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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 17

Re: Media & 'Truth'

From: Paul Kimball <Kimballwood.nul>
Date: Sat, 16 Nov 2002 22:08:18 EST
Archived: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 06:09:09 -0500
Subject: Re: Media & 'Truth'

>From: John Velez <johnvelez.aic.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Sat, 16 Nov 2002 12:03:25 -0500
>Subject: Re: Media & 'Truth'

Dear Mr. Velez:


>I don't think even contracts would make a difference. I've
>gotten to the point where I ask one question and one question
>only when ever I am invited to participate in one of these 'UFO'
>programs: "Is the material being presented as 'news' or as
'>entertainment'? The end result... I haven't consented to do
>anything I have been invited to participate in for more than
>three years.

'>We don't need no stinking contracts!' We just need to refuse to
>participate in any more 'for entertainment only' productions
>that we are invited to appear in.

As a lawyer who also happens to be a film and television
producer/director, I can only respond by saying that you always
need contracts, and they do make a difference. Further, they're
always open to negotiation.

A case in point: When we were doing the Stan Friedman film, one
of the interviewees refused to be interviewed unless we removed
the line from the release form stating that he could not sue us
for (among other things) defamation - a standard clause, which
usually won't hold up in court, but better to have than not from
a producer's point of view. I could have walked away, but I
wanted to interview the guy (we ended up not using his material
for other reasons), so I agreed to strike the clause.

We edited a lot of the material as well, but never in a way that
undermined the basic thrust of what the person was saying.
However, most people are not terribly adept at speaking in
soundbites, which is what television requires, so editing is
inevitable. For example, in the interviews for the Friedman
film, Dr. Benson Saler spent a lot of time talking about
anthropological theories; what I wanted was his take on Stan and
Roswell. That required some editing of what he said, because he
often put all of the anthropological stuff in between two bits
where he was talking about something we wanted to use.

Editing can also come into play in the choice of what to use and
what not to use. We interviewed Karl Pflock and Kevin Randle for
the Friedman film. They both had a number of nice things to say
about Stan. Almost none of them are in the film. We used the
bits with Karl tearing into Majestic 12 and Roswell, and Kevin
into Majestic 12 and Stan's CIA and NSA blacked out documents,
because we needed antagonists, and Stan was quite capable of
saying nice things about himself (I mean that in a good way!),
with the help of Don Ledger, Walter Haut, and Barry Downing.
Entertainment is about conflict, and all television and film is
entertainment, even as it informs - even documentaries, and even
news (especially news!). And, as there is no consensus about
matters ufological, conflict more than acceptable - it is the
nature of the beast.

>Without us... they have no Show.

Alas, no... there will always be a show, because people find the
subject of UFOs/abductions/alien life fascinating. And all
television and film, like it or not, is about entertainment,
especially the news.

The question is whether ufologists want to make a contribution
to it, or sit on the sidelines. If taking your case and
presenting it to as many people as possible is the goal, then
sometimes you have to take your chances, and sometimes you might
get burned. It seems to me, however, that the potential reward
is worth the risk.

Best regards,

Paul Kimball

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