Coming out… of the Archive

12 Mar

Anyone who has made a documentary, written a book, or even completed a paper for a class at school, knows that what ends up in the finished product does not represent all of your work. There are many great stories, arguments, and anecdotes that must be left out. In the case of Eyes on the Prize, a 14-part documentary of the history of the Civil rights movement, produced by Henry Hampton

Henry Hampton, President and Founder of Blackside Inc.

Henry Hampton, President and Founder of Blackside Inc.

and his company Blackside Inc., they had so much material they created a book Voices of Freedom just from the interview outtakes.

In fact, over the course of their 30-year history of making films, the company produced such a large amount of production material it filled 4 tractor-trailers. My first 12 months as the archivist at the Washington University’s Film & Media Archive was spent unpacking these boxes… it was Christmas for a year.

In those boxes were films, videos, photos, and papers that represented the interview outtakes, stock footage, scripts, research materials, producer notes, correspondence, and numerous other materials collected or created during the production process. In short, the collection is a wealth of information generated from the hard work and efforts by Blackside staff as they made their films and it offers insights into the decision film_stacks1making process.

As we organize and catalog these materials, we often come across incredible resources and felt that a blog would be a great forum for sharing these interesting treasures and tidbits. You will also find here some insights and projects of the Film & Media Archive staff and the occasional post from a guest contributor.

For a general search of the collections visit our catalog which in now online!

by David Rowntree

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