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Documenting fiction and reality

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The role of production researchers and film researchers in the production of fiction (movie, series) and non-fiction (news story, documentary) films. Practicalities regarding the pre-production of audiovisual projects, focusing on location scouting, dealing with oral sources, and finding and licensing archive footage/photos.

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Documenting fiction and reality

  1. 1. Documenting fiction and reality: the researcher's role in audiovisual production Jorge Franganillo Dept.Library,InformationStudies&AudiovisualCommunication University of Barcelona http://franganillo.es @franganillo
  2. 2. Summary 1. The researcher's role in audiovisual production 2. Location scouting 3. Dealing with personal and oral sources 4. Finding (and licensing) stock photos and archive footage Documenting fiction and reality Given the teaching and illustrative purpose of the explanations in class of this presentation, the author adheres to article 32 of the Spanish Law on Intellectual Property in force, regarding the partial use of foreign works such as images, charts or other material contained in it.
  3. 3. 1 The researcher's role in audiovisual production  Working phases of production research  Documenting a project  Producing a report  Correcting a script  Using archive footage Documenting fiction and reality Given the teaching and illustrative purpose of the explanations in class of this presentation, the author adheres to article 32 of the Spanish Law on Intellectual Property in force, regarding the partial use of foreign works such as images, charts or other material contained in it.
  4. 4. Documenting fiction and reality The researcher's role in audiovisual production  Documentation increases the quality of AV projects, making them — more credible, by means of fact checking — more complete, for it has a complementary purpose — more imaginative, for it has a preparatory, forward-looking and creative purpose — more profitable, since it helps reduce some production costs
  5. 5. Documenting fiction and reality The researcher's role in audiovisual production  In the field of AV production there is usually a prior research phase consisting of the search of — texts (news, articles, laws, private journals, correspondence, etc.) — spaces (locations, meaningful spaces, geographical locations, maps, etc.) — people (witnesses, experts, advisors, «mediums») — images (photographs, illustrations, footage, etc.)
  6. 6. Documenting fiction and reality The researcher's role in audiovisual production  AV creation requires heterogeneous information sources; documentary sources are not enough.  Production research has always been present in the making of movies and informative productions.  Researchers (production researcher, film researcher) are in charge of — searching, summarizing, adapting and managing information for those in the making of the film: screenwriters, artistic direction, costumes, hairdressing, etc. — finding archival material to inspire the teams or to be inserted in the work in progress, and manage the purchase and cession of rights
  7. 7. Production research: working phases  In fiction productions, the germ of a movie is the script, based on a particular idea.  The researcher should be incorporated in the process from the very beginning of the idea and script writing, but usually joins the team in pre-production.  Specific roles of production researchers: — document a project — correct the script — find reliable sources — find useful information on any media — manage and adapt information — analyse and preserve information Documenting fiction and reality
  8. 8.  Pre-production begins with the so-called package: screenplay, producer, director, starring actors and funding. In exceptional cases, it was started without some part of the package.  Then the rest of the teams are incorporated: first team managers, then assistants.  All of them are present in the filming, except those specific to the pre-production stage.  Only the director and editor are involved in post-production.  The researcher will perform different tasks depending on the moment he/she joins the production team. ← Casablanca (1942) started shooting without a completed script. → Scarlett was cast after filming of Gone with the wind (1939) began. Documenting fiction and reality Production research: working phases
  9. 9. Documenting a project  The researcher is needed when the plot reflects events that occurred (or may have occurred) in real life, not only in historical films or in movies «based on actual events».  A report should be produced if a production reflects — actual events — artistic skills — extraordinary objects — laws and administrative formalities — operations or medical consultations — biographies — ephemeris  Reports should follow a clear and consistent structure to facilitate consultation. Documenting fiction and reality Production research: working phases
  10. 10. Producing reports  Actual events: those facts must be «translated» and turned into a script with dramatic force. ← In The Imitation Game (2014), when Alan Turing hires Joan Clarke, she decides not to show up because her parents consider it inappropriate to work where there are only men. But Clarke was already working on the project before Turing arrived. Also, in Bletchley Park, 75% of workers were women, many of them specialists like Clarke. Production research: working phases Documenting fiction and reality
  11. 11. Producing reports  Actual events: those facts must be «translated» and turned into a script with dramatic force. ← In A Beautiful Mind (2001), when Dr. Nash enters the Pentagon you can see the 48-star American flag you would expect in a scene set in 1956, with stars aligned horizontally and vertically. Production research: working phases Documenting fiction and reality
  12. 12. Producing reports  Artistic skills: techniques, performers, history, currents, trends, common mistakes ← Towards the end of Black Swan (2010), when Lily congratulates Nina for her performance, Lily has a visible tattoo on her back. However, no dance company would allow a dancer to act with naked tattoos. Production research: working phases Documenting fiction and reality
  13. 13. Producing reports  Extraordinary objects: what they can do, what they can't, how much they cost, what social class the owner comes from, etc. ← In Minority Report (2002), the protagonist obtains information from a system of crime prediction by means of violent gestures on a 3D interface. Although the effect is more dramatic, the idea contradicts two basic principles of usability. Keeping your arms in the air while using a computer is exhausting. Also, 2D interfaces are better suited for work than 3D. Production research: working phases Documenting fiction and reality
  14. 14. Producing reports  Laws: what laws deal with the issue, what can or can not be done, what can happen to the protagonist for disobeying the law, legal implications of a given fact, which authorities legislate on that particular issue, etc.  Administrative transactions: steps the protagonist should take. ← In The terminal (2004), the protagonist is trapped at JFK airport in New York for bureaucratic issues that are at the core of the story. Production research: working phases Documenting fiction and reality
  15. 15. Producing reports  Operations and medical consultations: the script should adequately reflects the physical and psychological symptoms that patients may suffer, not to offend a large group of affected viewers. ← Defibrillators can only restart heart activity if it's uncoordinated (fibrillation or tachycardia). Even so, several episodes of House M.D. (2004–2012) show doctors defibrillating patients who have suffered an asystole (lack of any cardiac activity), which can only be treated with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and adrenaline. Production research: working phases Documenting fiction and reality
  16. 16. Producing reports  Biographies (biopics and docudramas) and ephemeris (remarkable events): if the account is not perfect, anachronisms and other mistakes can appear. ← When Denniston introduces Hugh Alexander as British chess champion, in The Imitation Game (2014), he adds: «Twice.» And it's true, but in 1940, when the scene takes place, Alexander had only won once; the second time was in 1956. Production research: working phases Documenting fiction and reality
  17. 17. Producing reports  Content and formal aspects of the report: — team that requested the information — request date — introduction — summary — historical background — extended information — alternatives — information sources — contradictions Production research: working phases Documenting fiction and reality
  18. 18. Correcting the script  It's a meticulous reading of the script (dialogues and indications) to verify that it conforms to what the scriptwriter and director want to convey.  Not always what is told must conform to reality, often complex and tedious. ← In a court drama, the script must conform to the law. In Presumed Innocent (1990), the prosecution explains to the judge that he couldn't find key evidence —the glass found in the victim's home—, which would not happen in a real court in the presence of the jury. Production research: working phases Documenting fiction and reality
  19. 19. Documentaries ← The series World War 1 in Colour (2003) draws from dozens of audiovisual sources and, for the first time, recasts the footage in colour. Documenting fiction and reality The need for archive footage
  20. 20. Commercials ← These ads from Peugeot and Virgin Trains show two splendid examples of the so-called «Forrest Gump effect». Documenting fiction and reality The need for archive footage
  21. 21. TV series ← In the Spanish series Cuéntame cómo pasó (2001– 2017), archive footage is used as a reverse shot to show what the characters see. Documenting fiction and reality The need for archive footage
  22. 22. Movies ← Milk (2008) uses archive footage involve the spectator in the story. Documenting fiction and reality The need for archive footage
  23. 23.  The digitization of AV archives has made many collections available on the Internet: — The film researcher can now search and manage images from their own workstation. — Scriptwriters, producers and directors can view the images from the web. — Rights management is streamlined. — High-quality footage is ready to be used immediately. Documenting fiction and reality The need for archive footage
  24. 24. 2 Location scouting  Pros and cons of outdoor locations  Tips for location scouting  Roles and work process in location scouting  Film commissions  The role of the tourism sector in audiovisual production  Information sources: weather forecast, GIS applications, maps on current events Documenting fiction and reality Given the teaching and illustrative purpose of the explanations in class of this presentation, the author adheres to article 32 of the Spanish Law on Intellectual Property in force, regarding the partial use of foreign works such as images, charts or other material contained in it.
  25. 25.  Many productions require identifying filming locations and their setting.  Locations convey vital visual information in a story, sometimes even more than the script or the actors.  Pros: —Locations support what is told. —They show architectures or landscapes that are difficult to reproduce on a set.  Cons: —Away from the production centre. —Inclement weather. —Daylight is very variable. —Lack of infrastructure to work with a certain comfort. Documenting fiction and reality Location scouting
  26. 26.  Identifying locations simply means getting out and exploring.  It is necessary to determine if the space responds to the needs and if it has any limitations: — ambient noise — electricity — parking — bathrooms — food — water (not only for drinking) — accesses — lighting  It is advisable to — visit the location at the same time of day as the shooting is planned — check how the weather might affect the place Documenting fiction and reality Location scouting
  27. 27.  Finding locations involves several roles: — location manager — location manager assistant / local fixer (especially in TV business) — location scout Documenting fiction and reality Location scouting
  28. 28.  Film commissions are quasi-governmental, non-profit, public organizations that attract motion media production crews (movies, TV and commercials). — Filming in Croatia — Barcelona-Catalunya Film Comission — Association of Film Commissioners International  They may grant general permits, which offer several advantages: — The availability of space required is guaranteed. — The film commission facilitates the formalities. — General permits are free. — They prevent the economic and logistical problems of shooting without permission. Documenting fiction and reality Shooting permits and arrangements
  29. 29. Shooting at extra municipal areas  Roads: normally through the ministry of public works and transport (Servei Català de Trànsit).  Airports: usually through an airport authority, each airport may have a different manager.  Trains and railway stations: generally managed by the railway operators (Adif, TMB, FGC).  Coastline and nature parks: normally managed by the local or regional government (Diputació de Barcelona).  Prisons: filming inside is usually not possible; film comissions may help finding alternative locations or facilities that can serve as prisons.  Religious centres: generally the local religious authority (archbishopric), the Heritage delegate of the site or the priest at the church. Documenting fiction and reality Shooting permits and arrangements
  30. 30. Location agencies http://localizacionesbarcelona.com Documenting fiction and reality Shooting permits and arrangements
  31. 31. Location agencies http://20000lieux.com Documenting fiction and reality Shooting permits and arrangements
  32. 32. Location agencies http://scout911.com Documenting fiction and reality Shooting permits and arrangements
  33. 33. Weather forecast  Weather conditions can compromise the viability of a shooting session (as it happened in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote).  National public entity: — DHMZ (Državni hidrometeorološki zavod): Croatian meteorological and hydrological service  Global information sources: — AccuWeather — BBC Weather — The Weather Channel Documenting fiction and reality Checking the weather
  34. 34. Tourist information  There is a relationship between the AV sector and tourism: the tourism industry uses cinema as a promotional strategy for tourist destinations. Examples: — Tourism Ireland and HBO have partnered to promote access to Game of Throne locations. — Direct Booker offers a walking tour to visit the locations used for some memorable scenes from Game of Thrones. — The Barcelona City Council collaborates with TV3 to facilitate the financing and logistics of the filming of the TV series Cites. — Disney has in Disneyland its own model of cinematic tourism management. Tourism and the AV industry: a symbiotic relationship Documenting fiction and reality
  35. 35. Tourist information  Shooting commercials also promotes the zone's main attractions. Documenting fiction and reality Tourism and the AV industry: a symbiotic relationship
  36. 36. Geographic information systems  Information systems that exploits geo-referenced information to represent a variety of phenomena. – Geographic information systems (GIS): thematic cartography – Croatia: State Geodetic Administration Documenting fiction and reality Geographic information
  37. 37. Geo apps  Google Maps  Google Earth  Mapbox  OpenStreetMap  Wikiloc Documenting fiction and reality Geographic information
  38. 38. Maps on current news events  National Geographic Maps  Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection Documenting fiction and reality Geographic information
  39. 39. Documenting fiction and reality Geographic information Google Earth for exploring and planning
  40. 40. Documenting fiction and reality Geographic information Google Earth for exploring and planning
  41. 41. Documenting fiction and reality Geographic information Google Earth for exploring and planning
  42. 42. 3 Personal and oral sources  Dealing with witnesses  Dealing with victims of traumatic events  Dealing with experts Documenting fiction and reality Given the teaching and illustrative purpose of the explanations in class of this presentation, the author adheres to article 32 of the Spanish Law on Intellectual Property in force, regarding the partial use of foreign works such as images, charts or other material contained in it.
  43. 43.  Personal sources: People who best know about a fact, subject, tool or skill.  They may be — witnesses: affected by an event, experienced directly or indirectly, or witnessed — experts / advisors: researched on a topic or experience it on their everyday life Documenting fiction and reality Personal and oral sources
  44. 44.  Experts include aficionados and communities of them: — Piel de Toro: antique cars — Hippy.com: hippy movement — Tolkien Society: study on the writer — Migraine.com: migraine patients — Scientists and philosophers (foundations): Richard Dawkins, Gustavo Bueno, Slavoj Žižek, etc. — Groups in Facebook, Google+ and other online communities Documenting fiction and reality Personal and oral sources
  45. 45. 4 Finding (and licensing) stock photos and archive footage  Image banks: stock photo agencies, free repositories  Footage repositories: newsreels, public and institutional archives, stock footage agencies, free repositories  Licenses Documenting fiction and reality Given the teaching and illustrative purpose of the explanations in class of this presentation, the author adheres to article 32 of the Spanish Law on Intellectual Property in force, regarding the partial use of foreign works such as images, charts or other material contained in it.
  46. 46. Image banks They provide photographs and illustrations for social communication purposes: AV productions, websites, news publications, advertising campaigns, etc. Documenting fiction and reality
  47. 47. Después del sueño (2007) Documenting fiction and reality Image banks
  48. 48. Search engines are not enough  Search engines don't (always) offer — information on usage rights — high-quality images — old or historical images — search criteria on form (orientation) and content (number of people, conceptual connotation, etc.)  Images banks always offer — access to high-quality collections — advances search possibilities and value-added information — a clear legal and contractual framework between the user and the rights holders Documenting fiction and reality Image banks
  49. 49. Documenting fiction and reality Image banks  Commercial — high-quality content — exhaustive search possibilities — aids to conceptualize projects — legal issues resolved  Open — mixed-quality content — less search possibilities — zero cost — some legal issues not resolved: model authorization, restrictions on commercial use, etc.
  50. 50.  Companies that supply photographs, often licensed for specific uses, for a lower cost than what would be the case for obtaining similar images by one's own means.  Search is free, but previews are only available at low resolution or with visible watermarks.  Image banks and their collections are distinguished by — market segmentation: editorial sector ↔ creative sector — licence type: rights managed ↔ royalty free — business model: macrostock ↔ microstock Documenting fiction and reality Stock photo agencies
  51. 51. Market segmentation  Creative sector: ideas and abstract concepts, not linked to a place or date, good quality — graphic design — packaging, labeling — advertising and public relations — communication departments — AV production  Editorial sector: images about current events, linked to a place and date, variable quality — daily and non-daily newspapers — publishers: books — news production: news programs, reports and documentaries  Long tail — personal use: invitations, cards, webs, etc. — corporations: brochures and company publications — research: art, sociology, politics, history, etc. Documenting fiction and reality Stock photo agencies
  52. 52. Types of licenses  The content of the images determines the restrictions of use: — copyright of the author and the stock agency — images rights of people, brands and designs  There are two types of commercial licenses: — Royalty free (RF) The image can be used an unlimited number of times in various projects. — Rights managed (RM) Fees are calculated according to the use to be made of the image (medium and number of copies). Documenting fiction and reality Stock photo agencies
  53. 53.  Rights managed licenses may impose — commercial limitations — geographical limitations  The copyright holder, for their part, may have imposed some other restrictions. Documenting fiction and reality Stock photo agencies
  54. 54.  When a person appears on the photo, a model release is needed, except in news when the person is in a public place. Documenting fiction and reality Stock photo agencies
  55. 55. Business models  Macrostock offers specially — wide collections — several types of license — photojournalism and historical photography — images by renowned photographers  Microstock offers — limited collections — only royalty-free licenses — images aimed at the creative sector — images by a wide range of photographers (even amateur) — more affordable fees Documenting fiction and reality Stock photo agencies
  56. 56. http://gettyimages.es Documenting fiction and reality Stock photo agencies: macrostock
  57. 57. http://magnumphotos.com Documenting fiction and reality Stock photo agencies: macrostock
  58. 58. http://istockphoto.com Documenting fiction and reality Stock photo agencies: microstock
  59. 59. http://shutterstock.com Documenting fiction and reality Stock photo agencies: microstock
  60. 60. http://dreamstime.com Documenting fiction and reality Stock photo agencies: microstock
  61. 61.  Microstock photography is appropriate for low-budget productions. Documenting fiction and reality Stock photo agencies: microstock
  62. 62.  Image repositories fed by the community of users, who want to share them publicly.  The authors of the images may — hold copyright: prevent distribution or reproduction — give up some rights: allow some uses as long as credit is given  Restrictions are expressed by the license, a statement of the uses allowed or prevented by the author: — copyright — Creative Commons license Documenting fiction and reality Free repositories
  63. 63.  Creative Commons license conditions: Attribution (by) All CC licenses require that others who use your work in any way must give you credit the way you request, but not in a way that suggests you endorse them or their use. If they want to use your work without giving you credit or for endorsement purposes, they must get your permission first. ShareAlike (sa) You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work, as long as they distribute any modified work on the same terms. If they want to distribute modified works under other terms, they must get your permission first. NonCommercial (nc) You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and (unless you have chosen NoDerivatives) modify and use your work for any purpose other than commercially unless they get your permission first. NoDerivatives (nd) You let others copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies of your work. If they want to modify your work, they must get your permission first. Documenting fiction and reality Free repositories
  64. 64. http://flickr.com Documenting fiction and reality Free repositories
  65. 65.  Creative Commons licenses provide free images, but efficiency, quality and legal reasons make it advisable not to discard stock photo agencies for they: — offer better search tools — ensure exclusivity — solve issues of rights — grant model authorization Documenting fiction and reality What solution should you choose?
  66. 66.  Many audiovisual archives have gone online, with new features and tools: — streaming — storyboards and key frames — search for similar clips — download of low resolution copies — creation of workspaces or personal shareable folders — access to the applicable fees — subscription to newsletters and RSS feeds — participation in multiple search engines (e.g., Zap Request) Documenting fiction and reality Footage repositories
  67. 67. http://britishpathe.com Newsreels Documenting fiction and reality
  68. 68. http://bufvc.ac.uk/newsonscreen Newsreels Documenting fiction and reality
  69. 69. http://archivioluce.com/archivio Newsreels Documenting fiction and reality
  70. 70. http://wochenschau-archiv.de Newsreels Documenting fiction and reality
  71. 71. http://gaumontpathearchives.com Newsreels Documenting fiction and reality
  72. 72. http://filmhiradokonline.hu Newsreels Documenting fiction and reality
  73. 73. http://library.sc.edu/mirc Newsreels Documenting fiction and reality
  74. 74. http://cinema.ucla.edu Newsreels Documenting fiction and reality
  75. 75. http://www.rtve.es/filmoteca/no-do Newsreels Documenting fiction and reality
  76. 76. http://inatheque.ina.fr Public and institutional archives Documenting fiction and reality
  77. 77. http://inamediapro.com Public and institutional archives Documenting fiction and reality
  78. 78. http://ina.fr Public and institutional archives Documenting fiction and reality
  79. 79. http://beeldengeluid.nl Public and institutional archives Documenting fiction and reality
  80. 80. http://loc.gov Public and institutional archives Documenting fiction and reality
  81. 81. http://bfi.org.uk Public and institutional archives Documenting fiction and reality
  82. 82. http://gettyimages.es/footage/bbcmotiongallery Commercial archives Documenting fiction and reality
  83. 83. http://itnsource.com Commercial archives Documenting fiction and reality
  84. 84. http://itnsource.com Commercial archives Documenting fiction and reality
  85. 85. http://gettyimages.es/footage Commercial archives Documenting fiction and reality
  86. 86. http://istockphoto.com/footage Commercial archives Documenting fiction and reality
  87. 87. http://motionelements.com Commercial archives Documenting fiction and reality
  88. 88. http://videos.pexels.com Free repositories Documenting fiction and reality
  89. 89. http://videezy.com Free repositories Documenting fiction and reality
  90. 90. http://free-hd-footage.com Free repositories Documenting fiction and reality
  91. 91. http://footagecrate.com Free repositories Documenting fiction and reality
  92. 92. http://ignitemotion.com Free repositories Documenting fiction and reality
  93. 93.  Clips used in advertising. Using stock footage Documenting fiction and reality

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