Heavy iron!

Found at the National Archives and Records Administration, this footage consists of pristine 35mm black and white outtake footage for a New Deal documentary on unemployment directed by the great documentary film maker Pare Lorentz and shot by Oscar winning cinematographer Floyd Crosby. The footage shows vintage 1930’s heavy industry to emphasize the productive capacity of the U.S. economy, even while recovering from the Great Depression. Based on a radio documentary entitled “Ecce Homo” (Latin for “behold the man”), the production was later named more prosaically “Name, Age and Occupation.” Work stopped on the film when House Republicans de-funded New Deal film making.

As the work product of a U.S. Government employee, this footage meets the definition of a “U.S. Government work” in U.S. law, making it ineligible for copyright protection. A full production file for this film exists at Columbia University, but almost all of the outtake footage is at the National Archives. This footage, and hundreds of rolls like it, is not described on the Internet and has no content description available in the National Archives Catalog, effectively rendering it available only to those willing and able to do a “deep dive” into the available material. Don’t depend on a production assistant or intern to find the exact footage to add impact to your production or exhibit. A professional media researcher adds value!

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