Sleuthing

cables in NHNZ's VT suite

Sleuthing, that's often the name of the game. That fine line between understanding what the client wants compared to what they say they want. That moment of interpretation and guesswork. At NHNZ Images we are good at second and third guessing our clients, who may or may not have a command of either the medium in which they deal or the content.

Museum exhibitions often have very detailed lists, with specific species requirements, which cannot be fulfilled from us or, anyone else for that matter. Today in my in-box someone wants a Many-Petalled Mangrove Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, a Dwarf Eel Seagrass Zostera japonica and this particular soldier crab Mictyris longicarpus only this one not any other! They are dreamers, the more so as their budgets defy their desires by some margin!

On the other hand advertisers for instance tend to deal with concepts like beauty, wind, freedom, odd one out – these requests are challenging – but we usually manage to think of something appropriate. It's always worthwhile searching our database directly for these concepts. We will have tried to think of them as we have been shot-listing or cataloguing the footage.

Sometimes advertising agency clients they have done their homework and like most people ask for something straightforward. Sometimes their thinking does not extend far enough beyond the square to my way of thinking, but if they don;t tell us what they are trying to achieve it makes it hard to double-guess and offer alternatives. Mind you we have sold our penguin footage to sell a variety of products, from cough-drops, beer, ice-cream, and even photocopiers. And more obviously still we have sold peacocks and bird of paradise to advertise a clothing retail chain here in New Zealand.

I'm not griping really, it's just that we have far more material in our archives than we are generally known for, so go on, next time you've got a weird notion or you need to be more creative, give us a chance to match your aspirations with some of our own peculiar footage. I'd love to sell you the knitting teddy bear, or the large orange leech looping over a leaf, the hermit crab changing shells (surely that's a candidate for real estate or insurance advert), the leafcutter ant that doesn't realise he’s cutting out the bit of leaf he's standing on! We have lyrical dolphins, stormy seas, majestic eagles and heaps heaps more. We could even find substitute critters if you tell us the concept you are after.

Mostly we find our about what the client really wants, by gentle interrogation. But if that's impossible because of time constraints, we'll send you a variety of clips by email so you get a proper choice.