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Rene Martinselling footage
by on Sep 15, 2010 at 6:03:04 am

Is it common to charge a news station for footage you have taken?
If so, how much? I have an idea of something like $20 - $40 per second.
I have a small independent production company and I've given some footage to stations for free, but would like to know if we should be charging for this.

Thanks,
Rene


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Mads Nybo JørgensenRe: selling footage
by on Sep 15, 2010 at 7:14:37 am

Hey Rene,

I you have exclusive footage, yes than you should charge for it. Unless it is more the station doing you a favour showing it, than it is them wanting it.

Cost of footage is really dependant on what it is, how big the audience is, but often you can also work from how much it would have cost the station to make it themselves - if for example it would have required them to put a crew on the ground.

More important than the issue of money is copyrights. Even when you in the past have given footage to the station(s) you should have secured some kind of agreement for them not to share it or sell it on + also set a time limit on for how long they are allowed to use it. This could normally be anything from 1 day to 3 years. Such agreement should also include any video stream/download the broadcaster may have on the internet.

The best advice is for you to get a footage agent on board, there are plenty of those around. And as much as they'll charge you a lot of money on each sale, then a good one is worth their fees.

Alternative is obviously you doing it yourself using your costs of filming + duplication/encoding of copy for broadcaster + profit = your price for the footage.

All the Best
Mads
London, UK

Please don't to visit our new faceBook page here: http://www.facebook.com/MacMillionProductions

Mac Million Ltd. - HD Production & Editing
Blog: http://macmillionltd.blogspot.com


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Mark SuszkoRe: selling footage
by on Sep 15, 2010 at 3:01:40 pm

It would be nice to already have an agent, however, if negotiations take too long, it's not news any moer; it's history. Typically I think, especially for local spot news, you have just an hour or so to negotiate a deal after shooting an event. Locally, things like hosue fires or car crashes don't pay very much; the last figure I heard was around fifty to a hundred bucks, with an exclusive use option of between one day and one week. But my info could well be out of date. Considering that today so many more people can offer stations onthe scene video from phone cams and the like, in exchange for just a screen crdite, the market value is depressed for local-level news shots. I don't know what national-level news cuts go for these days, and there is where an agent would be of some help.


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Rene MartinRe: selling footage
by on Sep 27, 2010 at 9:35:51 pm

Thanks for the input. It really helps to hear from you guys. I think the agent is a great idea, but it won't happen - because we can't afford that at this point. And thanks for the info on local stations. We are in an area where there is no affiliate for a particular unmentioned national news network in this area, so it would probably take about a four hour drive for a crew from a major city to come & film here. No easy thing. I know I let a national news story go for free, mainly because I was so happy to have it & share it because our country needs it. It also developed a relationship with a major station, and they gave us screen credit so that's a good deal to us. In the future, however, if we were to have filmed a major political figure & a major network wanted to highlight it as big news, I would like to have an idea of what is fair. Don't know if anyone could give me a range or not based on such vague references, but if you can, great! We were really glad to work with the station, but our business is small and we could really use the compensation for future jobs. Thanks, Rene


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Mads Nybo JørgensenRe: selling footage
by on Sep 27, 2010 at 9:58:44 pm

Hey Rene,

Agents can work on a percentage point - normally it is about 30% + their expenses, so it is in their interest to get you the best price for the footage. It is wrong to consider this as being an expensive way of selling footage.

You need to consider how big the story is and if the broadcaster is going to syndicate the story? Again, back to the agent.

Another way of doing it is to make an exclusive deal with the bigger broadcaster and get them to guarantee a set amount of business per year in your local area - i.e. become a stringer/agency on a retainer. Obviously this will give you less money when the big story breaks.

All the Best
Mads
London, UK

Please don't to visit our new faceBook page here: http://www.facebook.com/MacMillionProductions

Mac Million Ltd. - HD Production & Editing
Blog: http://macmillionltd.blogspot.com


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