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    Shooting in a public space
    #1
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    I'm shooting some personal video @ a public space this weekend. The event is on public property that my local community sponsors. The footage will be used for my reel. Will I need a Press Pass to shoot in public space? What's your opinion Doc makers?


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    #2
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    Shot everything with my "press Pass" No Questions - went really smooth~


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    Where to begin...
    #3
    Senior Member mb72378's Avatar
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    Well.....hmm... where to begin.

    In theory you don't need permission to shoot in a PUBLIC space, but there are many issues you have to think about. For one example, there is a restaurant with outside dining or a huge window looking into the restaurant. Just because you physically are in public you have to watch what you shoot very carefully because you might not be shooting INTO public.

    Another issue is when to get people to sign waivers. I ALWAYS do when I can. But it would be ridiculous to say that you are going to try to get every person who walks by your camera to sign a waiver. One way to get rid of that is to put up signs that say something like "filming, if you walk in front of the camera you are giving permission to the filmmaker to use your likeness in the video." This doesn't always save your you know what (A..)

    One thing that I would suggest, that REALLY helped me out, was to check up on the FCC regulations regarding shooting in public. I will look in my VAST bookmarks folder to find the specific section for you to search. But it helps a lot.

    Especially if you get face to face with an annoying security guard or policeman that has no idea what they are talking about. you can always say... "well according to the FCC, which is part of the FEDERAL government, I can legally.....)

    Or the safest thing to do is either get a "press pass" as the last poster described or a film permit. This too can be difficult depending on many factors including length of stay in said country, town etc. length of shooting, and actually how obtrusive the shoot will be. Dolly,, lights etc. or just a cameraman and an audio man.

    There is a lot to think about and I don't claim to know everything or even a lot. Try to do as much research as possible.

    Hope that helps some.

    I will get that link in here for the FCC regulation site ASAP as soon as I find it. These are just my thoughts

    Matt
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    #4
    Senior Member cheezweezl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb72378 View Post
    Well.....hmm... where to begin.

    In theory you don't need permission to shoot in a PUBLIC space,
    depends on where you are shooting. in the la area, most public property requires a permit and insurance to shoot. doesn't matter if it's personal, student, doc, whatever.

    with that said, you pretty much don't get messed with unless you have a huge crew and tons of gear on the ground or if you get spotted by a cop who wants to be an ass about it. i have done everything from throwing down dolly track to throwing a 30 foot jib on a public sidewalk with no permit. cops drive on by....

    i've only been shut down twice. once on a public beach. that guy sent us 300 feet down the beach and didn't care what we did as long as we were off the part of the sand he was responisble for. we walked 300 feet and kept on rolling. the other time was at a state park. overzealous park ranger had to throw his weight around. we drove 10 minutes down the road and found a new spot.
    "There is no forest. There are no trees."

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    Senior Member Ben_B's Avatar
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    I got shutdown once on a State Beach by a park ranger, never been shutdown in other public spaces, including one in a parking lot in the middle of the night with a generator and tons of lights with several cops driving right by. I've also been permitted before, and that was a load of my chest. As a student production we managed to get an exemption from the typical $1,000,000 minimum liability insurance requirement by having everyone sign waviers that the city risk management lawyers gave us.

    Also California has a lot of laws protecting filming projects in public spaces, even without permits, and at some point if your production isn't big enough to cause liability problems, there's a free speech argument to be made. We shot a thing running and gunning with an HVX-200 and a tripod and since we were small and mobile we didn't really attract much attention, then again we've also done stuff, as I mentioned above, with tons of lights, etc, and we never got bothered....but then again I got shutdown on a State beach the second we unloaded our equipment, which was just camera, tripod, and boom.


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    I was once shooting a scene for an actionmovie on a big square in the middle of a town. This was like 15 years ago. The main character had stolen something and was now beeing chased by another man. I was shooting the film and really got some nice pics when suddenly a big athletic man from the public starts running after and fells him to the ground. The main character broke three ribs...
    I must say I felt quite bad inside afterwards.


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    Here's a good question- can there be rammifications even after you get away with shooting without a permit? For instance, say you shoot on some street in NYC without a permit, get away clean. Then you edit the film and it gets accepted to SXSW or something. Can there be any rammifications for the public viewing if you never had a permit (for example, with certain building, store signs, etc)?


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    #8
    Senior Member Ben_B's Avatar
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    I'd say probably only if you break something...

    I'd say at some point you're covered by protected speech. Permiting isn't so much about legality as it is about liability. If you get away clean you're usually ok, I don't think you run any risks with showing footage...but if something goes wrong on your shoot, and lawyers get involved...that is when you're going to wish you had a permit and liability insurance.


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    #9
    Senior Member mcvideo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpastuch View Post
    Here's a good question- can there be rammifications even after you get away with shooting without a permit? For instance, say you shoot on some street in NYC without a permit, get away clean. Then you edit the film and it gets accepted to SXSW or something. Can there be any rammifications for the public viewing if you never had a permit (for example, with certain building, store signs, etc)?
    about displaying store signs etc just blur them out.


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    #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb72378 View Post
    Well.....hmm... where to begin.

    In theory you don't need permission to shoot in a PUBLIC space, but there are many issues you have to think about. For one example, there is a restaurant with outside dining or a huge window looking into the restaurant. Just because you physically are in public you have to watch what you shoot very carefully because you might not be shooting INTO public.

    Another issue is when to get people to sign waivers. I ALWAYS do when I can. But it would be ridiculous to say that you are going to try to get every person who walks by your camera to sign a waiver. One way to get rid of that is to put up signs that say something like "filming, if you walk in front of the camera you are giving permission to the filmmaker to use your likeness in the video." This doesn't always save your you know what (A..)

    One thing that I would suggest, that REALLY helped me out, was to check up on the FCC regulations regarding shooting in public. I will look in my VAST bookmarks folder to find the specific section for you to search. But it helps a lot.

    Especially if you get face to face with an annoying security guard or policeman that has no idea what they are talking about. you can always say... "well according to the FCC, which is part of the FEDERAL government, I can legally.....)

    Or the safest thing to do is either get a "press pass" as the last poster described or a film permit. This too can be difficult depending on many factors including length of stay in said country, town etc. length of shooting, and actually how obtrusive the shoot will be. Dolly,, lights etc. or just a cameraman and an audio man.

    There is a lot to think about and I don't claim to know everything or even a lot. Try to do as much research as possible.

    Hope that helps some.

    I will get that link in here for the FCC regulation site ASAP as soon as I find it. These are just my thoughts

    Matt
    Nice post. Have you been finding the link then? (Hey but your post is from last month!)


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