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Thread: Alaska guide - filming hunts

  1. #1
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    Default Alaska guide - filming hunts

    I know we have a number of AK guides on this forum. Have any of you ever considered filming your hunts for commercial sale? It seems that you don't need a huge camera crew out there with you; Billy Molls does it with a pocket video camera and it seems the hassle of filming the hunt can have lucrative pay-outs. If done tastefully, it can sure sell to hunters. My buddies and I have amateurish-ly video'd each other taking archery grouse, ptarmigan, some bear, moose, etc and we love watching and re-watching the videos. I love hunting and I also like to watch tastful hunting video (especially in the winter). Maybe I'm a loner, but I think there's a big chance for some cash-flow by tossing in the hand held video recorder in the hunting gear.

  2. #2
    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default Filming

    I have done a bit of it, so far I have had about 8 different hunts on one network or another. No big payouts, but it has been fun. I find it brings something different to the hunt.
    One benefit that I get out of it, that I did not expect is that my family in the lower 48, get a big kick out of seeing the shows. My sister does not even watch hunting, she calls it visiting with her brother. She will stop what she is doing and watch. It has been pretty fun so far.
    I let a Brown Bear get to close this year and ended up shooting it at 8 yards, it is some pretty cool video even though I wish I would have run it off a lot sooner and not had to shoot it.

  3. #3
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default videos

    Just three or four quick notes on filming hunts...

    In 2007 I drew a DCUA permit for sheep. One of my best friends in life flew up from Utah to film my hunt for my own personal use. Frankly, I really did not like having a camera on me during the struggles involved in a backpack hunt of that rigorous nature. Sheep hunts are so tough that by about the second day I try not to make eye contact with my partner or client-hunter. I'm always concerned that they will see the fatigue in my eyes, and of course I see their pain also. But of course we always do share each others pain, fatigue, and fear, as well as the ultimate glory of success when a ram topples over. I think the shared experiences on those exhausting hunts is one of the reasons we all enjoy sheep hunts and ram kills. Still, I just did not enjoy the added layer of formality, the intrusion of the camera, while filming the hunt....until after the kill shot. After the pressure was off, the filming thing seemed easier and more comfortable.

    I have often thought about filming my professional hunts with client-hunters. I guide-outfit some sheep and goat backpacking hunts, and float hunts primarily for brown bears. Three years ago I was talking with three "big time" outfitters and I was telling them that we all missed the video thing by not starting years ago. Since that conversation I have saw all three of them on TV! Guess I should invest in a darn camera. (Its always something.)

    Concerning Billy Molls, the Modern Day Mountain Man...he started filming years ago with that small hand held camera. He usually guides for one of this forums long time sponsors, Deltana Outfitters. He was talking about his filming during the 2004 moose season when I guided for them. He took some teasing about the video thing, until he got some sponsors and the TV deal. I do enjoy his show. It shows everything including the sweat, pain and rain...and the hootin and hollerin of success. I saw him on the Alaska Peninsula in May 2008 and told him how much I enjoy his show. I'm wondering, now, how much money the video thing brings in.

    I wonder what type of DNR permit is required to film my hunts on state land for commercial purposes? (Remember the Czonka thing.)

    And tonights quick notes are over...

    Dennis
    Alaska True Adventure Guide Service

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    Default

    Ive filmed our family hunts, as well as camping with 8mm and little digitals.
    Been training the girls to film.
    Great for family memorys

  5. #5

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    Something you might not be aware of: if you're filming on federal lands and are using the video for commercial purposes, you have to have a commercial filming permit from the authorities. Even if you are already operating under a guide permit. I know that this at least applies to USFWS/Refuge lands. I don't know about USFS lands, but would guess they have similar regs.
    Mark

  6. #6

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    I think it’s a great idea. How do you propose to bring the DVDs to market and pay for the production costs as I list below? Remember, Harland David Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders shopped his chicken recipe many times before someone finally said yes so only the skys the limit.

    That aside, I say go for it and have fun with it. Really, what do you have to lose! Plus, you’ll have great hunting moments to share for years to come. Many HD cameras today are small, lightweight and affordable. Personally, I’m always torn between shooting video or taking stills…or, God forbid just enjoying the moment. I support creativity in the arts and sole proprietorship so I offer this with my 27+ years producing TV. If you want to bring your films to a retail commercial arena there’s a few steps you’ll need to consider if you wish to operate within the bounds of legality as a professional which sells a product for sale. Posting on YouTube or other these legalities are…um…kind of swept under the rug.

    Film Permits/Insurance:
    USFS (actually USDA Forest Service or U.S. Dept. of Agriculture) lands are the most REGULATED lands and are monitored physically and through television cross checking for filed film permits. USDA violations can be very costly for the unsuspecting. By law USDA as required by congress has no more than two weeks to turn/approve film permits, cost around $180 per day and typically require a $300,000 CSL liability policy naming the U.S. as additional insured on the policy. Production insurance policies are typically issued and quoted based on the productions companies’ history and experience and mostly written out of Los Angeles. Alaska companies would not write the policies.

    Broadcast Standards/Insurance:
    All national cable networks require you to conform to their broadcast technical standards; this means MANY pro-consumer grade HDV-HD acquisitions will not be accepted especially as TRUE-HD becomes the mainstream as the FCC in February 2009 mandates all stations become digital by law. Production/errors omission insurance, talent release forms, and music cue sheets for ALL music used including copyright agreements by the producing energy will be required by all distributing properties (national cable networks) and Closed Caption by law is required for MOST episodic programming although some one-off programming is exempt.

    Public Videos on air:
    Independent production can be a real can of worms and is not to be confused with submitting personal video to a production company that places your video in their own programming like “Cabela’s; Memories in the Field.” Established production companies have many of these assets in place that allows for the use of submitted material.

    Not YouTube/DVDs:
    This isn’t YouTube where copyrights are um…swept under the rug. You’re now taking on the legal responsibility for all the above. Producing hunting/fishing DVDs come with as much legality not to mention the wherewithal of actually producing the video, formatting it for DVD burn, and getting it to market. If you can produce, shoot, edit and format a video to DVD, you can get DVDs burned, packaged and wrapped for between $1 to $3 dollars. Don't forget to produce a DVD cover jacket.

    I’ll offer you this; nobody picks up a camera and accidentally does something fantastic. Not consistently. It doesn’t work that way. Everybody has access to cameras and editing computers. Just because I have a car doesn’t mean I’ll be first on race day. I’ve watched the “Moll” videos and a zillion others. I enjoy each and every one of them and I feel they (we) all have our place in the medium. I support you and everyone else bringing their hunts and fishing adventures to the screen. I honestly could watch Alaska outdoor programming all night and encourage everyone to consider capturing their moments for TV.

    Best,
    Tim
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by cusackla View Post
    I have done a bit of it, so far I have had about 8 different hunts on one network or another. No big payouts, but it has been fun. I find it brings something different to the hunt.
    One benefit that I get out of it, that I did not expect is that my family in the lower 48, get a big kick out of seeing the shows. My sister does not even watch hunting, she calls it visiting with her brother. She will stop what she is doing and watch. It has been pretty fun so far.
    I let a Brown Bear get to close this year and ended up shooting it at 8 yards, it is some pretty cool video even though I wish I would have run it off a lot sooner and not had to shoot it.
    Any chance you are the guy I saw on YouTube who was charged by the Sow w/cub moments after your client took a bear? It is one crazy video.

  8. #8
    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Smile YouTube

    Quote Originally Posted by need2leave View Post
    Any chance you are the guy I saw on YouTube who was charged by the Sow w/cub moments after your client took a bear? It is one crazy video.
    Nope! Actually I saw that video, that is some very crazy footage. The guy who shot that owns Knives Of Alaska. That footage originally aired on Cabelas Outfitter Journal, they caught a lot of slack over the footage over that.
    Cabela's Ouitfitter Journal is looking at the footage for a show, soI have not posted it anywhere yet

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