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Old March 17th, 2003, 01:02 PM   #1
Retired DV Info Net Almunus
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Please Be Careful

As I write this it appears that military conflict will erupt in the Middle East soon. It also seems likely that public demonstrations concerning that conflict will continue, and perhaps escalate, in cities around the world. Some DVInfo members have already reported attempting to shoot these events and I'm sure that many others will understandably attempt to follow suit.

I feel compelled to ask all of our members to please be very careful when attending, and especially trying to film, these events. I'm certain that such warnings will fall on largely "deaf" eyes for many members who may be too young to remember 10+ years of various peace rallys that took place before they were born. But please take my word that even the most apparently peaceful and well-intentioned public demonstrations can turn extremely ugly and dangerous within seconds.

FWIW, as an "old fart" here I offer these basic suggestions to those who plan to attempt to film demonstrations.
  • Avoid becoming pinned in the middle of a crowd. Stay to the edges and make sure that you have a quick exit path at all times. It's a good time to really use that zoom!
  • Use your camera's LCD screen, rather than it's eyepiece viewfinder, if your camera is so equipped. The LCD panel may be harder to see but it will enable you to remain better-tuned to your surroundings while shooting.
  • Never go alone if you plan to shoot. Always bring, and stay with, at least one friend who is not using a camera and can 'spot' the ongoing situation for you.
  • In the event of sudden trouble, to hell with the shot. And, if it comes to it, to hell with the camera, too. It's just not worth it. A close acquaintence of mine lost the use of an eye and most of her hearing on one side for trying to get great shots (with a still camera) as things turned ugly at a "peace" march nearly 30 years ago. The decision she made at that moment affected the rest of her mortal life. Few people remember that rally today; it was not an especially prominent event even in its time. But I guarantee you that she does.
I know that I speak for Chris and all of my fellow "wranglers" here when I say that we would be crestfallen to learn that one of our members was needlessly injured while pursuing his/her avocational interest in digital videography.
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Ken Tanaka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17th, 2003, 01:20 PM   #2
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Good Advice!
Since you and I and many or at least some of the others on this forum are old enough to remember another war that was also "fought in the streets" right here in our hometown AND since I was on Michigan ave that night, for reasons other than the world events I would 2nd the motion, for the officials caveat was "if you can't join them, beat them". I saw far too many folks who were trying to report on the happenings become part of it thru no fault of their own. Agree or disagree, to coin a phrase from an old TV cop show, "Let's be careful out there" (Sgt. Joe Esterhouse-roll call -Hill St. Blues)
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17th, 2003, 01:35 PM   #3
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Also, just to follow up -- a little friendly warning here, copied from one of the camera forums but we all need to be aware:

Politics is a forbidden discussion on this message board. Along with religion, sexuality and other issues, no matter how right you feel about it, someone else is going to feel even righter in the opposite direction. The only thing such discussions accomplish, is to polarize the community and turn friends into enemies. We will not have that here.

We had to pull some posts a couple days ago because of this -- because the current world political situation was mentioned, but it didn't relate to a technical discussion about digital video.

So... here's what's up...

If you're talking about *how* to videotape an anti-war protest, that is, a technical discussion relating directly to digital video, go right ahead. As long as it's a serious, sincere discussion. People can get hurt at a protest rally and this is a very serious matter. You want to discuss technique, safety, approach, etc. please go right ahead.

However we will NOT tolerate any comments proclaiming support for pro-war sentiments or support for anti-war sentiments. Anybody says anything pro-Bush, anti-Bush, pro-Iraq, anti-Iraq, or whatever, I will edit it out immediately. Please see the FAQ at link at top for an in-depth explanation of our forum posting policies here... they are spelled out very clearly. Again, such discussions serve only to split an otherwise cohesive and healthy community. If you feel the need to express your feelings about such matters, there are plenty of other avenues at your disposal, such as Yahoo for instance... but not here.

Folks, I have very strong political convictions which lean in a very specific direction, yet I will not allow myself to use this forum as a sounding board on current world political matters. And if I can't, you can't either... this is a *safe haven* from political discussions. They are simply not within our scope. They will not polarize us and drive us apart from each other. They won't turn friends into enemies here, as long as I'm involved.

That said... please continue with your established, highly esteemed and intelligent technical discussions... completely devoid of political affinity one way or the other. Many thanks and much respect,

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Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17th, 2003, 02:15 PM   #4
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Again a tip of my hat to the moderaters of this board. I am truly impressed with the level of discussion here and how you are very active to keep it that way.

Personally I have very deep opinions about the current political situation, and at the same time I could not dream of voicing them here. It has nothing to do with censorship or the like. People come here of their own free will, and if I want to voice my opinions on political subjects I have plenty of appropriate sounding boards to do so.

This forum is about DV however, and I much prefer we keep it that way.

Keep up the good work moderators (and contributors)

Hans Henrik
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Old March 17th, 2003, 02:37 PM   #5
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I agree with you 100%. After waiting for a long time to join this forum and going to many others, I still do-variety you know,
this forum is definately one of the 2 classiest and most well run boards on the web. Just MHO!
Keep it up Chris!
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17th, 2003, 02:40 PM   #6
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Hi Don... what's the other of the 2 you mentioned? Just curious, cuz if it's half as good as this one, I want to know!
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Old March 17th, 2003, 03:00 PM   #7
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Thanks, Ken! Good advice for all. But I'm only going to take pics for these future demonstrations, and I won't get caught in the middle.

Chris, I promise to keep my big mouth shut, Promise. :-)
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Old March 17th, 2003, 03:12 PM   #8
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Thanks Ken and Chris for providing this forum and for the advice on covering these events. This forum is far too valuable to disintegrate into politics unrelated to the craft of filming and video. As someone who has found great value reading and participating in these threads I would hate to see it lose its value.
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Old March 17th, 2003, 04:01 PM   #9
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This is just yet another fine example of why I like this board so much. Keep it up.!!!!
Don Libby
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Old March 18th, 2003, 01:16 PM   #10
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We can't talk about sex?

Shazbot. Now I have no reason to live and it's all your fault.

Well, on second thought... the rule's okay, I guess. Sex is like baseball: I'd rather play it than watch it.

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