Selling Rare Footage … How

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    • #67323
      Hello everyone. I am an amateur photographer at best, basically just take pictures and video of wildlife for my own use, never have had a desire to sell anything. Recently, I was able to video a rare wildlife moment that I know has never been recorded in the wild before. I don't want to go into details of what the subject is at this time, only that me and a friend using Canon HD digital point and shoots were able to record this rare moment using 2 cameras and we obtained some extensive video of the moment. We have been told by many people over the years that this footage would be worth a fortune if it was ever captured so you can imagine the excitement when there it was in front of our lenses. 
      My question is, now that we have this rare moment on film, how do you go about contacting the agencies with the deep pockets?? We have not shown the footage to anyone nor discussed it with anyone as to the content. Not being in the business so to speak, we don't want to release anything that may devalue the footage. We are not aspiring videographers so we have no desire to even be credited with the taking of this footage, for us its simply something that we would like to sell to an agency that has the ability to pay well. I can tell you that the video on youtube of the wildebeast being eaten by lions and then almost stolen by a gator has nothing on the rare moment that we captured. The video is quite long, probably over 1 hour of raw footage in HD. 
      Any advice on how we should protect our footage, what to do and what not to do, who to contact and how to etc., should we have an attorney, etc. etc. would be greatly appreciated. 
      Thank you.
    • #207913

      The short answer is that you won't be getting rich, regardless your capture. Saddly, "incredible" footage isn't often as valuable or rare as you might think.  For instance, if it's of a bird hatching or eels mating, it has to be crystal clear, high resolution, no shake, perfect color, etc, etc for a stock house to even want to rep the clip.  Then ask yourself, how many people would want to buy crystal clear footage of birds, eels, etc.  You won't get a paycheck until they sell the footage to someone else and they will take a big chunk of the revenue.   I'd contact any of the companies that sell stock footage.  Google is your friend.  

      If the footage is not top-shelf, professional quality, another option is monetising it on YouTube.  If it has popular appeal like your example of the all you can eat animal buffet, then ad revenue from views is probably your best bet.   

      If the footage has no popular appeal, isn't professional quality but has scientific value, you may contact a local university with a related department.  They won't pay you for the footage but you might get a pat on the back.  Couple that up with the loose change in your pocket and you can buy a coke in the machine on the way out of the building.


    • #207920

      VideoHive allows you to sell your videos (not sure abour 1-hour videos)

      You can try to contact all stock footage companies (ArtBeats, Pond5 etc.)

      Good luck!

    • #207922

      Lets say we release a portion of this video on an outlet such as youtube, what kind of protection would we have in terms of others copying this video. If we did release a clip just to show the masses what we have, what steps should we take first to protect our work. Obviously big companies like Natgeo, Discovery, Blue Planet etc. probably receive calls about amature videos to the point that they take none seriously. We believe that if they were to see this, that they would want it. What steps are there to protect us from someone stealing our clip from youtube and using it for their own gain? 


      What about taking our footage and making our own video and selling the rights to view it say like a pay per click. People spend millions to watch other people fornicate on video, if we could get 1 million to view it at say $2.00 a view is this something that is feasable?

    • #207923

      No protection from download… If I can see it, I can copy it. 

      But you can add watermarks – it is effective way to protect your content.

      AFAIK, Vimeo now offers pay per click solutions (video on demand) for proffessional accounts…

    • #207924

      The networks you mention wouldn't be your client.  The companies that make the programing for the networks would be your client.  You have to find someone making a show on your content which is dificult at best.

      $2 a view X 1 million viewers?  Not gonna happen unless it's celebrity porn.

      If you think you have something that unique, hire an entertainment lawyer.



    • #207948

      riverfisher, so you have footage of BigFoot!, Well maybe not, but regardless you may or may not have something. Value will be in the eye of the beholder. My first advice is to closely guard what you have. Next you will need to find an agent to represent you to the marketplace. You should have a non-disclosure agreement with that agent which also spells out exclusive ownership of the material. Selecting an entertainment attorney is also great advice to help guide you along, however, be prepared to "invest" a great deal. A godd attorney will run @ $2-300/hr. In the meantime, you could investigate what similar footage has sold for recently. The best way to find out the value of what you own is to try to buy it for yourself.


      Self distribution may be an option, but as mentioned once the footage is out there it is easy to duplicate and while you may own the copyright, there is a significant cost in shutting down copyright violaters. (See entertainment attorney costs above). Once again, a good agent can advise you on that. I do some client representation and have access to the networks and production companies if you want to pursue further. Just contact me on the side.


      Good Luck and keep us posted on your experience.   

    • #208893

      I run a stock video website, I know owners of other huge stock sites. Get in touch if you like and i'll advise you. 

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