The word archive sounds, to many, dusty and boring. But over the last couple of years archive based documentary film and -series have had their renaissance, both quality wise and commercially. The best example is the hugely popular film, Amy. In 2016 the 99% archive based documentary film about the life of abuse, and the premature death of, the paparazzi darling Amy Winehouse, won an Oscar for Best Documentary. Other massive artistic and commercial documentary successes, that are based mainly on archive material, are O.J. (Made in America), Senna and Montage of Heck.
So what is it that archive material is capable of that is so special, when it is used in the right way (and in this context archive is both home video recordings, vintage news, tv- and radio material, go pro and helmet camera material, mobile phone recordings, CCTV and paparazzi material – all recordings that are not made for the specific purpose)? How is it used in a way that gives the documentaries a cinematic quality? Is the narrative created on the base of the existing archive material or the other way around (how is the narrative created)? What type of material should you look for, when planning and producing an archive based documentary on a cinematic level? And how do you get hold of it?
That – and much more – the British archive producer Paul Bell, who collected all the material for (and co-produced) both Senna and Amy, will give us his take on. He will share with us his methods and experience.
It will be a session where the audience themselves, based on specific scenes from Senna and Amy, get useful tools and inspiration for making archive based documentaries and factual TV.
The session is created by Thomas Heurlin and Nynne Duvå Hall, who are a part of our programme advisory board.