NOTHING FROM NOTHING – or No More Mr. Nice Guy Jul ’09

Above, left: Young Stefan thinks the approaching band is going straight ahead but, no, they suddenly turn and crush him underfoot. Above, right: Radio Caroline at sea. What price for rare archive footage? How about nothing?

To CineSound Review Newsreel, Sydney, Australia.
Dear Sir,
Enclosed are 4 x 100 rolls: 3 Plus-X Reversal and one Tri-X Reversal. Please develop.
While I was filming The 14th Australian Jazz Convention in Cootamundra, a glider crashed in a nearby field killing the pilot. I was at the scene at the same time as the police and ambulance arrived. I think this would make a good item for your newsreel.

Dear Mr. Sargent,
We have developed your footage as requested and screened it. Unfortunately we cannot use the glider crash but would like to purchase your footage of the Cootamundra Jazz Convention for our national newsreel.
We need your agreement and have attached our standard terms of business. Please sign and return as time is of the essence.
Bill McCarthy

Dear Mr. McCarthy,
I am hand delivering this signed agreement as I realize you need to start work immediately.
Also enclosed are some 1/4″ audiotapes with recordings of the Town Hall sessions and the street parade.

Dear Stefan
Your Cootamundra jazz film was a great success. Congratulations. I enclose our invoice for developing 400′ of reversal film. And our payment for the use of the footage.
4 x 100′ rolls of 16mm reversal @ £5 per: £20 debit
Royalty fee for use in newsreel: £20 credit
I’m sorry the two amounts balance each other out but if it is any consolation we gave you a credit in the introductory title.

Dear Bill,
I saw the film at the Wynyard Newsreel. It’s a very good 35mm blow-up and looked and sounded excellent. Thank you for the unexpected credit in the titles.

I was disappointed that your fee for developing the footage was the same as my fee for supplying the shots, the net effect being that I get nothing.

I note that you made good use of the music from my 1/4″ tape. This was outside the terms of our agreement, which clearly was for the silent footage alone. Disregarding music copyright clearance is a serious matter and I have handed this matter over to both my solicitors and to those of the musicians and composers concerned.

To save considerable legal expense and without prejudice, I would accept an offer of £25 for the use of the audiotapes plus £50 for the use of the band’s music. The latter I would pass on to the convention organizers.

On 3/29/09 Michelle Hanna wrote:
Dear Stefan,
I hope this finds you well. I am a TV producer from Sydney, Australia, at the Ovation Channel, the arts and entertainment channel. We are making a one-hour program in which we interview Australians who worked as “pirate” deejays in the 1960s offshore ships in the U.K., to coincide with the launch of the film The Boat That Rocked.
We have conducted interviews with several of the Australian deejays, including Bryan Vaughan, who appears in your excellent segment posted at
I am writing to ask if we may have permission to use an excerpt of this clip within our program?
Of course, we would fully credit you and I would appreciate if you could let me know exactly how to credit the piece (e.g.” The Australian Londoners” 1966, courtesy of filmmaker Stefan Sargent?).
I look forward to hearing from you.
With kind regards,

On 3/30/09, Stefan Sargent replied:
Hi Michelle,
Thanks for contacting me regarding my rare footage of Radio Caroline. Recently a Japanese station paid me $35 a second for library shots from another of my productions.
The pirate radio clip is 2 minutes 44 seconds = 164 seconds. A discount rate for the Ovation Channel would be $20 a second = $3,280
Seems fair to me.

On 4/6/09 2:10a.m. Michelle Hanna wrote:
Hi Stefan,
Sorry for not getting back to you. Thank you for your email. Unfortunately we will leave this, as we will no longer need the footage.
With kind regards,

Go to my 1959 jazz convention film at
And the 1965 pirate radio clip at

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