BY IRENE GARDINER AND SARAH DAVY
Have you ever wondered what the situation was with regards to accessing Kiwi films and TV programmes? Irene Gardiner, Content Director for NZ On Screen, and Sarah Davy, Head of Operations at Ngā Taonga, write about their work to make our national wealth of audio-visual content as available as possible.
Irene Gardiner writes about NZ On Screen
NZ On Screen‘s primary purpose is to showcase the New Zealand screen industry. Making television, film and music video available to New Zealanders both here and around the world is vital to us.
After nearly seven years in existence, we have around 3,000 titles on the website, and they are all free to view for reference and enjoyment. Our site visitor numbers have grown every year so far, and in this current financial year will go over a million for the first time. New Zealanders’ appetite for pop culture nostalgia and interest in our screen heritage are really gratifying. It’s very satisfying being able to provide online access to the treasure trove that is New Zealand’s screen history.
We work hard to increase this public access by going where the audiences are — Facebook, Twitter, news websites, radio and television. Our team does a great job of engaging broad audiences, and applying context to the material by tying in current events to historical moments and stories. Working with media organisations continues to increase the reach of our work. NZ On Screen has regular weekly blogs on the news websites Stuff and NZ Herald. We do a monthly television spot on TV One’s Good Morning show, and a monthly radio spot on Radio New Zealand. This all helps to spread the word about our great content.
This media relations work is a very important part of what we do. We are funded by NZ On Air, the government broadcast funding agency, and there would be no point in taking public money to make a website showcasing NZ screen works if no one knew the site existed, and no one visited it.
NZ On Screen doesn’t own the rights to any of the TV shows, films or music videos on the site — we host them with the permission of the producers, performers and broadcasters who made them. So our titles can’t be downloaded and they are not available for Creative Commons usage. But they can be shared via links or embeds (some titles are embeddable, some are not, depending on industry rights agreements). Most titles on the site can be viewed internationally, apart from a few that are geo-locked at the request of the rights holders.
The 10-minute ScreenTalk video interviews with screen industry personnel that feature on NZ On Screen are fully owned by us, so they are available under a Creative Commons licence, as is all of our written material (biographies and synopses of the titles on the site).
Our NZ On Air funding enables us to be a completely non-commercial, ‘for the public good’ project.
People sometimes refer to NZ On Screen as an online archive, but we don’t use this term as we feel it would be rather disrespectful to our colleagues at Archives New Zealand (the National Film Unit collection) and Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision, who do the real archiving and preservation work for the screen industry.
We have a minor role in preservation as part of making screen works available online in perpetuity, but Ngā Taonga does the hard yards in that area.
Sarah Davy writes about Ngā Taonga
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision is the brand name for the New Zealand Archive of Film, Television and Sound Ngā Taonga Whitiāhua Me Ngā Taonga Kōrero. We are an independent, bicultural, not-for-profit trust that protects and makes available New Zealand’s audio-visual heritage to the widest possible audience.
We hold a large and diverse collection of moving image and audio items, along with related documentation (publicity materials, stills, posters, production records, props, costumes and equipment). The collections date from 1895 and span our sound and moving image history – from the earliest days of cinema, audio recording and television, to contemporary film, television, advertisements, music videos, computer games and radio productions.
Archiving this collection means we must both preserve it for the future and make it available in the present. We believe that access is a result of sustained preservation that ensures that future generations can experience the collection in all its richness and diversity.
Access-wise, we make our collections available to large and diverse audiences nationwide both online and offline. We have a new website and online catalogue in development, and an extensive screening programme throughout the country, promoting the shared experience of cinema-going. Medianet – a network of digital video access sites in partner art galleries, libraries and museums across New Zealand – allows more than 1,000 moving image titles to be viewed free of charge. We support the production community and the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) sector to access the collections through our Client Services unit and Audience department. We support research (in all its guises) through libraries in Auckland and Wellington.
The material in our care is not available under a Creative Commons licence because it remains the property of the depositor and the rights holders. Material is deposited voluntarily – and without cost to the depositor. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision’s kaupapa of guardianship means the ownership of the original item and its copyright are retained by the appropriate parties, with provision for copying for preservation and access covered through our inclusion within the 1994 Copyright Act.