documentary filmmaker

The Right Footage

A “Long Strange Trip” with Archival Producers Annie Salsich & Jim McDonnell

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Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia recording an early album in 1966. Photo courtesy of Roberto Rabanne.

The summer of 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of “The Summer of Love,” when over 100,000 people, largely consisting of post-beat-generation youth who came to be known as “hippies,” converged on San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood. The summer came to be defined by experimental rhetoric against the government, experimental drugs consumed by fans and musicians alike, and experimental music, performed at festivals like the now-legendary Monterey Pop Festival by groups like The Who, The Grateful Dead, The Animals, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix. The 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love also coincides with the Anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s exponential rise to fame, as masterfully portrayed in Amir Bar-Lev’s six-part documentary on the band, “Long Strange Trip,” executive produced by Martin Scorsese and released in January 2017.  (more…)

Archive Researchers

Featuring: Marianna Yarovskaya, Los Angeles

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You made a sensational debut into the film world by winning a Student Academy Award for your short documentary film, Undesirables (1999)! How did you become an archive researcher?

I went on to producing and directing TV shows and making documentary films – and yes, research. One of my first theatrical features was Davis Guggenheim’s, An Inconvenient Truth (2006), and I was head of research on that feature. I was living in Paris, France when that film got its well-deserved Academy Award, and I kept thinking about that TV anchor-boss in Moscow [I used to work for], who told me in the hallway of Moscow TV station years ago [when I told him “I am going to the library],  “What
f-ing research! You just sit down and write, you don’t need any research, this is television.” 

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…)