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How to Avoid Dealing With the Police When Shooting in Public

With phrases like “If you see something, say something” the government has made our fellow citizens suspicious of photographers in the public space. I’m not sure if it is making us safer, but one thing is for sure, getting interrupted by the long arm of the law can really harm your shoot. To help you avoid these unwanted encounters the folks over at Strobist have offered up some tips when shooting in public.

Step One: Check In

This will piss some of you off. I don’t care. Here’s what I do. And bear in mind, I live in a suburban area where we do not have a permitting process and where police are not used to dealing with location photography that might involve stands, lights, etc.

Generally, the police aren’t gonna just happen upon you. What happens is somebody calls you in. They call 911 (seriously — they did that for the tree terrorist) and the call is routed to the duty officer at the appropriate precinct. But by the time I am shooting, I have already been in contact with that person.

Before I shoot (a couple hours, usually) I call into the duty officer of the local precinct. I tell them my name, that I am a photographer, and where/when I will be shooting. I explain that, just in case some overenthusiastic passerby calls me in as a suspicious person, I just want to save them a call. I offer them my cell number, and ask if they want my sosh or driver’s license number. I have never been taken up on this, but I would happily give it.

Why? Because al Qaida never does this.

Joking aside, this positions me as the rational person in the equation should some idiot phone me in. And if they do call me in, there almost certainly will not be a visit to the scene. (“We already know about him, sir.”)

I also get the duty officer’s name, in the tiny chance a cop just happens upon me and decides to stop. That way I can say that I checked in with [Officer Whoever] on the desk, hoping to keep them from wasting a call. That’s never happened, but I have a known name to drop just in case.

Strobist | Read Full Article

Oscars 2012: Is this the End of the Feature Film Medium? (the Wrap)

John Hess ponders the Feature Film format as a story telling vehicle and how technology may be unseating it as the king of filmmaking medium.

Episode 39

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Top 7 Articles from February 19th – 25th, 2012.

7. Steven Spielberg Watches 1976 Oscar Nominations

Here is your front row ticket to The Oscars as you’ve never seen them before. Watch a young Steven Spielberg lose out in his first of many nominations to be Best Director.

6. The end of movie theaters?

Movie attendance has been declining, with 2011’s box office the lowest in 15 years. But the trend may be changing. Could the movie theater as we’ve known it survive? Tracy Smith of CBS News considers the prospects.

5. Coming soon! The evolution of movie trailers

In a world of hyped-up movie advertising comes one video that dares to tell the truth about the history of coming attractions. David Morgan of CBS News reports.

4. The “Student Film” Awards

In case you missed the original broadcast, College Humor recapped the 2011 Student Film Awards. There’s still some major controversy over the “Hands Deepest in a Hoodie” category…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vImrGzDh9Tw&feature=player_embedded

3. 31 Kickstarter Films to Premiere at SxSW

Over Kickstarter’s first two years, Film & Video has been the dominant category, accounting for $50 million of the over $140 million pledged. This year, 31 Kickstarter-funded projects will screen as official selections at SXSW 2012.

2. Writing Exposition: 5 Helpful Techniques

“Show it, don’t say it” is a good mantra to follow. But sometimes, for economic or timing sake, you have to get the audience up to speed and the only way to do that is to just have a character say it. That’s called exposition and it can be bad filmmaking if its overused. Here are five techniques to deliver exposition while making it not look like exposition.

1. SxSW: Best Film Title Design 2012

Need some inspiration? South by Southwest Film and Music Festival released a list of the finalists in the Title Sequence Category from Film and Television productions. The final awards will be present on Tuesday, March 13 at 8pm.

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Robert Downey Jr. Pinup

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