What's it like capturing a truly amazing clip?
An interview with Karen Jones
Following our interview with Newsflare’s Head of News Serge Cartwright, this month we’re finding out more from a contributor’s point of view.
We caught up with Karen Jones who filmed the video ‘Dramatic rescue from Houston fire’ which was used by news organisations all over the world.
1. Please tell us how it all began, were you looking out the window from your desk to start with?
I was actually not at my desk at the start of the fire. I had gone to lunch and returned to my desk to find many of my co-workers gathered at the windows near my workstation. I could see the smoke billowing so I looked out of the window to see where it was coming from and saw that the construction site was on fire. I then walked to another area of the floor for a better vantage point.
2. Seems from the video the fire spread quickly, and we understand everyone got out safe eventually, even this last guy?
The fire was initially just on the roof. It spread very rapidly! The photos show what I saw initially vs. the final intensity. Yes, everyone was able to get out. I really don’t think that many workers were there at the time considering that it was lunchtime.
3. What was the building under construction do you know? Apartments, a school?
The building under construction was a high-rise, luxury apartment block.
4. Did you think when you were taking the video that it would go viral like this? I had no idea that my video would go viral! I just wanted people to see the miraculous rescue and the hard work of our Houston Fire Fighters! Newsflare sold my video to seven different organisations, so the exposure was huge.
5. Do you normally take videos; is it like a hobby of yours?
Yes, I always have my phone with me. You never know what you might see that is interesting and worthy of capturing on video or photograph. My friends used to tease me about it all the time, but not so much anymore.
6. What videos would you normally take, what’s your favourite subject matter?
I record anything that looks interesting to me. I travel quite a bit so I record things I see while I am traveling and events that I attend. I also tape live music and dance sometimes as well as thing that I find amusing.
7. You had some interviews with some major news channels, like Fox News. What was that experience like?
I actually interviewed with several national news shows (CNN, Fox News & The Today Show) and all of the local ones. It was exciting! Having the attention of a worldwide audience was amazing! I felt like a celebrity. It was fun!
8. Have you become a bit of a celebrity amongst your friends?
Yes, I have! My co-workers were very excited that they know a “celebrity”! It was really funny. Many of my associates in other states that didn’t know me were reaching out to me via email asking, “Are you the Karen Jones that shot the great fire video?” I still have people come by and want to say “Hi”!
9. How was your experience with Newsflare, managing and licensing the video to sell on your behalf?
My experience with Newsflare has been great! The representative that I have been working with is extremely helpful. She has no problem answering questions and communicating with me regarding my video. My sales have been good. I only wish that Newsflare had contacted me earlier on. I initially had no idea that I could get paid for my video so I lost out on sales to news channels that were requesting to use my video. I gave permission to several of them not knowing that I could get paid. That aside, once Newsflare contacted me, my video sold extremely well.
10. Finally, what are you going to do with the money?
I have done some things that I wanted to do, but had been putting off. Of course, I’ve done a little shopping!
See the video here