Free Video

HankBaker

I would like to bring up the subject of video and/or still sales.

PLEASE do not give tornado video away to TV stations or television production companies.

This subject has been disscussed here several times, but it has been awhile since its been discussed and there are alot of new chasers out there.

Please charge a fair price for a TV station to use your video.
In SW Kansas last week Dave Ewoldt shot the Ulyssess tornado,
two tv stations called him and were intrested in the video.

One of the stations wanted it for free the other offered him $50.00 He laughed at them picked up his stuff and walked out.

Dave walked out of the stations and told them to forget it.

You work hard for your video, and if you were cored on May 12 then you really worked hard for your video.

Its a free country and everyone can do as they choose.

Please think in advance what your rights are and what a fair price is, and also what kind of rights you will give the tv station.

there is a big diffrence between news worthy footage and documentary footage. The average rate for Documentary footage is $30.00 to$ 50.00 a second.

So why would you give away several minutes to a tv news station?

There are several people on this list like Tim M. and Martin L. who are more than happy to discuss nad help people with what they should charge.

I for one have never been able to sale footage to TWC, they have called me on a few occasions while I was in the feild but never would pay what the footage is worth for a National TV station. So they did not get any video.

We can work together to come up with a fair market price, but if chasers are willing to give away their video then we all suffer. The stations wont pay because they think someone will give it away for free.

We are the ones with the footage, we should be the ones to set a fair market value.

Hank
 
$$

Agreed. How do you go about selling your footage for a documentary? I've got plenty of excellent footage and would definitely like to make some $$.
 
I totally agree. If people sell their video for too little or just give it away then none of the netwoks are going to pay for something they think they can get for free or at least not pay very much. I had a couple of the national networks try to offer me less than what I get from the local station for my 4/21 footage. Thanks, but no thanks. Everybody has got to stick together on this or pretty soon we won't be getting squat for our video. We spend a lot of time, effort, and $ getting the footage, so why would you give it away. You should at least be partially compensated for the cost you incur.
 
Im in.

I would certainly not give away my hard earned footage. If people are giving it away for the idea that WOW!! " Im on tv" Then they are just hurting themselves. Cause them big stars and producers make the big money.. dont forget ;) lol
 
HankBaker wrote

"there is a big difference between news worthy footage and documentary footage. The average rate for Documentary footage is $30.00 to$ 50.00 a second. "

So what is a fair price for news worthy footage $15-$25 a sec ? I'll guessing half of what documentary is . :?
 
I almost wonder if it would be worth someone's (or some people's) time and effort to come up with a "storm video union" of sorts (and I'm not referring to something like BNVN--something non-profit, but beneficial to all chasers). I'm not really sure how it would work, but I can't imagine it would be a bad thing (I have been taken for a buggy ride by TV stations in the past because I didn't know any better).

Perhaps a standard of video content/quality could be constructed to at least ballpark what a video is worth. For instance, if the video quality is poor (shaky camera) but the video content is high (high contrast tornado) and the event was important to the center of a TV's stations network, then the video is worth $____.__ . If the same tornado were of higher quality (camera work/actual camera), then it would be worth $____.__ more than the other video. Also, it seems that a video is worth more if you get it to the TV stations faster (since other chasers have already given their video first)...but this is a bit more debatable, especially when a tornado is much more significant (e.g. it hits a populated area).

Just some things to consider.

Gabe
 
Originally posted by Gabe Garfield
I almost wonder if it would be worth someone's (or some people's) time and effort to come up with a \"storm video union\" of sorts (and I'm not referring to something like BNVN--something non-profit, but beneficial to all chasers). I'm not really sure how it would work, but I can't imagine it would be a bad thing (I have been taken for a buggy ride by TV stations in the past because I didn't know any better).

Perhaps a standard of video content/quality could be constructed to at least ballpark what a video is worth. For instance, if the video quality is poor (shaky camera) but the video content is high (high contrast tornado) and the event was important to the center of a TV's stations network, then the video is worth $____.__ . If the same tornado were of higher quality (camera work/actual camera), then it would be worth $____.__ more than the other video. Also, it seems that a video is worth more if you get it to the TV stations faster (since other chasers have already given their video first)...but this is a bit more debatable, especially when a tornado is much more significant (e.g. it hits a populated area).

Just some things to consider.

Gabe

I have never even tried to sell video. The horror stories of others combined with my personal laziness have kept me far away from media trucks and TV stations. Further, I'm pretty sure I'd get taken advantage of by such people and don't want to give them the chance.

So, while I'm not part of the problem actively, I could easily become part of the problem unintentionally if I decided to sell some video.

I rather like Gabe's concept which sounds to me like it would give us some type of "agreed to" price structure that would help ensure people get what they deserve. It would also give others (such as me) some reasonable expectations. But, like everything else in the chase community, trying to structure such a thing would lead to endless battles. I can imagine the fights that would happen.

So, there would have to be some form of committment to follow the guidelines, perhaps with some kind of penalty for violators. But, then 2/3 of chasers wouldn't join the "fair market price for chase video" alliance.

Honestly, I don't see the solution, but I agree that it's something that should be addressed. But, I would certainly welcome changes that improve market conditions for those who do this as a business.
 
I agree that it'd be nice to have some sort of pricing structure, but it's never going to happen. There are many chasers who do not belong to Stormtrack, so if we set a pricing structure, I can almost guarantee that the station(s) will still have plenty of other video from which to choose. Additionally, I think it'll be tough for some people to refrain from selling their video for $150 instead of the 'pricing-structure' price of $200, especially if it's a long chase with a big gas bill.

Good concept, but I don't think it holds much real-world potential.
 
with the chaser org in consideratrion.. we could have codes that members that join will adhere too.
 
Why I don't think a union among chasers and storm videographers would work is that there are nonchasers and amateurs getting footage of tornadoes all the time too - there seems to be quite a bit footage being shown even on networks and cable that's not tripoded. Also it wouldn't stop someone who may not need/care about the money from selling professional quality video at well below market value.
 
Originally posted by Jeff Wear
Why I don't think a union among chasers and storm videographers would work is that there are nonchasers and amateurs getting footage of tornadoes all the time too - there seems to be quite a bit footage being shown even on networks and cable that's not tripoded. Also it wouldn't stop someone who may not need/care about the money from selling professional quality video at well below market value.


I was under the impression that tripods had been illegal in storm chasing since 2002.
 
On tripods, one thing I have been told by several producers recently, both at our station and with several other outlets is that they PREFER the non tripoded stuff for news and programs. The way it was put to me, is that the hand held, COPS style shooting, looked more "real" than the tripoded stuff. That the tripoded almost seems like it didn't happen to viewers.

I personally disagree and feel the tripoded stuff should be the way to go, but then, they are the ones paying for it, so I guess it really depends what your end goal for your video is, whether you want to be strict with a tripod or not.
 
I suppose if the news stations don't want tripoded footage, then we really have no advantage over non-chaser citizen types. It's really a shame, since I don't think people actually WANT untripoded footage. Most people I've talked to (who aren't chasers) say that untripoded footage gives them headaches. I have to agree.

Gabe
 
I agree that storm chasers should not provide TV stations with free video. Freelance photographers get paid for video they shoot, so why should it be any different for storm chasers?

On the other hand, I do donate video and photographs to the NWS without any cost.
 
Originally posted by David Drummond
On tripods, one thing I have been told by several producers recently, both at our station and with several other outlets is that they PREFER the non tripoded stuff for news and programs.

Gads!!!! I want to beat those producers over the head with 2x4's now, not actually but they obviously don't understand the concept of good Videojournalism.

I worked for a CBS affiliate for 4 years and I always trained new Videojournalists to use tripods unless an extreme situation came along that prohibited them.

If a producer told me to not use a tripod, I would beat him with a wet noodle.
 
Originally posted by David Drummond
On tripods, one thing I have been told by several producers recently, both at our station and with several other outlets is that they PREFER the non tripoded stuff for news and programs. The way it was put to me, is that the hand held, COPS style shooting, looked more \"real\" than the tripoded stuff. That the tripoded almost seems like it didn't happen to viewers.
This is exactly what I harped upon in past posts (last year). It was 1999, after the May 3 outbreak, that I realized that professionally-shot tripoded video is no longer the main attraction. I marketed my video through several outlets, and nobody snagged. Instead, the video that sold consisted of non-tripoded, out-of-focus, and screaming crap, a la Service J style.

It is because of this reason that I have pretty much given up aggressively marketing any more video, and instead enjoy my video and stills for myself and my family and friends, and for charitable causes. Having that burden off my shoulders also lends to a much more enjoyable storm chase experience.

BTW - although I don't agree with their viewpoint 100%, this makes for some interesting reading:

http://www.stormeyes.org/tornado/cancer.htm

g
 
I think when they are talking about "non-tripodded" video, Most news agencies are looking that the shoulder mounted ENG style cameras and not the hand held camcorders we all have. Though that vey well could be a mistake on my part in the translation.

A shoulder mounted large camera is much more stable than a hand held camcorder. No doubt. I try to shoot everything with a mount of some sort. If I'm hand holding the little camcorder, I make sure that I'm leaning up against something, even if it's my truck.
 
Originally posted by Greg Stumpf
BTW - although I don't agree with their viewpoint 100%, this makes for some interesting reading

Edwards/Thompson make some very interesting points. Although their view of the situation is somewhat cynical, I think it is true to the nature of humans.

Perhaps the only solution for this situation is to stick to your guns for what you think you deserve (if you sell your video) or to just forget about it altogether (if you don't sell video).

Gabe
 
What i am about to say is my experience and my opinion.

News worthy footage for a TV station has value. You have to tell the station your selling the video and that it is for "local" use only, (not to be sent on the SAT) and also give them a time limit, let say 7 days for them to use the video in a local broadcast.

News worthy footage does not have as much value as Documentary footage.

If one station has video of a news worthy event and another station has no video of that event. Because the tv market is extremely competitive. That is what makes the footage more valuable.

I would not accept anything less than $200.00, that would be the minimum. ( I think it should be higher but lets be realistic.)

The time and effort it takes to get it to the station will cost you $50.00 in time, gas, etc. Plus you probably spent $50.00-100.00 in gas that chase day anyway , not to mention wear and tear on your vehicle.

At that price it would be for local use only and they only have 5-7 days to use "my" footage.

Keep in mind that tv stations do not concern themselves with copyright, they seem to try and fall under the cloak of (Its News worthy).

Documentary footage, however going rate is 30.00-50.00 a second.

A tv station or even TWC will call you in the field and tell you to go up link your video at a particular station.
What happens is they try to get you to commit and make the effort to get to the uplink before they discuss price, then after a person has made the effort they lowball him for his video and the person says well I am here anyway ya I;ll take that.

My suggestion is to negotiate price before you commit to going to an uplink or TV station.

The attitude, this will never work because people will give away footage, is the very attitude that creates the enviroment for stations to even expect free or cheap video.

We are on the front lines of footage we should be able to set a fair value on footage.

Think about how much a station spends on an employee a vehicle and a chase team, they cannot be everywhere all at once. So $200.00-$300.00 is cheap compared to what they have spent that day. Especially if they dont have any footage.

Hank
 
I have only taken photos of storms but will add the mini-dv recorder this year. I am inclined to believe an item is worth what the highest bidder is willing to pay for it. Mr John Q Public who shot a tornado going through town shouldn't give the video away for free as it is in his best interest to get something (even if below "market" value) for the footage. Some posts in this thread seemingly refer to storm video as shares of stock where you have high liquidity at a nearly fixed price. I prefer to think of it as an item on eBay that goes to the maximum bidder. If there is a bunch of the same item up for bids than odds are you will not fetch a premium. This is life. Now if your item has a unique quality that the others don't have than you will get a higher bid... say tornado video with cows flying. I would think the money is still there for video that isn't the same "cut and paste" tornado in a field. It's probably time to face the fact that most storm video no longer diserves the premium of a Warhol or Picasso. The availability of free footage is simply another thrust with the dagger. I have no qualms with anyone who chases with the motivation of profit so long as they accept the fact that they have competition. If they aren't making money than it is time to find a new profession.
 
Originally posted by Gabe Garfield+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Gabe Garfield)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Greg Stumpf
BTW - although I don't agree with their viewpoint 100%, this makes for some interesting reading

Edwards/Thompson make some very interesting points. Although their view of the situation is somewhat cynical, I think it is true to the nature of humans.

Perhaps the only solution for this situation is to stick to your guns for what you think you deserve (if you sell your video) or to just forget about it altogether (if you don't sell video).

Gabe[/b]

I agree...and to further it, I think storm chasers should remember that people are affected by tornadoes and drop the greed (along with the news stations)...ideas like the "Storms of 2004" DVD are awesome...Red Cross (or some other non-profit org) gets donations and chasers can show they care for just a little more than their own fame and a 5 sec clip on TWC
 
$$

I personally don't chase for the $$ but for the thrill, beauty, etc. of the storm. If I had to live off what I made chasing storms I would be homeless...lol I love sharing my videos/pics with the public and I'm not gonna lie, I loved it when my footage was shown on TWC, etc. on 05/08/05. I didnt get paid much but the compliments that I got from friends, family, strangers, etc. made me feel like a million bucks and TWC helped me share my video with the whole world. I consider my NUMEROUS accurate and timely storm spotter reports and the video that I DONATE to the many NWS offices as charity. 8)
 
Re: $$

Originally posted by Craig Maire II
I personally don't chase for the $$ but for the thrill, beauty, etc. of the storm. If I had to live off what I made chasing storms I would be homeless...lol I love sharing my videos/pics with the public and I'm not gonna lie, I loved it when my footage was shown on TWC, etc. on 05/08/05. I didnt get paid much but the compliments that I got from friends, family, strangers, etc. made me feel like a million bucks and TWC helped me share my video with the whole world. I consider my NUMEROUS accurate and timely storm spotter reports and the video that I DONATE to the many NWS offices as charity. 8)

Why not do what you do for a living as a charity instead of getting paid for it? I don't know how you make your living but suppose there is some kid who just loves your line of work and offers to do it for charity because he enjoys it. Now multiply that by the number of people giving away video and still images for free and see what your job would be worth.
 
Re: $$

Originally posted by Marc Grant
Why not do what you do for a living as a charity instead of getting paid for it? I don't know how you make your living but suppose there is some kid who just loves your line of work and offers to do it for charity because he enjoys it. Now multiply that by the number of people giving away video and still images for free and see what your job would be worth.

That's a rather poor analogy since there may only be one or two people who regularly post to this forum who actually make a living selling weather related video.

Cut Craig some slack. There's nothing wrong with what he's doing just as there's nothing wrong with people trying to get the most money for their work as possible. And if you think it's cutting into your profits then maybe you should offer a product that will demand a higher market value.

Regards,

Mike
 
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