My Bank Robbery Footage.. at DVinfo.net

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Old September 30th, 2004, 11:41 AM   #1
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My Bank Robbery Footage..

Hey!
Yesterday Sept 29th, I was in my way home, and about 11am I saw 2 cop cars pull in front of a local bank near the green in my town, New Milford Connecticut. I went home got my GL2, tripod, and started shooting. Got shots of the K-9 Dogs and State police and FBI arriving.

This is after 3 murders in 1 week in my town, and this never happens here, rarely any crime last 3 weeks weve had the 3 murders one a lady beaten to death in her tile store, another of a 31 yo woman and her 4 month old son brutally stapped more than 30 times by her boyfriend. After that 2 plane crashes in a local lake, 90 tombstones flipped over and american flages burned in a cemetary, and now a bank robbery.

We never have this type of crime here in NW CT, now all this in the past 2 1/2 weeks!!!.

So anyhow, I called NBC30 CT News, Told them abot the recent robbery, I told them I have footage of the cops arriving and the K9 dogs looking for the suspect, and they said "another crime in New Milford?" Said she will send a satellite truck out, I met them later on that afternoon gave them my footage, got to see the inside of a satellite truck, he sent my footage over to the station and he said pretty good shots, and used it at 11pm for a 35 sec story on it.

The reported asked if i asked for any $$ I said no, this is my first footage for the station so I thought to myself I need to build a relationship with them, next time. He asked for my name address etc, and said hell make copies of it hand it around and when I come knockign on the door for a job in the future thell know what I shot. Well hopefully I got my foot in the door.

Should I of done that not asked for $$?
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Old September 30th, 2004, 12:08 PM   #2
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CAn't really say but.. I would have asked for money. I don't think they would think any lesser of you for asking for a compenastion for your work. That's normal. And if you want to build a proffesional relationship with them.. why not?
Congrats on the air time though!
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Old September 30th, 2004, 12:09 PM   #3
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Hey cool stuff man....good luck in the future with it.

Also, in the meantime send them stuff you shoot anyway. It can't hurt, and one day they'll call you because your fresh in their minds.

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Old September 30th, 2004, 12:25 PM   #4
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Kevin, since that's your first time, I understand that feeling you have about getting your footage used and almost feeling guilty to ask for payment. These organizations have plenty of money so don't feel sorry for them. If you have exclusive video and they want it, they will pay for it. The trick is that you have to make them believe that you are confident and know how the game is played and that you've done this many times before. I'm not saying that you're going to get top dollar, depending on the content, but something is better than NOTHING. They WILL take and take and take from you what you let them. You don't have to be obnoxious, well sometimes you do, but just be confident like I stated earlier and they will know that you mean business. If they really want it bad enough, they will pay for it. Another strategy to use is to say, okay let me check with my other contacts to see if they're interested and I'll call you back and here is my number if you are able to meet my rate. They can't stand knowing that you are talking to the competition. Believe me, they know how to play the game and it is the job of that producer to pay as little as possible to get that footage, especially if it is exclusive. Also, I don't know what market number you're in, but I wouldn't rely on shooting news as a primary source of income. Atlanta is number 9 or 10 and they are some cheeeeeap asses!


Relevant Thread
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Old September 30th, 2004, 12:52 PM   #5
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Hey thanks guys!

James,
I was the one that contacted NBC and they said they will send a truck out, they didn't mention any money, nor did I ask for any money for my footage at the time.

I called NBC 30 and said "I'm Kevin live in New Milford, and wanted you guys to know there was a bank robbery at the NewMil bank on main street in the town center. They said ok do you know what happened etc, I said blah blah blah, I also told her by the way I have footage, she asked me what kind of camera etc, what I got shots of etc, then she mentioned, sending the truck etc.

Then when the satellite truck came, and sent my footage, the reporter said now let me have your name info etc, he then said did you talk money at all? I said no, dont worry about it, I guess it was the excitment and my first time doing this.

I then called NBC30 later that night and asked about paying me for the footage, I said "the reporter mentioned possibly paying me for the footage" they told me to call back during normal business hours. I dont want to get the reporter in trouble because he didnt exactly tell me to call, now its 2pm thursaday, should I call NBC 30 and ask for money for my footage, or is it too late? and leave it at that? And if so how would I go about asking for money. How much? I live in Northwest CT, 1 hour away from Major Cities like Hartford and New Haven. So I dont know what kind of market it is.

Please let me know!!!

I do it in my spare time, I eventually want to do it full time for life!
One more thing.... do they have to say on the newscast footage courtsey of so and so? Or if they pay you they don't.

B/C a while back a residnet of New Milford shot a church fire and it was more like home video and the newscasters said this is from blah blah they videotaped it on homemovie.

What I shot of the Robbery I think was 100% like the news photogs do, simple steady shots with a tripod, wide angle then another shot of a cop car etc.

Ide appreciate your feedback from James and everyone. I know alot of questions, I appreciate all of you taking the time to get back to me.

One more thing, alot of the news we see on TV IE: local news staitions, is that 99 % done by the news photogs only or is a good porion from people like us? I mean in an average city. Say where I live?
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Old September 30th, 2004, 01:27 PM   #6
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Hey Kevin

Can you post some footage for us to see?
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Old September 30th, 2004, 01:33 PM   #7
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Well, do you still have the raw footage? Technically, you still own the rights if there was nothing in writing and especially if you didn't receive compensation. If you really wanted to stick it to them, you could name your price now and/or make them pay you for every time that is was rolled over the air, including where they shared it. Of course if they wanted to balk, that means you'll have to get a lawyer and on and on....... probably not worth it for this. Because it's your first time, just ask them for 75.00 -100.00 and be done with it. If they're half way decent, they should pay you at least something in that range. Next time though if the price doesn't seem right tell them that your going to call your other contacts and sometimes more money magically appears in their budget for your footage. They just don't like seeing the competition airing that exclusive footage especially when they were first to know about it and had it in the palms or their hands.

Some stations will mention your name as a barter for the footage and they'll definitely CG the video with amatuer video or say that if it has a home video look to it.

I'd say that most shooters are on staff or freelancers, that is, they're full time but with no benefits. However, technology is leveling the playing field allowing for more independents to provide quality footage. That means that as independents, we could actually make more money than the staff guy who has to do more work like cut it together but he gets paid every day and we're always looking for another shoot. If we could shoot every day it would be rediculously worth it. I'd buy my own health insurance, just give me the work!
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Old September 30th, 2004, 01:50 PM   #8
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Ya, How do I get the footage on the internet? I have Dail Up at home and Cable at work. I have Pinnacle Studio 9 at home. I can put it to CD-R?

I have the raw footage. They only used the first 3 shots of 5min worh of video I took. I also taped the Newscast of what they showed.

So, should I call them and who do I speak to? Do I call the news room? Thats who I called when I told them about the robbery.
They already have the footage, is it too late?

lemem know.
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Old September 30th, 2004, 02:10 PM   #9
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Kevin, don't call them or sue them....none of that jazz. That's totally NOT cool for two reasons....number one, you called them remember? Number two, is that you said you want to do this for a living? It's a really, really small television world and if you sue them...you're done with shooting video locally! Seriously...not worth it.

My suggestion to send them stuff when you have time. The news segments they run are called, "packages". Anything that is something they can run that's a couple of minutes during a newscast is a "package". The local pumpkin festival could be a "package", or the local bank thing you just got is one too.

Anything they can use to fill time or is hard news....that's a "package". It must have a beginning, middle and end....could be 30, 60 seconds...or up to 2 minutes if it's really good and not timely. Try to make it an even number if you can...otherwise, the tape operator and director and waiting for odd numbers. Also, an "OUT CUE" is essential if there is audio that stops the story cold....believe me, make sure that's on the tape box, and the script notes! An "In Cue" is useful for the audio person...they like to know when to "POT" up the audio as well as down.

SO, timely means they will run it that morning, and it'll still be relevant that afternoon and nighttime.....sometimes they'll run it the next day if they can add footage or a new piece to it. (the bank thing is perfect example)

If you want to get in there...the easiest thing to do is watch their newscast. Re-create exactly what they are doing, but with something totally different storywise. If you know someone in town that's turning 105 years old...and you can interview that person, go for it. Do a sit down interview, but make sure your voice won't be heard....ask lots of questions and get "b-roll". Just like you got "b-roll" with the bank stuff....the cop car etc. Those shots are NEEDED when you do "V.O.'s" (voice overs)....also, get "SOT's" (sound on tape) Those are newsroom staples...gotta have them or it won't run. The V.O.'s are to fill in the information later with stuff you learned...and use the b-roll for visuals. The old persons house...things that show their age like old photos, or items of that nature. The SOT's are things like....maybe this old person has an old record player with old records...put them on and record the sound. That's video with sound....hence, an SOT. The editor at the station would need footage, SOT's and b-roll to make the "package" for the newscast. I'd go ahead and gather the stuff yourself, edit it...and bring it to them.

REMEMBER!! Do not bring it to anyone that you'll be competing against....like a videographer (called "photogs" - shot for photographers) or anyone else like that. Bring it to a newscaster, or reporter and say you have a piece for them and you're totally new. Can they look at it, and see if it's useful to them for a "package"? If they watch the piece and like it....tell them that you have ANOTHER copy with you MINUS the V.O., so they can do their own. Give them "notes" about the story, anything important.

Also, tell them it's theirs...free and clear. You only want them to consider you when a position opens up....trust me, they'll call you and sooner than you think.

Do this a few times over the course of a month or two. They'll like you, and make sure the stuff is not TIMELY...so, they can run it a few days after you give it to them if they don't have time to run it that day or night. It's in your best interest to make something that isn't "newsworthy" THAT day. Like the pumpkin patch festival...or even some "feel good" story....they need those stories more than hard news. They are covering the hard news, and don't want you messing with it if you aren't on staff. The "feel good" stuff should be presented to the "Producer" on call that day...they LOVE having extra padding for newscasts. You never know when the hard news tape will fail....so, what to do for the next 2 minutes?? "Run that tape that dude brought in....cue it up!!!"

That's my experience personally...worked at ABC affiliate for 4 years!

Murph
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Old September 30th, 2004, 02:18 PM   #10
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Hey, I just went back to what I wrote and added stuff that I remembered. It might be worth another look..

Your welcome!

Murph
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Old September 30th, 2004, 02:26 PM   #11
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WOW thanks Chris, very informational. What news channel should I go with? Should I stick to NBC30? I mean since their the first ones who really were interestd in my footage?
I'll take your advice, I definatly was not thinking about suing them, Way too over the top! :-)


Maybe I'm a little confused about SOT, the satellite guy said there is no audio, There was when I was recording, maybe he didnt have the correct cable hook up. What exactly are you talking about the audio is a must? There wasnt anyone talking, all i was shooting was just shots of cops, cars etc, I didnt do any interviews, Did you mean next time get interviews, You just hear alot of background noise, is that what you mean?

Also another responce to what you said about hard news...What happens if I get shots of Hard News, is the bank robbery footage considered hard news? You mentiond to stay away from that........ "they are covering the hard news, and don't want you messing with it if you aren't on staff." ....what happens if im the only one there to catch it, and the news station is miles away?


BTW: My Cousin is a TD (technical director) he did the past olympics in Greece. Hes won 2 emmys. Been doing it for over 30 years, Should I talk to him? Would he help getting my foot way in the door?

to anyone how do i get my footage on here?

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Old September 30th, 2004, 03:15 PM   #12
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Yes, I agree with Chris. You really don't want to push things to a legal issue if you can avoid it, at least and especially because this was your first experience and the content wasn't necessarily that high profile. Use this first experience as a guide for the next opportunity. One other important thing, if you call them about a breaking news story or anything that possibly only you know about, don't give them any specifics until you make a deal. They will more than likey tell you thanks but they're not sure or that they're already aware of it, uh huh, and then send a crew to cover it anyway and you will have just worked for free again for informing them of the story. They need to understand that you're not going to just provide them with information for free either. When you are negotiating these things try to be as nice as you can and if you can't make a deal then just don't do it, it's their loss and it's business. This happened to me, they said that they wouldn't pay my rate and were going to send a crew anyway, which they did. I couldn't stop them. I can just remember what they did to me and you know the rest. Well, I guess I don't have to tell you that they cut their own throat there. They are now the last on my list to call if I do at all. One day something big is going to happen beyond the typical news story and they are going to pay for that little stunt.


Chris. How long ago was it that you worked at that ABC affiliate, what was your position and were you full time?
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Old September 30th, 2004, 03:40 PM   #13
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Thanks,
Ya I will remember that for next time, I'm sure another thing is going to happen around my town, LoL. Its weird. I have some more questions as well, but I'm all typed out for now, can I contact you and maybe talk on the phone? James or Chris, I'de appreciate it.

-Keivin
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Old September 30th, 2004, 08:34 PM   #14
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Should you ask for money?

I'm a Director for a local station here in Norfolk, VA. This situation presents itself a lot more than one might suspect. As most of you already know, television news is all about the pictures. Video sells the story, period. News Departments live by this rule and will do almost anything to get the pictures, including pay for them. TV stations are the first to recognize and appreciate good quality video. So if anyone out there catches news as it happens it's expected that you might ask for a little compensation. And you will make more money and build stronger ties with a station if you sell it as exclusive video. Stations love anything exclusive. I know a few people who actually sit by their scanners at home just waiting for news to happen so they can be the first on the scene with their video and sell it to the highest bidder. So, for your first time shooting news I don't blame you for not asking for money. But now you know for next time.

P.S. $70 - $100 is a good price depending on market size, video quality, and significance of the story
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Old October 1st, 2004, 06:49 AM   #15
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Hey Chris,
I will contact the station to see if they are Union or Non-Union. Hopefully thell accept my footage. I have 1 quick question for you. The Video I am doing, the "package" that will be about 2 min long, the "Art Dogs of Kent, I have video of the town road signs, b/c I was thinking that the station can ad a VO saying in the town of kent there are painted ceramic dogs etc etc, then I have the tape go to the lady I interviewd talking about that with footage of the dogs while she is talking, then cut to more footage and have the station do a VO and cut to footage and then end. Do I need to write the VO, or have the station create their own and give them background on the story what its about? Hope to hear from ya!
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