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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old November 26th, 2004, 12:56 PM   #1
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Crew walks because of content - would you?

I was watching a documentary about a rather controversial subject and at one point the crew just walked away because it became so disturbing to them. I do have to say that it was kind of disturbing. Two versions had to be made and distributed because some PBS stations would not air the raw version. Now, as a producer or crew member of a documentary trying to show the best and/or worst of the subject matter would you let the content affect your ability to keep rolling?

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=35507
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Old November 26th, 2004, 12:59 PM   #2
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People are humans but you are supposed to be professional. If the crew were prepared and knew beforehand what they would see, then they should stick with it. However, psychology being what it is, something extreme could cause anyone to flee, throw up, faint.

And of course if it is a matter of self-preservation, no one can blame you for saving your ass.
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Old November 26th, 2004, 01:09 PM   #3
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Key words in there "If they knew beforehand." Kind of inexcusable unless the. . .um. . ."baditude" of what they'd really be dealing with was misrepresented or underplayed somehow. I was about to work on a documentary about swingers a little while ago, and about a week or two before the shoot (I was only going to be part it for one day of shooting), I caught this thing on VH1 that may well have been related to what I was going to be shooting, a doc about "the lifestyle". So when they get to the scene where everyone (crew included) is in the hotel room, and the two couples are getting ready to hump like little monkeys, I start thinking to myself "oh crap, am I gonna have to shoot stuff like this?" I emailed the guy/woman and explained that I could deal with people groping and grinding in a club (where we were supposed to shoot), but that I drew the line at shooting them while they pound each other. Call me prude, or crazy, but that's just nasty (not the humping, but the shooting of it). No offense to all you adult producers, you do what you wanna, but leave me the hell out of it.

So which one was the one where they walked? I couldn't infer from the hint. The porn one?

P.S. never got a response from the person I'd been in contact with on that project. Guess they didn't like my attitude.
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Old November 26th, 2004, 01:10 PM   #4
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I agree. I guess news teams that shoot wrecks and murders have to overcome that feeling as well, when is it just rediculous to keep rolling and when is it essential. I have experienced that when I did ride alongs for a show like COPS. There were times where I just wanted to stop and go sit back in the car but I had a job to do. I never went into anyone's house without permission because I think that's a place that everyone should be safe from public view at least without their consent. However, I didn't mind at all shooting DUIs because that's on a public street and it's just rediculous and wreckless. They deserved it!
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Old November 26th, 2004, 02:41 PM   #5
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"So which one was the one where they walked? I couldn't infer from the hint. The porn one?"

I'm pretty sure it was the porn one. I watched the show, and there's a point where the pornographers (who wanted candid footage) pull a surprise on one of their actresses that amounts to rape, and the documentary crew announces that's it, they're leaving. Frankly, I don't see how their continued presence would have contributed much to their report. I think I would have walked too.
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Old November 26th, 2004, 04:07 PM   #6
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Wow. Yeah, there are quite a few things I wouldn't work on, I think. They include things where I have to: shoot people humping, film war violence, endanger myself (any more than on a typical set), and I'm sure there's other things I can't think of now. Yeah, I'm a puss, so nuts to you.
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Old November 26th, 2004, 04:33 PM   #7
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I can add a couple to that list.

Violence against animals or children.
Copraphagia.
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Old November 26th, 2004, 04:46 PM   #8
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Do you mean shooting actual violence against children, or simulated? I meant the real thing. I'd shoot boogie nights 2, or some war movie, but not the reality of either. . .I guess it's different if you're a camerman on the real world or something, and the naughtiness just happens in front of you, as opposed to taking on a subject where there's no way it COULDN'T happened.

Absolutely clueless as to what that scientific sounding word at the end of your post means.
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Old November 26th, 2004, 05:37 PM   #9
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I mean in a documentary circumstance. Let's say we were doing a documentary on a family and then suddenly a scene of domestic violence suddenly broke out. I wouldn't be able to impassively witness that.

Copraphagia ... I used the scientific term so you could look it up if you want. It's icky.
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Old November 26th, 2004, 05:48 PM   #10
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There was an incident on Survivor a couple of years ago when a contestant nodded off and fell face first into a campfire. He actually burned his arms more by shielding his face with them as he fell. It was bad. The skin was rolling off of his arms like sheets. The camera(s) continued to roll to capture the event. Now, I saw a special on VH-1 called The Unreality of Reality exposing some of the secrets and terms of these reality shows. It was said that all shooters for Survivor were told to continue to roll on anything no matter what or they would be terminated. I think that there might be some litigation for negligence if not moral irresponsibility going on about that campfire incident. Besides just be decent, what difference could the camera operator have made if he had set the camera down and helped out. I'm sure they had medical staff nearby. They flew that guy out by helo shortly after and you guessed it, they rolled on that too!
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Old November 26th, 2004, 06:17 PM   #11
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Well, yeah, if there are medical staff on hand you want to actually get out of their way.
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Old November 26th, 2004, 06:32 PM   #12
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Coprohagia Productions...

"We're #1 in a #2 Business!!!

Nasty stuff. Makes you wonder where some of these people's lives took that life changing turn and what caused it!

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Old November 26th, 2004, 06:40 PM   #13
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hahaha I wonder if that's taken rick
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Old November 26th, 2004, 06:44 PM   #14
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I've walked away before.
In '97, I had a team of producers behing me wanting to make a Johnny Cash obituary. I was making alot of these at that time... Minnie Pearl, Farren Young, Bob Wills...
Thing was he wasnt dead yet. He was in the hospital with double pnemonia and wasn't expected to make it through the weekend. TNN just wanted to have it ready "should something happen". Man, it was bad kharma. I told em I'd happily come in during the weekend should somehting happen but I couldn't dig a man's grave that wasn't dead yet.
He went home a week later.

I'm not sayin I saved his life. I just felt more human than media at the time.
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Old November 26th, 2004, 07:01 PM   #15
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I remember watching a show that I believe was called "the beast", about a newspaper or something, where someone mentioned (and this someone was quoting a real news personality--sorry, details hazy--this was a long time ago) that if you were shooting during a war, in a situation where you had a vantage point where you could see an ambush set up for American troups, you weren't supposed to warn them, because then you'd be making the news, not just capturing it. Is it me, or is that sick? What about your duties as a human being?
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