1 September 2005
Director George Clooney's newsroom drama uses archival footage to chronicle
the story of CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow's ongoing exposé of Senator
Burbank, CA (September 7, 2005) BBC Motion Gallery, a division of BBC
Worldwide Limited and the exclusive global representative for the CBS News
Archive, has licensed footage for use in the upcoming Warner Independent
Pictures feature film Good Night, And Good Luck. from second-time director
George Clooney. The movie is slated for release in October 2005.
Shot for black-and-white release, the film stars David Strathairn as
legendary CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow, host of the popular evening news
program See It Now, which ran from 1951 to 1958. Murrow often used his
show as a platform for political debate, and on the segment that aired March
9, 1953, waged a famous on-air battle against Senator Joseph McCarthy of
Wisconsin, and the Senate subcommittee investigating Communist infiltration.
In this pivotal moment in broadcast journalism history, Murrow revealed the
civil liberties abuses carried out by McCarthy in hopes of ridding America
of Communism, by dissecting the Senator's filmed speeches to show the
inconsistencies and lies in the politician's arguments.
Clooney and his production company Section Eight licensed 20 minutes of
footage from the CBS News Archive comprising historical speeches, Senate
hearings, interviews, and news segments from See It Now and Murrow's
celebrity-driven interview show Person to Person. These clips were
featured on TV monitors in the control room scenes, during shots of the
Murrow show tapings, and in sequences depicting the Murrow crew reviewing
raw footage in a projection room while brainstorming and creating the shows.
Respecting historical accuracy was key, so film and still photographs of the
CBS News environment obtain building the sets.
While actors played many of the historical figures in the film, Clooney made
a conscious decision to use archival material rather than cast an actor for
the role of McCarthy.
Said Kenn Rabin, an independent Archival Scene Researcher tapped by Section
Eight to work on the film, "By making the conscious choice to use the actual
footage of McCarthy, the filmmakers were, in a sense, paralleling what
Murrow tried to do in the historic See It Now episode showing the
Senator's true colors simply by letting him speak in his own words. Any
actor playing McCarthy - even a good one - will at the very least nuance his
performance, or at the worst possibly even paint a caricature. But with
archival footage, American moviegoers get to see McCarthy exactly as he
really was, and the look and feel of events as they happened. BBC Motion
Gallery was a great resource, and really understood the message we wanted to
convey with this film."
BBC Motion Gallery has also recently licensed footage for use in the
following films: The Day After Tomorrow, Fahrenheit 911, XXX: State of the
Union, 51 Dates, The Hunting of the President, and the upcoming film