I think Marilyn Brakhage is a model of sweet reason and rationality and looks 
out for artists and the community.  That’s wonderful, and I would go direct to 
her for any of the Brakhage images.  However, you don’t have to spend much time 
in the experimental film community to run into artists who have a vastly 
inflated opinion of themselves, incredible insecurities, and just plain 
nuttiness.  They may never answer you, insist on reviewing everything you are 
saying about them for pre-approval, or want to gouge you.  (I am speaking from 
personal experience with some of these folks.)

Even worse, and even more prevalent now, the world of “artist media” usually 
actually owned by private galleries, not the artists themselves.  They view 
their “films” ($35,000 for a one hour 16mm print, anyone?) and “video art” as 
precious and rare items, like paintings and sculptures to be sold to collectors 
and museums.  Restricting access is what makes them unique and valuable.  
Welcome to the capitalist art market.


On Sep 30, 2015, at 5:21 PM, marilyn brakhage 
<v...@shaw.ca<mailto:v...@shaw.ca>> wrote:

I strongly agree with Pip's suggestion to get authorization.  If it's for a 
serious academic book you should want, and surely the filmmakers would want, a 
good selection of high quality images to represent the films.  Disney is one 
thing, but if you're talking about avant-garde filmmakers, I doubt they would 
be charging "exorbitant fees".  Using the example of Brakhage films, I don't 
end up making any money from stills when all is said and done, but do collect 
some small fees -- most of which goes (usually) to Fred Camper for the work he 
does in providing them.  However, we also sometimes waive fees, depending on 
circumstances.  My concern in the matter of film stills is not making money, 
but having the films reasonably well represented.  I'm sure others would feel 
likewise about their films.

Marilyn Brakhage

On 30-Sep-15, at 4:43 PM, Chuck Kleinhans wrote:

I strongly disagree with Pip’s suggestion to get authorization.

To even make an inquiry reveals an intention and an awareness of possible legal 
ramifications that does two things:

1. the rights holder may well demand an exorbitant fee, and there’s no way to 
re-negotiate that; you’ve undercut your own position.  (if you don’t believe 
me, try to get rights by sending a letter to Disney Corp for one frame grab of 
any Disney film).  The people you are often dealing with are not artists but 
low level lawyers whose job is to extract as much money as possible out of the 
—Yes they have a case: you shouldn’t be able to take a frame grab of a Disney 
film and put it on a T-shirt and sell it without them giving permission, 
forming a contract, and you paying them part of the proceeds.  HOWEVER the 
exact same procedure is used for someone wanting to use an image in a critical 
essay in a film journal or a PhD dissertation: pay up front or you face endless 
threats of "cease and desist” letters, threats of lawsuits, or actual suits 
(these people have nothing else to do; they get paid to harass you.)

2.  the law on copying of “copyrighted” images varies greatly by country and 
jurisdiction.  For example, in he USA, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies 
has conducted many years of campaigning and advocacy for the right to use frame 
grab images in academic/critical publications without permission or paying for 
“rights” when the intent is clearly intellectual and critical.  Think Bordwell 
and Thompson’s textbook: FILM ART, AN INTRODUCTION.

Details and a position paper on the SCMS website

Also essential: the work of Patricia Aufderheide at  American University’s 
Center for Social Media.
which has worked to fight for the rights of creative people (especially in 
documentary forms)—e.g. your are filming/taping an interview on the street and 
a passing car goes by with the strains of a Kanye West  or Taylor Swift song 
being heard….you should NOT have to pay the “rightsholder” any fee for this 
accidental arrival of a thin slice of reality in your environment.  But the 
above mentioned lawyers want the law enforced so you do have to pay full 

Today most (but not all) US university presses follow the SCMS guidelines:  
look at the webistes for ms. submission for Duke, California, NYU, etc. for a 
rough guildeline.  However, fair warning, UK publishers tend to be incredibly 
backward and chicken about these matters.

I’d say get your images first without asking anyone anything.  Then if your 
book ms is accepted, negotiate with the press. You may well have to fight for 
what you wants to do—university presses often use the university’s own law 
office which is filled with experts on the patents end of “intellectual 
property” and also real estate transactions…they do not understand art or the 

On Sep 30, 2015, at 10:06 AM, Pip Chodorov 
<framewo...@re-voir.com<mailto:framewo...@re-voir.com>> wrote:

Dear Jihoon Kim,
DVDs are not high-resolution. You can only get standard definition compressed 
screen grabs.
Moreover as a film distributor I advise you to seek authorization and high 
quality stills from the filmmakers or rights holders.
Good luck!
Pip Chodorov
(FrameWorks founder and progessor of film at Dongguk University, Seoul!)

At 1:44 +0900 1/10/15, Ji-hoon Felix Kim wrote:
Anyone who can advise me how to obtain high-resolution (600dpi) screen grabs 
from DVDs? I'm in preparation for my book manuscript and want to include some 
frame grabs as its accompanied illustrations.

FrameWorks mailing list

Chuck Kleinhans
Associate Professor Emeritus
Radio/TV/Film Dept.
Northwestern University

co-editor, JUMP CUT: a review of contemporary media


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