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|| News Item: Posted 2004-01-29

Leading Off: Notes on a scorecard...The Golden Globes
By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Diane Keaton with her Golden Globe Award.
Someone … or rather something … is picking on WireImage.

The upstart celeb - agency turned mega-photo-giant ran afoul with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization responsible for the recent Golden Globe Awards.

At the last minute, the HFPA yanked the credentials of several photographers represented by WireImage, including one of its founding photographers, Kevin Mazur. This evidently was a move to protect HFPA members who felt they were losing sales to WireImage --- who would have had up to 7 photographers they represent covering the event.

Several photographers were able to keep their credentials if they agreed to have their images only appear in the publication they were credentialed for, losing the ability to resell them and losing potentially thousands of dollars.

While I certainly am no fan of the whole paparazzi scene, why was Wirelmage alone singled out in this situation? What is the difference between a freelance photographer working for a reputable, legit wire service or agency getting to resell their images and photographer represented by WI?

No, this is not a statement defending WireImage … far from it. What I want to get across is this is no different than Major League Baseball having language in it's credential use agreement a couple of years back that did essentially the same thing. After newspapers, wire serves and magazines complained about a clause that could be interpreted as restricting images shot at baseball games to being published only in publications that credentialed the photographer … it was changed.

Did MLB intend to do this? Probably not.

But we fought to get a clarification and a change.

Having photographers screaming "I'm gonna sue your ass!" as they are hauled out of the photo room at a silly entertainment awards show makes the whole photography industry a little bit dirtier … losing more professionalism and credibility.

Some of the freelancers in the Globes photo room commented that the HFPA action was simply a case of busting up what they perceived is a brewing monopoly, akin to the breakup of the huge telephone companies years ago.

This is very dangerous territory … the HFPA did this in a way it shouldn't have (wouldn't talking to WI a month ago about the situation instead of doing this ambush - style been more professional?) and what's to say that another awards show, sports team, league, school or news event wanting to exert control wouldn't do the same thing?

Make no mistake, there are huge amounts of money involved in this issue ... and it seems it all comes down to money these days.

Bad precedent was set Sunday at the Golden Globe Awards and one I hope that photography won't just let it quietly fade away because it involved "celebrity journalism" …

* * *

And speaking of the Golden Globes … it's the one time where I turn in my Sports Shooter cap and fleece jacket and don tux and black tennis shoes and "work the photo room".

So here are a few observations from the Golden Globe photo room:

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY

Bill Murray with his Golden Globe Award for the motion picture Lost in Translation.
* Diane Keaton is classy, great looking and knows how to work the photographers without sinking to the trashy antics that most of the younger actors resort to.
* Is Johnny Depp for real? That "dressing down - thing" is getting really tiresome.
* Best screenplay winner Sofia Coppola looked like the preverbal "deer caught in the headlights" during her 90-second stint in the photo room.
* Al Pacino may have the Oscars and the great roles ("Godfather", "Scarface", "Dog Day Afternoon", "Serpico", "Any Given Sunday … well, maybe not ALL great) … but he's only about an inch taller than Danny DeVito!
* I hope to Hell there aren't any more "Lord of the Ring" books.
* Jack Nicholson IS the coolest dude out there!
* "HEY IT'S ME" doesn't work anymore in getting the celebs' attention.
* Paparazzi Line of The Night: (Yelled at Al Pacino) "Hey Tony Montana: F***K YOU!"
* The only celeb to say "Thank You" after the paparazzi blitz of strobes ended and they stepped off the stage: Michael Douglas.
* Even in a trance-like state, Bill Murray is one funny son-of-a-gun. (But the beard makes him look 100-years-old!)
* How many of the nominated movies or performances I saw in the theater? One. (Jamie Lee Curtis in "Freaky Friday" with my daughter Emma.)
* The one nominated show or performance I will see ASAP: "Angels In America".
* Charlize Theron? Or Renne Zellwegger? Hmmmmm.

* * *

I guess you could call issue v.63 of the Sports Shooter Newsletter "Geeks In Paradise". We feature several articles on gear … from Walt Calahan's report on the WaveSensor, to Vincent Laforet's report on the "best gadget ever" to Bob Deutsch's update on the Phojo. Tom Dahlin tells us how to shoot the moon.

Regular columnist Scott Sommerdorf writes about rummaging through the San Francisco Chronicle's library and Robert Seale gives us a list of places to enjoy when visiting his home turf, Houston, TX. Rod Mar gives us the low-down on covering … professional bowling? Yes sir, the PBA Tour!

And … this issue features the return of both the Photodude AND Mongo Johnson!

So sit back, adjust the volume on that Sarah McLachlan "Mirrorball" CD … and enjoy Sports Shooter v.63!

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