From wallpaper to interactivity: use of archive footage in documentary filmmaking

de Jong, Wilma (2012) From wallpaper to interactivity: use of archive footage in documentary filmmaking. journalism and mass communication, 2 (3). pp. 464-477. ISSN 2160-6579

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Abstract

‘Documentary can, and does draw on the past in its use of existing heritages but it only does so to give point to a modern argument’ (Rotha as quoted in Leyda,1964:9)

In 2010 I became involved in a small documentary project which aimed to explore different ways of using archive footage in documentary filmmaking. Having used archive footage often in films, and also having produced a film existing only of archive footage, I was aware of the very limited and often predictable ways the archive footage was used, or even misused, in documentary practice. In the last decade the use of archive has significantly increased in documentary filmmaking, due to the digitalisation of film archives. Access has also been facilitated by extensive databases. However, it is remarkable that very little reflection has taken place within the documentary filmmakers’ community or in a scholarly context on how archive footage is used in documentary practice. This article will analyse practices of making use of archive footage in a historical context and will finish with the analysis of an experimental project Against the Tide (http://www.tide.org.uk/) which explored innovative ways of using archive footage in a new media context. This article aims to create an initial taxonomy of how archive footage is used and the different ways of defining archive use by the way it is edited and the relation it establishes with the past.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: T Technology > TR Photography > TR0845 Cinematography. Motion pictures
Depositing User: Wilma deJong
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2012 13:33
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2012 14:37
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/21169
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