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Old March 29th, 2003, 07:05 AM   #46
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Film at 11

A GL1 would be fine if used properly. Don't shoot on Auto. Don't use the on-board mic for interviews, although it should be okay for ambient sound.
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Old March 29th, 2003, 07:28 AM   #47
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Unless your in a very good situation, stringing may only provide you with occasional income. Most stringers shoot part time as extra income. Shooting as a news stringer has it's very slow times such as now that world news of the war is on. National events such as the space shuttle and wars can overpower local news for weeks. I also find that news budgets are shrinking.
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Old March 29th, 2003, 07:59 AM   #48
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Thanks, so what is the difference between stringing and what Charles Newcomb described in the original post? Or are they the same?
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Old March 29th, 2003, 09:35 AM   #49
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It is the same, a news stringer is just an independent videographer, freelance. I wouldn't consider it professional journalism because most of the time you have no input into the story. The studio may ask you questions about what happened once they get to know you but they are liable for what they broadcast. What they want from most stringers is the video you have shot and what interviews you have filmed with someone of authority. Proof positive that what you gave them is the truth, which has to be your #1 priority. Don't ever pump up a story to sell it, and call them back if what was first thought of as big news turns out not to be. The business requires some thinking, rules for who gets a story, how many stations you will sell the footage to, is it exclusive to the studio that calls and gives you the heads up that a story is in your area. You should be a business, because that is what it takes to get press passes. A lot of work and dedication goes into finding stories. If I had 5 dollars an hour for every hour I spent in the books, charging batteries, listening to scanners and driving around, I would be happy. The big problem occurs when you figure out that you have spent spent 5 hours filming, delivering, and dubbing a story using 5000 dollars worth of gear and 100 miles on your vehicle to make less than 100 dollars. Money can be made in any business, some are harder than others.
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Old March 29th, 2003, 10:31 PM   #50
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Film at 11

Less than $100? That sucks. I usually make $150-$450 per story, depending on who picks it up.

I just did one this morning for Channel 11 in Colorado Springs... a Support The Troops rally in Alamosa, Co. It'll be on their sister station, Channel 4 in Denver, and probably Fox or CNN since they're affilliates.

Fox called me do do a segment for a daytime show they have... the Rob Nelson Show. Two hours work, $650 bucks.

But running the tape to Colorado Springs or Denver is still a hassle.
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Old March 30th, 2003, 12:39 AM   #51
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In my local town we can just go to the local Phone Company (Telus), and plug into a Fiber-optic dumping station. The dumping station can be routed to any of the stations in North America supposedly. I think it was $115 Canadian for 13 minutes of footage and the quality lose was about the same as going DV25 to SVHS.

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Old March 30th, 2003, 07:09 AM   #52
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Yes, more money for the national broadcast of course. But the affiliate stations which need local news more frequently do not pay near as well. Plus the number of people with cameras has given them more options. But that is part of the business, there is no set structure, it is what a person finds they can charge. I turned down a Tampa station because they wanted to pay me 65 dollars (total) for 2 seperate shoots of a 5 y/o girl who was shot to death and the then capture of the shooter. I have shot for the NBC today show and the CBS early show as well as CNN, yes they pay good, but like I was saying it is sporadic work. One local man started a business years ago hiring stringers as a network. He has fared very well over the years but is beginning to re-arrange his business practices because the business has changed. Instead of paying hourly he now pays his stringers half of the shoot and makes them W-9 so he no longer shows them as employees. I may be wrong but the money appears to be shrinking. I think that you being so far away from the station is part of the pricing. I have to ask you, is the $150 dollar stories worth it for three hours drive to and three hours drive from the studio?
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Old March 30th, 2003, 07:51 AM   #53
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Is it Video or Journalism?

This is a really facinating thread.

There is a difference between journalism and just shooting video. The former is aimed a telling a story in a short period of time in a way that's compelling and accurate. It obviously has much to do with the latter. The "value-added" is a journalistic idea.

Journalists have been thinking about these issues and the impact of new technology quite a bit. While there's no formal organization, there are focus points and information exchange. For just one example see:

You can even do workshops in the new methods, see

If you doubt the impact of the XL1s, just take a look at the picture on the following page:

What people are talking about is the "platypus" model. The platypus being an animal of many odd parts being used to describe a journalist with many odd skills. The idea/image comes from Dirck Halstead -- Time's White House photographer for many a year.

Read the about the "Platypus Papers" at
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Old August 28th, 2004, 12:37 PM   #54
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Great Thread Revived By Newbie

Just finished reading all the posts to this thread in search for info on ENG. I have a few amateur questions that I hope to have answered here about press passes and shooting news events. I feel pretty sure these are stupid questions but I can't even buy a clue on these, so here goes-

1) If I'm driving down the road and I happen upon a 20 car pile up and it looks like news, am I free to park my car on the side of the highway, whip out my cam and start shooting? How close could I get or could I interview witnesses without being hassled by law enforcement?

2) Do I need some sort of press pass for this?

3) How legit (if at all) are press passes from sites like these? Or has anyone used these?

4) If I were to interview an indvidual would having them state and spell their name on cam be enough of a release? Should I have them say something specific like "I authorize (insert co. name) to use my testimony"?

And any additional info on the subject will be greatly appreciated!


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Old August 28th, 2004, 08:28 PM   #55
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Film at 11

1) It depends on the camera. If you have a little mini-DV consumer camera, changes are the police are going to tell you to put it where the sun doesn't shine and make you move along. But if you have a camera that looks like a news-gathering camera, most cops will just assume you're on assignment. I'd suggest you just look like you know what you're doing and act like you should be there. That demeanor alone may get you the shots you want. But even if you have a press pass and a logo on your car, you may get booted.

2) I've never had anyone check my press pass, even though I have one.

3) Again... a press pass may do you some good or it may not. I don't know about these.

4) You'll want them to say and spell their name more for the graphics folks than for a release. You don't need a release for a news story. But make sure its a news story, not a feature, for example. It has to be timely as news or you could be o thin ice.
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Old August 28th, 2004, 09:43 PM   #56
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Wow, like others I think this is a great thread and am definately interested in keeping abreast of any developments. From my perspective I would be interested in something that was international, seeing as I am in New Zealand.

Don had a concern about trained people. Well I think any site/organisation that was set up could help that by offering online courses/information or putting people in touch to train each other and buddy up if there was more than one person in the same area.

Thanks for the excellent info.

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Old August 29th, 2004, 07:11 PM   #57
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I've been following this thread with interest. I am a (full time) web developer and I have registered two domains, following Charles Newcomb's idea. Domains are and (as per Charles). I will build the sites over the next two weeks. Basically, they will be sites where you can set up an account and post the latest news footage you have just shot. The latest 10 or 12? items will appear on the front page. Sites will be free and ad free (unless you guys kill me with bandwidth charges). I will put the sites together, but I need volunteers to help run them. Email we and we'll talk. bill<AT>
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Old August 29th, 2004, 09:14 PM   #58
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Film at 11


Thank you for your generosity. It will be interesting to see how this works.

But it brings me back to my original question... how do we deal with the file size issue? For example, this week I did a 2 minute feature piece for our Fox affilliate here. I still had to drive the footage over to the station to uplink it because that's a huge file. Making it a WMV9 file dropped it down to 15 megs, and MPG1 was 28 megs; but neither of those formats is acceptable quality for TV news.

How are we going to use the Net to move full resolution footage around?

Thanks again,
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Old August 30th, 2004, 12:05 AM   #59
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Wow, what a great idea, and a terrific thread! Thanks for sharing, Charles!

I'm definitely interested. But I wonder -- it's been over a year and a half since Charles made the first post. Is his idea of a national association and web site going to happen any time soon?

In the interium, I wonder if it's worthwhile to add a new forum here that would be dedicated to this topic? Seems like one of the site admins mentioned this earlier.
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Old August 30th, 2004, 04:15 AM   #60
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I think the website will be for a text description and possibly a screenshot of the footage. Broadcasters can search based on keywords and then contact the shooter. I don't believe there is currently a speedy way to handle large file transfers on the net, other than using an IM prog like MSN Messaging, but even that would take around 2 hours to transfer 750 Mb. Best thing to do at present is sell the footage first and then worry about how you are going to get it where it's going. If it's juicy enough, the broadcaster will find a way.
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