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Author Archive | Zach Everson

Should I let a cable TV show use this photo for free?

Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope

Last week I received the following message regarding this photo of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope), which I posted on Flickr in 2008:

ABC Studios is seeking permission to use some of your photographs of the Green Bank, WV Radio Telescope as incidental set dressing / props in an episode of “Perception.” The storyline includes scenes that take place in the Green Bank, W. VA area and we’d like to use the images to help establish our location, a local diner.

“Perception” centers on Dr. Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack), a neuroscientist who uses his outlook to help the government solve complicated cases. With knowledge of human behavior and an understanding of the mind, the professor uses lessons from his unique and odd perspective on the world.

We typically do not offer payment for images used as set decoration / props. It’s more for the fun of having one of your photos on an episode of Perception.

If you’re still interested, I will connect you with our clearance guy at ABC who will send you a materials release.

Should I let Perception use the photo?

Reasons for

  • It’s not as if I’m likely to make money on the photo any other way.
  • If I say no, rather than offer me money, the studio likely will just find someone else who will let them use his or her photo for free.
  • I have no clue if selling a photo would violate my contract with Aol. And I suspect the money I’d make from doing so wouldn’t even be worth the time spent investigating Aol’s policy.
  • Bragging rights from a swanky photo credit

Reasons against

  • Do I really need bragging rights about a show I’d never even heard of previously?
  • Maybe they will counter with a little money
  • ABC Studios is owned by Disney, which has a market cap of $134 billion and—spoiler alert—is significantly higher than my net work. I shouldn’t give it anything for free.

I’m leaning towards saying no, but am very interested in other people’s thoughts.

(Also, the argument to never do something for free because it hurts other people in the industry doesn’t hold much sway with me. There’s a time and a place where it may be advantageous for a person to work for free—and that’s up to each individual to determine.)

Anyway, please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

“Who wants to sex Mutombo?”: Revisited, denied, but believed

Yesterday former Georgetown and NBA player Dikembe Mutombo denied one of the Internet’s greatest rumors: that he’d pick up women by dropping the line,  “Who wants to sex Mutombo?”

While the story’s been around for ages and in various formats, in 2003 I published a version of it on an earlier iteration of this very website:

A friend of a friend of mine was an undergraduate at Georgetown University in the late 1980s/early 1990s. She was at a party one night when Dikembe Mutombo, Georgetown’s best basketball player, future international spokesman for CARE, winner of the President’s Service Award, and  repeat winner of The Sporting News’s  top 99 “Good Guys in Sports” entered the room and asked in his deep African voice, “Who wants to sex Mutombo?”

I, for one, still believe the story. As Yann Martel wrote in Life of Pi,

If you stumble about believability, what are you living for? Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?

Love, life and “Who wants to sex Mutombo?”

‘Inspirato’ magazine just published my final article as a freelancer. That it was about the Kentucky Bourbon Trail will not surprise you. But it will restore your faith in humanity. Or at least good Kentucky bourbon.

Inspirato, Spring 2014

Inspirato magazine’s spring 2014 issue included my final article as a freelancer. Titled, “Kentucky Gold,” fittingly it’s a feature on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Obligatory joke about how fun researching an article on bourbon is goes here ______________________ . Actually, it’s not a joke: it’s damn true.

Anyway, read the article on Inspirato’s website or enjoy the magazine’s hardcopy layout in this .pdf. Or, right now for a limited time, the spring 2014 issue is available for free on Inspirato’s website. The choice is yours.

I also contributed sidebars on Kentucky’s favorite bourbons, bourbon 101, the best pours from the Bluegrass State, and where to enjoy a drink or two in Louisville.

Inspirato with American Express is a private, members-only destination club. Its 180-page glossy magazine is published three times a year. It’s distributed to the club’s members, sold on newsstands, and available for iPads and Android tablets.

And thanks to Chea Beckley and Stephanie Greene at 21c Museum Hotel and Proof on Main for their assistance.

Photo: Courtesy Inspirato