ABC news

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by gene m, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. I received an email from a well known ABC newsperson. They'd like to interview me about my found films.
    I believe I'll refuse for the following reasons.
    1. I like the little world that I operate in.
    2. The massive response would shut down my website.
    3. I'm already buried in orphaned film.
    4. I look like hell on television
    What are your thoughts ?
  2. I can be your stand-in ?
    Sure beats fakin' your own death, Gene, and living out your 15-minutes of fame behind a black curtain.
  3. I think you should do it Gene. I know everyone here would love to see you get the recognition you deserve. But, I also completely understand the desire to remain more or less "under the radar".
    As far as #4 goes, that's what makeup people are for. They show Nancy Pelosi on TV, right? Wait...that may not be a very good example.
  4. Makeup on me would require the use of a trowel.
  5. I fully understand, Gene. I have had my experiences with journalists and since then I rank them even below politicians (trustworthiness-wise). Stay the hell away from that lot!
  6. I think you should do it, Gene. If only to spread the Gospel of Film and Classic Cameras. Your comments will most likely be edited beyond recognition but they may just inspire a few youngsters to a new world...
  7. "Who would you play you for the movie rights?"
    Sandra Bullock. But she'd have to sleep with me to get the part.
  8. Sandra Bullock??? I think you could have done much better. BTW, does your wife read our threads?
  9. I think you should do it, Gene, if only for the people who wouldn't otherwise get to see these wonderful stories.
  10. On the last one, they would doll you up.
  11. Gene - is there a way they can interview you without giving away your full identity?
    Alos, whether you decide to do this or not, this would be a great story for the NYT's Lens blog. Of course, given how timely they, they'll probably run the story in 2020.
  12. Gene if it were the DISCOVERY channel yes withour reservation./
    I think the pinheads at the big networks
    will find a way t0 mock you
    if it were instamatic or disk film days, they
    would scoff at anything except that "saying everone knows instamatic is the wave of the future and this guy messes around with that old roll film stuff"
    today it would be the same except these pinheads
    will use digital as a basis of comparison.
    Knowing the thought parterns of Journalists,.
    I am sure that they would say would niot be flattering to you.
    I LIKE the Herko or stink o flex stories
    You could even do a found film thread on a pink 127 imperial
    and we here at PN would say " oh wow"
    Maybe if you put a little non camera PORN in it abc would like it better.
    BUT THAT would have nothing to do with cameras.
    I would say do it-- but only for the discovery channel or the history channel.
    that might have some meaning. the networks are way too superficial.
    anything more complicated than a paper clip is " beyond their understanding"
    Politicians? I think they are slightly smarter than Journalists.
  13. Do it! It represents an unparalleled opportunity to reach so many. Isn't that sharing of the uniqueness, mystery and tenderness of found film, as so eloquently expressed in your recent "Mom's Film" posts, the reason for having a website. Opportunity is knocking. Will you answer?
    Besides what better way to position yourself for a decent book deal later on. A TV report or website is temporary and fleeting. A real book, without having major museums preserving your work, is more or less permanent even if out of print. Come to think of it, you may actually get some curatorial interest as well from such exposure. Do it and squeeze every drop of free PR from it you can.
  14. I think if you could get across the point you make in the last of Mom's pictures about great photos not necessarily being of technical perfection then you should do it. If you think the journalists would follow some other agenda then, sure, keep your head down.
    A good point was made about the NY Times Lens blog; I think if Errol Morris was interested it would undoubtedly be a Good Thing.
  15. Very cool, Gene. Do what you think best
  16. I definitely understand your reservations about doing the interview, however your work (both with your film and insightful commentary) is funny, sentimental, nostalgic, and has the potential to touch any number of people in many different ways. I for one would love to see it shared. And if it makes someone pull their film camera out of the closet (or buy their first one) all the better.
  17. Do what you think best.
    But if you're asking my opinion, I'd say give the interview. I don't think you'll be buried in responses. I think you'll connect emotionally to a bunch of viewers on the retro / nostalgia level, but that darned few will have film of their own for you to process.
    How is your website access metered? I know a guy who put a great video he'd shot on his website (a tugboat hitting a low bridge at flood, capsizing, and righting itself after passing under the bridge, the pilot still in the wheelhouse), and it went viral.... The flood of hits opened him up to a HUGE fee from his ISP.
    So again, I'd say go for it. Spread the gospel of what you're doing. Possibly get millions of people teary-eyed about their past and the emotional connection photos have given them. But do so with your eyes open.
    I also wouldn't assume they want to make you a fool. They want a nice, feel-good story to start people's day off right.
    It's also gosh-darned amazing in this day of digital media not lasting 10 years, and you're like an archeologist, retrieving latent images decades old.
    Don't worry about the makeup. They have plenty. And they probably are expecting somebody with character and experience.
    It wouldn't surprise me if your exposure went hand-in-hand with the Vivian Maier press, and between the two eloquently extolled the virtue and relative longevity of film.
    But.... If it were Jerry Springer, I'd advise you differently.
  18. Gene,
    I would think of two consequences of a national TV interview. First people may send you tons of stuff from 40-50-60-ies. Second, a "very concern" citizen may launch a litigation of some sort of copyright or privacy violation you have no idea about.
  19. Gene, anything that can further promote the interest in old film is a good thing, I think. You could do a telephone interview, not in person, right?
  20. Gene, now that Kozma has brought up potential copyright issues as a downside, I've just realized a possible up-side:
    Somebody identifies people in your Found Film series, and the photos are reunited with people who never knew they existed. Can you imagine how you'd feel if suddenly a new batch of photos of your grandmother, 50 years in the past, surfaced?
  21. Absolutely go for it, Gene. You a unique part of Americana. Your appeal is not just the photos you recover, but also your running commentary on them.
    If I may put on my Politico persona for a moment, Howard, Nancy Pelosi is an attractive woman that has been the most effective Speaker in decades, and has raised a wonderful family. Far more appealing than caribou bimbo and her dysfunctional family, or batchit crazy michele.
  22. "Sandra Bullock??? I think you could have done much better. BTW, does your wife read our threads?"
    I have a Bullock fetish. My wife does not read the forum but she knows about the Bullock thing. She thinks it's laughable. It is, of course.
  23. Gene,
    I'd say do it. But I would talk with a lawyer regarding copyright before doing so. While I've always liked your project, I've also wondered about the copyright issue in the past.
  24. Gene:
    If it were me in your position, I would have reservations, too. There are many good things about having the exposure, and part of my concern would be the "angle' and the "spin" that any reportage would offer. I watched the Vivian Maier video that was done by a Chicago station, and thought it was done very well. So, like any newsworthy event, it will be in how they approach it.
    A good fallout would be that maybe families would take better care of their photographic treasures and realize that hard drives filled with images do not have much of a legacy value. The physical nature of a negative or a slide has a visual immediacy that digital images do not. However, once an image has been scanned and put up on the web -- the impact and reach of an images becomes both personal (as in Mom's pics) and universal.
    You are not in this to make money, and one of the things you could stress is that there are commercial labs that will process old films, and that you are not the only person in the country that knows how to do this. However, nobody else has your sense of humor and insight regarding the images that you post up on the web :).
    I would think that a good outcome for something like this could be some organization like the George Eastman House to offer a home for orphan images. But who knows where such a spot could lead? Fear not!
  25. Hard call, Gene. I suspect there are a few pitfalls that might outweigh the benefits of promoting film, in terms both the personal exposure sense and possibly with some obscure legal issues. One has to ask yourself, "What's in it for me?", and I'm personally not that keen on Sandra Bullock. A book, well researched and cannily produced, seems a great medium for your work and talent, rather than the vacuous medium of commercial TV. Natalie Portman's rather nice, though...
  26. I don't post on here much but I do read quite a bit of it. I also really enjoy your stuff Gene and I like that it seems to be only for "us" at the moment. I can't judge how you would look on TV but I must agree with the first 3 reasons. #2 certainly would come true and that would in turn make #3 worse. I would also be concerned about an overflow of Kodachrome that Dwaynes was unable to process!
    On the plus side it would be a VERY cool/heartwarming story in a time when we need those. Just thought I'd toss that guilt filled last comment in there. ;)
  27. Dang, we'd all love to keep you all to our little selves, but the world needs to know too. It's a nice upbeat story, although I understand your reservations.
    Given the nature of the cable channels like Discovery, unlike Walter, I'd expect better and more serious treatment from ABC than from the former. On Discovery and all, you'd be in with Aliens on Earth and crop circles, at the best. ;)
  28. I have to admit that I would love to see such a show, if done properly, but I couldn't blame you for not wanting to do it either. FWIW Natalie Portman is just a mere child. Jennifer Anniston on the other hand...
  29. I think number one reason is the crucial one, because if you do it, ABC will be just the beginning. You will be contacted by other media, and at least for a while, life's going to change. Could be good, who knows, these things are unpredictable. Like Rick said, hard call.
  30. Every second you're on ABC, they will not be broadcasting some kind of lie or nonsense.
  31. What if the spot on ABC gets bumped for something more newsworthy, like another Sarah Palin 'tweet'?
    I understand your reasons for being hesitant, I also think you deserve a wider audience with these.
  32. FWIW, I'm not convinced that TV exposure will flood you with old film, or long-lasting fame. I think most people's reaction will simply be a twinge of nostalgia, perhaps a revived interest in film and old photos.
    If it were me, I'd also stress that I couldn't do K-chrome, and like somebody else said, mention alternate sources of processing for other rolls of film.
    I don't think everybody in America has an exposed roll in their possession, and even among people who do, only a tiny sliver of them will actually be moved to do anything about it.
  33. I certainly agree with you on the privacy angle. Perhaps, with a bit of negotiation, they may foot the bill for your website costs for the coming year.
    Josh is correct on the copyright issue, as every other television ad is a lawyer "helping" you to be compensated for something, though may get quite a few more hits out of this, also.
    Myself, I'd be inclined to to do it if the terms were correct. As a former employer used to jokingly say to me.... "Share the Wealth?"
  34. Copyright is a serious thing -- I include a copyright notice in each contract when I do a job -- but I don't think it'd be a major issue here. You could have ABC only air photos you have permission to use. Surely you have (or could get) permission for a few of those?
    For a book, you'd also have to get permission to publish them, of course.
  35. Found film that you processed is unlikely to be a copyright problem. It is being shown as a documentary/art fashion, not used commercially. Second, no permission would be needed if (a) used as above, and (b) the photographers and subjects are anonymous, so how could anyone believe that one could get permission. Copyright is the least of your worries.
  36. I think much would depend if Mom's family will want the publicity. News reporters will hunt them down eventually and bluntly ask how they feel. Gene, if you and Mom's family are happy with the picture situation as it is now, why risk any heartache over undesired intrusion into your lives. I'm cynical that mega-news organizations are out to make money, more than to make anyone feel good.
  37. Taking legal advice from forums is a terrible idea. Talk to a IP lawyer before you agree to anything with ABC.
  38. I would say to do it. If you can imbue the TV time with 1/10th the quality of the posts you have put up here you will touch and humanize millions of people, adding a little value to their lives in the very best possible way.
  39. I didn't have the time to read the other 35 responses but I strongly urge you to do this!! I'm sure you can push the editors
    to make the story be the film and their stories and not you. Make a contingency plan, you'll have time before it airs, build a bigger capacity server and limit the personal and direct linrs. If the the response works, sift through the book offers and start slowly. You'll need probably an agent/publicist, a PO BOX office number and a new email addres. I know you don'T need anybody, but I want to see you get off the ground. I was hoping to be your breakthrough on FotoTV ( and do a film on you. I just hadn't worked out the logistics. I recommend you contact the fellow who found or believed to have found Ansel Adams negs.. ( he can probably help guide you through the dangers and potholes. I'm 100% serious Do it Gene!
  40. Whatever it takes to get your ass to finally make a book. For pete's sake, Gene. If we can't get a book we'll take a TV interview. I think this will get your book made and then Oprah will have you on. Then Sandra Bullock will notice you, and since Jesse James is her type I think your chances are better than you suspect.
  41. Gene, it has the potential to be something big. Everybody with a digital camera has the idea that he or she can be the next greatest photographer. Here's a chance to show everybody where it started from. It might just open some doors and minds.
  42. I agree, copyright is not an issue. You can decide for yourself how much more "found film" you want to take on, but expect to get buried, at least for awhile. And, I'm more of a Salma Hayek kind of guy myself.
  43. Every second you're on ABC, they will not be broadcasting some kind of lie or nonsense.​
    Ain't dat da troof !
    Gene, you're certainly more real than that phoney voiceover bum or other manufactured non-news entity.
    It's abvout time someone deserving gets exposure and recognition for real accomplishments.
  44. A. Correct that legal advice from forum isn't to be banked on; however I assure you that since you have not used the material commercially you have no liability. And no one can make any demand of you who is not the photographer or the owner of the film and if they come forward, why, that's kind of part of the process.
    B. re: Crop circles. I though Gene WAS a crop circle? Doesn't all the film come from the Bermuda Triangle?
    C. Gene, if you do it, and some other artists/filmmakers get interested, you can get involved in some wonderful interesting projects you might not have contemplated. Or you won't. The half life of this kind of story is very very shot: a week or two at best. (I'm in journalism...) So fear not.
  45. No matter what you decide Gene, we are behind you. I personally think it would be kick ass to see that on the TV. If it were a vote, I would vote YES. Do what you think is right.
  46. SCL


    If you do it, understand that your life will change in ways you can't begin to predict. Good luck in arriving at your decision.
  47. Here's my response.
    I was unable to respond to your first email as I was away from home.

    I'm not interested in expanding my found film efforts any further than my simple website. As it is, I'm overwhelmed with people that want me to help them recover old photographs, whether they come from their families or from thrift shops.

    I was interviewed by The Canadian Broadcasting Company a few years ago and the response was overwhelming. My internet service provider shut down my website due to bandwidth usage. I received hundreds of emails.

    I'm flattered at your interest but I think I'd rather remain under the radar.

    Thank you

  48. All the power to you Gene.
  49. I have hundreds of slides I've collected over the years from estate sales. Images of cruises in the Caribbean from the 1960s and 1970s, travel around the world, weddings, family photos, etc. I think it's not too uncommon to collect photos for people like us. I'm sure they could find someone else to talk to.
    However I've never developed found film, I've always discarded it, since it was usually recent 35mm film. If I'd found older film, 120, 620 or 127 format, I'd have developed it.
    Just don't give out your info if you don't want any more old film to process. But imagine the treasures which might come your way.......
  51. I think that says it all Gene. Well put.
  52. Whew, you may not now be for the ages, but I hope you'll still be here for the Classic Manual forum for a long time to come.
    [I suspect that the Canadians may be less apathetic, hence the large response you got. When it comes to other Americanoid English-speaking countries, the Australians are like Americans with even more attitude issues, but the Canadians are like Americans, but on something really seriously soothing. :) Don't taunt me on this or I will come back and make even more acerbic descriptions of other national character issues. As a trained anthropologist I know where your sore spots are! ]
  53. JDM, we Canucks can be just as apathetic as anyone else.We just won't bother to show it.
  54. Gene
    I think that it is wise of yours that you have declined their interview offer. I only can imagine what *can of worms* it may open in terms of different *privacy and identity* issues. Not to mention that you tend to avoid calling some people on that photos "nutritionally challenged" but use politically incorrect words like "fat" and "chubby"
  55. I think Gene just defined the word "wisdom" with his response. Good for you, Gene. May the Stink-o-flex live forever! If ever you feel the need to send out another classic crap-o-camera, I would be honored once again to run a roll through it. And it you ever need help developing lost treasures, me and I'm sure countless others are here ready to lend a hand.
  56. Huh. I was going to get all pissed off aboot that "Canadians are like Americans" comment but then I decided not to bother. Timbits and a double-double are calling.
  57. Gene, you richly deserve all the recognition in the world, and my first response was "Our Gene on the TV, so proud"... but I keep thinking about the reasons you list, and I keep getting worried how this exposure would affect your life... Still, its a story I would love to see, and it would be a definite high point in the material we see on television... I am so torn - I know in my case my vanity and tendency to be an attention whore would win out... Whatever you do - congratulations and keep us posted!
  58. I respect your decision, sir. My position on Salma Hayek, however, is unchanged.
  59. You can smell the movie already....Arnold Schwartzenegger in the leading role, plenty of exploding bottles of fixer and riccocheing rolls of Verichrome. At least the plot will be well developed.
    Sorry for the flippancy, the Antipodean heat is getting to me.
  60. Gene M. you make some good point's, I myself think you should do it, But its your life and time : Lauren
  61. Gene M. you make some good point's, I myself think you should do it, But its your life and time : Lauren
  62. I would wait until I hear from the other networks, but I do respect your decision. Besides, they may not portray the
    wonderful job you do with found film in a positive light.
  63. As far as No. 4 is concerned I viewed you photograph as posted and you will ook just fine. Just make sure that your mustache is trimmed & wear a dress shirt, tie, and sport coat. No dark sunglasses. You will do alright.
  64. Come on, Gene, just do it. I'm sure they can hide the details so as not to have you inundated with requests. If Dick Cheney could operate from a 'secret undisclosed location' for eight years so could you. It's a great, warm story that should be told, but I do respect your descision. But don't forget the fact that you could probably include a shout-out to Sandra Bullock, and she IS single right now....
  65. least for this week...
  66. Gene,
    What is the URL for your website?
    And I think you should go for it.....
  67. Remember those little red emblems you used to see on advertisements for various products - "as seen on TV"?
    Most, if not all, of that stuff was junk.
    There's a sucker born every minute.
  68. Gene, I'd rather see a book. I'm a HUGE fan of your stuff and would pay top $$ for a coffee table book. Your stories and descriptions get me every time. I shoot often in the area you live and if I get lucky maybe someday I'll bump into you so I can shake your hand.

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