Archival footage from the NBC 5/KXAS Television News Archive was recently featured prominently in several television productions. These uses of archival news footage highlight the diverse and creative uses for footage, as well as the significance of preserving historical footage for future use. In November 2017, Sundance TV aired a two-part documentary series on the 1959 Clutter family murders that inspired Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Although the murders took place in Kansas, 1950’s archival footage from the north Texas NBC affiliate was used generically to illustrate various events in the film.“Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders” was part of an entire weekend of true crime programming on the Sundance channel.
True crime programming continues to be a steady source of licensing activity in NBC 5/KXAS Television News Archive. In last half of 2017 footage from the archive was used in support of True Conviction and 1980’s: The Deadliest Decade (both airing on the Investigation Discovery channel).
Footage form the archive was also featured on Vice News, a documentary news program airing weekly on HBO. News programming schedules are often on tight deadlines, which can make the use of archival footage difficult. In the case of the Vice News request we had only a 24 hour turn around time to deliver the master files to producers in New York. A turn around time like that is usually impossible for us as it takes significant time to locate the physical media, digitize it and produce digital files for producers. In this instance the footage requested (coverage of the 1980 church shooting in Daingerfield, Texas) was already digitized and accessible through the digital library.
We are also continuing work on several other major documentary projects which will be completed in 2018.