NWS and Videos

Mike Hollingshead

I can't remember if I brought this up on here before or not. I am still trying to understand why it is some NWS offices will just write you a gov check for your video like everyone else does(literally...no e-mails, nothing, just a gov check in the mail from their office) and why some ask for free copies? Do we owe the NWS/Gov free vids for spotter training? It is a nice gesture but I'm sorry I generally could use money. It isn't like I'm even asking some extra fee to use it for spotter training. It would just be nice for them to purchase the video beings they have gov money to do so. The more I think about it, getting asked over and over is really starting to bug me. Perhaps they should ask those that didn't put a video together and do all the work that is involved for them to dig up some video for free. If I had a gov check book I'd certainly be willing to buy a video. Sigh. I don't have a problem giving my local office one, but giving one to every other office will get old.

Evil-doer chaser signing off....
 
Most of them get video thrown at them from "amateurs" all the time. If they have to pay for it they probably move on down the line. Market saturation would be my guess.

Just plain evil-doer :wink:

Tim
 
I gave my 8-9-99 footage of southern MN tornadoes to the MPX NWSFO a few days after the event. They never said anything about payment, and I never even thought about it actually. I guess it's not really a big deal to me. If it had been used for business purposes in which they were trying make a profit (e.g. TWC, local news, etc) I guess I wouldn't have given it w/o some sort of compensation, since, afterall, they'd be making money on my video (of course, charity videos don't fall under this category). But, whether they use it in their Skywarn classes or if it just sits on a shelf in the office, they aren't making money on it, and thus I don't really care about payment.
 
I've always provided video to the NWS for free, because as a rule I never charge for educational/scientific contributions. I guess I never really thought of the NWS as the government, since they actually provide a service.

I think it just depends on the chaser, but then again I've never had an NWSFO "expect" me to provide video for nothing; I've always approached them and volunteered. However, a few offices have reimbursed me on their own: OUN keeps a stack of blank VHS tapes, and they always give me one when I donate a video. DDC sent me five one-dollar bills wrapped in a thank you note. A few offices never responded to me at all, not even to let me know they'd received the tape: OAX & PAH. All the rest have never offered reimbursement, but have been cool to work with.
 
Do we owe the NWS/Gov free vids for spotter training?

I'll probably sound like a jerk for saying it - but why not give the NWS video if they ask for it? I'm not talking about polished production quality stuff, just a raw segment for their training. If they put it on their web site - you are getting free advertisement, the NWS folks get a better understanding of storm behavior relative to remote observations, and in turn they are able to offer better products that help you be a more successful chaser in the future. Seems win-win to me. Do you owe it to them? Maybe not, but it seems a small concession given what they offer in return. If other offices want copies, send them a price sheet.

Glen
 
Just to add an additional comment, and Mike can correct me if I'm wrong, but maybe he was speaking of the finished DVD product. I would probably not go mailing those off in bulk at no cost since you obviously have costs put into them.

Shane's description of swap-a-tape sounds like a good policy for the offices, and would certainly be more than fair. The guys at GRR offered to do that for me, though I turned them down, but it was a great gesture.

Tim
 
I'll probably sound like a jerk for saying it - but why not give the NWS video if they ask for it? I'm not talking about polished production quality stuff, just a raw segment for their training. If they put it on their web site - you are getting free advertisement, the NWS folks get a better understanding of storm behavior relative to remote observations, and in turn they are able to offer better products that help you be a more successful chaser in the future. Seems win-win to me. Do you owe it to them? Maybe not, but it seems a small concession given what they offer in return. If other offices want copies, send them a price sheet

I don't have a problem giving my local office one, but giving one to every other office will get old.

It is equally as little of a deal for them to write a GOV check for a video that will cover so much of what they want to show each year(when various offices do). Hell less of a deal for them to do that. I mean c'mon. Get my point at all here? I do not have a problem giving my local office one, like I said.
 
Just to add an additional comment, and Mike can correct me if I'm wrong, but maybe he was speaking of the finished DVD product. I would probably not go mailing those off in bulk at no cost since you obviously have costs put into them.

Yep that is what I'm refering to. A video with EVERY chase on it. It is just the point of it. If you have GOV funds, you are providing a service, you should offer up the whopping $25 for a video that will likely cover your whole spotter training or use what is offered to you. I didn't get into chasing for the weather service. I'm a fairly nice guy and will always say yes and ship the thing, but feel I must grumble in here when other offices just write you a nice check for your efforts.

I thought I paid for their services when I payed my taxes. Oh well...
 
Alot of paperwork can be involved when getting a check out also some Gov't agencies are issued cc cards for purchase's now ,instead of checks and cash. If thats the case then they need to get a paypal account... :p

If they want it bad enough ,they can put the work into the paperwork just like you put the work into making the tape.
 
I'd give OUN a copy of my video, but every other office would need to pay for it. The reason is because there's already a ton of tornado video in every NWS office archive, so denying a free copy of mine isn't like keeping something vital from them. In fact, I'd think the only reason an outside NWSFO would even want a copy of a produced video is because someone at that office wants it to view personally.

After all, production videos are creations of art and personality, not geared towards education and training.
 
I mean c'mon. Get my point at all here? I do not have a problem giving my local office one, like I said.

Yeah - and like I said - I'd certainly not be giving them the production quality material either - though adding a watermark is probably a good idea. Folks NWS or otherwise asking you for free videos is uncool - I'd agree they should pay for those, at least at cost + shipping. If an office asks for video from a specific event - that is what I'm referring to - then it seems responsible to offer them what you have. That's all I'm trying to say.

Glen
 
What would be a great idea, like Glen said, would be to put your website URL on the bottom of the video clip, and then send them the clip that they want, and make it as high quality as you can (similar to a "preview" clip, but just the segment/event the NWS wants, since they usually won't play the whole tape anyways)-- That way it would "wow" the audience, and possibly increase sales due to the extra advertising.
 
I gave some footage of the late season Wellington Kansas Tornado to ICT this year. There were a couple of reasons for that. First off, ICT is out of my CWA (OUN) but since we are a radio station we routinely report the weather in south central Kansas. There were two reported tornadoes that day, the one I was on and one over by Udall. No one had any video that I was aware of. In fact, the Wichita radio stations weren't picking up on tis tornadoe until it had been on the ground some 10 minutes (KFDI in particular).

The second reason is that it gives us a better working relationship with ICT. I'll be going to one or two of there local Spotter Training sessions as well. Unfortunately, OUN is really stacked up with the OKC Metroplex and it really hard to establish a working relationship with them as we are so far north. That's not to say we don't have something, we ARE in the OUN CWA. It's just easier to work with the group at ICT.

By the way, the folks at ICT were amazed to see a tornado as large as the one we had on video. I know the folks back at the station never saw the shear or TVS markers until after the tornado had pretty much roped out.
 
I try to give a rough edited tape to any NWS office that I happened to tape anything significant in. I can say that in all but two cases, I never even received so much as an email saying the recieved it. The two exceptions were pretty happy about getting it.
 
This is a good deal, lol. Now I have a whole list of people to refer these people to. I will reply with two links, one to my video page again and the other to this topic. Hell they might accept free videos from everyone on here.

Thanks!
 
I've always provided any of my video to the FTW WSFO for use in Skywarn training and have been happy to do so for free. My compensation is that it hopefully will help illustrate and therefore save lives by educating the local spotters. It's also good advertisement as I'm givin credit for whatever is used.

Gary Woodall and Al Moller bust their butts producing what many concider the best training program in the country. I'm glad to contribute to that.

We have great access to the local office too so it's worth it to me to help out.
Helping educate the public and possibly saving lives helps justify my passion for storms. Not that anything but death could stop me :)
 
I've always provided any of my video to the FTW WSFO for use in Skywarn training and have been happy to do so for free. My compensation is that it hopefully will help illustrate and therefore save lives by educating the local spotters. It's also good advertisement as I'm givin credit for whatever is used.

Gary Woodall and Al Moller bust their butts producing what many concider the best training program in the country. I'm glad to contribute to that.

We have great access to the local office too so it's worth it to me to help out.
Helping educate the public and possibly saving lives helps justify my passion for storms. Not that anything but death could stop me :)

FTWWSFO was one of the ones that seemed very happy to get video. I agree though, I think if they want to use a finished and polished commercial production, perhaps they should buy it.

Stuff I give NWS will most likely contain, for example, the entire lifecycle of the tornado I got, which I might not put into a full commercial production. It also might contain some things that might be helpful to spotters, but the average watcher would either be bored with, or wouldn't know what they were watching. In other words, I am likely to send them lots of B-roll stuff.
 
NWS can have any of my video, for free, whenever they ask. They are using it mainly for educational and scientific purposes (to train spotters and warning decision makers), and so what if they are also entertained?

As for remarks about the government "owing you", please bear in mind that most of the folks responsible for spotter training in these offices are volunteering a TON of extra hours off the clock to do this. They are motivated by public service, helping save the lives and property of us folks and our family and friends. That's motivation enough for me to donate a little of my time, and the cost of one DVD (what, about $.80?) to help save others.

Also bear in mind the large number of volunteers that are part of the entire severe weather warning program (spotters, some EMs, etc). And also the fact that the fine folks at these WFOs are usually supplying us chasers with the data we require for us to make our catches. What a nice gesture to give them something in kind. I learned this idea from none other than Dave Hoadley, who frequently offered free storm photos and videos of the storms he saw to the WFOs who provided him the data for those chase days.
 
From a NWS perspective, we always appreciate getting video from events in (and even near) our CWA. We work very hard to update spotter training materials each season, and there's nothing better than fresh local video. I'm not particularly interested in slick produced videos with a soundtrack and special effects - raw video of the event is good enough for us.

Our office is happy to get any video - we've received unsolicited tapes from time to time, and every once in a while we'll approach a chaser requesting a specific video. I doubt you would find too many WFO's who would refuse to take your video.

And I can't speak for any other office, but there's no such thing as a government check book here.

Rick
 
I've given copies of my video out to various NWS offices this year, and in past years, I've done the same (normally raw, unedited footage). I guess like Greg said, what's another $1.00? My local NWS (DEN/BOU) office has been excellent with loaning me data when I'm roaming Eastern Colorado and I feel in return, a good thanks would be a copy of whatever it is I've nabbed this year. Its really a small gesture, and more times than not, they'll throw your name all over the place when they show it out anyway. Normally all I ask in return is they slap my website up someplace and they'll happily accept! Besides, donating a free copy to NWS, assuming it gets shown, will bag you a couple sales you wouldn't have had in the first place!
 
I'm sending back any checks I recieved from the NWS. I want to come clean of this filth, of my obsession with saving "80 cents". I want to be part of the life saving crew....at no charge...to very office that asks over and over...with the ability to pay for something. I'd be stupid to desire it any other way. All that gas and those bust days certainly never add up to anything that I'd ever try to recover. DOH And most importantly I want to shine to the entire community out there...one of the good guys, ya know?

Code:
They are using it [b]mainly[/b] for educational and scientific purposes (to train spotters and warning decision makers), and so what if they are also [b]entertained[/b]?

LOL Some damn funny arguements for something they could easily pay for(not out of their pockets even!!).


What a nice gesture to give them something in kind.

If I was a NWS met and I COULD pay for a chasers video with any means I would feel bad not doing so. I would feel bad accepting or taking from them. But geee, I'm off my rocker here anyway.

Having new footage every year is not a need, it is a want. A want I have yet to turn down to any NWS office that has asked. I would guess I have sent more free vids to more offices than most on here. But hey I'm worried about "80 cents".

Time to go get out my telescope and explore space for a while. Maybe I'll see my point out there near Pluto.
 
NWS and storm footage

For the last 4 years I have provided video footage to the Desmoines NWS etc. and have never asked for a $$, they have used some of my footage for storm spotter training classes, always give me credit for my video, have given me a certificate for providing my videos, and always have communicated with me in a respectful, professional manner;and thats all that I ask for. :D
 
On the only instance I've been asked, I provided a video of a particular event for the NWS without expecting anything in return. I would actually be pleased to give my video away wherever it's useful in scientific, educational, or public safety areas. It actually would make this hobby a bit less selfish in the process.

However, I reserve the right to feel differently if I ever go into the chase video business. I understand that point of view as well.
 
I feel that maybe my stance on this has been lost in the varying opinions posted since. I'll make it real plain here:

I always give NWSFOs free video of a particular event, just basic raw footage that helps them better understand what was happening. I do this because it's aiding in the furthering of our understanding. A science thing.

I always give spotter training instructors free video, usually a small montage of various events, geared towards the type of material the instructor wants. I do this because this helps train spotters to better recognize/understand severe weather, and possibly save lives. An education thing.

I recently donated some of my best footage ever to a DVD project whose proceeds are going to charity. This is helping people in need somewhere in the world. A humanitarian thing.

I will not give a free copy of my produced DVD to an NWSFO outside of OUN, which is my "home" NWSFO. The previous donations all went to something; science, education, charity.....things that make a difference. My LOVE DVD is in no way designed for education or science use - it's purely for entertainment. Therefore, denying a free copy of this isn't witholding something "valuable," it's trying to preserve my chasing fund - after all that's why I sell videos.

VHS dubs from masters are nothing, that takes however long the footage you're dubbing is to make. No imagonation, no effort. Just the push of a button.

Creating a personal chase DVD, that's something. That's a person's personality, creativity, imagination, passion, vision. I can't speak for everyone, but my chase DVD isn't just about the storms, it's about having an unrivaled passion for something, anything. There's a purposeful concept behind it, and maybe most people won't get it, but it's there. It may not mean much to anyone else, but it means the world to me.

And that's the difference between dubbing an event video, and a production.

Also, if one person gets it free just because they were bold enough to ask, then guess what? Then this guy wants one, then that guy, then her, and before you know it you've got more freebies out there than sales, it's a few weeks till Spring, and you're in the hole from expenses alone, let alone equipment for the actual upcoming chase season. But you are a "stand up guy." A stand up guy who's sitting on his ass missing storms.

If that's the choice, then I'm the biggest a$$hole who ever lived.

Now before you all go judging me for this opinion, let's remember the first three situations where I happily give footage for free. I think it's extremely unfair to look down your nose at a person because they draw a line where on one side, it's great to be generous, but on the other side, they're not going to screw themselves, out of guilt.

Number of times I've given free video to the NWS - 24

Number of times I've used an NWS website or AFD to assist in a chase forecast - 0


If anyone deserves a "payback" video from me, it would be the Storm Prediction Center. In fact, I thank them in the credits.
 
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