Have you ever feared that Police would mistake your camera for a gun?
Posted 07 December 2017 - 12:08 AM
News Photographer Shot by Cop Who Mistook Camera and Tripod for Gun
Oh and then there's this great little story:
Indiana police shoot at actor playing 'bank robber' in movie
Over here in damp, wet, sunless Seattle, film permits are dirt cheap ($25) and prevent that second scenario. What really costs money is the obligatory retired cop at $70 an hour, 8 hour minimum, sitting around while you film. But if your scenes contain weapons of any kind, that on-set cop is mandatory.
Posted 07 December 2017 - 01:25 AM
Even with permits, you should ALWAYS call the non-emergency phone number of the local PD and the Sheriffs office, alerting them to any use of fake weaponry and when you plan to use it. Here in Cincinnati, many of the towns (including city proper) does not require any permits at all - in which case it's doubly important to make your intent to use fake weapons known. Likewise, anytime you are using pyro or fire, you need to alert the fire departments to such usage, even if permits are not required. Ideally, you'd even alert these places if you don't have weapons in your production - just so they know you're going to be there.
Making sure these places know about this will usually prevent any issues in the first place. As for a cop randomly shooting me, not really.
PS) The Eclair really does look like a gun.... lol. My fully-rigged GH4 is plainly a camera, given the monitor, follow focus and matte box hanging off of it.
Edited by Landon D. Parks, 07 December 2017 - 01:34 AM.
Posted 07 December 2017 - 03:54 AM
Small lightweight tripods are more likely to be mistaken for a gun, compared to say a Sachtler video 18.
This may come down to the police expectations when they arrive on a scene, although there does seem to be cases of under trained police officers.
I know of one case where a man painting a mural in a nationalist/republican area of Belfast was killed because the police man thought the paintbrush in his hand was a gun
Posted 07 December 2017 - 06:44 AM
idiots + guns is never a good combination...more training for the police would be needed
the Finnish police officers have different training than the US ones + generally less handguns around (carrying one 24/7 for self defence purposes needs special permits which are very difficult to get, normally a gun licence is granted only for either hunting purposes or shooting practicing or collecting purposes) so their first assumption is not that an unknown object is a gun when they first see it. if you would attack them aggressively with a tripod they might taze you however if talking would not help
The biggest risk here would probably be that someone accidentally drives over you when you are shooting on the street and the police thinks that the accident was your fault so you would need to pay for the car repair in addition with your medical expences, very annoying
there is also always lots of people who think that everything which looks like "CHEMICALS!!" is primarily meant for making bombs (the normal film developing chemicals for example) and one always needs to explain them what stuff they are and how it is NOT possible to make high explosives from Vitamin C or Hydroquinone or Sodium Carbonate
so an suspicious looking tripod would be very safe to carry here without risk of being shot accidentally but if you would publicly carry an empty chemical bottle looking thing or an erlenmeyer bottle or other lab stuff someone would definitely be interested and you would soon have all kinds of security personnel around you asking questions
Posted 08 December 2017 - 12:53 PM
I've heard that big Shoulder supported cameras are "items of special interest" on the London Underground as they might be disguised weapons / explosives.
I occasionally have to travel with a built camera on the Underground and this is a concern but not a major one. UK armed police are fairly good at reading situations and having talked with a few are well aware of what an actual camera looks like.
What's more of a concern is getting a fine for filming without a permit and not being able to get home because TFL has banned me or something. Needless to say, I advise productions not to travel Cinema cameras on the Underground without a TFL escort. It's just asking for trouble.
Posted 08 December 2017 - 01:00 PM
Posted 08 December 2017 - 01:53 PM
You can't be summarily banned from travelling- you might be arrested if you really kicked off but then it would be the BTP stopping you from travelling, not TfL.
Good to know.
I knew TFL could cancel your ticket for breaking a bylaw then promptly arrest you for tress-pass. Though I have no idea how often that actually happens.
Posted 08 December 2017 - 02:03 PM
I think you're mistaken about cancelling tickets. There's nothing about it in the byelaws. They don't need to do it, anyway. You wouldn't be trespassing unless you refused to leave the station, and you can't be arrested for simple trespass as it's not a criminal offence in England. Anyway TfL can't arrest you for anything, it would be done by a constable.