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Just how big is FOM's archive at Biggin Hill?


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#1 D.M.N.

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:54

This is somewhat related to the Senna movie seeing as it made me brought up this topic. I do find it fascinating about just how massive the FOM archive is, I knew it was big, but there's big and then what I thought there was and what there actually is appears to be two different things.

I thought there would have just been:

a) World Feed footage
b) Onboard Feed footage
c) Broadcasters' footage (ie BBC pre-race and post-race stuff filmed on location)

However, reading this: http://www.f1fanatic...g-senna-part-5/

In particular:

“It sounds a bit nerdy, but we always tried to find the angle that hadn’t been broadcast.”


Am I right in saying that literally everything from every single camera is kept at FOM? So, I don't know let's say there's 30 cameras for Monaco (there's probably more, but for argument sake) which records:

Thursday - 08:00 to 18:30 (10 hours, 30 minutes)
Friday - 09:00 to 13:00 (4 hours)
Saturday - 08:30 to 17:30 (9 hours)
Sunday - 09:00 to 17:00 (10 hours)

So for just one camera you have 33.5 hours of footage.

Now, multiply that by about 30 cameras and you get 1,005 hours of footage for a race weekend! :eek: (Or to put it another way, 41 days of footage for a 4 day event)

That just seems, incredible really. I'd love to know just how many hours of footage are in FOM at Biggin Hill, you must surely be going into at least half a million hours, surely?

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#2 T-Mobile

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 12:00

Yet it just sits there, begging to be taken advantage of. In some other world we'd be able to relive all that old content (officially).

#3 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 12:05

I assume they've got a copy of everything they recorded, not everything broadcast.

#4 Mika Mika

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 12:06

I assume they've got a copy of everything they recorded, not everything broadcast.


I dunno that would be a enormous amout of footage, there must be a lot they bin.

#5 Don_Humpador

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 13:01

I say the members of the Autosport BB rise up and invade Biggin Hill.

All that footage is going to waste not being used by that dictator.

#6 primer

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 13:25

I hope they have got offsite backup? One accidental fire and all that 'history' will become so.

#7 engel

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 13:28

I hope they have got offsite backup? One accidental fire and all that 'history' will become so.


unless they 've digitized all of it I doubt they have duplicated and backed it up. They probably have those nifty sucks oxygen out of the room fire prevention systems etc though.

#8 man

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 13:54

Mind boggling to think that they would have a free-practice/warm-up session from the 1970's or early 1980's.

#9 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 14:03

Well they won't for two reasons. They only own stuff from I think 1982 onwards, and back then things were poorly televised. So not all sessions, and not that many cameras.

#10 D.M.N.

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 14:03

And here's where everything (quite literally) is kept: http://maps.google.c...171.05,,0,12.49 + http://maps.google.c...r...mp;t=h&z=18

From the outside it doesn't actually look like a massive building. I seriously hope that everything is backed up, there must be thousands of untold stories in that building on the recordings.

There's one bit in the Senna film that was chopped out because of time, but I wish it was in there, and I imagine its on a tape buried away in FOM Productions:

Producer James Gay-Rees said: “We have footage of Senna standing at the corner at Imola a month before he died, during testing, and he is saying, ‘Somebody is going to die at this corner this year.’”

Pandey explained: “In the original treatment it had this section at Imola about Tamburello, explaining that in ’87 [Nelson] Piquet had an accident and walked away, and in ’89 Berger had an accident, had minor burns, and walked away.

“In ’94 Senna was testing there and we had footage of him there, pointing to Tamburello. And we had this cut with Senna pointing out that he wasn’t completely happy and Gerhard talking about how they’d decided they should try to modify it but couldn’t because of the river.

“And that was a very poignant section. Of the things that we did, that worked and we just couldn’t get in, that was the thing that I miss the most.”


Would love to see footage of that.

#11 sadler

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 14:08

And here's where everything (quite literally) is kept: http://maps.google.c...171.05,,0,12.49 + http://maps.google.c...r...mp;t=h&z=18

From the outside it doesn't actually look like a massive building. I seriously hope that everything is backed up, there must be thousands of untold stories in that building on the recordings.

There's one bit in the Senna film that was chopped out because of time, but I wish it was in there, and I imagine its on a tape buried away in FOM Productions:



Would love to see footage of that.

I believe this footage is amateur footage (it was used in the Senna trial). Not sure how its ended up at FOM or who shot the original. Would love to see it myself

#12 Touti

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 14:10

Most (if not all) of this stuff is on tape. Making it available to the public today would require them to digitize it first which would be extremely expensive. Now honestly, how much would they really sell ? People wonder why they don't make it available but I think the answer is simple, it's because it's not worth it, they would lose money and that is something FOM just never does willingly.

#13 Tsarwash

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 14:26

Unless they did it very differently to other broadcasters, they would have only kept copies of what was broadcast, not every camera. It would have been a lot more expensive to record each camera rather than just the broadcast footage. And while now they record all footage from each camare, I very much doubt that they were doinb this in the early 80's, so at some point they would have made the switch. I think that it would have been in the 90's when Sky became a force that multiple footage was kept.

#14 wepmob2000

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 14:48

Most (if not all) of this stuff is on tape. Making it available to the public today would require them to digitize it first which would be extremely expensive. Now honestly, how much would they really sell ? People wonder why they don't make it available but I think the answer is simple, it's because it's not worth it, they would lose money and that is something FOM just never does willingly.



Sadly you're right about this. Just look at Duke Motorsport with their archive of official F1 reviews from 1981 onwards..... they've never bothered releasing any of them on to DVD, one can only presume its not economically viable to do this. Its still up to the die-hard fan to buy these films on VHS and convert them to DVD if they want a digital copy, and these reviews only cover the highlights of each season, not the more run-of-the-mill stuff. Its hard to see the demand for multi angle coverage of 20 year old races being enough to make it worth FOM's time.

Maybe it could work if one enterprising individual got the licence to use FOM material, and was knowledgable enough to produce quality DVD's using the relevant software and sell them at a reasonable cost (can't see this being viable for anything bigger than a one-man-band though).

Edited by wepmob2000, 02 June 2011 - 14:57.


#15 midgrid

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 15:01

Sadly you're right about this. Just look at Duke Motorsport with their archive of official F1 reviews from 1981 onwards..... they've never bothered releasing any of them on to DVD, one can only presume its not economically viable to do this. Its still up to the die-hard fan to buy these films on VHS and convert them to DVD if they want a digital copy, and these reviews only cover the highlights of each season, not the more run-of-the-mill stuff. Its hard to see the demand for multi angle coverage of 20 year old races being enough to make it worth FOM's time.

Maybe it could work if one enterprising individual got the licence to use FOM material, and was knowledgable enough to produce quality DVD's using the relevant software and sell them at a reasonable cost (can't see this being viable for anything bigger than a one-man-band though).


I believe that there are rights issues in addition to the expense of digitalising the footages. After all, Duke has released remastered DVDs of many other series in recent years.


#16 Don_Humpador

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 15:06

And here's where everything (quite literally) is kept: http://maps.google.c...171.05,,0,12.49 + http://maps.google.c...r...mp;t=h&z=18

With a few children's night vision goggles and walkie-talkies from Argos, a couple of pipe cleaners and a jug of Ribena I think we can storm the place and steal all it's footage. :cool:

#17 Jimisgod

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 15:12

With a few children's night vision goggles and walkie-talkies from Argos, a couple of pipe cleaners and a jug of Ribena I think we can storm the place and steal all it's footage. :cool:


And make a getaway at the airfield!

#18 wepmob2000

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 16:33

And make a getaway at the airfield!


In Bernie's private jet..... hurrah!!! :lol:

#19 wepmob2000

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 17:13

I believe that there are rights issues in addition to the expense of digitalising the footages. After all, Duke has released remastered DVDs of many other series in recent years.



This is true, and I can't believe for 1 second that highlights of the 1985 British F3 Championship would outsell highlights of the 1982 F1 Season, so presumably FOM's price for the rights is too high to make it worthwhile... :mad: A real shame, I'd love to have nice remastered DVD copies of those old reviews.



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#20 D.M.N.

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 17:53

I did remember one particular figure from a few years back - "if you want to use FOM footage, it is £6,000 per minute." So if you wanted 10 minutes of footage, it'd set you back a whopping £60,000.

Edited by D.M.N., 02 June 2011 - 17:57.


#21 Longtimefan

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 18:14

And here's where everything (quite literally) is kept: http://maps.google.c...171.05,,0,12.49 + http://maps.google.c...r...mp;t=h&z=18

From the outside it doesn't actually look like a massive building. I seriously hope that everything is backed up, there must be thousands of untold stories in that building on the recordings.

There's one bit in the Senna film that was chopped out because of time, but I wish it was in there, and I imagine its on a tape buried away in FOM Productions:



Would love to see footage of that.


I wouldn't.. it would be heartbreaking :(



#22 Anssi

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 18:26

I bet they could make a lot of money by putting it all on-line for us to browse and to watch pay-per-view.

Of course they may have made contracts with television companies which won't necessarily allow that but this shouldn't be too hard to change in new contracts. You could have a delay of a couple of years so television companies would get their chance to grab some money too.

It should be a global service without any per-country restrictions.

#23 Fastcake

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 19:00

I bet they could make a lot of money by putting it all on-line for us to browse and to watch pay-per-view.


The costs of putting it all online and on-demand would far outweigh any income from that type of service. Even just the actual race broadcasts would most likely be trivial at best, although that would be a nice service to have.

#24 John Player

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 19:03

They should really sell classic races on DVD or even Blu-ray with entire seasons or collection of the best wet races, etc.

#25 wepmob2000

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 19:49

I did remember one particular figure from a few years back - "if you want to use FOM footage, it is £6,000 per minute." So if you wanted 10 minutes of footage, it'd set you back a whopping £60,000.



Ouch!!! Its no wonder there's so few DVD's with FOM footage in them, can't help thinking FOM is missing a trick here but what do I know....? It looks like we'll have to rely on old recordings for a while longer. The sad fact is those of who like watching old races are very much in a minority, even ESPN Classic barely bothers showing any F1 anymore.

Edited by wepmob2000, 02 June 2011 - 19:52.


#26 Gold

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 01:25

I did remember one particular figure from a few years back - "if you want to use FOM footage, it is £6,000 per minute." So if you wanted 10 minutes of footage, it'd set you back a whopping £60,000.


Lol, anyone hoping for an extended version of the new Senna film, which actually includes more footage as opposed to boring interviews.... ain't gonna happen.

#27 ExFlagMan

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 07:02

At the Q&A session with the Senna film's director in Manchester he said they were amazed at the amount of footage available in the archive. They originally extracted enough relevent footage for the film to produce a 7 hour edit, but their budget only ran to 40 mins of FOM footage. They went back to Bernie and managed to renegotiate the contract.

It is not only on-track footage that is in the archive. The film contains footage taken in the pit garages, drivers briefings etc.



#28 OssieFan

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 08:04

In a parralel universe we're too busy watching all this footage to be posting on here :p

#29 BRK

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 08:37

Count me in if people ever decide to raid that treasure trove.

#30 D.M.N.

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 09:52

I wouldn't.. it would be heartbreaking :(

It would I agree, but I would also find it fascinating watching it back.

#31 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 09:53

Yeah how can you get footage like that, even if it's amateur, and not use it?

#32 D.M.N.

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 09:54

Yeah how can you get footage like that, even if it's amateur, and not use it?

It'd be nice if in the DVD they put that as an extra along with one or two other things that didn't make the main cut.

#33 D.M.N.

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 16:02

A little more detail on what Bernie wants money for archive: http://www.denofgeek...ting_senna.html

Now, every minute over forty was something like £30,000 or something crazy.


So for every minute up until 40 minutes is worth £6,000 per minute. When you exceed 40 minutes the cost jumps up to £30,000 per minute.

So if you want, oh, say a 90 minute race from FOM (ie the legal way ;) ) set yourself back a whopping £1.7 million pounds! :eek: :eek: That's like daylight robbery.

#34 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 16:34

Or about what the BBC pays in rights fees?

And compared to the costs of making a normal movie, not too bad. But expensive for a documentary, probably.

#35 jonnoj

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 17:10

So for every minute up until 40 minutes is worth £6,000 per minute. When you exceed 40 minutes the cost jumps up to £30,000 per minute.

So if you want, oh, say a 90 minute race from FOM (ie the legal way ;) ) set yourself back a whopping £1.7 million pounds! :eek: :eek: That's like daylight robbery.



It ain't worth a toss, if no one is prepared to pay and by the looks of it, no one has.

Bernie is acting like an art collector who's got £lots of paintings behind 10ft of concrete and steel. He's done the same with his car collection. Did anyone know he'd got £millions of them tucked away in Biggin Hill too?




#36 glorius&victorius

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 21:26

Yet it just sits there, begging to be taken advantage of. In some other world we'd be able to relive all that old content (officially).


It just sits there waiting for Bernie to discover the Internet.

Seriously there are two things this guy will never achieve:
- exploit the potential of F1 and Internet
- put on a proper glamourous US GP

--
With all that content he could set up an entire mega F1 video channel (with ads to generate cash) where users can access zillions of minutes of F1 footage...

Edited by glorius&victorius, 06 June 2011 - 21:30.


#37 jonnoj

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 21:49

With all that content he could set up an entire mega F1 video channel (with ads to generate cash) where users can access zillions of minutes of F1 footage...


Bernie won't spend money. He's never invested a penny in F1. He's an expert at milking other people's cows. I'm just amazed that hardly anyone has ever told him to go fly a kite when he's kidding them into bend over and giving him the keys to the safe.





#38 amitch1993

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 22:59

I live about a mile from Biggin Hill, shall I go in and steal it all ;)
Its pretty cool, before and after each weekend, there is a huge f1 plane that flies pretty low over my house with a giant f1 logo on it, not to mention the huge lorries driving by carrying the timing equipment!

#39 jonnoj

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 23:01

I live about a mile from Biggin Hill, shall I go in and steal it all ;)



You must be from New Addington !



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#40 wepmob2000

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:52

I live about a mile from Biggin Hill, shall I go in and steal it all ;)
Its pretty cool, before and after each weekend, there is a huge f1 plane that flies pretty low over my house with a giant f1 logo on it, not to mention the huge lorries driving by carrying the timing equipment!


Yea, I've seen that too, flying over the Sainsburys Car Park in West Wickham!! Very tempted to make a rude gesture at it until I realised Bernie was probably too busy counting his money to be looking out of the window.....

Someone mentioned Bernie's F1 car collection, its got to be one of the finest in the world, but he hides it away out of view - a real shame - I believe his collection of Brabhams alone is stunning and includes the BT46B Fan car and a BT52 amongst others. I really don't understand the mentality of people who buy these stunning objects - be they art or cars - and then just hide them. Makes you appreciate people like like the late-great Tom Wheatcroft even more, buying a stunning collection of cars then opening it up for the world to see.

Edited by wepmob2000, 07 June 2011 - 02:53.


#41 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 05:32

I think you guys dramatically over estimate the customer base for historic footage, and underestimate the cost of making it available.