This is my first doc and I need footage from an event that the event organizer hired someone for. I have already approached the event organizer but he wants to know the doc subject matter. My associate has mentioned the subject matter to him on a different occasion and it is evident that the organizer does not agree with it. The doc deals with women's rights and this guy is old school. So we have a problem. He seems to want to be the middleman between us and the videographer. Unfortunately, since it was a private event, I don't know the videographer's name. Even if I did find out who it is, would I be able to ask the videographer for footage not included in the final cut for the organizer? Or does the organizer own all the footage of the event? Either way, what would be considered a fair amount to pay the organizer or the videographer for, say, 1 minute of footage?
It all depends. You have to find out what the organizer and videographer agreed upon in detail. It is possible that the organizer holds all rights even to unpublished material.
The amount you pay is dependent on how much time effort and maybe investment in equipment was taken to produce the original material. But your budget will set a limit anyway. Assuming you can track down the videographer talk to him on the phone and try to find out about their efforts, then offer a higher or lower percentage of your limit.
There is no easy answer to this. Best if you start describing your usage and territory of screening. Post contracts like this start to look like licensing contracts with time and territory and duration being the main components of the formula.
Also check with your local media union or arts advisory body. In Australia there are a few 'official' arts organisations which have tables of recommended fees (australia council, Arts Media Alliance) These are good starting points. That said –copyright licensing is entirely open to negotiation.