Video Rights/Sales Advice

This season I'll be bringing a camcorder along with me on my chases.

What is some advice you could give me if I wanted to sell rights to my video whether it be temporary or permanent rights. What are other issues and such I should think about?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
Selling your vid can be a tough market these days ... with a bazillion chasers and their camcorders, and now news vans and even helicopter chasers, it can be tricky - and there are more than a few who do not chase for video anymore. There are several routes to go ... some of the best advice is just to make your video more marketable ... to do that, your video HAS to look good. And this really goes for all chasers, whether you care about selling video or not ... PLEASE for heaven's sake - USE A TRIPOD. All the time - period. Last year I could not figure out a decent mount for a new SUV I drove, so my brother ended up hand-holding the in-car stuff - and there's just a huge difference. So this year I'm using a really fancy dash tripod designed by my bro to be mounted up under the dashboard. Also - force yourself not to talk when a tornado is in front of you ... just be quiet and let the sound of the environment be the only thing you hear (one of the biggest things that bites me in the butt ... I'm always making really stupid comments). And don't let other people get in the way ... if someone walks in front of my camera on a chase, I'm not to be held responsible for my actions.

There are many other considerations too ... for example - being that there are tons of chasers with cameras on every decent storm these days, are you really going to be able to beat the competition and get the scoop on the story? Like it or not, that is what the media world is all about. Last year there were a couple times I had great footage - only to be undercut by a chase tour who gave video away in exchange for their name on the screen. So if you don't have a system for beating out the other guys - then you will have to find another way to market your footage. One route to go is by using a video agency to represent you and market your video for you, which is what I do, and it works quite well for me. But trust me - on this subject you will hear 50 different people giving you 50 different perspectives - all according to their own personal experience. It's led to more than one battle on the boards in the past, and we certainly could do without another one on the subject. You might try scanning the archives both in here and in wx-chase to get more information.

Of all the advice I could possibly give, though - by far the most important is this: just chase storms because you love to chase storms ... then anything you get on top of your passion is just icing on the cake and not the end-all goal of the experience. As for the rights of your footage, never give it away cheap ... it is just worth more than getting your name mentioned for two seconds. And if you plan on permanently giving up your rights (something I would think more than twice about), then it better be for a pretty dang hefty pricetag. These are among the considerations - especially the legal and contract issues - why I prefer to let an agency handle the legwork for me.
Trust noone when it comes to your footage. Get EVERYTHING in writing FIRST, even with those you chase with. You might not think that is important, but believe me it is... I found out the hard way. Read the fine print on anything you sign. Don't give up your copyrights to your stuff unless they are paying BIG money. Don't give them unlimited usage for anything they want it for unless they are paying BIG money. Otherwise don't lease your stuff out longer than 10 days for the good stuff.

Other than that, Mike had good suggestions...especially with the tripod. If you can't get on a tripod, brace against SOMETHING....absolutely STRIVE to get the most steady shot you possibly can. Oh, and if you cuss, try not to do it on camera as editing out cussing on a deadline is a b*@ch!

Above all, chase....enjoy it....and at the end of the day you got something you think they might like, then give it a shot! Don't ruin your chase day trying to bust balls to the nearest TV station for a few bucks.
Tripods are overrated (steady handheld video is both easy to acheive and more personal than 10 minutes of the same angle, pan, zoom) and NEVER (1) Sign away your rights and (2) sign an exclusive