I read to a recent Opinion Piece – by Jeff Woodhouse on Making Angling Videos posted on the Fishing Magic website, commenting on the poor quality and low standard of angling videos on the market. As a photographer/cameraman the subject is naturally of interest to me.
Jeff writes:(…..why should we put up with this sort of poorly produced material any longer. For years, anglers have been sold off with videos from every half-famous Joe who fancies making a name for himself in the job of TV presenting. Most don’t suit and many should stick to their day jobs….)
He then goes on to discuss the merits of the various presenters who have made a name for themselves including John Wilson and Matt Hayes.
(…I just wish that when any tackle company, or maybe a top angler, was thinking of making a video, they consulted a proper TV/film producer first of all. This would result in one of two things happening. Either a) they would be frightened off by the cost of doing a decent video or b) what they did eventually come up with would blow your socks off and you would want to watch it again and again…)
Jeff makes a very valid point that to embark on a full scale film production is beyond the budget of most fishing tackle companies and smaller production companies. The hard reality is that they just don’t sell enough videos at £15 or whatever to cover their costs let alone show any kind of profit.
(…Filming is hellishly expensive, but good planning and preparation can cut it down enormously…)
Planning can certainly cut down on production costs but this certainly won’t offset the lack of profitability of making a special interest film.This I think is the key point of the subject. For the most part we are not talking large television budgets for “Special Interest Films“, they will be films destined for DVD and possibly cable or satellite TV.
These types of production can easily be handled by a crew of two. As a photographer/cameraman I indeed cover video shoots either alone or with a sound-man. Most television news is covered this way, and many documentary programmes. So it is quite feasible to get good coverage of a fishing subject without a massive production backing it up. The key to all this and making entertaining and watchable video is content and personalities. Jeff’s favourite presenters have been at it a few years. To my mind the current videos don’t really capture the essence of fishing. They are invariably product orientated and don’t give much insight into what it is that gives us that buzz on the bank. I think few films have done this as well as the “Passion for Angling” series.