Getty Images has partnered with BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, to be the exclusive global distributor for the world-renowned BBC Motion Gallery.

Huw Martin is a Content Co-ordinator for BBC Motion Gallery, and part of the team who searches the BBC archives for suitable content. This content is digitised and uploaded to the BBC Motion Gallery hosted on Getty Images for clients to license for a multitude of projects from adverts to films, documentaries to corporate videos. 

We asked him for his top 10 favorite archival clips from the BBC Motion Gallery collection.

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This is my quintessential “The clip that keeps on giving” clip. The sheer horror of men wearing cat suits (and knitted ones at that….) is highlighted here in glorious colour. They say that the 1970’s was the “decade that style forgot”…….they were most definitely right.

 

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“Citizen Kane” is one of my favourite films, so it’s fascinating to hear its creator (Orson Welles) talking about the theories that the character of “Kane” was based on the real-life eccentric, Randolph Hearst.

 

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I always enjoy finding archive footage that contains a strong social history element to it & this fantastic tracking shot along Old Compton Street in Soho in 1960 is a lovely snapshot of the city & its inhabitants, going about their day to day business. 

 

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This is a gem of a clip. It starts out as a generic long shot over a railway line in some nondescript area of London, but then turns into something slightly bizarre, until you realise that the featured gentleman is actually not doing something dubious, but simply works at a mannequin factory.
 

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During my time as a freelance film researcher I was asked on more than one occasion to find archive footage of a theatre/cinema/studio audience applauding, which could easily be edited into a sequence. This type of shot can be notoriously difficult to find, so it was a bit of a coup to (accidentally) come across this material in an old BBC news item from 1958.

 

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In June 1989 I was sitting my GCSE exams. Sadly I wasn’t sitting in a plastic room, wearing woollen tights, talking to a woman with odd hair & playing with a large electronic dice. I feel like I’ve missed out on something….
 

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The early 1950s were an exciting time for Britain. The country was coming out of the post-war years & there was a real feeling of optimism, exemplified by events such as the Festival of Britain & the Coronation of Elizabeth II. I think this lovely clip of a mother & daughter outside Buckingham Palace during the Coronation celebrations sums it up quite nicely.
 

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a problem with getting out of a car quickly, yet still keeping my dignity intact. Thank the archive gods for this extremely informative clip, which shows you how to do it correctly, even when your car has no engine……or a chassis for that matter.
 

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The Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech Republic is a small chapel that has been decorated with thousands upon thousands of human bones. This zoom on a highly decorated monstrance (a religious vessel) is both beautiful & eerie at the same time.

 

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Rock and roll!! This shot of hip young things going for it “big style” in a dance hall is fantastic, not only as a fun piece of footage but as a short piece of social history. It may look a bit tame (though tiring) now, but rock and roll music was considered scandalous by the well-to-do’s when it first came to our shores in the 1950’s.

 

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