Five step strategy for artists and arts bodies

Advice on researching, sourcing material, financing and exhibition.

Step one

Use publicly available sources to find out if the material you are interested in exists. Use archive library and viewing facilities to search deeper. For example, use the BFI’s online search services, the BFI Mediatheques and the BFI Reuben Library at BFI Southbank – and look out for CID, the BFI’s new collections database.

Step two

Develop your proposal or project and secure funding. Tips:

  • Find and work with a digital public space partner.
  • Look out for appropriate funding opportunities, e.g. the Arts Council’s Digital R&D Fund for the Arts.

Step three

Contact and approach archive teams at the BFI and/or the BBC.

Find an archivist who is interested in your project – their insights and skills will be invaluable.

Step four

Manage your project by considering the following.

Intellectual property and rights:

  • Who owns the material you want to use?
  • Have you budgeted to acquire the rights, including the cost of tracing the rights holder?

Transfers and formats:

  • What format will you want to view the material on?
  • What format will you want for editing?
  • Does your budget cover the cost of tape shipping and transfers?

Step five

Plan your exhibition, distribution and archiving strategy.

  • What rights do you need to exhibit your work in a gallery?
  • What rights do you need to distribute your work online?
  • How can the major collections of artists’ films support your project?

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