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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Sep > Sep 1

Re: Another Condition For Documentary Participation

From: Carol Rainey <csrainey1.nul>
Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2007 17:40:11 -0400
Archived: Sat, 01 Sep 2007 18:33:08 -0400
Subject: Re: Another Condition For Documentary Participation


>From: Eleanor White <eleanor.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2007 18:32:52 -0400
>Subject: Another Condition For Documentary Participation


>I've already suggested that one of the best physical trace cases
>should be printed up as a flyer, and given to each UFO TV
>documentary producer by researchers invited to be on. Airing of
>that case, I suggested, should be made a standard condition for
>the UFO researcher's cooperation.

>Here's another:

>UFO researchers might make it a condition of their interview
>that once all the interview footage is complete, the producer
>will allot a number of minutes of the final cut to that
>researcher.

>The _researcher_ will then perform his or her _own_ editing, to
>fill the minutes alloted. Permission to use the interview
>footage would be withdrawn if this is not honoured.

>If the researcher can't access adequate video editing software,
>then the researcher could do a substandard edit job, send the
>DVD to the producer's video editor, and have the producer's
>video editor duplicate the edits with the required quality.
>Final approval of that final edit would always reside with the
>researcher.

>Included in the condition is that the producer may not dub in
>dark, mysterious backgrounds, odd lighting, or mysterious sounds
>and music. And the backdrop for the interview must be something
>taken from ordinary life, such as daytime outdoors, an office, a
>living room, or a vehicle, perhaps, all in daytime.

>This will be repugnant to producers, and may sound far fetched
>at the moment, but if these conditions were consistently made
>part of every negotiation between researchers and producers, it
>might eventually bring about documentaries that give the topic a
>fair shake.

>I suggest that a producer who is genuinely trying to convey the
>truth should not find these conditions onerous.


Hi, Eleanor,

As a documentary producer for 22 years, I've often wanted to
respond to your frustration with television producers. The
ideas you put out for ways that UFO researchers can attempt to
retain some measure of integrity over their own work, their own
words, their own image - well, it's a noble thought and they
should have that right. It would be equally democratic for any
celebrity, any political or public figure who finds themselves
pilloried by the media to have that same right. It's certainly
not just UFO researchers who feel unfairly taken advantage of.

But I'm sorry to say that broadcast and cable network television
is simply _not_ a democratic medium.  From my earliest day in
guerilla TV in the early 80s, using funky b/w portable video
cameras and trying, mostly in vain, to get PBS to air our indie
productions, I learned that whoever owns the means of
distribution and has the considerable funds needed to produce a
slick broadcast quality show - that's who has the power over
how a topic gets presented.

If programmers don't want to air the "homemade" program
submitted to them, shot and edited on low-end technology (which
you suggest can be done), the engineer at the station can simply
say your video doesn't meet the federally mandated broadcast
specifications for resolution, lines, audio quality, etc.

As other responders to this thread have suggested, broadcast TV
producers virtually _never_ give away the final cut to anyone,
even Carl Sagan - unless it was his show by virtue of his
prestige and he cut the deal that way. I've dealt with NOVA a
great deal and I can't name a single UFO researcher who could
cut a deal with that show to be seen in a favorable way.

There is hope, though, as you and others point out, that the
reign of the broadcast regime is over and the internet has the
possibility to offer makers of media about UFOs another
distribution outlet. We are already seeing some lower-tech,
shorter films about UFOs available on You Tube and other sites.

Here's what's never going to change,though: making a watchable,
compelling documentary with a story arc that pulls the viewer
forward, tells the story clearly and convincingly, one that is
technically sound enough to not turn off the viewer - to do
that requires a skill set and a mastery of a complex technology
that generally takes an individual years to acquire.

I hope that within the next year my own documentary on the UFO
abduction phenomenon, shot with Budd Hopkins and many other
researchers over a decade and around the world, will be
available to the UFO community and to academicians, scientists,
and the general public alike. It will be my take on a complex,
subtle human experience, as experienced by an insider who did
her home-work. I'm making it myself, with my own money, on my
own time, on my own equipment. Nobody but me can dictate what's
said or how it's said.

And you know what? There are still going to be people who
complain and carry-on, because what they saw wasn't their _own_
vision of the thing. And, by the way, I really like limbo
lighting, that dark background you hate. It's nothing more than
a stylistic indication that a subject should be taken quite
seriously.


Cheers,

Carol Rainey





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