I spent most of today working on projects, but I took a short break to play around. I explored a bit more of the Prelinger Archives (interview with Rick about the archives here) at the recently revamped archive.org. There are over 1200 movies, and I’ve only seen a handful, all of which are an absolute hoot.
After downloading a couple and exploring, I came up with an idea. These are all public domain movies, so you can do anything you want with them. I downloaded a few, but settled on a Coney Island short to use for footage. I recently saw a Strokes video featuring what appeared to be public domain footage, so I decided to grab an mp3 and set it to the Coney Island short cut up into bits.
I’ll admit the result (7.8Mb quicktime) is not all that great, but it’s not all that bad either. I spent about a half hour on this total, given more time, I’d scour the archives for similar films, do more cuts in time to the music changes, and try to weave the images into some sort of story instead of the mismash of cheesy images.
Part of this was an exercise, to goof off for a while on a Sunday, but another reason was to get my mind thinking about what having a rich pool of source material free for use really means to creators. Got a band that needs a video? Grab some public domain content and go nuts. Got a student film and you need a score? Download some free audio to complete your work. The revamped archive.org is a rich pool of resources, asking to be ripped, mixed, and burned into new creations, and I can’t wait to see what works come out of this.