It seems everywhere has their own quirks about filming on location, and truth is 90% people who scream at the camera saying its illegal to film here are usually wrong- Particularly if they're on a public street
Some places (like my fair old city of Chester) require a shooting permit only if you're likely to shoot in / around city-owned property. The reason for this reveals itself in the only requirement to get your permit - that you have public liability insurance. They just want to make sure they're not sued by a member of the public if they trip over your 700-200mm
Other than that, sensibly, I think most filmmakers know what they can and can't shoot..
Stay away from airports, children, swimming pools, military complexs etc unless you have express permission.
Shops are tricky, if you ask a big chain store like (and UK people might only get this) Greggs Bakery, chances are you'll have to go via their PR department to submit proposals etc... the better way of doing it is by asking the shops manager if you can shoot- promising to keep the name of the company out of shot (getting this approval on paper is key). It's worked for me countless times - and to be fair, just as many people have said no as have said yes, but be bold and honest and people tend to want to help you out.
One thing I've learned to never do is to say you're a member of the press gathering b-roll footage. Cops dislike the press a lot more than potential loiters...
(Disclaimer: Of course, always get a shooting permit, insurance, security guard. Pay your actors, pay your locations pay your local politicians yada yada yada...)
Hahaha.. that reminds me of a time in Wall Street NY around the time when I got my first REDONE no.150...
I was told I was not to go down there to the stock engage or I'd get shot! The NY production line producer left everyone at the top of the street and my Camera assistant and I walked into the SWAT team infested Wall street with our Actor and stood in front of the stock exhange and started shooting... less than 30 seconds later, a SWAT looking dude guns, helmet the lot comes jogging down to us in an aggressive manner right up to me, I shit myself! Looked into his eyes ... and he said... " IS THAT THE RED CAMERA"!
I burst into laughter and told him how there was 25 poeple up the top of the street listening out for gun fire...
I let him put the camera on his shoulder and we took photos for him... funny day.
^^^ HA, that is awesome Mark
I was just picking up (stealing) a few exteriors for a friends film when 2 security guards came over. Mind you we were on a public sidewalk but they insisted it was private property.
The trick is to have a second person with you to talk to them as you "stop" rolling :) I managed to get off another decent shot while they were talking. When they asked me what we were doing we said "We just got our new camera and were just shooting some tests," which of course was just our ploy.
We had a backpack full of gear and a super small tripod so it made total sense thats what we'd be doing.
Overall if you play dumb and are very nice and respectful most people will be the same in return and let you leave with at least the footage you managed to get prior to their arrival.
things are very much easier here in Toronto, as long as you're not on private property;
I was runnning couple hours downtown in a full steadi rig just shooting people, testing anamorphic glass ,
the most terrible comment I got - "what the fuck is that"
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