UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 19

Re: Media & 'Truth'

From: Tom King <tomking2030.nul>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 15:51:49 +0000
Archived: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 07:06:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Media & 'Truth'

>From: Paul Kimball <Kimballwood.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Sat, 16 Nov 2002 22:08:18 EST
>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.

Sounds like it could have been me. :) The Legalese the contracts
are written in is done purposely to be difficult to understand.
They are merely to screw the amateur person to be interviewed
and protect the production company of legal recourse. The
interviewee it typically given a basic 'waive your rights'
contracts. I consider these the first round contracts only the
suckers sign. If you read them carefully they describe a myriad
of ways you can be sued, screwed, tattooed all while giving up
universal rights to yourself, videotapes, or other wares. All of
this can be negotiated away or simply don't do the production.
If the contract was in plain English you'd learn about how
they're screwing you and you won't sign it. How come the
interviewee doesn't have their own separate contract and make
the network sign it? Everyone who signs a contract should place
in a date the contract expires and say it needs to be

Most producers are pretty slick, they kiss your ass up and down
all while pretending to like you to get what they want. Low
production costs! Most try to win you over by a 'power ass
kissing session' in which you get the privilege of being on TV
for 3 seconds. While they get the privilege to make a small
fortune off the interviewee. They all claim they are broke and
production is over budget and you need to help the producer out.
That same old song and dance must be taught in TV producer
college or something.

>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.

Editing can be where they'll make you nut job or a hero. Most of
these "UFO entertainment/news" shows are pre-scripted to some

Before the TV crew arrives in your town. The producer/director
probably already has some vision of what "they need you to say".
They're not really interested in what you have to say more what
you need to say. They read of a list of loaded questions to get
a measured response and trap you into saying sound bytes that
they need. Most like you get you to say something with 'Alien'
in a sentence. Much like making a real film they know what the
show is going to be about and just need to go get all the
soundbites and cheap UFO video clips to make the show.

These shows are not here to solve anything or present
ground breaking material. They're merely 48 minutes of filler in-
between the commercials($$money$$) and that's what its all about
to the TV producer, the network, and the 5 people that own the

>>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.

There will always be the Art Bell UFO whores that never turn
down a TV interview, or radio spot to promote their garbage. So
you producers always have them to sell the conflict of your

>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.

Paul you summed it all up just like I thought. With or without
credible people the TV producers got a job to do. Their gonna
get their soundbites from somebody, anybody. I'll be sitting on
the sidelines most of the time. I've got burned enough I'm not
helping TV producers get rich off of me. I have the internet -
what do I need TV for?

Tom King

[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp

Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com