CriticalPast.com was formed by a team of archival research, film, and Internet professionals, working together to create one of the largest privately held online archival footage sources in the world. The collection spans thousands of hours of video, millions of still photos, and continues to grow. It is easily searched by professionals and non-professionals alike, and placing an order for footage or photos is simple and straight-forward.
Drawn largely from U.S. government agency sources, the clips and images in the CriticalPast.com collection are available for license without the clearance concerns encountered when ordering from typical stock footage providers. Our world-class storage and hosting environment and unique image processing algorithms allow us to instantly transcode our full-resolution moving images into your desired format on demand, filling your order in minutes instead of days or weeks. Our still photos are also available for download as JPEG files.
Among stock footage providers, CriticalPast.com is unique in offering immediate download of any footage or photo image in the collection, for most image formats. Or, if you prefer, we are happy to ship your order anywhere in the world. Search our vast collection, place an order, and experience how Critical Past satisfies the varying needs of professionals, while also providing consumers and enthusiasts worldwide with easy access to the world's most compelling archival images.
About the Founders
As co-founder of CriticalPast.com, Jim Erickson merges his extensive background as a video technician, motion picture film professional and network engineer with his interest in transferring historic motion picture films into modern archival formats. Jim’s belief in archival preservation and enhancement through public involvement is one of the driving factors behind CriticalPast.com.
Established by Jim in 2007, with his brother, Andy, CriticalPast.com is one of the largest online collections of historic, royalty-free film footage and still images in the world. Drawn largely from U.S. government agency archives, CriticalPast’s collection spans thousands of hours of video and millions of still images. Jim developed CriticalPast’s unique image processing algorithms, which were used in creating the millions of still images seen within the collection. He also created the site’s editing and content management systems that enable the production of clips and the enhancement of metadata within clips.
Before co-founding CriticalPast.com, Jim was a partner in Stock Footage Clips where he worked as a videographer and archives researcher, gathering stock shots of significant places and historic events. He also owned and operated Erickson Archival Telecine, where he designed and built the entire telecine transfer facility under strict federal government film laboratory standards.
Prior to founding Erickson Archival Telecine, Jim was a colorist at several motion picture post production facilities, including Modern VideoFilm, Anderson Video, and Colorlab, where he worked on numerous archival, documentary, television, and feature projects including “National Geographic Explorer,” “Homicide,” “Power Rangers,” “Silk Stalkings,” “Renegade,” “Waiting for Guffman,” and “The Blair Witch Project.” In 1998, Jim won an International Monitor Award for "Best Color Correction - Documentaries" for the series "Into the Rising Sun."
Jim began his career as a video dubber and telecine assistant for Capitol Video where he ran the company’s commercial dubbing operations.
Jim earned a BS in Telecommunications and English from James Madison University.
Andy Erickson is an accomplished product management and marketing leader with nearly 20 years of experience in the Internet, consumer technology and information services industries.
Andy and his brother, Jim Erickson, an award-winning film colorist, founded CriticalPast LLC in 2007 to simplify the often-arduous process of obtaining historic stock footage and photos. CriticalPast.com now hosts one of the world’s largest online collections of royalty-free archival footage and still images, and is revolutionizing the way that consumers and professionals discover and purchase historic multimedia content.
Before co-founding CriticalPast.com, Andy directed multiple products and programs at AOL, including the company’s flagship AOL 9.0 online service, the AOL Computing channel, the You’ve Got Pictures online photo storage and sharing service, AOL File Backup, and X-Drive among others. During his time at AOL, Andy oversaw the definition of product/program requirements – from launch through maintenance phases – and managed cross-functional teams.
Prior to AOL, Andy served in a number of roles for companies that specialize in metadata management, including Platinum Technology where he was the lead product manager for the company’s Open Enterprise Edition Repository products and oversaw their definition and deployment across technology and marketing teams. Previously, Andy began his career at Reltech Incorporated where he was a software instructor and technical consultant serving a variety of government and Fortune 500 clients.
Andy earned an MBA from Rice University and a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia.