Wednesday, February 17, 2010

PSP Media Liaison

Before anyone gets too bent outta shape let me say I'm not treating this seriously. In fact I found it damn funny. (As always your mileage may vary.) Yesterday the PSP put out the presser on their media liaison--in this case, Gary Baum, who will handle the assigning of media passes for photography & film. (Are there no more media passes required anymore for non-photographers? For example, could I get a media pass? Okay, not me, but, you know, some responsible new media journalist.) But all that is really beside the point.

The press release went to great lengths, extreme lengths even, to state Mr. Baum's qualifications--as a photographer. Which is swell but what exactly does taking a good photo have to do with responsibly assigning media passes to other photographers? And isn't Gary, just like the rest, hoping to turn his interest into a few extra bucks in the process? I mean, if there was any real money involved would you give control over everyone's access to one of the guys hoping to acquire that money? Who gives Winnie the Pooh the key to the lock on the honey pot?

In the current context this is mostly a whole lot of nothing. I just found it hilarious that 90% of the press release tells what an accomplished photographer Mr. Baum is and then, almost like an afterthought at the end that he'll be handling the distribution of media passes for, in essence, all his competitors. But hey, that's paintball.

31 comments:

Johnny5072 said...

Yes he may be competition, but just like everything else in paintball who else is going to do it? While Gary may have some vested interest in getting the shots for people who hire him, I doubt he will play games with media passes. He makes his living outside of Paintball and like many of us does it for the sport we love. In this way he can be more focused and professional when it comes to allowing kiddies with camcorders and point and shoot cameras on the Pro Fields. If you want to shoot PSP Pro and sell a product you need to pay. Gary has been around long enough to know who the serious players in media are and who are the posers. I think this is part of why he was chosen. Also Camille is probably over burdened, so moving this off her plate is probably a welcome subtraction.

All in all, I think this is a non starter in respect to taking advantage of the opportunity. I think he will be more than fair when it comes to who and who shouldn't be out there.

Also, what qualifies Professional Media in Paintball anyway?? Anything labeled "Professional" in Paintball just makes me laugh. That is where the biggest disconnect in Paintball is. Thinking that if you shoot a few local tourneys or write for a website that reports on the goings on in Paintball that you should be called Professional. Gimme a break.

-John B
Center50 Films

anonachris said...

I'm guessing he's just a friendly guy who is doing it to help out. Maybe he even scored free airfare out of the deal. But from what I've read/seen/heard of him he's just one of those "I'm here to help however I can" mr-nice-guys.

I guess it seems improprietous to have a media guy issue passes for media guys. But what makes the APPA a better choice? But really I think is it means, he's going to be the guy that you line up in front of to get your paperwork handed to you...nothing to see here folks :)

Anonymous said...

Great site Baca!

I got a kick out of how they named off all of the places his work has been featured. Almost NONE of them exist in anything more than a faded memory of the "good ol days".

As far as Gary goes, he has been a pain in the ass of paintball teams and other photographers for longer than most care to remember. We knew he was a problem when our opponents were breaking out and he was running back and forth, camera in hand, on the starting line. Talk about really messing up your breakout shots, right?

How about when Gary used to run through the middle of the field during the 10 second count down, stopping to capture a few shots, and running off? Yeah, lots of complaints about that one as well.

Eventually the (real) NPPL had the forsight to start making rules for media people (photographers in the know refered to them as the Gary Baum effect). Although respected (and respectful) photographers like Brandon Showers and Matt Dawson were no longer able to capture amazing shots, they followed the rules. Gary? Still a pain in my ass. Stay off to the sidelines and stay out of my face. For what its worth, both of the above mentioned photgraphers are professional photographers in the sense that they make a living from their shots. Maybe not in paintball anymore, but in other industries.

Gary, I appreciate that you have dedicated your time and resources to capturing our sport through your lense. Really, its great. However, please keep in mind that first and foremost we are playing paintball. Please respect us Gary.

Camille, this is a new ball game. You shouldn't be repeating the mistakes of leagues past (the USPL comes to mind) and giving cart blanche to someone that has so little respect for the players on the field. I beg you to reconsider and replace Gary with someone is neutral to the task at hand. This is your opportunity to start with a clean slate and really take advantage of the new media. Please, don't blow it.

<3 Paintball.

Anonymous said...

Funny, G Baum is the head of media for the PSP. Last I recall, he is the main reason as to why the rules and regs have changed for photographers (i.e. limited positioning on fields as gary baum likes to stand in the middle of the field during breakouts),bBut good luck to the PSP.

Don Saavedra said...

At least he won't be standing in front of our webcast cameras in Phoenix...

Anonymous said...

Last year he was appointed some position involving media and it didn't matter. Other than being a fancy title, what does "media liaison" mean? It may seem odd that the man with the least self-awareness on the field is now in charge of media. It's simple, the man is able to make it to every event and that makes him reliable. Making him the default choice to a position that really isn't needed.
Many people complain that he will step into your shot, or walk on the field while the game is still live, but the key is you need to let him know, make it clear how you feel and say it not in a condescending tone, but inform him that he's going to get all of us in trouble.
i.e Lets say your getting a good bunker shot and the guys swoops right into your view finder and you get ten shots of the back of his head instead. After the game you go up to him and say this “Hey Gary, letting you know you step into my shot, I know we all want to get the same shot, but if you can’t get it from where you are, please don’t jump in front of my shot.” And then maybe calmly show him the sequence you got of him jumping in front of you. He’s not going to go running to mommy at the PSP booth and tell on you, just stand up for yourself that’s all.

Be respectful while still standing up for yourself. These are the cards that have been dealt to us so make the best of it.

Missy Q said...

Wow, I had no idea the complex web of paintball politics went as far as the photographers on the field...

Gary always seemed like a nice guy to me, and popular with the teams, although perhaps not in the same league as Brandon when it comes to the finished article.

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not GB has made a lot of enemies with his colleagues and I am sure he is very happy to be the gatekeeper for all media access to the PSP.

Baca Loco said...

VFTD's next inadvertent expose will delve into the secret lives of referees, Jerry Springer style.

anonforthis said...

Don,
Having seen the beloved Pat (and he rocks) physicaly walk up to an NXL ref and tap him on the shoulder and tell him to get out of his shot in the middle of a match the ref was officiating in tells me all need to know about how some cameramen view themselves on the sidelines. If you're on the sidelines and someone walks inadvertently into your shot, move out of the way lazy ass. If you're mounted to a tripod, suck it up and wait or move. That's the cost of doing business.

Don't know if its Gary like that too. If he's running around on the field, that should be dealt with. If it's not allowed to follow the breakout on the backsideline thats fine too--tell him. If a huge yellow vest distracts players from shooting the guy holding a gun, not a camera... well...

I'm looking forward to the ref expose. Really, let's talk about that Booger guy ;)

Patrick said...

Now here is a good example of how some ones assumptions are used to judge a person.

Now if only you knew that the ref who you are referring to had indeed told me to just let me know when he was in is way so that the two of use could work together... maybe you might see things different?

-patrick

Anonymous said...

Sick him Pat!!!!!!!!!

BTW Phoenix webcast? si? no si?

Anonymous said...

No Phoenix webcast. Gary Baum is probably the worse person to put into any position of power. There are many reasons we don't like him and why he and his website are banned from multiple paintball websites. Camille and the PSP need to rethink this if they want quality photos.

Johnny5072 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johnny5072 said...

Doesn't look like Phoenix Webcast is happening.

http://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?t=3320933&page=2

http://www.monkey-with-a-gun.com/monkey_with_a_gun/News/Entries/2010/2/16_PSP_webcast_is_dead....html

Don Saavedra said...

Too many people who hide behind anonymity on the internet. It's unfortunate, but perhaps a symptom of why this is a bad idea for the PSP. If any of those who have negative reports of Gary would now have to get their media passes from him...

"Conflict of Interest." I'm just saying.

again said...

was that after the first or second time in a row in the middle of a game you tapped him on the shoulder and he clearly ignored you and if remembering correctly, had some words to that effect. whatever the case, interrupting a ref in the middle of reffing a game clearly shows what you think of their position and your position with regards to the game going on. And it is brought in not to disparage your work, but to show that apparently a lot of photo/video guys think so highly of what they are doing they often do whatever it takes to get the shot without placing themselves in the role of "lease important person on the field" like this baum guy is apparently accused of.

Patrick said...

Think you got your facts wrong... all the ref I stand by our my personal friends and have worked with me as long as I can remember. So if you just want to come out and call me an asshole, sack up an do it.

and yes I am an asshole.

-patrick

Don Saavedra said...

Yes, but, the lovable kind whose heart grows three sizes by the end of the story.

Patrick said...

Thanks Don... are you calling me fat?

-patrick

Baca Loco said...

This is actually an interesting diversion from the topic, such as it was. Is there any distinctions to be drawn between the various visual media peeps who wind up inside the nets? Nobody would advocate interference with the play of the game but I'm sure it's as cut and dry as it may at first seem. Maybe a follow-up post is in order.

Johnny5072 said...

Baca,
Are you trying to say whether or not certain people should be allowed inside the net? I think their definitely should be restrictions. If PSP/NPPL setup a policy to pay to be there, then those folks should be the only ones allowed on the Pro fields. Divisional never gets enough coverage so let folks film/shoot away. If you are making a profit off of the images you capture at an event then you should be paying the league something. However, the league needs to take those funds and step up real on field enforcement of said rule. Otherwise it becomes a free for all again, like it has been recently.

Johnny5072 said...

Improper use of there/their. Woops.

Gary Baum said...

Well I just came across this thread and frankly I am amused…this is a great example of what’s wrong with our sport and why it is doomed to always be a minor sport. Everyone complains and there is so much negativity and no one offers any thing positive to help our sport.

Since there have been several curious accusations directed at me I feel I should take some time away from my busy schedule of granting media passes probably from some of the anonymous posters here, to explain my “agenda”

I simply love paintball in all formats and for the last almost 25 years I have done everything I can to promote our sport and help the people who play and organize the events we all enjoy. I have spent countless hours and thousands of dollars to sponsor and help teams, leagues, manufactures, players and industry people. I have provided free dental care and subsidized medical care to several players and event a few media people in our sport. For all this I have always asked for nothing in return.

I was asked by the PSP to help organize the media passes for this year. I have a long history working with the leagues in North America but this year I have taken a more visible position. I consider all the photographers as my friends, colleagues and equals and I have always been available to help people starting in paintball photography to the best of my ability. Why do I do this? The answer is very simple and I have no agenda I simply love our sport and I want to help everyone involved in it. The money I make working for the media I reinvest back into paintball which helps everyone in the sport. My goal is simply to help the sport we all love.

Gary Baum said...

There are some curious accusations made by several anonymous posters here...I usually ignore these type of posts but I want to address there here.

1. The press release was written by Camille and I did not see it until it was published. If you do not like it e-mail Camille and tell her.
2. The ability to take a good picture has noting with the ability to administrate the process of issuing media credentials. Since I do not hire myself out to teams and I still consider all the photographers as my friends I feel I can act in an impartial way. If you want to judge me then please wait to the end of the season to see how I have done and then you can post your rants here.
3. The APPA is a system designed to rank and classify paintball players not media people. Since I have been shooting paintball longer any active photographer I feel I can be helpful with this in a way that will benefit everyone. As I have said all the money I make as a photographer I reinvest back in the sport so I feel I can be impartial and fair.
4. Yes many of the magazines I have worked for no longer exist but last time I checked FaceFull, Jungle, APG, SplatXD and X3 are still around and I am the only photographer whose work regularly appears in these publications. I do not consider myself a better photographer than anyone but perhaps I just work harder
5. So Mr. Anonymous I like to “stand in the middle of the field during breakouts”? WOW amazing comment where did you see this? BTW the regulations you refer I wrote at the request of the NPPL a few years ago at their request.
6. To my fellow photographers my goal this year is simply to be helpful to everyone in the media and create some sort of consistent fair organization to the process of issuing media credentials. If I get in your way on the field just let me know and I will move out of your way as I always have.
7. To my good friend Don, I am not sure the media, even the “beloved Pat”, should interfere with the refs at events. Our objective is to make the sport better for players and I believe this requires the refs not to be interfered with by anyone and let them do their difficult job undisturbed.
BTW Don is the camera you are concerned that I may step in front of the one I purchased and gave you to use back when you were running PBLive.tv? Do you remember when PBLive was going to cease to exist and I intervened and asked you and Ryan what you needed to keep the show running? I immediately purchased everything on the list of studio equipment you guys needed. Do you also remember when you and Ryan split and you left PBLive and I told you that you could keep everything I give you because I felt you were going to use it to promote paintball. BTW I also purchased most of the equipment the Ryan now uses in the show. I guess no good deed goes unpunished…

Gary Baum said...

8. Another Mr. Anonymous said “his web site are banned (sic) from multiple paintball websites” Really? What web sites other than PbNation? My web site has been banned from PbNation for over five years and I really could care less because PbN is full of nasty kids making posts hiding behind anonymous screen names. I have heard various reasons why I have been banned but I think it because my site is supported solely by banner advertising so PbN considers me either as threat or a competitor. I have reached out several times to Ed Riker to see if we could work together to promote the sport but he has never answered any my e-mails…I guess he is too busy making money off you guys and our sport. I also am not sure I understand you comment that Camille should rethink her decision (BTW it was not her decision) if the PSP wants better photos….what a complete non sequitur, I am not sure how my appointment as media liaison is related to the PSP obtaining quality photos.
9. I understand as my high profile in the paintball media will subject me to all sorts of criticisms and I also understand that it must be discouraging new photographers to see my photography in almost every paintball magazine. They feel that they will never get a chance as long as I am around and this is quite probably the source of some of their discouragement and frustration but please remember I have paid my dues to reach this point. I have spent the last almost 10 years traveling all over the world and spending thousands of dollars in support of our sport. You too can do this if you wish and if you put the time and effort that I have and you have a moderate amount of talent you too will accomplish what I have and you too will have anonymous people posting untrue nasty things about you too, its just human nature.

Sorry about all the typos and grammatical errors in this post I do not want to spend anymore time here. I personally I had enough of this useless post and now I am going back to processing media passes to all qualified photographers and seeing what else I can help grow our sport thorough investing my time any money. I would suggest to all the haters here that they do the same and see what you can do to help our sport today.

If anyone has any questions or issues please e-mail me directly at gbaum@paintballphotography.com. I answer all of my e-mail…

Baca Loco said...

Gary
Your comments are welcome any time.

Johnny5072
The distinction I was thinking about was between media that promotes the league directly and media that may or may not benefit the league in any particular way. For example, the difference between the webcast and the divisional vanity photographer. I can envision situations where it's at least worth talking about actions that might compromise some element of the game play if there's a substantial reason to do so. Obviously there are limits but where they are... who knows?

Don Saavedra said...

The fact that Gary still doesn't see the conflict of interest is puzzling. I know he's not dumb. And no amount of generosity is going to offset it. That's not how conflicts of interest work. His notion that his work might intimidate anyone speaks to his own competitive nature, and if there were any money to be made in this sport anymore (especially for photographers), you bet this would be a problem.

But there isn't.

So it's probably not a big deal.

For now.

Anonymous said...

HAHA! Set yer goals Pat!!!CIV!

Missy Q said...

I thought Gary's post was on the money. I don't see a big deal. I just see some pettiness and small-pond in-fighting. If he does a crap job, hang him. If he doesn't, y'all are going to look like whiny bitches....

By the way, would any of you guys want to volunteer to issue media passes at the events? I know I wouldn't do it. All those punks with Camera's trying to pass themselves off as 'people that should be on the field' because they have a website? No thanks!

I'm a big fan of Pat, and I don't know how this got to Pat Vs Gary, but I would guess that Pat would rather not hand out the passes...

SeanB said...

If it was any other guy/women then Gary I would be worried,But with him doing it its going to be smoother... Like we saw..