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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 21

Re: Media & The Truth

From: Tom King <tomking2030.nul>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 17:53:17 +0000
Archived: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 07:37:18 -0500
Subject: Re: Media & The Truth


>From: Paul Kimball <Kimballwood.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 19:03:49 EST
>Subject: Re: Media & The Truth

>>From: Tom King <tomking2030.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 15:51:49 +0000
>>Subject: Re: Media & 'Truth'

<snip>


>>>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
>>renegotiated.

>I pay over $9,000 in Errors and Omission insurance for every
>production (on a budget of perhaps $100,000 to $150,000 Cnd.).
>Why? Because there are just as many questionable interviewees
>out there as there are crooked producers (I would suggest far
>more) who have made life (and business) miserable for those of
>us with a camera. Rather than being sued we protect ourselves. A
>lesson learned from hard experience, more than a few legal dust-
>ups, and the edict of the broadcasters, who won't air a program
>(rightly so) unless they are protected from any one of a number
>of false claims for... well, you name it, it's been done.

$9,000 is about 4-6 times the average budget alloted to license
materials in most budgets for the entire show.

>>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.

>You must live in Hollywood! Cards on the table - as a
>producer/director/editor of the Friedman film, I made a less
>than grand total of $22,000 (Cdn, which is, I think, about $30
>US). The film itself took over two years to research, film and
>edit. I sure didn't get rich, and most of my colleagues here in
>Canada don't either; I suspect the situation is the same for
>independent documentary producers south of the border. It is a
>very 'small' fortune indeed. Ask my wife.
>
>Your comments strike me as very similar to those debunkers who
>claim that men like Friedman have gotten rich off of book sales,
>and are only in it for the money.
>
>This is not to cry poverty. I did the film because I wanted to,
>for a lot of reasons, but primarily because I thought the
>subject was important. No need to shed any tears for me - I
>chose this career - but don't label me and my peers slick, money
>grubbing hucksters. For the vast majority of us, nothing could
>be further from the truth.

$30,000? Wow. It's not alot for two years of work but I wish I
got paid $30,000 for two years of my time in UFO research. I'm
sure in the past 5 years I spent $30,000 into my research or
more. Travel costs, camera gear, computers, gasoline, hotels,
maps, phone bills, etc...

I'm not labeling you as money grubbing, but your peers are money
grubbing hucksters when it comes to them trying to produce a
decent UFO program. Don't try to pass off to this List that your
peers care about UFOs or creating a good program. Bottom line is
they care about that check every week, not UFO reality. Several
ufologists are fed up with the repeated lies they pitch. Once
bitten twice shy. Your not going to find many shoulders to cry
on with this List.

>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
>>extent.

>Not in my company, nor in those of the people I know in the
>industry. We film what happens, and what people say. The story
>is usually constructed in the editing room, after the big
>picture makes itself clear. Tell me that authors of UFO books,
>or Internet websites, don't make the same kind of editing
>decisions, often to advance their own agenda. Of course they do.
>The important thing is to make sure you don't misrepresent
>someone's views. For an interviewee, if that does happen, you
>can always sue (something Americans are far better at than we
>Canadians).

Paul, not your company but in 98% of all producers in the U.S.
operate in that manner. They simply don't blindly fly to your
house, hire a union cameraman and a sound guy hoping you have
something interesting to say about UFOs. They already sized you
up and have some idea of how you'll fit into their program
before they book airline tickets to your town. So their mind is
made up about you before the cameras arrive to interview you. I
can tell it the second the camera crews arrive because I'm
sizing them up. They're body language, demeanor and first
impressions speak volumes to seasoned investigators dealing with
tv producers getting their UFO cherry popped. When the Discovery
Channel turned up in 1997 the director already figured out the
sighting while his cameraman was setting up. Bill Hamilton and I
knew the story was going to be slanted and thought about
ditching the tv producers and getting the hell out of there, but
we didn't.

There are airtime slots they need to fill between those
commercials. 3 cheap but interesting UFO videos need to be
licensed, real or not don't matter to the producer in most cases
since they call it "eyecandy" anyway. Network Execs would rather
see a crappy model hanging from strings than an authentic UFO
video at night. Its brings in more viewers, raises the price of
those commercials and has "conflict"

>>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.

>Nothing like painting us all with a pretty broad brush loaded
>with tar. What are Stan's second and third rules for debunkers?
>Don't bother me with the facts, my mind is made up, and if one
>can't attack the data, attack the people. It works both ways.
>Finally, nobody can make a person say something they don't want
>to say, short of unethical editing, which I agree is a plague on
>my industry, even as I maintain it is rare.

I respect your position but were both coming from different
sides of the coin here. If you get burned and lied to over and
over, time after time you tend to lump the liars together.

>>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
>>media.

>I make my own films, pre-licensed to a network. Not once in four
>years has a network ever interfered in my productions. As for
>the 'five people', I've never met them, just as I've never, to
>my knowledge, met anyone from MJ-12, to whom one private
>correspondent suggested I had basically sold my soul. The kind
>of person for whom you definitely need legal protection!

http://www.nowfoundation.org/communications/tv/mediacontrol.html

Check the link, I think most know the media is controlled or
owned by a handful of people. Their annual revenue is measured
in the billions! Yet they all claim their productions are on
limited budgets and us poor people need to "help them out". &$%#
'em.

>>>>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
>>shows.

Sorry I meant to say Art Bell UFO crack whores not Art Bell UFO
whores.

>So, because they appeared in my film, Stan Friedman, Kevin
>Randle, Don Ledger, Karl Pflock, and others are "UFO whores?" I
>don't think so. Maybe they just see a bigger picture, and
>appreciate that if ufology is ever to move into the mainstream,
>it has to reach more people, in whatever ways it can. That's why
>I have such a great deal of respect for Stan - he's taken his
>lumps, gotten his message out, and done good work as a result.
>As for Don, "The Shag Harbour UFO Incident' is another example
>of a good film that balances the need to entertain with the
>desire to inform. Maybe we just do it better here in little old
>Nova Scotia.

I won't say the above people you listed are Art Bell UFO crack
 whores. I have much respect for Stan like most on this List.
Sorry I haven't seen your tape but sure would like to screen it.

>What I have the most trouble understanding - in my final post on
>the subject - is the difficulty some folks have with 'conflict',
>as if it didn't exist in the UFO field. A quick perusal of the
>UFO UpDates Archive should be enough to disabuse anyone of that
>notion. I say again - a UFO film that portrays 'conflict' (or
>would you prefer 'debate') accurately reflects the way things
>are. Kevin Randle and Stan Friedman both agree that something
>extraterrestrial happened at Roswell. They disagree about
>specifics. That's conflict. There are still people who think Bob
>Lazar is telling the truth, and many others who think he's a
>serial liar. It's perfectly legitimate to portray these
>differences.

Paul, I think people are sick of news/entertain style that
dominates the media nowadays. The hardcore group wants to see
just the facts without Joe Nickel's comments on a case he never
investigated. He adds nothing of value to the 'entertainment'
since most of his testimony is based on things he didn't study.

>Or would you prefer an audience of sheep? I have more faith in
>people, that they can weigh both sides of an issue, and reach
>their own conclusions. And, before you say that we producers
>don't present both sides of the equation, I must add that I have
>further faith that people are capable of seeing when they are
>being snowed, and will instinctively react againt it. If they
>see only one side, they will seek out the other.

We aren't all sheep just because we realize the foolish
debunkers don't belong in a UFO story to balance it. Thats
simply adding BS to the story to satify the Network Execs. Not
everyone is a network puppet.

>>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?

>Whether you agree with them or not, the aforementioned certainly
>strike me as credible people. As for the Internet, I'll assume
>you meant that in jest. If there is one thing worse - and more
>dangerous - than television, it is the Internet, where the gold
>is buried in a thousand tonnes of dross.

Paul at least I have control of my website. I don't have some
slimy Network Execs that know nothing about UFOs telling me I
need to have Joe Nickel's comments all over my website to
balance it or Subway will back out of sponsorship.


Tom King
www.ufovideo.com



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