“Index it,” has become a common phrase in the stock shot industry over the past fifty years, putting the Index collection at the top end of footage libraries. What makes Index outstanding is the fact it is film-based, boasting over a thousand cans of 35mm and 16mm. Created in 1966 by Gerry Weinbren after the closing of the Film Centre Library, Index has accumulated a huge selection of footage shot over 5 decades from various different filmmakers, including Gerry himself.

Gerry started his career as a filmmaker with the Shell Film Unit and later moving to the Bristol Aeroplane Company to promote the business through film and TV. His background in aviation led to the Index Collection’s specialism in airplane and airport footage. Gerry liaised with the company’s customers in order to be able to film the ships and aircraft that were powered by Bristol Aeroplane Company engines. After the Film Centre Library closed and Gerry’s footage needed a new home alongside the work of many other filmmakers, Index was born.

Index started building up its collection with 35mm material from short films and documentaries, which, as Gerry says, ‘provided quality material because of the talented directors, editors and cameramen then working in the sector.’ After some time Gerry himself started ‘shooting footage to satisfy the demand from “high end” users – movies, commercials and quality TV outlets.’

This involved travelling around the world – London, Miami, Las Vegas, New York – to collect some of the fantastic footage that makes up the collection. Index offers beautiful waterfalls, moonlit cityscapes, breathtaking fjords, and industrial documentation from all over the globe.

3 things we love most about the collection:

1. An airplane flying against a blazing red sky.

2. How global the collection is, with films from all over the world.

3. Being reminded of all the old airlines we no longer see, such as Trans World.

Throughout the half-century that Index has been supplying the film and TV industry with stock footage, it has seen the dawn of 35mm Eastman colour negative, 16mm film for TV broadcast, Digibeta, HD tape, 2K, 4K, and now 8K film mediums. With all the fantastic films and TV programmes based on historical events and figures, there is a huge demand for high quality scans of original negative, and we can provide this.

Index has an extensive list of impressive credits, from the 1978 adaptation of The Thirty Nine Steps to, more recently, Legend starring Tom Hardy and Emily Browning, and Netflix’s The Crown.

Having created and nurtured the collection into what it is today, Gerry is passing the Index steering wheel onto R3el, who promise to take good care of it.

3 things we’d love to achieve with Index:

1. Get the entire collection digitised.

2. Excite people about film-based clips from the last fifty years

3. Make this important documentation of history accessible to the wider public.