An archivist, filmmaker, and writer, Kenn Rabin is one of the nation’s leading authorities on audiovisual research and the use of stock footage and sound. His credits include the series Vietnam: A Television History, which involved more than 90 archives from a dozen countries; Eyes on the Prize, for which he received an Emmy nomination; 500 Nations, by Kevin Costner; and Barry Levinson’s Yesterday’s Tomorrows, on which he served as writer and associate producer. More recently, he served as the archival scene researcher for the dramatic features Good Night, and Good Luck and The Good German. We spoke in 2003 and 2006.
As someone who’s a storyteller and an archival film expert, what do you see as the strengths of using archival ...