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Archival Storytelling: A Filmmaker's Guide to Finding, Using, and Licensing Third-Party Visuals and Music by Kenn Rabin, Sheila Curran Bernard

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CHAPTER 8

Creative Considerations

As soon as archival materials existed, there were filmmakers waiting to make innovative use of them. In the 1920s, for example, editors such as Esther Shub, working in Soviet kinofabriki (“film factories”) created compilation documentaries out of reality footage, often in tribute to a recent historic event or celebrated individual. There is a direct line from this early employment of archival materials to today's diverse uses, from feature films to mashups, from museum installations to self-referential postmodern statements.

There is no single way to creatively or authentically use archival materials, even in historical storytelling. At times, in fact, an exaggerated focus on “the real thing” may detract not ...

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