Stocking up

Getty Images

As with anything, material with broad appeal will sell well so, as well as seeking new material, Getty also welcomes archival footage.

Although the NZ government is currently very hot on encouraging the screen industries to create and own IP, it wasn’t always the case for screen content. For decades, most of TVNZ’s programming was made with very limited or no ownership of rights established, as it was never expected to be used other than by TVNZ.

Such a parochial attitude to content is no longer viable, or desirable, in the global village.

In 2010 Government introduced the TVNZ Amendment Bill, part of which was to enable use of around 500,000 hours of TVNZ material of which ownership of various rights was deemed too difficult to resolve without a Gordion Knot approach. The result was a solution which made the material available for free for non-commercial use (eg via NZ On Screen) and able to be licensed for commercial use by others.

Hannagan notes that rights clearance is something Getty Images puts a lot of effort into. The internet, VOD services and multi-territory SVOD services such as Netflix are all demanding content. Those new opportunities to exploit stock material are good, but require rights to be cleared for far more territories than was traditionally the case.

Regardless of the tech, the effects it has on the ways material is captured, catalogued, discovered and distributed, the content remains king, whether it’s a still, clip or completed piece of work. If it engages, it works and sells. If it doesn’t, something else will.

Whether it’s unused material from another project or material shot specifically for stock usage, clips with strong conceptual appeal and an emotional connection have the greatest chance of making multiple sales, which is the best outcome for Getty and the clip creators.

Here, Getty supplies a number of local productions. Not all want to shout about using stock footage, although it’s hardly a dirty little secret. The ongoing Power Rangers series uses stock clips. As does Mark McNeill’s Razor Films (I Am The River, Nigel Latta’s Politically Incorrect Guides), which picked up an award at the World’s Best TV & Film Awards for Predict My Future the same day Hannagan talked to Crewed.

Getty’s Engage runs 21 – 22 May in Auckland.


Written by Keith Barclay

Keith is the editor of SCREENZ, and the co-creator and founding editor of CREWED.


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