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Old December 16th, 2005, 08:38 AM   #1
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Let's be careful out there

For those unfamiliar with the area, Hudson Falls is kind of a backwater.

http://timesunion.com/AspStories/sto...ate=12/16/2005
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Old December 16th, 2005, 08:42 AM   #2
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An Important Rule:

Always contact local law enforcement and coordinate your filmmaking plans if they involve violence in any way, shape or form, no matter how comedic.

An Even More Important Rule:

Never plead guilty.
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Old December 16th, 2005, 09:21 AM   #3
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Some folks just love their kingdoms. Sometimes, enforcement/para-military types can lack lateral thinking skills. Since film permits cost money you can attempt guerrilla style film-making when in public.

I have used director's chairs and in full view with an assistant holding a clipboard for just this kind of scenario...

But Chris is right. A quick phone call to the constabulary prior to any public display of mock attacking of oversized fruits and vegtables is on page 1 of my book. Mind you here in Canada we can make fun of our government and totally get away with it! The federally funded tv station is the best at it!
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Old December 16th, 2005, 09:32 AM   #4
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A search of this board will bring up similar horror stories I've told in the past. But even knowing it, it can still happen. Or something like it.

Last weekend, I was DP on a local short film. We were up in Marin County, shooting a dream sequence in the beautiful redwoods. A businessman, walking down a hiway with briefcase in hand, darts into the woods. He runs through the evergreens, driven by the pounding sound of a heartbeat. He reaches deep into a rotting tree trunk, pulls out his alarm clock, (hey, I didn't write it). Finally finds the source of the heartbeat, and looking up into the sky SCREAMS

"Help me SOMEBODY HELP ME PLEASE! PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME!"

The actor was quite good, and the screams quite convincing. Despite the fact that we were literally out in the middle of 'nowhere'. Answering cries echoed back from the woods... "We're comming... hang on! We're comming!"

Turns out some local hikers out gathering edible mushrooms heard the cry for help and came running. I shouted as loudly as I could that we were shooting a movie, and not to worry, but they came nevertheless. (Come to think of it, probably what I would have done as well... just to be on the safe side.) They were a bit embarrased to see us set up for filmming. But the director, actor and I all thanked them profusely for heeding the call, and apologised for disturbing their morning.

I assured them that they were in REALITY true heroes for having come to the aid of what they could only assume was a disaster or an assault. Pure in hearts and intent, they should be proud rather than embarrased.


Lesson learned. You are 'never' in the middle of NOWHERE!
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Old December 16th, 2005, 10:18 AM   #5
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Another rule I've learned the hard way.
If the police take you in for questioning, insist on having an attorney present, especially if you're innocent. Do not buy into the 'You're not a suspect nonsense', thats just a legal manuveur on their part. The police are doing their job, and it has nothing to do with clearing you.

(I'm not anti cop, just pro civil rights).
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Old December 16th, 2005, 12:10 PM   #6
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BTW, James Emory posted a great link in the Taking Care of Business forum that belongs to an attorney/photographer. Although he has a full book on the subject, he has prepared a downloadable PDF document explaining our rights as photographers. Granted there may be some local variation of the law so you should always consult with your own attorney. But the document is meant to be carried with you while out shooting and I found it quite educational.

-gb-
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Old December 16th, 2005, 02:45 PM   #7
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This just makes me sad.

True story: About 10, 11 years ago, I was shooting a 16mm short film. The film was about a bank robbery, and by good fortune we had secured an actual bank branch that had closed down two weeks prior. We had complete permission to shoot there, permits and everything, and were conducting a blocking rehearsal the afternnoon/evening prior to shooting - about 15 people standing around, rehearsing. Out of the blue, a police officer cautiously opens the front door to the bank and asks "Is everything okay in here?". My poor actors, holding ACTUAL S&W .44 Magnum and Glocks, carefully laid the guns down on the table as we explained that we were rehearsing for a film shoot. We hadn't realized how visible the bank interior was from the street, and someone had called the cops reporting a bank robbery.

If this happened today, someone would have gotten his head blown off before we could explain. Even if you are permitted, folks can and will get jittery - now more than ever. *sigh...*
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Old December 17th, 2005, 10:04 PM   #8
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sigh indeed. I was on the street recently with my XL2, waiting for a train to pull into the station. The station guard noticed me (and filmmaking buddy) and had the good sense to yell out..."You're not terrorists are you?". I was standing on a skateboard at the time. Unfortunately a few commuters got a little uncomfortable - and my buddy has since refused to shoot in public again. sigh...
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Old December 17th, 2005, 10:48 PM   #9
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***Note to self***

Return the 9 ft Yellow banana suit for something a little less conspicuous.
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Old December 31st, 2005, 08:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Madsen
sigh indeed. I was on the street recently with my XL2, waiting for a train to pull into the station. The station guard noticed me (and filmmaking buddy) and had the good sense to yell out..."You're not terrorists are you?". I was standing on a skateboard at the time. Unfortunately a few commuters got a little uncomfortable - and my buddy has since refused to shoot in public again. sigh...
Did you have knee and elbow pads on the XL2?
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Old January 1st, 2006, 12:44 AM   #11
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Interestingly I don't. Interesting because my buddy says it's risky to shoot with my camera's knee so low.
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Old January 1st, 2006, 10:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryon Akerman
***Note to self***

Return the 9 ft Yellow banana suit for something a little less conspicuous.
Héhé, gone are your feature film plans :-D
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