Matt White is the Managing Partner of Sutton Hoo Studios, a production company specializing in the development of historical documentaries from distressed analog archival artifacts. He founded the WPA Film Library in 1986, and has held senior management positions at National Geographic TV & Film and The Corporation of Public Broadcasting, where he was responsible for The American Archive initiative. He was a founder and the first President of ACSIL, a global association of leading film & video archives, and also a founding committee member of the United Nation’s initiative “Archives at Risk”, which advocates for the preservation of distressed audio-visual archives throughout the world. A prolific archive producer himself, White recently led the massive 10-year-long, worldwide archive research effort for the 2016 documentary “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week” directed by Ron Howard – an innovative project driven by rare footage sourced from all over the world. (more…)
Sunny Side of the Doc has been around since 1989 and has expanded to Asia and Latin America. What is Sunny Side’s current philosophy?
Sunny Side of the Doc is one of the most renowned international marketplaces solely dedicated to doc professionals, and has been set up at first to facilitate co-productions and sales of finished programmes in the non-fiction and factual markets. The idea was to create a global marketplace in France where people gather every year to exchange ideas, do business, co-create & co-produce, and meet each other, in a more relaxed atmosphere. (more…)
We’ve seen you’re credited on The Beatles film. What was your role in the project?
I designed the footage database systems that were sent into the field with the researchers all over the world to collect the information about the various collections and individuals they found. So I was part of the early research efforts, which were through one of the film’s co-producers, One Voice One World, and specifically with Matthew White. (more…)
How did you become an archive researcher?
Up until around ten years ago, I was a print journalist – which I guess may give you a good insight into research, fact-checking and putting a story together?
A friend of mine, and a fellow ‘keyboard warrior’, who also happened to own a TV production company, asked me if I’d like to produce some of his programmes, to which I could only reply “But I don’t know how any of this works. And what’s an Avid machine?” To which he replied, unforgettably, “Well, it’s all rather similar to what you’re used to working with, really. It’s all words and pictures, again – you’ll pick it up as you go along”. (more…)