Re: protest nyc's proposed film and photo law Thurs Aug 2 Union Sq

From: Freya (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Aug 05 2007 - 02:04:00 PDT

Grrrrr! :( Computer just ate my reply as I was about
to finish it!
I've written a new and somewhat vaguer and shorter
reply. Sorry.

> I find it baffling that someone from Britain would
> sympathize with critics
> of these rules. They are so incredibly generous
> compared with the state of
> things around London that it doesn't make any sense
> but to support most of them.
> If the desired alternative is no rules, that's not
> going to happen, and it's
> a bad idea anyway.

Actually I don't live in London but up't North
(There's plenty of people in Britain who don't live in
London! Some of them don't even live in England!) but
when I did live in London you are right I probably
wouldn't film on the street as the regulations are too
strict and so it's mostly only big companies like the
BBC or ITN or Hollywood productions that get to shoot
there. The met police are preety scary too.

Having said that I don't think that just because I
might not be allowed to film on the streets of London,
that people shouldn't be allowed to film on the
streets of other cities.
Why would I think that, it seems kind of mean spirited
and selfish. Like I'm having a really bad time so
everyone else has to as well.

Isn't the situation in New York at the moment that
there are no rules, and hasn't it been like that for
some time, in which case hasn't it already happened???

Where I live in England there are preety much no
rules, or at least they aren't enforced. I guess if
you started seriously obstructing the public right of
way then the police would be all over you sharpish
otherwise they mostly don't seem to care.

The exception to this is if you start filming on
private property, such as the railways or something. I
once got in trouble for filming the railway because I
was in a car park (private property) and they got
upset and I was asked to stop. They mentioned the
terrorist attacks and stuff. I did point out that I
couldn't imagine a terrorist using a Super8 camera
when they could easily use a camera phone or
something. I also asked what they thought the
terrorists might learn from such a film or video? What
time the trains arrive? (I always had a suspicion this
might be a closely guarded secret!). Anyway my
arguments didn't sway the fellow as it was much than
his job was worth so I had to go.

I tend to sympathise with people who are campaigning
for freedoms generally, whether they have a chance of
being succesful or not. It would be nice for instance
if there was a bunch of people campaigning for greater
freedom to film in London.

> When people who don't like your lack of rules end up
> blocking your public
> activity, what rules are you going to apply to deal
> with their interference? Or
> do rules of behavior and deportment only apply to
> non-artists?

If there are no rules people tend to not think about
it. In fact people probably don't know what the rules
are or aren't really, so I can't imagine people
getting upset about the lack of rules. Seems kind of
an odd idea anyway.

However as far as other members of the public
interfering with filming, this happens all the time in
the u.k. It's the normal state of affairs. You only
have to take out something with a lens and people
start acting like idiots. This even happens to the big
companies from time to time too.

I've never actually thought about having laws to
restrict these people till now. Hmmmm.

> What's absolutely incredible about this thread is
> not just the naivete, but
> the absolute self-centeredness of artists here. Not
> everything is a free
> speech issue. If you guys really had ganas you'd be

Personally I do think that having restrictions on
making films and video's is a restriction on peoples
abitility to express themselves artistically, in which
case it seems like it might be a free speech issue.

> out there surreptitiously
> filming no matter what, just like the old days,
> instead of whining about things.
> And you wouldn't complain about getting caught,
> you'd just move on.

The trouble is that these days you might get accused
of being a terrorist and have all your work
confiscated and have bad things done to you by the
state apparatus. People still do risk it anyway but it
would be nice if people just had the freedom to make
their film or video.



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