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#1 monday sunnlinn

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 10:45 AM

so this will undoubtedly start a controversy.

i apologize for that, and also promise not to hold anyone responsible for their advice and/or anecdotes.

i have to shoot a music video. part of it involves NYC exteriors.
here's the sequence:

the artist walking away from times square with it framed in the background.

glidecam shot orbiting the artist as he walks.

bird's eye shot that starts just above him and goes all the way up the side of a building, over the edge of the roof and dollies back over the shoulder(who is now on the roof) of the artist surveying the city stretched out below.(this will be several takes stitched and smoothed together and sped up in post to be a one beat sort of shot.

the camera dollies back even further to reveal an "evil female love interest" trying to control his mind, standing behind him either at the other side of the building or on another building. (this is another super fast pull back)

this is pretty low budget stuff. i will be using ambient lighting, maybe a reflector if necessary. a glidecam and either a red or a combination of HVX200 and the Sony EX-1. no sound necessary. if the red rental is beyond the budget, the camera will have a letus extreme on the front of it, if i can get by without the matte box (which seems probable considering the man made canyon of buildings i will be in) it still isn't that obtrusive of a rig.

i plan on finding a window washing company that will let me(and i mean me, i wouldn't make anyone else do this.)stick a camera on their washing scaffold and be hoisted up the side of the building. (yes, i am well aware of the wind and vibration i will have to deal with and the danger of being on a scaffolding, that's what safety harnesses are for.)

so not a very big production, not very disturbing to the mayhem of times square.

should i worry about permits? would the NYPD in times square even bother to say something to me about such a small amount of gear? i know the permits and police assistance are free. but the insurance policy and hassle of actually going to the office seems like it would be more work than actually shooting there...

thanks in advance for any input.

also, with all due respect, i don't need any comments about the camera choices. i've spent enough hours of my life reading the informative yet slightly disturbing bickering about the technical aspects of these cameras(one of which is particularly controversial). i've seen enough footage from all of them to be perfectly happy with whatever the person bankrolling this endeavor will pay for. it's a medium low budget music video, not the next(insert benchmark for qualitative/technical achievement here)
:P

Edited by monday sunnlinn, 11 April 2008 - 10:49 AM.

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#2 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 07:30 PM

should i worry about permits?

Yes.

would the NYPD in times square even bother to say something to me about such a small amount of gear?

Yes.
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#3 Michael Collier

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 08:07 PM

ask yourself this question: would being hasseled by the cops for not having a permit make the shoot difficult/impossible to complete? If so what happens to all that money that got spent on other things in this video? in film its extremely easy to be penny wise/pound foolish. (its also easy to be penny foolish/pound foolish) Especially if your trying to rig a camera to a window washers scaffold. If a cop sees that going on, you may have lots of explaining to do (and I imagine the washers might be in some kind of trouble for allowing that sort of rig to fly)
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#4 Richard Boddington

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 08:11 PM

Yeah, I'm the KING of no permit shooting, done it in Times Square on many occasions. With just me and my camera the cops never batted an eye. Once you bring out an actor and more substantial gear, they may take issue.

The rule of permits is always this, if you have one no one will ask to see it, if you don't have one they will.

R,
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#5 Frank Barrera

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 11:16 PM

i plan on finding a window washing company that will let me(and i mean me, i wouldn't make anyone else do this.)stick a camera on their washing scaffold and be hoisted up the side of the building.

With all due respect, if you think you are going to get a "window washing company" to let you use their gear without an insurance policy you are out of your mind. a request like that in or around times square would go through so much red tape it would make your head spin and add five years to your life. in the end it's not up to the window guys anyway. it would be up to the building's owner and their lawyers would undoubtadly say,"No."

sorry to say but i don't think this is possible.


f
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#6 monday sunnlinn

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 09:22 AM

thanks for the input everyone!

anyone else?
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#7 Walter Graff

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 09:44 AM

What's the worst could happen? They stop you, make you stop shooting. They could even take your equipment (had that nearly happen to me once). Of course the other option is you have to get a free permit which actually cost you between $1000 and $6000 for the liablity insurance you need to obtain one.
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#8 timHealy

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 10:31 AM

I would call the New York Mayor's office for film and TV and double check the requirements for permits.

And stress that you are using a video camera and not film. They make a distinction or at least they use to. They once required that you need a permit if you had a film camera on a tripod. If you have a video camera that is hand held or on a glide cam, you may get away without doing a permit. And if you don't have insurance you can forget about trying to get a permit anyway.

If you keep it low profile, with one actor it will probably be doable.

But you can serious forget about trying to use a window cleaning company to get a shot. That is absurd. Besides most of those devices are hung from the rooftop on modern office towers and the management and security will never let you get up there in a post September 11th environment.

You would be better off finding a smaller low rise building in Times Square and try to get to their roof or perhaps a restaurant that overlooks Times Square to get your shot.

Best

Tim
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#9 Walter Graff

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 12:24 PM

Are you shooting a home movie of NYC of your fmaily? Then you need a permit. Video and film make no difference. They have said you could shoot a few shots if you did not have a tripod, but using a Glidecam puts you in liability issues. Permits are about liabilities. Knock someone over and injure them and you are liable. No permit and you face lawsuits by those you injure and hte City. The fact that you ask the question means you need a permit. Do the right thing. And know that since the bombing in Times Square, enforcment is even greater when someone has a camera.
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#10 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 02:26 PM

GET THE PERMITS.

You are not going to be able to shoot in Times Square of all places without them. Besides the fact that it is the most photographed spot in this city, bear in mind that the NYPD presence has been drastically increased ever since September 11th. So make it easy on yourself and get the permits.
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#11 John Sprung

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 02:46 PM

How about this:

For the ground level stuff in and near Times Square: Forget the glidecam, just shoot wide angle hand held. Look like tourists, not a film crew. Finish with a swish pan/tilt/zoom up your chosen building.

For flying up the building: Model or CGI, carefully designed to link with a 4 frame hidden dissolve from the hand held stuff. Also designed for the transition to:

The rooftop: Find a smaller building or parking structure where you can get reasonable backgrounds. Camera low, tilted up, keep the deck out of it.



-- J.S.
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#12 Kirsty Stark

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 09:18 PM

I definitely wouldn't cut corners with insurance or permits, especially if you're going to be shooting from a window cleaning scaffold. You will need proper safety training as well, and if you're new to it, I wouldn't risk taking a camera up there because you'll likely need both hands and all of your concentration to maintain your own safety. I saw a window cleaner fall about 5 storeys a couple of months ago. Luckily the fall was broken by the ropes and tool belt padding and there were no major injuries, but it could have been much more serious.
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Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

Glidecam

CineLab

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Tai Audio

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Opal

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

Wooden Camera