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Old 12-04-2017, 01:21 PM   #16
ForestImp
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I once HAD permits but due to rearranging the shoot the days didn't match the locations. Shit happens even when you try to do it right.
What was the outcome of that? I mean, did the permitting authorities know you never showed up on the scheduled day? Were you assigned a monitor(s)?

I'm only asking because it seems like it might not be too difficult to get a permit after the fact, if one gets a little paranoid before release. Who would know what day you actually shot?
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:30 PM   #17
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I brought a Canon GL1 on tripod to the mall with an Actor in a costume. We shot exteriors for over about 45 minutes and nobody said anything! I was waiting to be busted
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:37 PM   #18
indietalk
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Originally Posted by ForestImp View Post
What was the outcome of that?
Nothing at all

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Originally Posted by ForestImp View Post
Well, technically, any "commercial" shoot which takes place on public property requires a permit, regardless of the size of the production.
It's different in every city, here in NYC:

No Permit:
Productions using hand-held camera, camera on tripod, hand-held props and/or hand-held equipment, not asserting exclusive use of City property, not using prop weapons, prop vehicles, stunts, actors in police uniform and not requesting parking privileges for production vehicles do NOT need a permit. Standing on a City sidewalk, walkway of a City bridge or within a City park while using a hand-held camera and not otherwise asserting exclusive use of City property is NOT an activity that requires a permit.

Optional Permit:
$300 non-refundable application fee does NOT apply. Productions using hand-held camera, camera on tripod, hand-held props and/or hand-held equipment, not asserting exclusive use of City property, not using prop weapons, prop vehicles, stunts, actors in police uniform and not requesting parking privileges for production vehicles can apply for an Optional Permit. Insurance NOT required. Completed optional permits should be faxed to 212-262-7677. Applicants MUST provide a fax number in order to receive the approved permit, otherwise permits must be hand delivered to the OFTB at 1697 Broadway, 6th Floor, Monday through Friday from 9:00am-4:00pm.

Required Permit
$300 non-refundable application fee DOES apply. Productions with equipment* packages, production vehicles requesting parking privileges (excluding personal cars, mini-vans, SUVs and pick-up trucks), asserting exclusive use of City property, prop weapons, prop vehicles, actors in police uniform or stunts on set must apply for a required permit. Insurance required.

*“Equipment” is defined as anything more than hand-held camera, camera on tripod or hand-held items (such as bounce-boards, boom mics, etc.)

Permits are not required for casual photographers, tourists or credentialed members of the media.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:42 AM   #19
Blade_Jones
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Originally Posted by ForestImp View Post
for a low budget Youtube video in a national park with no permit. 2-person crew, 1 actor 1 cameraman, no one else around. In and out in 10 minutes, nothing risky/dangerous.
I wouldn't give it a second thought. Go out there and do it! Do you really want to pay that $850 or whatever outrageous permit fee they charge? Make it look like you're shooting a birthday party or something for home enjoyment.

Furthermore I was told by an attorney regarding some footage that I shot for a movie in a commercial business lot without a permit that the only thing they could come after me for is a reasonable fee that I SHOULD have been paid for renting the lot. There's no punitive damages or anything like that. Again, this was for a DVD movie! You're just shooting a friggin YouTube video with a shotgun "crew" that's not gonna draw attention.

I also once shot b-roll footage on a corner of Sunset blvd with just me and the DP and a big honkin' Varicam HD camera. At one point a cop drove by. The passenger cop actually was staring at us as they drove by. They didn't care. If you have a big crew that will draw attention if spotted. I've heard stories of off duty cops breaking up large film shoots. Chances are they'll just tell you to pack up and go home.

Never heard of anyone getting busted once the footage is released. That would probably take a snitch to get any attention. By that time nobody will want to be bothered.
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:14 AM   #20
Maxsdad
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Interesting answers guys. I'm also wondering why the 4th/5th Amendment couldn't possibly be applied here. Say some government busy body sees your footage and recognizes the location is a national park. He would have to *assume* the filmmaker's guilt before taking any action. And the first action he would have to take is to contact the filmmaker and question him. So...why would the filmmaker be obligated to even talk to him and answer any questions?

Seems to me to be like a cop wanting to search your home or car. What reason does he have that you have something in there that shouldn't be there? We aren't supposed to be presumed guilty.
You're referring to something called "the plain view doctrine" where a peace officer can search a vehicle based on what he sees 'in plain view". Once a film has been released, the subject matter falls under the same guidelines.... you can see an identifiable location "in plain view". You can't say "looky here", and then claim unreasonable search when someone asks to see your permits (which, if they existed, they would have on record). And if someone asked whether you had permission to film in a certain location, you don't want to ignore them. Trust me... you're not "bad" enough to risk pissing off some bureaucrat. As for the 5th Amendment protection, the minute you refuse to show that you had permission to film, the cameraman of record could be arrested for illegal trespass and the film seized. It would just be easier to say "gee, we didn't think we needed permission to film, we're sorry", and let some Dept of Ag bureaucrat give you a "stern talking to". Access to public property is not absolute, especially for commercial use. And it doesn't require a "crime" to be prosecutable, it can be a "violation" or an "infringement".
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