me.
That's a boarder I plan to push on my next project -- but that's besides the point...

//

Personally I'm not sure what I'm going to do to fill the holes we have in available footage. I believe I'll have to insert stills rather then moving image, which bothers me to some extent because I find the use of stills in a moving image piece to be redundant. At least in most cases...

Or next week we're going to have to lie-beg-steal our way into getting our hands on another camera, and using that to capture some footage of some of the things (dawn, twilight, light on water...) that we need. But I've tried before, and I can't capture the night sky.

Capture the night sky. Mm, reminds me of old Greek myths for some reason.
Net of stars? Oh I'm befuddled!

But I think I need to start taking a more active role in getting publicly funded film & video archives to allow more universal access.

4 comments:

madame said...

hey, time to stop whinging and figure out a Better solution.
start archive.org
take clouds from any fucking science documentary on the bbc
chances are they are stock
or just take the best fucking cloud scenes you see from who cares what
and you can fight about it later
someone's only going to notice it if the film gets seen
and worst possible case scenario is publicity
as the world turns
i gotta go watch my stories.

make the film your way
this is a Good problem
go to creative commons, as horrible as that is, and see if they have any footage

don't be a winkle.

hell, take it from a tarkovsky film.

madame said...

plenty sky here.

j.black said...

Oh, maaaadame.

I wasn't exactly /whinging/, I was... Was... SILENCE! I was making a statement about my Uni & it's offerings for material & resources (which are all crap.)

Mmm.
I will take your advice.
And it's not that I think its a /bad problem/, it's that... I won't make excuses, actually.

Damn you, smiter.

madame said...

hell, when i smiten you, you'll know that you've been smoted.