My approach would be to take the following steps ASAP:
1. Contact the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra (www.nfsa.gov.au) and tell them what you have;
2. Depending upon what the NFSA says, and upon whether you want to retain any sort of claim yourself to these films, speak to a private criminal lawyer who can help you in your dealings with the police;
3. Contact the police - probably the AFP in Canberra in the first instance rather than the state guys;
4. Don't post any footage or stills here or elsewhere on the internet until you have done the above - if the police decide this stuff is important to them, they are unlikely to have much of a sense of humour.
its too late ian
he posted some of them in his safety film nitrate test thread ...
I'd consult a local attorney rather than an Internet photo forum. They will have the real answers that will help you decide what to do next.
I would certainly not share any of the work until you get the score from an attorney.
Are they prints or in-camera film? If they are prints, one thing I would try to do would be to find duplicate footage from another source. Perhaps if you do this, you will be able to find out what events the footage depicts. They may just be prints of already-known events.
How do you know they were shot in northern Australia? Are the people shown in military uniforms? Are the perpetrators shown? Are the weapons shown? Are there dates listed? What are the ethnicities of the victims and of the perpetrators?
But do ask an attorney for advice before doing anything.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 04-24-2009 at 08:13 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
Look *CLOSELY*, the printed in codes can bloom and a + can look like a box or a diamond or whatever. If there are two sets of codes, you can usually determine which belongs to the negative (should be clear) and which is the positive (dark) -- usually.
Nitrate was phased out in 1953, but could have been shot up until existing stocks ran out in the 1960's.
Wish I could examine them; I could probably tell you what they are.
I was the timer/grader for the Library of Congress in 1997 when we pritnted all the Warsaw Ghetto atrocity footage captured by the US Army during WWII.
Nitrate had frameline markers that went horizontally between the perfs ever 4 frames and safety had frameline markers that went vertically between the perfs ever 4 frames, but I've never seen them overprint to form a T...
You also may have mixed safety and nitrate -- safety has been around since the early 1910's in motion pictures, but the predominant base was Nitrate -- it was a lot more durable for distribution until triacetate was formulated in the late 40's.
Anyway,a half a World away, all I can do is say, keep it dry, keep it cool and get it to the archive!
There was a slow-burning film stock made from the late 1920's on up, designed for use in schools, and institutions. It was not as dimensionally stable as Nitrate and was far inferior to the later Tri-acetate stock that became standard.