The study explores the implications of the current terms of rights acquisition on the creative process of documentary filmmaking in today's marketplace, and from them makes recommendations to lower costs and promote creativity. It focuses on the lived experience of independent documentary filmmakers who work primarily within a broadcast environment (sometimes with a theatrical "window"), in coping with the creative challenges created by acquiring and granting rights. Click here to read Untold Stories.Link (Thanks, Thomas!)
Independent documentary filmmakers were selected because their work regularly requires them to interact with a wide variety of rights holders, from archives for photographs and stock footage to musical performers to other filmmakers. This is especially clear when it is a historical documentary or one that comments on commercial popular culture, but it is an issue for most documentary filmmakers, no matter what the subject matter. When a trademark appears on a baseball cap, or a subject happens to be watching television, or a radio in the background plays a popular song, or a subject sings "Happy Birthday," rights clearance becomes a professional and creative challenge.