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Old January 30th, 2005, 07:44 AM   #1
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Filmcrew arrested - warning

From local news here in Holland (translated by myself):
Quote:
The police have arrested a filmcrew on saturday, after local residents alarmed them. It turned out the crew where students. One of them wanted to make a movie for a school project. One student had a hood on and was pointing a rifle at another student.

Local residents where scared and contact the police. Three men and two women where taking down to the police station for disturbing public order. After questioning the detainees where released with a warrant
The warrant in this case is simply to decide what kind of punishment
they'll receive for this.

In the end it all went down well, the police here aren't too trigger
happy, but definitely a situation you want to avoid!
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Old January 30th, 2005, 08:16 AM   #2
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Yeah, this sort of thing happens more often then people think. Really, for those who espouse guerilla filmmaking, of the "easier to get forgiveness than permisssion" school - The caveat would be any sort of scene that contains violence. IN today's world, walking around dressed as a terrorist, carrying even mock weapons, is foolish.
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Old January 30th, 2005, 09:31 AM   #3
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About 7 or 8 years ago something similar happened in my neighborhood. Some high school students were making a film early in the morning where they staged a phoney robbery at a local bank in a small shopping center. What they didn't realize was that same bank had actually been robbed TWICE during the past year (which was a particular hot button since this is a very low crime suburban area). Same sort of thing, a neighbor saw people with masks and guns running around in front of the bank and called the police. Luckily nobody was hurt, and IIRC they let the students go - after giving them a big scare!
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Old January 30th, 2005, 11:51 AM   #4
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I know the feeling. The police came to one of our locations while shooting the latest season of MTV's Room Raiders. If you're not familiar, it is an abduction type show. The cast members know they're going to be on an MTV show but don't know which one. That's how to ensure that they are there when we arrive and to get that surprised look on their face. We pull into any given neighborhood at 7 a.m. with a 5 vehicle caravan, jump out, and run up to a house and drag someone to the generic white abduction van, push them in and then it speeds off. If you didn't know what was going on, you just might think someone was being taken against their will. But you know, the cameras and the audio guy just seem to be a hint that it might not be for real.

Here are some production images from crew D (1 of 5) at work snatching people.

www.mo-freek.com/roomraidersstills.html
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Old January 30th, 2005, 08:33 PM   #5
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Use some common sense!

One thing is to go out and shoot your little film and beg forgiveness if you are challenged, the other is to escalate the situation by doing things that, when seen by someone who has no clue about what is happening gets involved. That brings me to Rob's post.

Let's look at the key element in Rob's post...

<<<One student had a hood on and was pointing a rifle at another student.>>>

...need I say more?

As for the abduction shoots. Never underestimate the tunnel vision of someone who thinks there is something seriously wrong happening and doesn't hesitate to act on it. Here in Miami, you'd probably get shot by a "Good Samaritan"!

While police officers are trained observers, your average Joe isn't, this is where the situation can turn catastrophic.

RB
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Old January 31st, 2005, 04:59 AM   #6
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One of the reasons I'm glad no-one is allowed to have guns here
(besides the police).

I guess putting up big signs stating you are shooting a movie,
letting the local police know and informing the local residents
(put a piece of paper in their mailboxes?) will go a long way to
avoid problems I'd say. For the scene in my Lady X episode where
I was tied down to a chair and there was a gun and whatnot I'd
made sure someone was outside the building on the look out to
make sure anyone could be kept away from the action or at least
informed as to what went down.

James: you did room raiders? hah, funny. We have that show on
MTV here as well, hehe.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 11:33 AM   #7
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Rob. Yes, I just worked on Room Raiders Atlanta, season 4. There were 5 crews shooting 8 weekends straight this past fall each producing 1 episode per weekend. There were two camera operators per crew, A and B, and I was B camera on A crew.

Do you get American Room Raiders or is it shot in your area for your market? Granada, the producer, is based in the UK and I believe is going to do a UK version as well if it's not already in production.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 11:28 PM   #8
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I shoot a lot of student scenes both at the local community college and out in the surrounding towns. We've learned to call the PD on campus and in the town whenever someone is acting out violence with or without weapons.

2 reasons:

1, we don't want an unfortunate accident involving a helpful bystander or the police.

2., we don't want to waste the time of the local PD by having them respond to a call (sometimes Code 3) only to find out it is a video production.

Oh, and we never allow them to use 'real' weapons unloaded or not. They are either plastic or the barrel has to be permanently obstructed. No blue tape around the muzzle!
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 04:44 AM   #9
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On Soul Searcher http://www.soulsearchermovie.com we had a shoot in a multi-storey carpark. We had a great big HMI, the cameras, and somebody dressed up as a demon with bright red skinand raggedy clothes. He also had some swords.

This had all been cleared by the police weeks before, and then cleared again on the night we were shooting. Despire how completely obvious it was that this was a film shoot from all the multitude of equipment, and crewmembers standing around, and despite the police clearance, it still didn't stop us being visited TWICE by police after people had phoned them to say a fight was going on! At one point we had been told by the boys in blue that the armed response team had been put on alert as a result!

So, the lesson is even if you have explicit clearance from the police, you may still have to answer to them. I wouldn't consider doing anything involving arms or fighting in a public place without consulting with them first. In this barmy day and age when everyone is considered a terrorist until proven innocent its not worth the risk.

As an extra aside, it's not even worth getting your action film publicity shots developed at a public laboratory! I was met by armed response guys when I had the stills for The Silencer developed! Check out the link at the bottom of my post. Note the big eighties style smokey background. For some STUPID reason the photo developer guys phoned me in as a possible armed criminal!
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 04:46 AM   #10
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James: I'm 99% sure it is the US version, have no idea which season
or anything since I barely watch it. Just zap by it sometimes...
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 07:43 AM   #11
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Last year the New Yorker had an article about the screenwriter/director Larry Cohen. In his early days he didn't have much of a budget, and to save money he had his actors sneek their way into the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City and open fire with blanks into the crowd! Guess those days are long gone. You'd go to prison for a stunt like that today.
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 10:23 AM   #12
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Re: Use some common sense!

<<<-- Originally posted by Rick Bravo : While police officers are trained observers, your average Joe isn't, this is where the situation can turn catastrophic.

RB -->>>

And even police officers will freak out if they decide they know what is going on.

A friend of mine used to work for a prop company in LA, and one night he was driving a prop truck to a shooting location. It was filled mainly with fake body parts and fake guns. He was late and he was speeding and a police officer pulled him over. Needless to say, as soon as he looked in the back of the van he freaked out. He though Scott and the rest of the guys were arms dealers.

Even though everything in that truck was obviously made of rubber from the moment you touched it, they were taken down to the station anyway. One of the producers had to come down and explain things.

You just never know how people are going to react.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 09:32 AM   #13
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Marco,

Forget days gone by, they should have gone to jail back then for doing something so stupidly irresponsible!

If I was a person in that crowd, especially as a parent with kids watching the parade, the last thing in the world those idiots would have had to worry about would be the police.

Trust me when I tell you that going to jail would have been a better alternative to what my reaction would have been!

RB
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Old February 4th, 2005, 11:25 AM   #14
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>>Let's look at the key element in Rob's post...

<<<One student had a hood on and was pointing a rifle at another student.>>>
<<

Well another way to look at this...

If in NYC it's a great way to keep the muggers away.
(Just kidding)
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Old February 4th, 2005, 12:31 PM   #15
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Rick,
I hear you. I wouldn't be above stealing the occasional shot, but you have to have at least a LITTLE common sense. I think they were lucky the police didn't return fire. I do think it's sad though that things have swung so far in the other direction that you can get in trouble for wandering too close to a government building with a camcorder. Surely there's some middle ground here that we can all live with.
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