From: John Matturri (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Aug 05 2007 - 20:59:40 PDT
A favorite memory of shooting for Jack Smith was the time we were caught
climbing over the fence, as we did frequently, into the desert-like
landfill that would later become Battery Park City. Rather then being
arrested for trespassing we were told that we would need a permit from
the Port Authority. We carried our shopping bags of props and costumes
up to offices in the WTC and Jack did try to negotiate, in his style,
the permit. Anyone familiar with that style will guess that it was not
granted. Not sure of the legal standards but one or two other excursions
into abandoned apartments may have crossed the line from trespassing to
B&E. Not saying that this is an argument to let filmmakers do what they
want but it does point up potential cultural misunderstandings in the
permit process if the authorities have any discretion in granting them.
(Larry Cohen is said to have obtained a permit for shooting documentary
footage of the St. Patrick's Day Parade and then used that to stage a
shooting along the parade route for God Told Me To. By the time it was
clear what he was doing he had his footage.)
Jack Sargeant wrote:
> I love the idea of anybody on this list following these rules (if they
> become law).
> whatever happened to the rebellious spirit of underground filmmakers?
> Jack Smith or Ron Rice or Kenneth Anger or Nick Zedd or Craig Baldwin
> or John Waters ......... ? many underground filmmakers depicted
> radical politics, drug taking or homosexuality when it was illegal,
> and fuck the consequences.... what mattered was the urge to express
> ... isn't independent / underground / avant garde film meant to exist
> DESPITE the absurdity of repressive rules?
> "the key of joy is disobedience"
> On 5 Aug 2007, at 19:04, 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
>> 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.
>> Be a better Globetrotter. Get better travel answers from someone who
>> knows. Yahoo! Answers - Check it out.
>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.