Archive Researchers

Featuring: Lisa Savage, Sydney


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You have been working with archives since 1990. How did you first become an archive researcher and producer?

I was working as a recruiter in a temp agency for the entertainment industry and I was useless! My boss asked me where I would like to work, what I would like to do so I said I’d like to work in the television industry. There was a job opening for a film researcher on a program called Beyond 2000. I went to the interview, got the job and 5 years later I went freelance.  (more…)

Archive Researchers

Featuring: Matthew Sanger, London


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You have been an archive researcher for many projects since the late 90s. How did you become an archive researcher, and what has been your favorite project so far?

I became an archive researcher quite by accident – I was working with a production company in 1996 logging rushes for a BBC series about the Prohibition era and the director/producer asked if I could also source, log and license the stills for the series. After that I worked as a stills researcher on a few other productions and also ventured into researching archive footage. I have always been a film buff so it seemed a natural vocation rather than an accidental career move. It’s difficult to give a favorite project as I’ve worked on so many – so here’s a few of the most memorable – working on three series of the cult Channel 4 series –Eurotrash was fun and an eye-opener, Jonathan Ross’ BBC3 series – Japanorama about Japanese popular culture was fascinating.  (more…)

Archive Researchers

Featuring: Mauro Tonini, Venice


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How did you become an archive researcher, and what excites you about being a researcher in Italy?

I started working in this field when I went to Rome to work with a well-known production company, GA&A. I had just graduated with History of Art at that time, and did not have an exact idea of what I wanted to become. I just loved documentaries, art, and old footage, and had some experience in photography and shooting. At the beginning I just did everything people needed during the production of their documentaries, and it was a very good school in the professional production industry! Then they worked on a project co-produced by the History Channel regarding the history of Trieste, the city where I had lived before. The producer asked me to research footage of the beginning of the XXth century, and it was so exciting. I discovered an amazing underground world of amateurs, collectors, restorers, and some unknown, wonderful footage lost in the background of the regional archives. I came back to Rome with this material, and the producer said, “That’s what you are, a researcher,” and I agreed.  (more…)

Archive Researchers

Featuring: Laura Tusi, Buenos Aires


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How did you become an archival researcher?

I’ve always loved movies and watched too much TV as a kid. I took film studies and joined research groups in film history, both academic and independent. That’s how I became aware about archives and preservation. At the same time, I have always wanted to make movies. The discovery of a Metropolis print in Buenos Aires Film Museum and making a documentary about it made me realize that I wanted to do research for documentary productions, that way I could put my two passions together.   (more…)

Archive Researchers

Featuring: Mahawish Rezvi, Karachi


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You’ve worked in both the U.S. and Pakistan. Do archival repositories, licensing, and research procedures differ for you in Pakistan versus in the U.S.?

Working in both these countries has been an invaluable experience. While working in the United States one really learns to work within the confines of the laws and rules, meaning licensing and copyright laws are strictly enforced. This is not the case in Pakistan, one gets away with a lot more, the flip side being it is harder to get archival material. Pakistan went through a television news revolution in the early 2000s now as these organizations come of age they have accumulated a sizable archive and are now trying to figure out policies and rates according to demand.  (more…)