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Old July 11th, 2012, 05:40 PM   #211
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Re: National Park filming legislation

Thomas, all they have to do is look at my drivers license, call back to HQ, do a Google search and there's not much I can really say to defend myself at that point.

With Yellowstone and other parks actively searching for footage shot at their park it makes it hard to say I'm just shooting for vacation.

One of the people that talked to me said they were contacted by Yellowstone after the fact because they saw their footage online. So now if this guy ever goes back and the ranger asks for some ID, he's in trouble.

So the old, I'm just here on vacation isn;t going to fly anymore.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 11:51 PM   #212
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Re: National Park filming legislation

It is so sad to me that we are having this conversation about places that have been set aside by our government for the enjoyment of the people.

It sounds a lot more like we are talking about private land when in fact these places belong to all of us.
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Old July 12th, 2012, 06:53 AM   #213
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Re: National Park filming legislation

David,
You have basically voiced the alpha and omega of this issue. I suspect that eventually one of these cases will end up in court, and the Park Service will be told where to put it.
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Old July 12th, 2012, 07:10 AM   #214
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Re: National Park filming legislation

I'm just hoping we can get the law changed to something reasonable.
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Old July 13th, 2012, 02:42 PM   #215
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Re: National Park filming legislation

If you look at one definition of tyranny:

" 1.*arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.2.*the government or rule of a tyrant or absolute ruler."

Does a law or Park Service policy fit that definition? If NYC has the authority to ban the sale of Big Gulps, is that tyranny? I don't think so but what if authorities went about checking what vendors were putting in the cup? I might think that was going too far. And I might think it is going too far if park rangers are interrogating videographers. But what should they do if videographers are otherwise going to try to cheat the law? What you are trying, which is to amend the policy to make it more fair is laudable, yet unlikely to succeed in your lifetime.

In summary, I find the situation disappointing, but not unique. Even more sad, that as a country, as we silently let these and other little rights, freedoms and liberties slip away, for the most part (your's excepted) we don't care or bother to get involved except for the particular causes we care about.
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Old July 14th, 2012, 03:59 PM   #216
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Re: National Park filming legislation

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Originally Posted by David Elkins View Post
It is so sad to me that we are having this conversation about places that have been set aside by our government for the enjoyment of the people.
Yes, for the enjoyment of PEOPLE. MOST filmmakers (and granted some photogs) will perch for lengthy periods of time in the best spots to get the shot they are looking for and screw the lay public who are looking to view an attraction for themselves. And as a videographer, I can tell you MY footprint is significantly larger than most digital stills shooters.

I'm not a NATURE videographer, but I AM a doc videographer who does most of his work outside. Can I conduct a 45 minute interview in front of Old Faithful at no cost to the Parks system, inconveniencing thousands of viewers? How about my other 25 colleagues who want to shoot at the same time?

Now... where you folks have VERY valid points is that if a stills photog is going to "perch" for any length of time, he/she is JUST as much of a "nuisance" to the general public as a video shooter is.

A JUST rule would be: if you can't get your shot in 90 seconds or less and then move on, you are inconveniencing the lay public and either need to move on OR be regulated (ie. MOVED on so the rest of the folks can see the attraction as well).

My two cents, which I'm sure you all disagree with because EVERYONE today thinks they are entitled to EVERYTHING for free... The injustice as I see it is the different treatment of stills and moving picture.
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Old July 14th, 2012, 04:46 PM   #217
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Re: National Park filming legislation

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Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
I'm not a NATURE videographer, but I AM a doc videographer who does most of his work outside.
The difference between the type of videography is an important point. Using a national park as the setting for a documentary interview, narrative thriller or music video is definitely different than using the park as the subject of nature videography.

How is this handled for still photography? Can a still photographer hold a fashion shoot with paid models, makeup artists and so forth in front of old faithfull without a permit?
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Old July 14th, 2012, 05:49 PM   #218
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Re: National Park filming legislation

Shaun,
Loitering isn't a valid excuse to charge people an arm and a leg. What about the wolf watchers that set up their scopes and line up along the road all day long? How about the person that sits and waits for Grand Fountain Geyser to go off. What about the person who just sits by Riverside Geyser and reads a book all day long just because they want to be out in the sunshine?

I don't know, maybe I'm different than a lot of shooters. I'll let other people come in and get their shots, I'll offer advice if they ask. Heck, when I was shooting stills I'd let people attach their Nikon's to my big glass so they could get a great shot of some wildlife.
About the only place I've seen where there was a lot of jostling around was Mesa Arch at sunrise.

Last I checked, I'm a people and filming nature and wildlife brings me much enjoyment. So why should I have to pay to film what my tax dollars maintain over someone who sits at Artist Point all day long and meditates?

You have Geyser Gazers that sit and watch geysers all day long. They're very knowledgeable and will tell you a lot about a geyser if you ask. I've had them point out the signs leading to an imminent eruption as well as where the best spot was to set up my camera.

If you want to conduct an interview and you need to block off some space or kick people out of the way then yes, I think you should have a permit. Otherwise, I think you follow the same rules as the public does and you shouldn't have to pay to sit all day by a park feature when no one else does.
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Old July 14th, 2012, 05:50 PM   #219
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Re: National Park filming legislation

Eric,

No, a fashion shoot or a car shoot for an advertisement needs to have a permit.
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Old July 14th, 2012, 05:53 PM   #220
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Re: National Park filming legislation

I was going to chime in here, too. Shaun brings up some good points, and even though for me personally, we seem to feel differently about some of the particulars here, I really appreciate his input in that this conversation is a search for solutions. Still Photographers are currently required to get a permit if they are using lights or models. They can point the camera at the park, but not at a person. We're seeking the same status for Videographers. I can only speak for what I believe to be the case here, but I think that filming an interview in front of Old Faithful is outside the scope of our goals here, and always has been. We simply want the same exemptions as still photographers as spelled out already in Public Law 106-206. Further, I'd point out that the current law applies to all Federally administered land, not just the parks. While there are certainly a number of potential congestion points, (such as Old Faithful, as mentioned) there are literally millions of acres of wilderness that are simply off limits to us. Particularly for westerners, such as myself, who lives in states that are around 80% government owned. That's a lot of land I'm locked out of. I'm from Utah, Nevada's percentage is in the 90's.

"My two cents, which I'm sure you all disagree with because EVERYONE today thinks they are entitled to EVERYTHING for free... "

I don't want to really go too far into this, other than to say that I think this statement is not entirely justified. We're certainly fired up about this topic, otherwise we wouldn't be posting here, but I think you have some valid points, and have also misinterpreted our intentions on a few particulars. Either way, welcome to the discussion, and thanks for your input.
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Old July 14th, 2012, 06:02 PM   #221
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Re: National Park filming legislation

Well and technically it's not free. I pay taxes as well as entrance fees.
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Old July 14th, 2012, 06:37 PM   #222
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Re: National Park filming legislation

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Originally Posted by Kevin Railsback View Post
Well and technically it's not free. I pay taxes as well as entrance fees.
I PAY to get into a film. Does that mean I get to tour the projection booth and make popcorn for theatre guests?

The entry fee covers just that... your entrance to the park for your enjoyment, which in my OPINION, does not supersede MY right to my own enjoyment of the facilities.

And Alex, thanks for the support and for "calling me" on my statement. Please understand that I'm getting weary of specific market segments claiming they are somehow DIFFERENT than another market segment: the wedding and dance recital folks think they should be able to skirt copyright issues, the nature folks think they should be allowed to film whatever they want for as long as they want, INDIE guerrilla filmmakers don't see a need for location insurance or a wrangler when handling guns... the list goes on... you see my point (although raised through generalizations...)

Again, the unfairness here seems to me to be around the difference for photos and video folks.

Having to pay for a parkie to sit on his/her butt is VERY likely due to some self-righteous arse that came before you and ruined it for everyone... Park fees (and taxes collected for parks) go toward upkeep and things like fighting fires, rescuing people stupid enough to wander off without a compass and/or enough water etc... They don't (and in MY OPINION shouldn't) cover commercial usage. In fact, I would fully support the park patrol demanding to see your location insurance policy. I play by the rules and have location insurance BECAUSE I make money doing video. Besides, if this is a business, you get to write the fees off anyway as a cost of doing business (unless your specific jurisdiction doesn't allow claiming these as a legitimate business expense - please talk to your accountant. You DO have an accountant, right?)
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Old July 14th, 2012, 06:51 PM   #223
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Re: National Park filming legislation

I already have a liability policy with the National Park Service added as an additional insured.
And yes, I do have an accountant.
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Old July 14th, 2012, 06:54 PM   #224
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Re: National Park filming legislation

Sorry Kevin... I was responding to your post but ot everything that followed was aimed at you... it was a discussion in general. I get tired of typing in the second person (and find it quite pretentious...)

"ONE would have an accountant"... "One pays for a movie ticket"... blah blah blah.

Please don't take my response as a personal attack or a two way debate. It is a GENERAL discussion from my point of view to "everyone 'listening'"
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Old July 14th, 2012, 09:22 PM   #225
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Re: National Park filming legislation

I can't help but take exception to the following statement:

"My two cents, which I'm sure you all disagree with because EVERYONE today thinks they are entitled to EVERYTHING for free... "


I think most here have not expected anything for "free", but would simply like to be able to film on federal lands without paying outrageous fees, and most seem receptive to the idea of a yearly permit, valid on all Federal Lands for a reasonable fee.

Most of the still photographers and videographers that I know go to these places because they enjoy seeing and recording the wildlife and scenery with their chosen type of camera. They do not have signed contracts, and are not working on a project that they has a great chance of financial gain. They would simply like to have the possibility of selling photos to publications, stock footage to agencies, or perhaps at some point to incorporate footage in some type of a video project.

In my experience in Shenandoah National Park, most of the serious still photographers, and videographers are among the most considerate people one encounters. while a few of the casual tourists are far more likely to run close to the wildlife, stick, a camera in its, face and drive it away from everyone else.

I can see restrictions in certain areas where it is difficult finding standing room, but this is not the vast majority of the public lands I am interested in.

It boils down to there being no distinction between the person who is basically a tourist and who leavies the same "footprint" as a tourist but who may at some point show his work to a "target audience" by showing it to a school group, post it on the web, or sell a bit of stock footage etc. and the person or organization that is shooting with contract in hand to make a full blown documentary that will receive national distribution.
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