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Old June 14th, 2004, 12:50 PM   #1
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Press Access...Anyone dealt with this?

Hello,
Just a quick question...Im in CT and there is a Balloon Festival that I would like to film. There is a note on their websight that states "Members of the Media may apply for your passes and field access credentials here", I Just want to get alot closer to the action. I'm not with any major media or anything, but can a regular avid videographer gain access? Has anyone ever encounterd this type of situation? I mean im not going in there with a tiny camcorder, I have my GL2 and professional everything, I mean Just curious?

Please let me know? I emailed them asking for passes.


This is what I emailed them.........

"To whom it may Concern,
My name is Kevin Galliford, and I am an professional Videographer. I will be attending your festival next weekend, and I noticed that you have a link for Media and Field access credentials. I am inquiring on obtaining a pass for field access for my weekend visit. I will be filming this event, and documenting a 1/2 hour production. Please feel free to email me at kevingallif11@netzero.com


.............blah blah blah. I hope that will work. Well let me know guys/girls I appreciat the help!!





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Old June 14th, 2004, 01:59 PM   #2
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Kevin,

Having worked as a member of the media in radio and television AND as a freelance journalist, this is my experience.

As a member of a regular paper or media station, you are issued credentials that you show to the city, wich also issues you officia "PRESS" credentials. As a "Freelancer" it becomes a bit more difficult. You must show that you are indeed a "professional" either by providing a letter from someone stating you are working on an article/video FOR them (A cable station, magazine, etc.) Or simply send your bona-fides to the appropriate people and hope you look "Professional" enough. If you can point to a track record of published/broadcasted pieces as a freelance artist, they will probably issue you credentials.

Of course, in my youth I used to just clip my driver's liscence to my shirt pocket upside down, and barge through the lines.

NOT that I am advocating that...
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Old June 16th, 2004, 09:40 AM   #3
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Joining a union of professionals will usually get you an internationally accepted press card. But then the union will require proof of your professionalism before they accept you as a member. You must work a certain percentage of your time as a journalist or whatever is applicable. They often (in Europe that is, like BECTU in the UK) have gear insurance and other benefits. Sometimes they have a possiblity to join as an "aspirant" member. No idea what unions are there in your area, but it may be interesting to find out if you're seriously thinking of becoming a pro.

Having said all this, many events are not too bothered about keeping interested photographers / videographers at bay and may well let you in if you spin a nice story about wanting to make an amateur film about ...balloons....

Good luck!
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Old June 16th, 2004, 10:08 PM   #4
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kevin,
please don't take this the wrong way, but when i'm actually WORKING these events, there is NOTHING worse that people in the PRESS area that don't belong there. i'll go as far to say that reporters don't belong on the CAMERA platforms. its not a reporter platform....and EVERY little move shows up in my shot.

anyway....i'd leave these areas for those who are supposed to be there - do the best you can from the public areas, keep trying and eventually you'll end up there too, if thats what you really want.

you wrote:
I mean im not going in there with a tiny camcorder, I have my GL2 and professional everything, I mean Just curious?

a GL2 is professional?? um...no. its pro-sumer at best. heck, even when i'm ENTITLED to be in the press area, i feel a bit inferior with my DVX100/chrosziel 4x4 mattebox, etc. rather than my betacam.

stay out of places where you don't belong (yet) and use that as a motivational tool.

best of luck.
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Old June 17th, 2004, 03:11 AM   #5
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Brian,

I tend to agree with you, but as a wannabe videomaker you'll get nowhere by meekly staying behind the fences. Part of the job is getting access to difficult places, so if these guys can talk their way in, good for them.

One may expect some respect from them for real working professionals though, and not foul up their shots. Be invisible, sort of.
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Old June 17th, 2004, 05:56 AM   #6
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As it happens the GL2 is being used by professional photojournalists all over the planet and by newspapers accross the the United States.

See, for example, this story of a journalist being trained to use one:

http://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0406/trapani.html

or this link

http://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0205/bowers.htm

Newspapers are using cameras like the GL2 to originate video for their Web sites. Dirk Halstead, who runs the digital journalist, has used such cameras in the White House.

Read about this new kind of "platypus" journalist at:

http://digitaljournalist.org/platypus/platypus.html

That said, to get a press pass one generally has to be working for a recognized media organization on a full time, part time or project baisis. You might offer video footage to a local paper to establish this kind of relationship.

If you have an established reputation as a documentarian you might be on a little better footing.
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Old June 17th, 2004, 09:33 AM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Wiley : As it happens the GL2 is being used by professional photojournalists all over the planet and by newspapers accross the the United States.-->>>

hi peter,
you're right. in fact, if you re-read my post, you'll see that my current kit includes the DVX100 - also a prosumer rig. i'm not going to (and didn't mean to) start a pissing match about the definition of 'professional'....my point was simply that the press areas are for the press - the public areas are for the public. for a reason.

if you DO sweet-talk your way into the press area, be mindful that you don't belong there (yet) and act accordingly.

as for the white house....i've shot there many times myself on all sorts of gear, but just because i'm using it doesn't mean its professional grade equipment. different job: different tool. no need to quote chapter and verse to me - i was there when the PD150 came onto the scene and we started using it at cnn.

as for 'dick halstead'....its DIRK.
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Old June 17th, 2004, 10:18 AM   #8
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Brian,

I fixed Dirk's name . . . I am always doing that . . . and I fixed his last name too. I like the platypus idea and like to plug it when I can.

And of course you are right on the issue of professional deportment. Professional is as professional does.
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Old June 17th, 2004, 10:27 AM   #9
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;-)
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Old June 17th, 2004, 11:44 AM   #10
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Hey guys,
Thanks for the advice, I agree with some of it :-) As far as my Cam goes...I think it is very professsional, but to each his own. For a 21 yo, I've invested alot into my equipment, And think I'm doing quite well with the equipment I have, It works great and the results are amazing. But anyhow....its not a huge huge event.....but just a couple of balloons going up. And if I get in I get in. Plus Its a huge field, I can def find a way in, its a small town here in CT. Well talk you you all later.
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Old June 17th, 2004, 03:23 PM   #11
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Hi Kevin,

If you can get in good luck to you mate.... I've been out of press photography for five years now, but blagging one's way in was part of the biz when I started in the early eighties...

The barriers and press areas always fascinated me and I had to be in there.... Sweet talking press attachés etc was part and parcel of the job.....I did it and it got me into the business.
But even inside the pen there is a pecking order....

Once you start to work for a bone fide media all that is insignificant as you get in and get the best spots... the best spots do give access to the best shots, especially in sport. I did 12 years with Reuters and the pressure to get the picture really doesn't need to be increased by doubt over whether you'll get in....or whether you'll get a spot..

the worst I've ever had to cope with was Paris Fashion shows where the press people were and still are clueless and a blagged pass often got you the same access as a real press pass...
More people on a podium and more stressful conditions... the blagged pass guy often never even selling his shots, where as half of the world's papers were nagging for mine.....

Good luck in your endeavours... the jungle is as fierce as ever....

cheers

Gareth
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