The Media Burn Independent Archive / ‘Wired In’ TV

An incredible operation we should all get behind here, particularly as this is one of many free sources for footage that are increasingly becoming in demand as people edit together their own clips. Can’t understate the importance of what Media Burn is and does. As the corporates swallow up smaller libraries, destroying the source footage and making a lot of it inaccessible to scholars or media, we’re slowly losing history, the kind of stuff you don’t know is there until the day you need to look for it. Pretty disgraceful really, especially as a lot of it hasn’t been converted properly before it’s skipped.

Not just forgotten documentaries or original guerilla tv; this type of destruction extends down to government departments, who’s countless errors and degradation of tape due to improper storage (see NASA for one example) is only recently being fixed and handed over to the right people.

The Media Burn Independent Archive ( is a documentary focused archive collection and something we believe in and feel quite passionate about. A lot of shots from various decades and even raw material that doesn’t exist outside the unedited programs is being looked after, stored, keyworded and converted to digital with care.

The mission statement below sums it up pretty nicely.

The Media Burn Independent Video Archive collects more than 6,000 documentary videotapes produced by independent videographers outside of corporate contexts. The tapes chronicle four decades of 20th and 21st century life, including politics, arts and culture, community life, urban issues, ethnic identities, and more. Media Burn recognizes the power of documentary to change the way we understand the world around us. That’s why it is our mission to preserve our shared cultural history on analog videotape and make it available for generations to come.

There’s some amazing stuff in there, and it’s too easy to just log on and browse around. A personal favourite has been the raw footage from a never-aired television series called Wired In. Shot in the 1980s, Wired In was a documentary technology show focussing on technology, which of course also meant a major focus on game entertainment, including arcades packed with classic machines. Right up our alley, can’t wait to get some cuts done at some stage.

A few episodes below, starting with the demo reel (starring Bill Murray incidentally and a fake service announcement from Lily Tomlin) and right down the bottom 16 mins of raw footage from the Ms. Pac-Man factory, absolute gold.