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Shooting a film in US as foreign citizen


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#1 toni tuominen

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 06:43 PM

Hi,

This topic has been discussed few times before in this forum, but my situation is slight different... or is it?
When I tried to search through the forum i've found that usually people are looking how to get in to the film business in US.

well anyway, here is my story
I've been asked to shoot a feature film as a DP in NYC by production company located in US.
It will took total of 8 weeks for pre-production and shooting the film.
So that means I'd have to be in the country only that long.

I know that it is almost impossible to get "working visa" to the States, but I think also that a lot of European DP's are doing this kind of short jobs in US.

If there is people that have any experience of this kind of situations and would like to share them I would be thankful.

Best regards
Toni Tuominen
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 06:59 PM

If you want to risk it, you go, tell them you're on holiday for two weeks, then stay eight. Possibly nothing bad will happen. The penalties if you are found out are draconian and I can't really recommend it.

I suspect your chances of being able to do it legitimately hover somewhere around zero, unless you have an enormous amount of very positive press cuttings and a lot of money for legal fees, plus quite a bit of time to sort it out in.

P
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#3 toni tuominen

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 07:19 PM

Thanks Phil for the quick reply.

Yeah it looks quite difficult..
Have to cross my fingers, US producers are still working on with the visa application.. we'll see

Toni

Edited by toni tuominen, 30 March 2011 - 07:20 PM.

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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 01:08 PM

Probably better to say you're on holiday for eight weeks. Arrange to meet the producers in the parking lot of a Home Depot, and you should be perfectly safe. ;-)





-- J.S.
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#5 Richard Boddington

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 01:29 PM

Probably better to say you're on holiday for eight weeks. Arrange to meet the producers in the parking lot of a Home Depot, and you should be perfectly safe. ;-)





-- J.S.


Ha ha, quite true John.

It's so odd that I can bring a US DOP into Canada with a simple form and a $150.00, no such luck going the other way that's for damn sure!!

Oh well that's trade reciprocity for you.

R,
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#6 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 05:11 PM

Same here, Richard: technically, a non-EU DP hired by an Italian production only has to request a Visa before leaving, fill some forms and then he can stay and work here for up to 9 months (even on different jobs).

If I'm not mistaken, I think it was Storaro, years ago, who was denied re-entry in the United States for shooting some pick-ups for a movie he had worked almost a year on...
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#7 Matt Pacini

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 04:19 PM

...and yet we have over 12 million illegals living and working here.

The bizarre thing is, we make it so hard to do it legally, then once you are physically here, 99.999999% of the time, nothing happens to you at all.
I've known people who have been here illegally for years, working.
Silly.
Just show up & do it.
I seriously doubt anything will happen to you at all.
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#8 John Sprung

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:54 PM

...and yet we have over 12 million illegals living and working here.


True, and the vast majority of them are really not bad guys. They're very poor, and very eager to work hard and make some money to send back home. That's why you can always find them in the parking lot at any Home Depot.





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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 07:10 AM

Yes, but mainly they're not there to do work that many Americans particularly aspire to. Nobody's that bothered about turning them in.

Take a plush spot on a film crew, on the other hand, and you only have to upset the wrong person...

Not for me, I'm afraid.

P
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#10 Matt Stevens

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 09:35 AM

Back on topic... NEVER overstay your visa. Never. Ever.

Get a visa, whatever kind, doesn't matter, and make sure it's for at least nine weeks. Then you're fine. Most will give you a six month window.
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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 10:28 AM

Three, on the visa waiver, but I've seen people arguing helplessly that they're in the US for three months "on holiday" and it never seems to convince. I mean, it wouldn't convince me.
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#12 toni tuominen

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 10:54 AM

Thanks guys,

Company is still working on with the visa.
What about how foreign people get paid if they don't have US bank account ?
And where do they pay taxes ? To US or workers home country or both ?
Yeah I know these questions may sound silly and I'm sure if I get the visa I don't have to worry those things..

Working without the visa doesn't sound like a good idea. I think that there can always be someone in the crew how don't like that there is people working without working license... And its only one call from that person and I'm out of the USA rest of my life.. So I just have to hope that I get that god damn visa!!! :)

Toni
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#13 Richard Boddington

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 06:08 PM

The bizarre thing is, we make it so hard to do it legally, then once you are physically here,


There are so many Canadians living and working illegally in the USA it isn't even funny, many have been in the US for 20+ years. Apparently they are not on the deportation radar.

You will find them hanging out in the parking lot of Home Depot, if you need a dog sled driven, igloo built, baby seal clubbed, or snow shoveled.

R,
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#14 John Sprung

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 01:02 PM

What about how foreign people get paid if they don't have US bank account ?


Paid? This is a low budget movie, right? There's a long standing tradition here in low budgets, they talk about the money, but nobody actually gets paid..... ;-)

Seriously, though, they can do an international wire transfer to a foreign bank account. It costs maybe $50 tops. I've done that when buying antique cameras from overseas. You don't have to do anything special.




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#15 Ronald Carrion

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 02:24 AM

You will find them hanging out in the parking lot of Home Depot, if you need a dog sled driven, igloo built, baby seal clubbed, or snow shoveled.

R,

What is it with the Home Depot as the place for illegal immigrants?
They are everywhere, even making hundred of dollars as servers in the best restaurants you can find.
Or working in their own businesses (as wedding videographers).
Or buying and selling small lots of real state.
Or as camera operators for indie movies.
You guys should forget the cliche of the Home Depot. That's passe.




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#16 Samuel Berger

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:09 AM

You will find them hanging out in the parking lot of Home Depot, if you need a dog sled driven, igloo built, baby seal clubbed, or snow shoveled.

R,

What is it with the Home Depot as the place for illegal immigrants?
They are everywhere, even making hundred of dollars as servers in the best restaurants you can find.
Or working in their own businesses (as wedding videographers).
Or buying and selling small lots of real state.
Or as camera operators for indie movies.
You guys should forget the cliche of the Home Depot. That's passe.


You haven't been to Home Depot recently, have you? ;-) Here in Los Angeles you can barely drive into the parking lot without drawing a huge crowd of latino men pointing at themselves and shouting stuff like "I am job!"
I wish them the best of luck. I respect their resolve of making money here and sending it to their families. I actually think we should get rid of all the socialist-ish welfare programs and just open the borders.
I wonder if any indie filmmakers have ever hired film crew off of the HD parking lot, a la Bowfinger? I seriously don't doubt some of those immigrants could do some of the simpler work. There's an idea, make a low budget film with crew completely hired off the HD parking lot, then talk about it when promoting the film ;-)
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#17 Ronald Carrion

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:30 AM

You haven't been to Home Depot recently, have you? ;-) Here in Los Angeles you can barely drive into the parking lot without drawing a huge crowd of latino men pointing at themselves and shouting stuff like "I am job!"
I wish them the best of luck. I respect their resolve of making money here and sending it to their families. I actually think we should get rid of all the socialist-ish welfare programs and just open the borders.
I wonder if any indie filmmakers have ever hired film crew off of the HD parking lot, a la Bowfinger? I seriously don't doubt some of those immigrants could do some of the simpler work. There's an idea, make a low budget film with crew completely hired off the HD parking lot, then talk about it when promoting the film ;-)


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#18 Samuel Berger

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 01:09 PM

Was there a response posted? I just see you quoting my post.
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#19 Richard Boddington

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 02:06 PM

What is it with the Home Depot as the place for illegal immigrants?
They are everywhere, even making hundred of dollars as servers in the best restaurants you can find.
Or working in their own businesses (as wedding videographers).
Or buying and selling small lots of real state.
Or as camera operators for indie movies.
You guys should forget the cliche of the Home Depot. That's passe.


Or president of the United States. :D

R,
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#20 Joe Tweaky Rickards

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 05:23 PM

http://travel.state....types_1275.html < Theres a lot of information there. Good luck!
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