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CatDV Success in On-Line Film Archive

FILM Archives Inc

New York City-based stock footage library FILM Archives Inc. turned to Square Box Systems Ltd. to create a custom-built online catalog solution for its large inventory of vintage and contemporary film and video. Collections include a century’s worth of movies, TV shows, commercials, newsreels, and documentaries.

FILMarchivesSquare Box’s Live HTML Publisher option runs on top of our CatDV Enterprise Server to provide clients with lightning quick web browser access to thousands of clips in our library,” said Mark Trost, FILM Archives president and CEO.

Prior to installing Live HTML and CatDV, FILM Archives relied for years on a text-only database of film notes and shot lists. “Descriptive text by itself is no longer an option for a film library in the age of YouTube,” Trost noted. “People simply expect to go to your site and find plenty of fully searchable, playable and downloadable video.”

Rolf Howarth and his team built the stock footage catalog essentially from scratch in CatDV, then added the web component and smoothly integrated Live HTML’s generic web pages to match the look and feel of the company’s existing web site. “One of the nicer touches was Rolf’s idea for an email clip basket our clients can use to collect links to QuickTime clips of interest,” Trost said.

The library’s research staff also uses the clip basket to respond rapidly to long wish lists of incoming research requests, emailing links to viewable, downloadable screening materials that used to take hours assembling on tape. “Producers are always working against deadline; this system saves them and us tons of time,” explained Karen Doogan, Vice President of Online Operations. “We use the time saved to constantly upload new QuickTime compilations as well as devote more hours to complex assignments.”

Clients praise the catalog for its clean, user-friendly design. Upon giving the site a workout, one independent Los Angeles television producer emailed Trost: “I think your website is great. I love the ability to watch the clip right there, but equally as important I like it how it doesn’t take me to another window — meaning, I can see the description of the clip and watch it. It’s a pretty good design. There are a couple other stock footage sites that have some of their collections online, but none of them work even half as well as yours.”

FILM Archives’ president credits that kind of feedback to Square Box’s willingness to go the extra mile in listening and responding to its customers. “They really have bent over backwards to address our every concern, no matter how small,” Trost said. “Live HTML Publisher has enormously enhanced our web presence; going with Square Box Systems for the project was the best decision we could have made.”

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