Archive footage for film and TV

Shanakee manages all aspects of archival research and licensing for film and TV productions.

If you’re looking to enrich your project with rare or historic archive, location-setting stock footage, contemporary user-generated content, or a contributor’s personal films or photographs, we can research, organise, and check and clear permissions, all while providing regular updates across production.

From initial broad-sweep research, to specific themes, events, locations and characters, to filling the gaps, the Shanakee team combines precise, investigative research with a thorough, methodical approach to licensing and clearances, backed up with significant experience across a range of film and television productions.

How We Work

Many archive researchers and archive producers work alone - but not us. Shanakee is a dynamic and close-knit team working in collaboration across our slate of projects to ensure maximum efficiency and creativity. 

Our varied career backgrounds and combined experience of over forty years in film and TV production bring a wealth of perspectives to every brief and allow us to trouble-shoot throughout the project. 

We bring a bespoke approach to each project, adapting our complementary skill sets to different needs, budgets and timeframes. By working together, we maximise workflow efficiency and provide excellent onscreen value for any budget. Crucially, this also gives us greater flexibility in adapting to the changing demands of projects when the unexpected might arise!

We manage the entire archival research and licensing process for you, from preliminary research and accurate budget projections, to negotiating fees, cataloguing, ingesting and final paperwork.

The Team

 James McDonald - Supervising Archive Producer / Consultant

James has over twenty years experience in film and TV and has archive-produced dozens of productions, working with Golden Globe, BAFTA and Academy award-winning filmmakers. He founded Shanakee in 2013 and now manages a team of archive researchers, overseeing project’s archival workflow, budgets, and trouble-shooting issues relating to negotiation, intellectual property, and anything unexpected!
IMDb | LinkedIn

Emma Dempsey - Archive Producer 

Emma worked as a factual TV producer and edit producer before specialising in archive. She brings an experienced producer’s editorial judgement, sensibility and tenacity to her work, and has an eye for material that can bring a story to life. With strong journalistic instinct, she can sniff out hard-to-find footage, negotiate sensitive access and source a wide range of user generated content.

Eve Richardson - Archive Producer

Eve has worked in factual TV for over a decade including two years as an edit producer on archive-driven programmes where she was also responsible for sourcing the material. From here grew her strong passion for archive and since then she has been specialising in archive. Her edit experience gives a solid understanding of the post-production workflow and the pressures on those in the cutting room. She has strong editorial judgment and understanding paired with a passion for finding those hidden gems.

Hannah Ratcliffe - Archive Researcher

Hannah is a highly-motivated and inquisitive archive researcher with a diverse background in story-telling. Hannah is meticulous in all aspects of her work from tracking down rare footage to finding and implementing efficient methods and processes. Her rigorous fact-finding skills are founded in BBC journalism and prior to specialising in archive research Hannah managed the archive of the world’s longest running drama. 

Kate Al-Khalili - Archive Researcher

Kate has varied experience in the television industry and has increasingly become more passionate about working with archive. She has particularly extensive experience in the difficult task of acquiring police records and tracking down hard-to-find people through her extensive work on true crime documentaries.

Wider Team

We regularly work with a variety of freelance archive producers, researchers, and assistants who bring specialist skills and experience to ensure we are able to dynamically adapt to the changing demands of projects.

Recent Credits

We are a trusted service provider to many of the best production companies and talent in the industry on a wide range of acclaimed feature films, documentaries and dramas.

  • 1 The Tinder Swindler
  • 2 Pistol
  • 2 The Two Popes
  • 3 Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia
  • 5 Memories of a Murderer: The Nilsen Tapes
  • 6 Martin Luther King
  • 7 Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars
  • 8 Paddington
  • 9 Paddington 2
  • 9 Ronaldo
  • All This Mayhem
  • Catching Killers
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Industry
  • King Arthur
  • Misha and the Wolves
  • Save The Cinema
  • Spiral
  • Supersonic
  • The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
  • The Mauritanian
  • The Program
  • War Machine
  • Woman Walks Ahead

Our Clients


We are always open to hearing about new projects. Please get in touch with a few details about what you need and we’ll see if we can help you - 

Email: info at shanakee dot org 

Shanakee Creations Ltd, FreedomWorks, 31 Chatsworth Road, Worthing, BN11 1LY

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