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Old July 19th, 2004, 11:35 PM   #1
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airports!

alright, i have a question. basically, i've read about how The Terminal needed its own terminal built because they weren't allowed to film in an airport.

so...

the Garden State trailer has a shot in an airport. it's independent and reasonably low-budget, and i really doubt they built one. my guess was that The Terminal was filmed right after 9/11, whereas Garden State was filmed more recently, and that airports have been more lax about it lately. but they still dont seem lax enough that they'd allow filming in an airport...

i know that personally, i flew to DC a couple weeks ago from San Jose and both airports had to not just scan the GL-2, but go dust it for bomb residue, weigh it, and do a bunch of other things to it, moreso than they had to do to my laptop...

anyone know anything about how security is with things like this right now?
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Old July 20th, 2004, 08:29 AM   #2
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Daniel,

Things are still pretty tight. While I haven't tried filming in one, I have watched "Matchstick Men" just this week. (Does that count?)

In the "Making of" featurette they discussed this problem. There was no way they would be allowed to film an airport, so they scouted locations for their own. What they found was a convention center. They turned it into an airport with the addition of signs that they made up and the use of adding background audio in post ("There is no parking in the red zone, the white zone is for ...")

As an aside, I found this featurette one of the most detailed "making of" extras on a recent DVD. Well worth a rent or purchase (can be found for under $10 at a video store in the 'pre-viewed' section).

Regarding travelling, it's like that everywhere I've flown. Even in the little Kansas City terminal they did a residue wipe on all my belongings (except my carry-ons and myself).

Hope this helps.

Scott
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Old July 20th, 2004, 02:19 PM   #3
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It really depends what you're doing and which airport you go to. My friend shot a bit of his short film in Vancouver Int'l - he even got an airline employee at a ticket booth to "act" for one of the shots! He did all this carrying a Bolex in a mysterious silver case. No problems. But I guess that's a testament to how cool Canada is :)
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Old July 20th, 2004, 07:18 PM   #4
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Shooting at an airport is a hassle, but it is possible to get permission to do it, from some airports.
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Old July 20th, 2004, 09:32 PM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Alex Taylor : It really depends what you're doing and which airport you go to. My friend shot a bit of his short film in Vancouver Int'l - he even got an airline employee at a ticket booth to "act" for one of the shots! He did all this carrying a Bolex in a mysterious silver case. No problems. But I guess that's a testament to how cool Canada is :) -->>>

On the other hand, I nearly got kicked off the subway (TTC) in Toronto for taking a still picture with my digital camera.
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Old July 20th, 2004, 09:57 PM   #6
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And there you have it, the two sides of the spectrum, completely defined, I suspect, by the authority complex (or lack thereof) of the guards.
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Old July 20th, 2004, 10:47 PM   #7
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Old July 21st, 2004, 01:20 AM   #8
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wow Thomas, this is incredible. i never knew this existed.

thanks for the replies, everyone. i don't think i'll be needing an airport for a film yet, and by the looks of things, that's probably a good thing. i was just very curious as to how high security really is. thanks a lot!
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Old July 21st, 2004, 09:54 AM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dylan Couper : On the other hand, I nearly got kicked off the subway (TTC) in Toronto for taking a still picture with my digital camera. -->>>

A disgruntled passenger, or some TTC official?...
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Old July 21st, 2004, 10:26 AM   #10
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TTC security!

I would have laughed at a disgruntled passenger.
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Old July 21st, 2004, 03:12 PM   #11
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What could video of an airport reveal that someone walking through couldn't? In other words, is there any (real) reason for this rule?

People can still get through security with "banned" items but at least there won't be any video of the family having lunch at a restaurant.

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Old July 21st, 2004, 03:21 PM   #12
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Generally, airports are run by the city, and they have people at the terminal whose job it is to say no to anything anybody wants to do. Some cities are creative and want to make life easy for filmmakers of any type because it shows off their city, while others are much more obstructionist.
As an example of that, I shot in Albuquerque, N.M., last summer. It didn't involve the airport. I contacted the local film commission via email, got a very prompt reply, told the person what I was after, and she sent me all sorts of photos and even arranged to meet me and my colleague at our hotel (which she got us a discount on). She then spent about 5 hours driving us around looking at locations. I was very upfront with her and told her from the beginning that we were just 2 guys with a camera, tripod and jib and one actor and were not gonna spend over a thousand bucks or so in 3 days. Didn't matter--everybody gets top notch treatment out there.
I'm sure that if we had wanted to shot at the airport, she would have worked to help get it approved.
Other cities are not so friendly, and others charge a lot of money for just about anything.
Here in KC it's mostly about who you know. If you have the right connections you can get into shoot at most places (except malls--they're the worst...we paid 500 bucks to stand out of the traffic for 20 minutes and shoot available light). At our airport they have an unused area for government flights, and we managed to get permission to shoot there because we knew somebody who knew the right person to talk to. We ended up not doing the shoot there because it didn't look all that good, but we did manage to get permission.

However, it is difficult to get permission at airports, and it was even before 911. Back in the '80s I did brochures and slide shows for TWA (when they were in existence), and even the TWA person I worked with had a difficult time getting permission for me to shoot stills there, and they assigned a person to stand there and watch me the whole time. When I wanted to go out on the runway to get a low wide angle shot of a jet parked, they gave me exactly 10 minutes.
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Old July 24th, 2004, 01:39 PM   #13
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Well, I'm not surprised that airports are so strict and I'm actually happy they are. Not to be paranoid but it would be easy for a terrorist to pose as a videographer to sneak a bomb into the terminal. Makes me feel a little be safer in an unsafe area. As for Canada's security...or lack thereof, it is troublesome. There have been several warnings that terroist attacks could come from other countries due to the less strick security methods. The previous post about the easy access at one Canadian airport is a case in point.

Aside from the security issues, there is also the problem of insurance. I suppose that the rates are astronomical and having non-employee personel in restricted areas is a big no-no and could cause the airport to lose their policy or cause the premium to go up if found out.

Not a good time to be in the airport travel business and I don't blame them for being so anal. Even if that creates a hardship for legitimate film/video productions.
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Old July 25th, 2004, 02:22 AM   #14
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Sorry, you're wrong. Canada implements the same airport security as the US except with better trained people. Please try to be more informed, thank you. And don't mistake helpfull friendly airport employees for a lack of security. I shot some footage in and around Orlando airport (MCO) last time I was there with a Canon XL1 that could have been a small rocket launcher. No one said boo to me.

BTW, security measures everywhere are really a joke if someone seriously wanted to get on the plane with a bomb. What is REALLY frightening is the ignorance of the common public about the reality of any security.

Public building security is much worse though. I actually went through a security checkpoint where they were searching for weapons with a tactical knife that I actually forgot (honest officer!) was in my pocket. They missed it but they did take the small multitool off my keychain. I could have taken in a 9mm and they would have missed it. I'm not going to mention where it was (Buffalo NY). What is the point of having security if it doesn't work? Oh, right, to make voters like you think that you are safe....

Sorry to rant, back to airports....
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Old July 25th, 2004, 02:54 AM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dylan Couper : Sorry, you're wrong. Canada implements the same airport security as the US except with better trained people. Please try to be more informed, thank you. -->>>


Don't say I'm wrong when I'm only relaying what is common knowledge. It was announced several months ago that terrorists may try to use airports in other countries (including Canada) to attack the US. I didn't mean to imply that the US has better security than Canada and I certainly don't want to get into a silly pissing match with you about who's country is the best. I was mainly referring to the comment another poster made and the announcement made from US Homeland Security. It is you who needs to be more informed! OK eh?

You didn't need to get all defensive...I happen to like Canada and think the US has a lot it could learn from it. Other than that, I could care less and am wondering why I bothered posting in the first place.
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