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Old April 5th, 2004, 09:37 PM   #1
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Video Photojournalism

I used to keep a police scanner and a Nikon handy, when something happened, I'd head out and grab a few shots, then submit them to the local papers. The key is to get there before the staffers, while the flames are still licking and before the police push the press back, etc. No real money in it, but it got me credentials for the fun stuff, pro football sidelines, NASCAR infield & garages, etc.

Being really bitten by the DV bug these days, I was musing about doing the same gig, but with a a DV cam.

Anybody into this? Do the local television stations even consider looking at your footage? What's a good grab & go kit that produces good results? Maybe a PD170 or DVC80 on a monopod or light tripod? A shoulder mount cam like a DSR250?

Just curious, any comments welcome.

Thanks...
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Old April 5th, 2004, 09:41 PM   #2
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The TV station will buy your footage, if it's news-worthy.
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Old April 6th, 2004, 12:23 AM   #3
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Donít worry about a tripod.

If you are planning to shoot car crashes and burning houses, hand camera seems to be in. Real reality TV so to speak.
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Old April 6th, 2004, 06:23 AM   #4
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Dan,

I keep the Panasonic 953 in the truck, locked and loaded at all times. I have a good monopod which lends itself well for steadying the shot without the setup time of a tripod. Since you are just a few miles down the road from me, I suggest you keep an eye on the sky this time of year.

Remember all of those 'home' videos of the Ft. Worth tornado were shown on the local stations.

As for camera, I would recommend at least a three chipper or the new Canon Optura Xi which uses some image processing with the DIGIC chip that yields some good stuff for a single chip camera.

Just yesterday, I saw home video on channel 8 of the massive hail storm that hit the San Antonio area.

Have fun...
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Old April 6th, 2004, 08:44 AM   #5
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What you are describing is called a "Stringer", and yes, the stations will buy your tape, especially if no one else has the footage immediatley following the incident.

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Old April 6th, 2004, 12:54 PM   #6
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Good thread-

Question: what is a reasonable fee to expect for use of your good quality footage by a local news station?

Last year a huge fire broke out near my house and I managed to get there before the fire trucks arrived and got great footage of the fire, the trucks and firemen arriving at the scene, and, because I had access from behind the property - great shots in an area that was blocked off to the media who arrived about an hour after it started!

I gave the footage for free to a relative who works for the local CBS affilliate (he got great mileage out of it for his career!) I was approached by 3 out of the other 4 affiliates in the area looking to buy the footage, but felt, ethically, I could not "double-dip".

Would I be rich by now??
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Old April 6th, 2004, 01:00 PM   #7
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So how much is good footage worth. I understand the size of the event needs to be considered but a round a bout estimate would work.

- AR
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Old April 6th, 2004, 01:22 PM   #8
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A note re: Police Scanners.

In our area ALL the Public Service agencies are switching to 800 mzh radio systems. This allows everyone to be on the same tactical freq. if something BIG happens again... lets hope not.

The Police Depts. around here have digitally encrypted their transmissions so no scanners can pick them up. A bummer for us. The Fire Depts. have not covered their transmissions so scanners can catch them.

Just a heads up.
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