Friday, May 6, 2016

Important Announcement From St. Corbinian's Bear

Coming Fall, 2016: The (Anti) Pope Video

Okay, just a working title. The Bear is sure we can come up with something less Bearish.

The Bear does have a little experience in amateur video production. And we have a title for our production company. There are just a few things we need to add, like a message, quality video and still photos of all kinds (especially demonstrating the woodland's commitment to diversity) that are not owned by anyone, plus royalty free music. (The Bear is sure we could do as well as the Enya synth used in the Pope Videos, even with Garage Band.)

Other than that, we're pretty much good to go.

A priority is visuals of people of all ethnicities, both men and women, gazing into the camera while looking a bit depressed, then a bit happier. Must have both. We could also use videos or stills of Catholic churches, people reverently praying, and the like. These clips do not need to be long at all. A few seconds.

Unfortunately, iPhone videos are probably not going to do well, but the Bear will work on this problem. There's nothing wrong with a guerrilla filmmaking vibe. However, we are going to need woodland creatures with camcorders to get them out of the closet and remember how to use them. Realistically, unlike the Pope, we are not going to have thousands of dollars of 4k video from a stock footage company. So, we'll make do.

The basic message: The Catholic Church used to be awesome. Now where is the Church? Why are there so many strange new ideas? (Pope Francis.) What's wrong? Solution: it's all still here, but you're just not hearing about it. Anyway, those are my thoughts. Just priming the creative pump here.

Anything is better than nothing. It's all in the editing.

The more people who contribute, the better chance we have of pulling this off. Use your imagination. Let's shoot for at least thirty minutes total, to edit down to three. But don't do anything before checking with the Bear, who, as executive producer, needs to make sure you have your release forms, etc.

VERY IMPORTANT: Do NOT video anyone without having them sign a release form obtained from the Bear. All submissions must be accompanied by a scanned copy of the release form or they can't be used. The only exceptions are videos in which the person is unidentifiable (e.g. from the back, or tight shot of hands holding a rosary), or people in a crowd. Sorry if this seems complicated, but the Bear would prefer not getting sued somewhere down the road. Let's keep it professional where we can.

Besides video, anyone with a Mac and iMovie would be a welcome collaborator. We need basic storyboard work from creative people. Eventually (if we actually get a finished product we're happy with) we will need someone to handle publicity.

The Bear is envisioning a three-part video. In the first, people are happy. Maybe some old family pictures of people in churches in the 40's or 50's. In lieu of videos we can always Ken Burns the photos, but we really need videos. Shoot yourself sadly making a sandwich, or with your donkey, whatever. Then, the music changes to something menacing under a montage of Pope Francis, and people look sad. After that, the music changes and people look happy doing real Catholic stuff.

Just watch the Pope Videos to get the feel of the types of video we need, only imagine they were Catholic.

Email the Bear at if interested in participating in this historic event. Please be specific about what you are able and willing to contribute.

P.S. Since the Bear is not the Jesuits, he cannot afford to pay $300 for 15 seconds of an old lady saying a rosary from Shutterstock. But if someone can get grandma to submit to a tight shot of her hands with a rosary for 10 seconds, bingo! That's the kind of thing the Bear is talking about.


  1. If you are going to dot the I's and cross the T's you will need to obtain copyright for each of the videos submitted to you. We cannot be your employees as you will run into the AHCA, but the work done needs to be seen as freelance with the copyright transferred to URSA MAJOR, or at least perpetual publishing rights for any project without prior consent. Don't know if money or fish needs to exchange hands.

    Also, I don't think that one can film for professional productions inside of private property without prior consent -- so no filming in the local parish without Fr. signing off.

    Two final suggestion -- film the scene raw. Leave the post production effects out so it is easier to edit and add unifying effects. Finally, film multiple mood takes. Don't just film Happy Lady Praying Rosary. Film sad, happy, angry, frustrated, etc. This will allow stock footage to quickly be built up.

  2. I am not an intellectual property lawyer and know zip about it. I don't know why someone cannot simply gift all rights to the Bear, relinquishing all rights in the process. No one is going to be working under my direction or supervision. If people want to donate some of their time and talent, then great. I'm not going to incorporate Ursa Major for a two-minute video. This is a creative cooperative. Any final product would be copyrighted by me, which would protect anything in the product (as much as anything can be protected these days).

    I am considering a quick proof-of-concept video of under two minutes to show that the project is feasible with decent production values. This would not be published, but distributed among the creative team. In fact, I did some work on a trailer, and it looks very nice, what little I've done so far. And, I sprang for a little stock footage that was fairly reasonable. It has been a long time since I did this sort of thing, and it's going to take awhile to master the software again. But there's no hurry.

    I would prefer to limit further discussion on this topic to email.

  3. Bear: Is the cost significant for not following the rules you outlined? If all you get is a warning, for example, why worry about legal niceties? Or is there such a thing as category for small private audience uses where the rules don't apply? Small, private audience might be used to describe your web site. No insult intended.

    Good luck with this project. I will provide a few extra fish to make the job more palatable.

    1. Not that simple. The Bear is taking the right approach. If you get a cease and desist letter, you have to comply. Best case scenario, you have to take the whole video down for one video snippet (Youtube will take it down for you), and then redo the video to be able to put it back up.

      In general, copyright belongs to the one producing it, unless there's a work for hire agreement in which case it belongs to one paying for it. Your wedding photos are copyrighted by the wedding photographer and belong to him, not you, notwithstanding some special agreement. [Tip: he's going to understand what permissions are necessary from the pastor].

      "I don't know why someone cannot simply gift all rights to the Bear, relinquishing all rights in the process."

      The copyright holder has the right to set provisions on use and what kind of license they grant for use. Check out the various open source licenses worked out by the open source community. Check out this for an idea of how complex it can get:

  4. I'm way more excited about this than I was about Star Wars. Popcorn ready!!

    Seattle kim

  5. Releases are essential. What if someone later says, "I love Pope Francis! Now everyone hates me and my life is ruined. I'm going to sue you." Also how can I be sure a clip I get really was consensual without a release? Lawyers think about the worst case scenario and protect their clients against any eventuality. That's why they complicate things.

    I still don't see why someone who has produced a short video clip -- property -- is not free to do whatever he wants with the rights he possesses in that property, including giving them to me entirely, retaining nothing. If I make a painting, I can keep it, sell it, or give it to a museum. The museum can then hang it, burn it, or sell it themselves for $11 million dollars. This has nothing to do with a license, which is where the owner of software retains ownership of it, and attaches some lengthy list of conditions that everybody just clicks "agree" to when they install it. ( That's right, you never buy software, only a license to use Microsoft's or whoever's property.)

    Of course, we could operate on a licensing model. I let you use this clip of my daughter, but not for commercial purposes, not for any purpose other than this particular project, etc. etc. But we won't. Why? Because that actually would complicate things too much. If someone is unwilling to give outright a bit of property, that's okay. But I won't use it.

    There is a risk, of course. The project could turn out to be an abomination everyone was ashamed of. I might sell a clip to Shutterstock. Now, neither of those things is going to happen. But it is fair for people to understand that if you give a Bear something, there is a theoretical risk. So if you trust the Bear, fine, if not, that is perfectly fine, too. Really.

    I am not going to get into further details outside of email, and this thread is closed. A seed needs to be buried in the soil to begin to grow.

    As for salmon, yes, this is going to involve some expenses. I am definitely not asking anyone to underwrite a project fraught with so much uncertainty. Stock footage is available less than $100. It may be we can find something useful. I have spent $80 on something. Maybe it won't even get used. But I would prefer people just consider it as some other aspect of SCB when deciding on their ordinary donations.

    1. Actually -- and this why I would rather do this via email -- a straight up sale for some money (a "peppercorn," i.e. a very tiny amount, like a nickel) would be best. It would be a simple contract, but contracts require consideration, hence the "peppercorn."

  6. Kim, this just an idea. Unlike other aspects of this ephemera, the Bear cannot go it alone. The Bear is now 100% disabled through the VA. Granted, a 100% disabled Bear is still better than most humans, but he does have his limits.

    So this depends on a lot of people coming together with their time and talent. Again, the Bear cannot do this by himself. If the woodland creatures get excited and want to be a part of something awesome, great! If there is not sufficient help, well, the Bear floated the project and it just didn't work out. No shame in that.

    The woodland community is not CMTV. But if the big guys who could do this won't, who is left? A ragtag rabble of creatures great and small.

    But thanks for your support. I hope it happens. But a lot of things out of the Bear's control have to come together just right. The Bear is kind of out on a limb here. If he falls, he falls. It will be a good lesson in humility.

  7. NOTE: this thread is closed. If you wish to participate in this project, please email me through the link to the right. Please let me know how you see yourself contributing. All help is welcome. However, I would prefer not to discuss our plans in public, if for no other reason to not raise expectations about something that it just a glint in the Bear's eye at this point.

  8. Don't see any link to the right on my iPhone. Sorry to hear of your disability, Bear. My husband is retiring next week from the VA and is trying to get on with working with the Wounded Warriors program. My son is reserves and I just pray he doesn't get deployed. He's an LPN and medic.

    Seattle kim

    1. Kim, either look on your desktop computer (if any) or go to the bottom and get out of mobile version, which is what iOS defaults to. Then go down the right column until you see the link. Or how about:

      I pray your son does not get deployed. When our son was downrange the first thing we did was see if the unit facebook page was up. They take it down if there has been a KIA. That is no way for a parent to have to live. And you feel horrible when you're relieved it was someone else's son. What in the Hell we are still doing over there the Bear has no idea. Let the poor inbred bastards grow their poppies and crap in the street in peace.


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