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

From: Steven Ball (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Aug 05 2007 - 09:58:50 PDT

I don't quite understand what this "state of things around London"
is. I think Freya's experience up north is common in most places in
the UK. I frequently shoot video all over public places in central
London and have never been stopped and this includes capturing shots
of police at police cordons, never once did they even bat an eyelid.
There are so many people shooting video (and film) around London,
mostly tourists of course, that attempts to police it all would be
pretty futile and most people in public are so used to being caught
on camera that they usually appear not to notice. Of course big
professional looking crews might be a different matter, but the news
media crews don't appear to have any problems. The one exception to
this was on private property which I naturally assumed was a public
space, namely Canary Wharf. I was approached by a pair of reasonable
and quite friendly security guys who told me that I have to get a
permit to shoot there, which is simply a matter of strolling up to
the site office and asking for one. They seemed to think that it
wouldn't be a problem, except that it was a Sunday and the office was


On 5 Aug 2007, at 10:04, Freya wrote:

> 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.
> love
> Freya
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> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.