Film student Kathryn Beane wrote:

Great website.

I am a graduate student at the Univ. of Southern California in the School of Cinema-TV and am currently directing a short film (16mm) about a young kid just back from Vietnam, which I also wrote.  I have it in mind to incorporate some external media into the final version of the film, largely in light of the importance of media in the conflict, the way we saw ourselves (as a country, as human beings) and have continued to fathom ourselves ever since. In many ways, the War WAS innocence lost, and the images gathered during the war insure we will never forget either what was lost or gained.

To this end, I plan to import various public domain photographic images, many of which I have been able to find from, for instance, the National Archives. I wonder a) if you might suggest a better place to track down images taken by the gov't -- APC, DASPO, or any federal agency; and/or b) do you happen to know where I could find copies of any of the training films or other video recordings (produced by APC) mentioned on your website? Or are these recordings even in the public domain?

I sincerely appreciate any advice you might offer. Also, in case you are interested, it is not my intent to focus on our government's role in Vietnam or comment on any of the Politics therein -- rather, I am interested in telling a story visually, in approaching one young man's wounds (physical and mental) from the standpt that wars exist in the first place because human beings (all of us) are grand but also meager. I want to make a human film, not a political or 'war' film.

Best, Kathryn Beane,,


Weibmeister replied:


 I wish I had the answers to your questions, about availability and rights to the films.  Except for the odd DVD release, like some of the Big Picture series and Capra's Why We Fight films, I don't know what's available.  I don't even know who has the military's film collection or how to access it.
I know commanders used to be able to write to APC to seek films.  (I recall, as late as 1970, commanders asking for "The Late Company B," because it had made an impression on them when they were young trainees ... although it was no longer available for circulation then.)  The military controls its film use.  For instance, you can access the online Defense Automated Visual Information System and search for titles; however, my first quick search provided information about a film plus a statement that it isn't cleared for public viewing (different from classified but an example of the restrictions.)
I suspect you may be better able to research this than I am.  If you find anything of interest, please share it, so I can post it.  I post all related material I can get on the web site, which is an accumulation of bits of material sent in by various sources.
You probably noticed that the APC site comes up on web searches about Army films.  I occasionally go on web searches ... only to find myself.

Beane responded:

Thanks for your kind response. i actually wasn't aware of the restrictions that the Army places on its 'unclassified' films, though naturally it makes sense. I knew that the Capra films, another by John Huston, and any of the other 'Hollywood' war films were not for public re-use.

I have thus far had the most luck with the National Archives, though we shall see how long it takes to track down these images in a form we are able to use (ie, import into our digital editing system). as you may be aware, most of the images in the Archives are in the public domain, though it is up to the party who wishes to redistribute such images to make certain there are no additional copyright-related concerns (such as violation of privacy, etc).

i also must tell you, I wasn't aware of the APC and its long island studio until I stumbled upon your website. I thank you, as i think the subject would make for an interesting feature script. if I decide to pursue such a project, I may be in touch!