Still the underwater video benefits Winter the dolphin and her cause and all the people who work so hard at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Hanger Prosthetics, etc. so I don't have a problem with the footage being aired. Unfortunately the clips they chose where some of the first times she has her tail on and it was purposely put on very loose so it doesn't represent the point to which she is at with the prosthetic tail at this point.
Also CBS news didn't ask me if they could use the clips. I'm sure they used an intimidation tactic (again details below) to get the footage - they ripped it off a DVD I gave to CMA previously (it did have my copyright). I'm not upset with CMA at all - I'm intrigued at to what length news photographers/videographers will go with complaints and negative tactics. Again for a laugh read on.......... This is a national news crew we're talking about here and what they consider is great underwater video equipment!!
I was asked by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to come in on Thursday November 1st and get some more photos/video of Winter for a special presentation at a conference. No problem, my agreement with CMA is I let them use some photos/video for Winter's promotion and education and I keep all my photo/video rights also to do what I want to with the items. I've pretty much got the only underwater photos (at least good ones anyway) and video of Winter. This is because Winter knows me and is comfortable with me in the water even during times when her prosthetic is being attached. She is not comfortable in general with other u/w photo/video people that have been tried.
When I came in on Thursday the ED of CMA asked me to take down a video camera from CBS news and get a little underwater footage of Winter swimming with her tail on. I guess the guy from CBS news, the main cameraman has been asking the ED of CMA and telling him he was going to bring CBS news underwater video. I don't know what got lost in translation but Winter wouldn't be comfortable in the water with a new video person - especially a man. Winter learned early on that guys are to "rough-house" with so I don't know what information/planning got crossed. But the guy from CBS is very aggressive so who knows what went on. Anyway lucky I was there for my own video/photo shoot because David asked me to take down this camera for the CBS news.
I thought, great, what will it be? Will I know how to work all the controls? Will it be Light and Motion or Gates? Even Ikelite is OK as those are pretty easy...... It took aggressive/self-important cameraman from CBS ages to put the video together - it delayed the start big time (the dolphin has a schedule too you know....). I then got a peek at the video - EGADS it looks like a plastic bag!!!!! Oh my god, it is one of those Ewa zip lock bags!!!!! And to make it even worse it has "Property of CBS News" written all over it in black marker (like they are really proud of it......?? ) Then to make this the video experience from hell the guy wouldn't even let me touch it or turn it on. (Like it was so valuable - my gosh it was some Sony DV cam not even HD).
OK, I know what you are thinking....... But hey it is worth it to me to help Winter and be with Winter and I'll put up with almost anything to have quality time with her - you could say we are sort of "pals" (I've helped rehab her since she was first caught in the crab trap in Dec 2005).
So the "cameraman" (I'll just refer to him in quotes like that so you get my drift)......, seals this thing up in the Ewa bag with about 4 lbs of extra buoyancy. I tell him that isn't the way it is done, but he gets more antagonistic and everyone around is fed up with him. So I put extra weight on my belt and made the best of it. He told me (no lie video guys - get this how uninformed can you be - I think it is the feeling of "know it all" that makes people the most stupid). Anyway I can't see through the viewfinder. I've never used a Ewa but I think after you vacuum it you should till be able to get an image but of course this thing has 4 lbs of air in it so? I don't know but the "national news cameraman" says, "You won't be able to see through it, just point it at her 3 feet away......".
Did I say this was the video nightmare from hell?
All I can say is I saved Winter any stress from being closer to this guy than she had to. What did he think that he was getting in the water with her? Not a chance Winter would have told/shown him where to "stick it"...... Frankly the head dolphin people would have never let him in the water with her. They take excellent care of Winter.
I tried lots of things with the "valuable CBS news underwater video setup" (ha!) but not knowing how wide the lens it and his not putting the lens in the center of the Ewa "housing" (ha!), made it pretty impossible. Everyone told me from topside I looked good in the water and looked like I got some good footage. I knew it would be a crap shoot. Previously I showed him my Ikelite that I get my video footage with. Since I have an expensive DSLR setup I can't afford an expensive DV/HDV setup too so I use my Fuji F810 along with a 105 wide angle lens. After I put it through video software to clean it up it is not half-bad. Not DV or HDV but it is all I have. Of course the CBS "cameraman" scoffed at my equipment (I showed him my Subal/d200) also.
Upshot is I didn't get much if any useable video with the CBS "cameraman's" Ewa video setup. What a joke. That guy brought lights on stands that probably cost $2,000 each and risked electrocution on the wet grating but felt that a $350 plastic bag - not properly set up was "great equipment". I said I'd give you video guys a laugh......
I had to get home to assist the dolphin caretakers into putting together a decent presentation on Winter for a conference but as I left the antagonistic CBS "cameraman" said "thanks for your help", "didn't get anything, you pointed it up too much".
I think I'll create a new syndrome (disease) and call it VNFHD - 'Video Nightmare from Hell Disorder'.
After I left I'm sure the aggressive "cameraman" from CBS used intimidation tactics against the ED from CMA (like he didn't let the guy go down with the video and I didn't get useable footage so??); I'm sure that resulted in the ED of CMA giving him a DVD I gave CMA of different phases of Winter swimming underwater with her prosthetic tail - just to get rid of him and shut him up. Did I mention the CBS "cameraman" was a "know-it-all" nightmare?
They then ripped the footage off my DVD and used it on the CBS News Morning Show as the "exclusive, first underwater footage" of her swimming with her tail. No credit to me but that figures. And it is not even true cause I've shown and CMA has already shown that same footage I got to lots of other people and organizations so it wasn't exclusive for CBS at all.
Again I'm not upset with CMA and anything to help Winter and disseminate her marvelous survival and ability to thrive - story is great.
But I learned what a nightmare some of the news media can be. I hadn't much experience with that in the past.
Oh, here is the link if you want to watch it - again if I had decent equipment I could do a whole lot better in the video department (of course my photos of her are of excellent quality - but I can't afford high-priced video also). But I'm not apologizing any more for my u/w video footage - not after seeing the absolute joke that CBS news thinks is great underwater video equipment!!
Thanks for listening - it was a cathartic process and I feel better now - Go Winter!!! B) Carol
Edited by seagrant, 10 November 2007 - 11:49 AM.