Interview: Rachel Brinton Matthews – Footage Manager – Bridgeman

Name: Rachel Brinton Matthews
Position: Footage Manager
Footage library: The Bridgeman Art Library

Q. Explain Bridgeman Footage in a sentence:
A rich and eclectic footage archive specialising in arts, culture and history.

Q. when did you decide to start offering stock footage?
Bridgeman Footage launched in spring 2012 so we are just about to celebrate our 1st birthday!

Q. Why?
In response to the moving times; offering footage was a natural progression for us, particularly as existing suppliers began asking if we could license their AV content. One of our main client sectors is publishing and as technologies have developed we’ve seen a surge of interest in video content from our traditional licensors so it was important that we made the efforts to respond to their needs.

Q. Which stock footage subjects are you offering now?
Along with our existing stills catalogue of over 500,000 clips, Bridgeman Footage includes clips and films on the arts, world culture and 20th century history. As well as presenting these subject areas in regular showreels, we also producer trailers and teasers focusing on current events or themes to show the breadth of our archive and how the clips can be used in different ways; our recent ‘Smile montage’ (to celebrate National Smile Month) has proved particularly popular!

Art will always be at the forefront of Bridgeman, it is after all what the company was founded upon, so our video collection on the arts has been the basis for building our footage library. Our historic collection is proving very popular with clients and the contemporary stock we have acquired from numerous filmmakers across the world is very exciting as much of it comes from exclusive and never-before commercialised sources,

Q All stock – or do you also license editorial and feature video?
The Bridgeman footage collection is a mixture of stock and archive clips as well as some full programmes and animated films. We are able to sell most of these full programmes in their entirety but for the most part, clients tend to license sections as stock clips.

Q. Have you needed to employ new staff to cater for the footage/video market?
Yes. I have been with Bridgeman for the last two years, initially employed to manage the development of the footage platform and collections. Since launching I have continued to manage the footage project at Bridgeman and have been joined by Holly who assists me with cataloguing, marketing and research. Together we support the UK and International sales teams with all footage requests.

Q. What in your view is the largest hurdle when starting to offer footage stock?
Getting the platform up to scratch was a long process, with many bumps along the way. We’re still working on our development plan and have lots of new and exciting features that will be released over the next year.

It’s also been quite a task making sure people know we offer footage as well as stills. Where Bridgeman’s name is so much associated with art I think people have found it difficult to understand what type of films we could possibly have. Bridgeman is much more than paintings though; we have a huge collection of social documentary photography as well as contemporary design and now footage; there is a lot for people to explore!

Q. Is there a standard industry pricing structure for editorial and creative stock?
Not in our experience. Bridgeman licenses on a per second basis which is perhaps the more traditional licensing method. Subscriptions are definitely in use more and more now although it seems to be a particular type of content that is best suited for this type of licensing model.

Q. Where do your requests come from? individual researchers, production companies?
We work with a lot of independent production companies and they have been our key clients since launching Bridgeman Footage, both in the UK and internationally. Requests can come from the in-house development team or freelancers. We are also working closely with all of our existing publishing clients as they begin to move into digital options and products, offering advice where needed as many of their picture editors suddenly find themselves faced with licensing things that move!

Q. Which are the most regular video formats requested for license?
HD definitely. We offer a transcode option with all of our footage.

Q. How do you ensure your footage is credited?
For broadcast we would ensure Bridgeman is mentioned in the end credits and for editorial we would expect the description of the clip found on our website to be referenced together with our company name.

Q. How do you currently deliver licensed footage?
Via a download link sent directly to the client’s email. E-commerce plans are in motion for the future but our existing service is very efficient and allows us to give our customers the personal service that underpins Bridgeman’s excellent reputation.

Q. Are any of your stills contributors supplying footage?
Yes, quite a few stock photographers have given us complimentary clips from their various shoots and we are hoping to work with more and more of our museums and galleries. Footage can prove trickier when it comes to clearing rights and gaining access so we’re offering help wherever we can to our current suppliers who are keen to add their film collections.

Q. Which footage subjects are you looking to increase content in?
Arts based archive. We get a lot of requests for C20th painters at work so I am working hard to develop this section of the library.

Q. What was your best seller this month?
This clip from the Battle of Somme.

Q. Any exclusive stock?
We work with a number of exclusive collections including the de Laszlo Archive, Benoy K Behl, Moonweed Digital, Buff Films, Laboratoriorosso and Battlefields in Motion. Those collections that are not exclusive, the Beeld en Geluid archive for example, have been additionally enriched with detailed cataloguing from our in-house team, taking into account how our specific clients search and access our assets.

Q. whats new at Bridgeman Footage?
Our latest collection, Chronos Media, has just submitted a fantastic set of clips from 1920s Berlin so we are busily cataloguing to get these online. We’ve also just released our latest showreel which can be seen on our Youtube channel along with our back catalogue from our Clip of the Week. And finally, we have recently started tweeting (BridgemanFtage)!

Q. What’s next for Bridgeman Footage?
We were at the Sheffield Documentary festival on the 13th and 14th of June and attended the Meet the Archives sessions hosted by FOCAL International. We’ve also got a birthday to celebrate and a number of exiting new collections in the pipeline that we hope to have ready for the summer.

– ENDS –
View and license Bridgeman Footage here

See our May interview with Ben Jones Head of Motion at Science Photo Library

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