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Old July 18th, 2005, 07:59 AM   #1
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Properly securing a cemetery location

I'm shooting a short experimental film which takes place in a cemetery. So far on other projects it's been pretty obvious who we need to get permission from to shoot a location and get the proper releases in order, but in the case of a cemetery, who owns the loc?

If all else fails I plan on trying to track down whoever mows the lawn and go from there, but any insight is appreciated!
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Old July 18th, 2005, 08:19 AM   #2
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I would call the appropriate local government office (City Hall, County Courthouse, etc.) and talk to whoever maintains the land records, such as the county or city clerk. They can tell you who owns the cemetery. Probably less hassle than chasing down the grounds keeper.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 10:19 AM   #3
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Jason, call a funeral home and ask them who owns that particular cemetary.
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Old July 19th, 2005, 12:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Davis
I would call the appropriate local government office (City Hall, County Courthouse, etc.) and talk to whoever maintains the land records, such as the county or city clerk. They can tell you who owns the cemetery. Probably less hassle than chasing down the grounds keeper.
Chris, thanks for the tip.

Turns out the city owns the lot that I'm interested, and they told me that since they don't have a permitting process for filmmaking that I could use any of the city's land so long as we leave it in the condition it was in originally.

Gotta love small towns!
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Old July 19th, 2005, 01:32 PM   #5
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Great news. I'm over here in small-town Minnesota, and that's the exact response I would have expected.

Well, either that or "We don't have a permitting process, so you can't do it!"
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Old July 25th, 2005, 11:28 PM   #6
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All I can say is, my friends have "stolen the shot" via "run and gun/guerilla filmmaking," but I'm not recommending it. Not that anything happened. They did go handheld, though...

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Old July 26th, 2005, 10:29 AM   #7
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Funny thing, we ended up not using the cemetery at all, but a completely different bit of city land.

The irony is that even after talking with the city and getting permission, one of the local businesses is convinced that we were taping them and got all worked up about it.

I guess it just goes to show that no matter how much you do ahead of time you still need to plan for exceptions.
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