Retro Video Inc. - FAQS

What kind of a company is Retro Video, Inc?

Retro Video Inc. specializes in licensing vintage entertainment-related television footage to current film & television productions and distributors. Retro Video Inc. exclusively represents over 75 different footage libraries on behalf of the original producers, estates and copyright holders.

What distinguishes Retro Video, Inc. from ‘stock footage’ suppliers?

Retro Video is primarily a resource for music performance footage,
stand-up comedy and celebrity interview footage. We are not a source for atmospheric footage such as clouds, city skylines, wildlife, landscapes, landmarks and the sort of footage often associated with a stock footage house. However, if it is show business-related B-roll your production is looking for, such as an old theatre marquee or a crowd of dancing teenagers from the 1960s, give us a try!

I am a huge fan and collector who is looking for a copy of a certain show or performer. Will you send me a copy and how much does it cost?

Retro Video does not supply footage to anyone other than legitimate production companies in the entertainment industry. This is our strict company policy.

I am working on a documentary / television program. How do I know if you have any footage which I might interested in using?

The best way is to send us an email or use our online footage request form. Include your contact information, a paragraph briefly describing you project and a request list. See the following example using a documentary about disco:

Dear Retro Video:
This is Ashley from Phantom Productions in New York City. I am currently working on a program about 70’s disco for European television called “Disco Explosion”. I am looking for any footage of the following:
Donna Summer (Disco hits)
Village People (anything)
Sylvester: “Mighty Real”
Bee Gees (Disco-era only)
KC & The Sunshine Band (anything)
Anita Ward: “Ring My Bell”
Van McCoy: “The Hustle”
Giorgio Moroder (producer)
Any footage of disco dancers
John Travolta dancing / singing / interview
Anything re: “Saturday Night Fever”
Studio 54 exteriors / interiors
Steve Rubell interview (Studio 54 owner)
Steve Dahl (Radio DJ – Anti-Disco movement)

Please let me know ASAP if you have anything.
I need screeners on DVD by March 31st if possible.

Ashley Smithee
Phantom Productions
58 E. 1st Street, Suite 3e
New York, NY 10003
(212) 555-0722

It usually takes a day or two (depending on our volume of business) for us to fully research your request, which we are happy to do free of charge. We would then return an email with a complete listing of what we have in our archives, possibly adding a few extra items which seem like they would fit well with your project.

Many of our clients seem to know precisely what footage they are looking for. We feel it is always worth your while, just in case, to let us know as much about your project as possible. Time and time again we have ended up licensing footage to projects which the producers had no idea existed before they talked to us.

Do you charge to research my request?

We generally do not charge for this service. There are certain exceptions to this rule, but one of our staff performing a research request for an artist, or list of artists, within our own archives, is done at no cost to your production.

What is a “SCREENER”?

A screener is short for a VHS or DVD screening copy. All of our screeners contain one line of text near the top of the screen and one line of visual time-code near the bottom as well as an ID number in the center of the screen. The customer selects chapters on their screener from a list provided by Retro Video in response to their research request. Screener formats other than NTSC VHS or DVD require more turnaround time and would be more expensive. After reviewing the screener, the customer may decide to order MASTER FOOTAGE.

How much does a screener cost?

Screener cost varies depending on the amount of material being requested. Our prices normally range from between $50.00 to about $250.00, with exceptions. If you require other formats, such as Beta SP, or broadcast standards such as PAL.

How do I order a screener from Retro Video?

First, send an email to Retro Video, or in our terminology, a research request. Once you have decided what you would like to view from our email list we send you, you can then send us a SCREENER ORDER via email or fax. Payment is made in advance via credit card, money order, company check or bank wire transfer. (additional fees are involved for wire transfer)

What format do you send out screeners on?

NTSC VHS or DVD is available for our normal rates. Other formats and broadcast standards are available upon request; these would incur additional expenses.

What steps are involved in licensing footage from Retro Video?

Step 1 – Research Request

Email us your contact info, project details & a list of what footage you’re seeking.

Step 2 – Screener Request

Pick clips to review from a list of footage sent by us in response to your RESEARCH REQUEST. A VHS or DVD visually time-coded (“VTC”) viewing copy will be sent to you of the selected footage. Please arrange payment and provide Fed-ex or alternate shipping account info to avoid delays.

Step 3 – Pricing

Based on selections made from your screener, contact Bill DiCicco to discuss rates and contract points for the footage you are interested in licensing. In order to get a rate quote you will need to know the exact description (source program, artist, title etc.) and timings for the footage in question as well as the term, media and territory (aka rights) required for your production.

Step 4 – Prepare Contract

Please provide all information necessary for preparing a footage
licensing agreement. This would include the complete itemization of
master footage, project title, production company name & address,
name of authorized signatory, initial airdate or start date of term and
payment / billing information. It is important to note that your master
footage will not be made available until the contract is executed and
payment received.

Step 5 – Master Footage Order

Exact time-code numbers (ins and outs) taken from the VTC screener
are required for every order. Please ask your editor to make note of the
artist, title and source for every selection to avoid delays and
confusion when you place your footage order. You will receive the
excerpted footage with short handles for editing purposes. We do not
process orders without a declaration of the exact time codes.

Step 6 – Sign Contract / Payment / Master Delivery

Master footage will be ready for pick-up or delivery after the contract is
signed and payment is received.

Thank you for your business!
-Retro Video Inc.