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Friday, August 01, 2008

Stock Video/Photography, Mike Hollingshead's Blog

EDIT 2: For grammar and additional info/clarification

EDIT : Hilarious, Tower Productions in Chicago who does the "Storm Stories" series on TWC, will also be doing a show on "When Weather Changed History" over Greensburg. Their new employee, who happens to be Brian Schodorf, whom which we licensed some of our footage to, for his PBS documentary, offered us a hysterical $30 dollars a second.

I offered our price for it, which isn't too much, considering average stock prices of just generic stock footage is around there...and they had decided to use others instead. Well, to the person who practically gave their rare footage away, you were given a big pounding in the ass when you could have gotten twice as much. It'll be interesting to see who low-balled everyone.

I even helped Brian out when another production company tried to royally screw him over per MINUTE. I gave him advice and did some time consuming favors for him, to help get him a fair price for his interview footage. And as a way of saying, "Thank You," I guess, tried to offer an amount we both knew wasn't competitive or fair priced for such footage.

Gotta love the wonderful world of greed and backstabbing. Full circle!
I'm starting to enjoy these email exchanges between production companies and I!

This is an attempt at weeding out the notorious, cheap, production companies and hopefully either pissing them off enough to leave me alone, or conduct business in a way we feel comfortable with.

Dear production companies,

I've been getting numerous requests for stock footage recently, mainly for the Greensburg tornado and am pretty peeved on some of the bullshit these companies try to pull, hearing almost the exact same pitch every time, so here are some things you should know before contacting myself and I'm sure many others would agree with most of it as well.

1. If you're wanting stock video or photography to purchase and are reading this, expect to pay rates we feel are competitive, reasonable and fair to us...not you.

2. Your "tight budget" will have to expand a little, for something that your show will consist 80 percent or more of. It's likely that you'll make up the ground somewhere. So please, let's cut all of the bullshit out and save us both time with your novice level of marketing/sales skills and your piss-poor, used car salesman-like techniques you'll likely fail to convince others of... so don't be surprised if I laugh in your face. when I had just heard the exact same BS lines the guy before you told me.

3. If your budget is "tight" and can't be expanded, we can always work around your dilemma of limited finances, by accepting a percentage of royalties from profits you'll be making on advertising. (Well, I guess they don't do the advertising, they sell the show to whomever takes it.)

4. Screener's, which you've explained that you will need stat, sometimes take time...and will come with a standard fee, which is non-refundable.

5. Your offering of giving one "recognition" or "being on TV" doesn't get us (storm chasers) to the next storm, and plus...does anyone really ever read the credits at the end of any production? When "recognition" can be exchanged for hundreds, even thousands of gallons of unleaded gasoline (87 octane, no ethanol!), we'll consider it. Storm chasers aren't witless i-reporters, whose mothers anticipate your over-dramatized/exaggerated shows, that will proudly boast to others, "That's my Billy on the HBO's!"

6. You will find that most storm chasers charge the same rates these days, are wise to your noob tactics, and if not, have heard the horror stories from your notorious reputations, and are educated enough to deal with the hassle of selling you their hard-earned stock footage (or will have the assistance from those experienced).

I'm sure some will think this is greed on our behalf but the truth is, we only want what's fair, and to maybe pay for some gas or get new equipment.

I've hopefully burned some bridges to the ones I'd have never crossed anyways, but perhaps this entry could help someone in the future that they will cross paths with, and could instead get them a fair price.

In other news, Mr. Mike Hollingshead has (for the time being) revived/started a blog for people who like to subscribe to RSS feeds, which will make it easier for people who enjoy his site to do this there.


Shane Adams said...

You tell'em Dick. It's awesome to see this display on a chaser blog, that hopefully MANY producer types are reading. They need to know it's time to stop bullshitting and time to start making legitimate offers. Do you wanna do fuckin' business or not? I could care less if I make the sale, but don't waste my time with scripted bullshit pitches that reek of sales meetings and water cooler prep talks. DO YOU WANNA PAY WHAT IT'S WORTH OR NOT ASSHOLES? End of transaction.

DM said...

Storm chasers need to set thresholds of "chasers won't go below this amount under any circumstances, ever" and then if any ever do, will be given the same first-class treatment as storm chaser photo thieves and video alterering conmen, and a lifelong constant looking over one's shoulder. These rich, bottomless pocket fuck producers are pinching in any way they can just to save a few bucks we deserve.

I don't give two shits if I burn every bridge down of mine, you will pay reasonable, competitve prices or you can get the fuck out.

I look at this footage now as an object, and sometimes forget the significance of it and the many lives it took or altered forever. It probably never crosses any of their minds.

Chasers self-police in everything else in the hobby including etiquette BS, there's no reason why we shouldn't with footage.

Steve said...

Very well said!

Dan R said...

So many people instinctively put such a high value on simply being on TV that it usually requires them to get taken advantage of several times before they realize what's happening, and that it's not getting them what they thought it would. I don't know what the solution is, but I agree that educating people as much as possible is a start. The media is partly to blame, but so many people are tripping over themselves to get stuff on TV to 'be seen' that I *almost* don't blame a production company for expecting cheap rates.

CraigM said...

I've never had any problems getting the $$ I've wanted for footage and am not "star struck" as used to happen to me when a major news network etc. would contact me. You (the media outlet) either agree to my terms or go some where's else. I have no illusions about making big $$ storm chasing nor do I care if I do. I chase because I am OBSESSED by storms and severe weather (plus I love to travel). I won't let anyone or organization cheapen that...I also don't care about the members of the "storm chaser police/cool crowd" think about me... :)

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