Thread: New Side Handle. Shooting happened. Cops came. It was awkward.

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  1. #1 New Side Handle. Shooting happened. Cops came. It was awkward. 
    My first day out and about with the new side handle was incredible. It's extremely nice not to have to be tethered to a cord (cue: Free Bird) So there I was shooting some random shots outside a local grocery store, when in less than 5 minutes a cop drops by to question me for "suspicious behavior" while in the store's parking lot. Where I was just taking shots, and talking to a friend.

    "Hey buddy, what you got there?"
    "Well officer, this may be the only camera of it's kind in a 100-mile radius."
    Then he listened very intently as I gave him a brief rundown on RED and HDRx. After that he looked me in the eye with a tinge of jealousy and said, "Carry on." Haha.

    Then I had a harrowing thought: If I'm getting reported to local police within minutes of being on location, I can only imagine the kind of questions or stares I'm going to get when I'm out every other day.

    What's your line when someone confronts you about shooting in a public place?
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Ryan De Franco's Avatar
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    If I'm sneakin around I'm exceedingly polite. I tell them all the details of the project, real excited like, so they feel like they're now a part of something fun and not dangerous.

    If its production's fault but we have to get the shot, I'm firm and a bit of an ass if I need to be. When security guards threaten cops and say I HAVE TO DO MY JOB i try to be calm and say I have to do mine

    If someone big says HEY I stop and leave
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  3. #3  
    I'd say that it'j just a huge DSLR and I'm shooting some stills for fun

    If a cop realizes that you have a professional cinema camera in hand he may or may not ask you for an official permit to shoot in this area, cause from now on you are qualified as "professional cinema guy".

    That's if you're alone or with a friend, having a fully rigged Scarlet with bricks and a crew of 10 around it is a whole other situation)
    "Production value!"
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    Senior Member Jack Shanahan's Avatar
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  5. #5  
    Digital FX Greg M's Avatar
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    A Grocery Store parking lot is not a public place, its private property.

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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demetri Zuev View Post
    I'd say that it's just a huge DSLR and I'm shooting some stills for fun If a cop realizes that you have a professional cinema camera in hand he may or may not ask you for an official permit to shoot in this area, cause from now on you are qualified as "professional cinema guy".

    You're right, that's a pretty great line; unless you have it fully rigged out with rails and a matte box. Oh darn, I guess I'll have to get a production budget now, huh? =)

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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg M View Post
    A Grocery Store parking lot is not a public place, its private property.
    It is both......It is a public place...that most likely is on privately owned property.
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  8. #8  
    Digital FX Greg M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Das View Post
    It is both......It is a public place...that most likely is on privately owned property.
    Its private property that has public access. This doesn't grant you the right to shoot without the owners permission.
    Even true public property may require a permit, you should always check before shooting.

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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Matt Ryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg M View Post
    Its private property that has public access. This doesn't grant you the right to shoot without the owners permission.
    Even true public property may require a permit, you should always check before shooting.
    +1, If this was in LA they would have escorted you out and watched you drive away. I know, I've been there with a Red One haha. You have to be careful because by definition the camera is "professional" and not amateur. It sucks, I get kicked out of places all the time or at least hassled.

    Also be careful because by law the Police can confiscate your gear if you don't have a permit. (Usually their lenient but you never know)
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Prince Bagdasarian's Avatar
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    And I thought cops were bad in LA! One thing I've learned from my experience with cops, park patrols, etc is that you should ALWAYS eject your media and put it away elsewhere if you encounter any -- because you never know if you'll run into one that's having a really, really, bad day! lol

    However, I was near a beautiful beach cliff in Big Sur, CA last weekend and had a small crew around me and my Scarlet, fully rigged out on a jib. Cop came, asked questions, I insisted that it's only a few shots for a wedding video, and he moved on. The wedding video and/or personal use excuses work for me 90% of the time. :)
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