Wednesday, March 14, 2012
VFTD has long considered the bulk of paintball photographers to be nuisances and the majority of paintball photography to be the "extreme sport" equivalent of vanity portraiture. Amateur photogs taking mundane, virtually indistinguishable, repetitive images to sell to divisional players wanting a memento or two to take home. Which is fine--to a point. In recent years every sensible limit has been strained to the breaking point--which (apparently) snapped recently.
As entertaining as the thread in question has been I won't be commenting on the particulars because there aren't enough factual details. Instead I will be suggesting a measured response and future course of action to be considered in the aftermath. This is actually a bigger issue for the PSP than the raging photogs and should probably be addressed as such. It begins with the new PSP affiliated media company now responsible for the webcast and related media products. What if any exclusivity does or should the new media company have? My reply would be the match narratives that the webcast is attempting to capture and communicate. And if that's the way the league perceives it then still photography is not a concern, only alternative video products. If that is the case then the follow-on issue becomes what sort, if any, product should secondary video media producers be allowed to create, promote, display and/or sell.
I would say the league doesn't need to--or want to--monopolize live action at least for the time-being--but that's just me. In any case some thought will have to be given to what is and isn't acceptable when it comes to alternative video presentations.
Also I think it would behoove the league to have a simple use rights agreement with the featured teams signed on an annual basis. No monies need change hands but some clarity for all involved parties on what is fair and expected use could preclude future hassles. And if the webcast develops as anticipated it will eventually become an issue. Right now it's in everyone's interest to make the product available so now is the ideal time to begin a cooperative effort.
Okay now we can talk photogs. These can be divided between established media reps and vanity photographers. (I suppose a very few are both but then not all "media" is created equal either.) The media reps should be vetted and given access where and how the league determines. (Media reps can also include sponsor and team photographers.) The vanity photogs should also be limited to a pre-determined number and perhaps vetted based on a different criteria; years of experience, customer satisfaction, etc. The media reps receive credentials and in return agree to provide the league with images under a simple use rights agreement that serves and protects everyones' interests. The vanity photogs pay a modest access fee and are under no other obligation. Under such a system the league controls competing content, limits access, vets legit media outlets and provides some oversight of the vanity photography industry which benefits the players in general even if a limited number of photographers would likely mean higher prices. At some point the market; ie: the players, will decide what they're willing to pay.
Of course then I won't have anybody to make fun of anymore--except guys pulling off lame DMW.
Monday, July 4, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
For those of you finding my mildly upbeat attitude disconcerting (distressing) (disorienting) (discombobulating) (I could go on) relax. I do not have my fingers crossed. I am not jumping up and down with glee. Or excitement. Or even repressed anxiety. I am not even slightly hopeful that this latest foray into competitive paintball on (almost) TV will work. Paintball's track record isn't good. This is but one, modest hurdle that must be surmounted before additional hurdles are put in our path. Yet, for all that, it remains an opportunity. An opportunity whose success you can contribute to simply by signing up and tuning in. (You don't even need to watch if you don't want to.) If you have any interest in competitive paintball being on TV tune in. (My laptop will be tuned in at our HB hotel while we're at the field.) It doesn't matter if you're skeptical. Or that you expect it to go no where--again. It's about making the most of the opportunities that come your way, and make no mistake, this is an opportunity. Tune in.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Granted, I'm a natural born cynic--and I have lots of years of paintball experience on top of that. But instead of passing judgment I'ma just gonna point out a couple of factoids and let you decide what you think of this. It's not really a big deal one way or the other. Really. It's not. It was this or jumping into the debate over whether or not the PSP was gonna restrict D1 to 10 teams 'cus you know that's what the current team page shows. Does not. Does so.
What? Oh. Think of what? This is another look at industry and media, new or otherwise. It was the recent announcement from the PE Kidz that started me thinking. You know, the new ETV gimmick with their digital download store. PE has probably done more in the new media arena than the rest of PBIndustry--and good for them (although I wonder how much the vision belongs to guys like Dan Napoli.) The point isn't though that the PE Kidz are trying different things and looking for new ways to use their sponsored teams and the potential of new media. It's that they are looking to transform promotion into product. (Which I find interesting.) A sort of modern alchemy.
At one level everybody is doing it, or trying to do it. Dye does a solid job with their promotional videos. They have a coherent, consistent style that is so immediately recognizable they almost don't need logos and look very professional to boot. But they are mostly just video ads. Across the industry it's a mixed bag of product display, pro endorsements and action images. Not to be confused, of course, with video reviews, interviews, etc. from paintball websites building their own content libraries or home-made team & action videos from pretty much everybody and his third cousin.
With all that diversity of content and presentation it's easy for it all, the commercial to the amateur, to sort of blend together. Content shows up over and over in many of the same places like on various websites and YouTube. I'm vaguely curious if sources get lost in the process and if most viewers tend not to pay much attention to the sources. (Wow! Another really boring The Monday Poll!) I'm more curious what y'all think of PE trying to turn their variety of promotional videos into product. Is there enough non-promotional content that peeps will be willing to pay to download some of the videos? Does the promotional content matter if the quality is there? How much of a difference exists because of the perspective of the film maker? Is MWAG's 'Push' or 'Sunday Drivers' immune from a commercial taint because of the maker's intent compared to say, the latest 'Artifact' series? What do you think?
Friday, January 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
From Josh and the other delinquents on Impact "roamin'" all over the world to every wannabe Patrick Spohrer out there filming at dozens of fields around the world the potential reach of YouTube style video is almost limitless. Traditional media once dictated who was worthy of attention and who wasn't. And while some of the same qualifiers are relevant nobody is limited in the ways they once were. Which is fantastic but the more ubiquitous this sort of promotion becomes the harder it's going to be to stand out from the crowd. One more needle in a haystack of needles is quickly lost--and forgotten. As are--at least in my never to be humble opinion--the endless action snippets available on dozens of DVDs and homemade videos. Sure, once a while something stands out but not all that often. The challenge is--and will remain--to create a unique take on the wide world of paintball and hope it connects. For example, look at Vicious. Vicious has taken the role of blue collar up-by-their-own-bootstraps team rising thru the ranks that has wide appeal with rank & file divisional players perhaps in part because they're perceived as being more like the average player and because they've succeeded and fulfilled the dream. Will the image last? How will other teams choose to promote themselves? What will work and what will fail? It's not a one size fits all world, the possibilities are nearly endless.