Q:  Can I license the rights from you and obtain a broadcast master? How do I go about doing that?

A: The process of obtaining stock footage from Periscope Film’s archive is a simple, three step process.

  • First, take a look at the material on our website.  Register for free, and download any of the films you might need.  Import the Quicktime files into your project and start editing.   If you don’t see anything, but suspect we might have something in our archives that would fit the bill, then contact us. We’ll review our library and get back to you and send you all the materials that might help your project.
  • The second step in the process, is for you to identify the material you need. If you’re working off of material from one of our commercial DVDs, you will do it by identifying the name of the film involved, and the time elapsed from the start of the movie. If you’re working off of a viewing Quicktime File, you will have time codes at your disposal. Once we’ve determined the amount of material you’re using, we can work out a price.
  • Third, we’ll generate a contract, and after receiving your payment we will deliver clean, broadcast-quality masters to you. After you’ve wrapped up your show, you’ll send us a copy of the final for verification purposes, and for our records.


Q: Do you provide clearance paperwork for the material you provide?

A: Yes. Every stock footage purchase made from Periscope Film LLC, is done using a broadcast industry standard contract.



Q: How much does stock footage cost?

A: The cost depends whether you’re making an in-house video, or a full-blown documentary film that is going to be seen all over the world. In either case, we’re committed to working within your budget. Normally, the minimum cost for a stock footage license is $250. Contact us for further details, and make sure to tell us all about your project — who you’re making it for, where it will air, and how much material you’re interested in obtaining.


Q: I use the same shot three times in my show. Do I have to order it three times?

A: No. Just indicate which is the longest version and we deliver that one. This might seem like extra work, but we promise by doing this, you will have some extra protection from missing needed footage in your on-line.



Q: What formats can you deliver footage?


  • HD is 1920×1080, 23.98, Apple ProResHQ.
  • SD is 640×480, Apple ProResHQ.
  • There will be a few instances where we will also deliver HD in 1920×1080, 29.97/59.94, AppleProRes HQ

Q:  How do you deliver the final footage?

A:  We will send you a secure link to download your shots.


Q:  Can I get my delivery on Tape?

A:  Yes, there will be a lab fee, and will increase the turn around time.  Please contact us to discuss.


Q: How does your final Quicktime file look?  Will it look like a Blu-Ray?

A: We transfer our films at true HD for the best quality possible.  However,  keep in mind that films from WWII were often shot in trying circumstances, and that many of them have built-in defects such as dirt and scratches. Some prints may contain dupe negative, or even contain poorly-exposed footage. In many cases HDTV transfers look phenomenal, but these are old films.


Q: My producers have made a deal with a telecine facility in North Carolina. Will you send prints there for transfer?

A: Unfortunately, no. We only do transfers here in Los Angeles, where all materials can be properly safeguarded.




Q: I have a bunch of old 16mm military films I’d like to sell. Do you acquire prints?

A: Yes. We’re committed to preserving history. Contact us and we’ll talk.


Q: I’d like to borrow one of your film prints, to do a screening at the local VFW post. Do you rent prints?

A: Unfortunately, owing to the rarity of the materials in our archive, we don’t lend out prints. We might be able to provide something for you on DVD, however. Please contact us for more information.




Q: Tell me more about the screener Quicktimes I would use for the off-line process.

A: Over half of our current viewers are in 16×9 HD format ( 940×540) and 23.98 frame rate.  This means they will cute perfectly into your HD project and will look spectacular.  For the viewers that are sill in SD, they also will cut into your project, just at an SD resolution.  They will still look fine, just not as perfect as our HD viewers.  Please know we are working diligently to  upgrade all our viewers to HD.


Q: What is the technical specification of the screener materials?

A: Technical specifications:

SD SIZE: 320×240  COMPRESSION: H.264 FRAME RATE: 29.97

HD SIZE 920×540   COMPRESSION: H.264 FRAME RATE: 23.98



Q: I’ve got a rush job. Can you expedite my order, and send materials by overnight mail?

A: Under normal circumstances, we can rapidly turn around any order. We’ve often spoken with clients in the morning, had screener Quicktimes to them by lunch, and delivered masters by the end of the day. It all depends on our work load and your needs.


Q: Can you send viewing copies to me by rush?

A: No need, just download what you need immediately.


Tips for Editors, Assistants and Post Supervisors

Q: I am an assistant editor, unused to dealing with stock footage. Do you have any suggestions about that?

A: Yes, we do. We’re old hats who come out the editing world, and we’ve made enough documentary films to have some definite ideas that save time and frustration. Such as:

1. Importing. We encourage you to import the entire Quicktime file we provide, as this makes life easier for you, the editor, and post supervisor. However, sometimes it is not possible to do so because the import will take too long or there are media management issues (drives too full). If this is the case, use QuickTime Pro to open the file, select the shot you need (you can mark an IN by typing ‘I’ and an OUT by typing ‘O’) and then simply copying that section ‘command-C’, create a new QuickTime File, and pasting ‘command-V’ into the new file. Save it in the SAME FORMAT, and viola, you have a new shorter clip.

Although it is tempting, we DO NOT recommend you convert the clip to your offline resolution in this process as there are just too many errors that can be introduced this way. Let your editing system do the conversion. There are other programs out there that can do this as well, including MPEG Streamclip, but none easier the Quicktime Pro.

2. Name the files in your project the PF#. Or if the editors do not like that, make a Custom column or use the Comments column to put the PF# in. Just make sure you can print this data column out in your EDL.

3. Keep in mind, when you’re dealing with archival material, you’re getting materials off of film. But, you don’t know whether the pull-down is correct. When you first bring materials into your system, take a look and see if there are any strobing issues. If there are, you may want to adjust the 3:2 pulldown.


Q: How do you recommend I go about identifying material for you to deliver?

A: If you’re working off of one of our commercially made DVDs, simply identify the name of the film involved, and let us know how many minutes and seconds from the beginning of the movie the shot you’re interested in occurs. On Quicktimes, the process is a little easier. Each piece of video has a few numbers burned into it. One is a PF#, which is the film’s ID. The second is timecode which appears at the bottom of the screen. Simply provide a list of each shot, listed by the Film ID, with the in and out of that shot. Please, do NOT add handles (extra time at the head and tail of each shot to protect yourself in the online) in your order. We will give you a minimum of 2 second handles on everything we deliver.


Q: Wouldn’t it be easier if I just send you a Quicktime movie of the material I need?

A: Heck yes. We always encourage clients to send us Quicktimes, so we know exactly what they need.  However, for accuracy sake and turnaround time,we still need a list of shots each with the identifying information.



Q: Can you make transfers to PAL?

A: HD has made the NTSC to PAL issue disappear.  However, if you require PAL, yes, no problem. We are located in Los Angeles so we have access to every type of telecine machine and format available to mankind.