Jessica Berman-Bogdan (Global ImageWorks)

Cobain: Montage of Heck; Narcos   |   End of Movie LLC; Narcos LLC

Credit 1 - Title of Production: Cobain: Montage of Heck Credit 1 - Production Company: End of Movie, LLC. Credit 1 - Broadcast / Media Platform: All media Credit 1 - Brief Synopsis: Kurt Cobain, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of Nirvana, remains an icon 20 years after his death. KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK is a raw and visceral journey through Cobain's life and career with Nirvana through the lens of his home movies, recordings, artwork, photography, and journals. Credit 1 - Reason for submission: KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK is a feature length documentary film almost entirely created from the use of archive material. Jessica's research expertise and skills to bring in and then manage the vast amount of audio visual elements required for this project helped the success of the film. Credit 1 - Researcher's Statement: Cobain: Montage of Heck was a fully sanctioned project. We had the full support of the Cobain estate and support of Nirvana's record company. As Archival Producer, I worked on the film for two years. I was the first person hired and I was still there to help close down the project. Over the past 15 years, the Director, Brett Morgen, and I have worked on many films together. Because Brett understands the unique challenges of archival-based filmmaking, he starts the archival research process in pre-production. My first assignment is always to source enough footage and other elements so by the time the production team is in place, there is plenty of material to screen and key story points are represented. I worked closely with Nirvana's record company to access to outtakes and unseen footage. I successfully arranged access to MTV and Rolling Stone Magazine's deep storage archives which contained even more unique and rarely seen materials. We knew the film would have access to the Cobain estate archives. The challenge here was the lack of a detailed inventory. We had no idea what we would find once we entered that archive. We literally catalogued thousands of items including; Kurt's journals, various artwork, a box of over 200 audio tapes and general ephemera. All of this material needed to be photographed and logged into the film's asset management system. The Cobain archive produced a treasure trove of material and had a profound impact on Brett. It provided both great inspiration and a wealth of production materials. There is a good deal of Nirvana footage on YouTube. My job was to not only get every frame of what we saw online but to develop strategic relationships that would ultimately uncover outtakes and even more footage that had not been seen or previously been available. I made contact with over 100 private individuals who had either personally produced and/or collected Nirvana footage. Most of the private individuals were not only protective of their materials; they were curiously very protective of Kurt Cobain himself. Most collectors I encountered were very hesitant to let anything out. One of the main challenges I faced was to gain the trust of these individuals. I contacted a few dozen photographers in both the US and Europe. We obtained their contact sheets so that we could assemble the greatest amount of photos to choose from. I reached out to commercial archives and broadcasters around the world. Nirvana in their few short years of existence was known in almost every country worldwide. I tracked down numerous reporters who, in the late 1980s or early 1990s, had interviewed Nirvana and/or Kurt for magazine articles to see if they retained the audio from these interviews. I convinced them to search their attic, basements and garages and then arranged to have whatever they found digitally transferred. This was challenging to say the least, but also extremely rewarding. Part of my Archival Producer responsibilities was to oversee and organize the thousands of assets, across all sources that were being brought in and to create the internal workflow that would ingest and manage all of the audio visual elements. I created seven (7) separate databases which were hosted online and therefore accessible in real time from any location. It was an especially challenging but necessary step since several key personnel were not all in one location - the production office was based in Los Angeles, I was on the east coast, and one of the key producer's was in Colorado. The final locked edit contained close to 3,000 individual elements in a variety of film and tape formats. In the end, we licensed material from over 100 different copyright holders. I was responsible for negotiating each licensing deal, securing every agreement and traficking all the paperwork through to full execution and paid status. During this process I interfaced with the legal team to make sure each agreement met their approval. Once the licensing deals were in place I was responsible for ordering master quality elements for every audio visual asset in the film. I was also tasked with making sure we stayed within budget and that everything was brought in on time. My last responsibility on the film was to create the production bibles - which on a film such as Cobain: Montage of Heck, is a small archive in and of itself. Credit 1 - Director/Producer or Production Manager's Statement: Jessica Berman-Bogdan was the first hire on COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK, and one of the last to assist in closing down the production. In addition to being an acclaimed commercial director, Brett Morgen has been dubbed the "Mad scientist" of documentary filmmaking by the New York Times and has been directing, writing and producing groundbreaking documentary films for the past 15 years. He and Jessica first collaborated on THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE and have worked together on every film since. Brett has said that he "thinks of Jessica more like a cross between a cinematographer and a producer. I would never even think of doing an archival film if she wasn't available. She and her team can locate and find just about everything that we've asked for and beyond that, can negotiate the terms of the deals. When working on archival projects, you come across quite a few people who don't understand film and are weary of sending out materials which could represent their life's work. Jessica puts people at ease. They trust her, and for good reason. She treats archival materials with the greatest care." Jessica's work gathering archival material was instrumental to the shaping of the film. COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK was assembled almost entirely through the use of archival material, a huge proportion of which was found and obtained by Jessica; the process of making the film was one of reviewing the extant footage and understanding the story that it was telling, a process that would have been impossible without Jessica's efforts. She was able to locate and successfully bring in what we believe was close to all existing footage and audio of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, obtaining the cooperation of many private individuals who had personal footage they either shot or controlled. She created and oversaw an asset management system which kept track of hundreds of hours of footage and audio from more than 100 sources, 7000 photos, and over 5000 items of assorted ephemera, ranging from personal items, to artwork, to journals. It was a herculean effort to track it all and then to oversee the ordering of masters and negotiation of licenses. It is a further testament to her skills that this was all managed remotely between Jessica's office in New Jersey and our production office in Los Angeles. We communicated on a daily basis throughout the production. Jessica was able to make magic happen continually throughout the production because of her vast experience and her deep relationships in the archive world. Her expertise and experience in rights and clearances were instrumental throughout and she worked closely with our legal team to get all the agreements to final execution in a timely and efficient manner. She pursued every lead to its conclusion and exercised great care in establishing the chain of title for each piece of material used and ensuring that due diligence was taken to find and obtain licenses from all applicable copyright holders. In sum, Jessica's labor, expertise, and judgment were of paramount importance in enabling us to create the best film possible. (Danielle Renfrew Behrens, Producer) Credit 2 - Title of Production: Narcos Credit 2 - Production Company: Narcos LLC. Credit 2 - Broadcast / Media Platform: All media excluding theatrical Credit 2 - Brief Synopsis: NARCOS Season 1 was a 10 part scripted series produced by Gaumont Television for Netflix. Written by Chris Brancato and directed by José Padilha, Narcos is the true-life story of the growth and spread of cocaine drug cartels in Colombia and attendant efforts by U.S. DEA agents to meet the cartels head on in brutal, bloody conflict. Narcos centers on notorious Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar (Moura), and the two DEA agents Javier Peña (Pascal) and Steve Murphy (Holbrook) sent to Colombia to capture and ultimately kill him. Produced by Gaumont and executive produced by Padilha and Eric Newman, Narcos premiered on Netflix in 2015. Credit 2 - Reason for submission: Narcos Season 1 was heavily dependent on stock archival footage. Although scripted, the story is based on true events and needed to look and feel authentic. The use of footage throughout the series certainly helped to define the look and feel of the production and was an integral part of the storyline. Credit 2 - Researcher's Statement I was hired early in in pre-production while the scripts were still being written and before actual shooting began. Initial footage was to assist the writers in story development for fact checking and to write the stock footage sequences into the scripts. The footage was also utilized by the director and set designers (and I believe by some of the actors) to facilitate seamless integration of stock with originally shot material. From the beginning, the show was conceived to be a mix of archival footage and newly shot scripted material. Season 1 covered the buildup of Pablo Escobar and the drug cartels and ended with Pablo's imprisonment in 1991. I brought in almost every frame of available screeners from various archives in US and Europe that related to Pablo Escobar covering the mid 1980s through 1991. However, more challenging, was to obtain access to the Colombian broadcast archives and other footage sources within Colombia. To this end, I brought on a colleague who was fully bilingual and could engage with the Colombian archives. Additionally we had to navigate a complicated payment structure within Colombia before we could get screening materials. It took a good few months to establish a work flow and relationship, but in the end, we were successfully receiving footage out of Colombia on a regular basis. It was also my responsibility to set up a workflow and asset management system for all the footage and to insure proper procedures were followed to enable all the different departments (writers, editors etc.) to be able to access the footage. The production team was in various locations " the writers and editors were in Los Angeles, the director and the actors were shooting in Colombia and Brazil, and I was on the east coast. There were a variety of web connectivity issues and mostly for technical reasons, it was decided we would use google docs to manage the archival. Although it was not my first choice, we worked out a tracking system that proved very effective and easily workable for the variety of entities who needed to make use of it. I was on the project for close to one year - from early pre-production, through the production shooting and post production stages. The series ended up licensing footage from about 20 copyright holders. In addition to overseeing and managing all audio visual elements, I was responsible for negotiating the agreements, interfacing with the legal team for approval of all agreements and trafficking everything through to full execution and payment. Once the deals were all in place, my team was responsible for ordering all the master elements and bringing everything in on time and on budget. Credit 2 - Director/Producer or Production Manager's Statement: Narcos Season 1 was heavily dependent on stock archival footage. Although scripted, the story is based on true events and needed to look and feel authentic. I brought Jessica in early in pre-production as the writers needed actuality footage to help develop scripts and for the director to prepare for filming the scripted sequences. Jessica and her team always delivered. Archival footage was used in a variety of ways throughout all ten episodes " from the creation of short mini docs, giving the viewer a first hand view of the true events that documented the rise and ultimate fall of Pablo, to a simple shot or two to set up a story point intercut with the dramatized footage. Jessica's thorough understanding of the subject matter played an integral part to our team. Collecting incredible images relating to the events surround Pablo's 13 year saga from sources around the world was an enormous undertaking. She brought in footage from dozens of commercial libraries throughout the world to meet very specific script requests . One of our main challenges was to get footage from sources inside Colombia and deal with multi-language challenges as well. Jessica organized an incredibly effective team who successfully navigated through the variety of hurdles and roadblocks and to successfully deliver a steady stream of materials throughout the production. I had worked with Jessica several years ago and she was the first person I called for this project with her expertise in managing a large production along with the complicated elements. Her ability to bring the audio visual in on time and on budget was crucial to the success of the project. We are now starting Season 2 and we are continuing to work together. (Tim King, Producer)