Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Exclusive: The Key to Being an On Location Photographer For a Big Budget Movie Production is to Keep Moving



If there is a large blockbuster movie filming in public locations, you'll have media and fans taking photos of the filming and posting them online in articles or to social media networks. Marvel Studios is one of many studios trying to combat this problem in the digital media world we live in.

Last year, Marvel Studios was in my home of Cleveland filming Captain America: The Winter Soldier and I took it upon myself to have exclusive first-hand coverage and observational accounts of many of the scenes filming downtown. While some people online claim that I was an enemy of Marvel Studios' security, they are liars and weren't even in Cleveland for filming. (Shots fired!) You can click right here to read a detailed encounter I did have with Marvel Studios security one time in Cleveland and you'll see there was mutual respect from me and them.

Anyway, the point here is to help anyone and everyone who are in a town of a big budget movie being filmed. If you have a camera with a decent zoom lens—sorry but the majority of smart phones do not qualify—then you're on your way to getting some great photos. But first, you need to know that Marvel Studios security is watching you while they film in public locations.

According to an interview with Avengers: Age of Ultron actors Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver) and Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), via Collider.com, the actors talk about how Marvel Studios is combating photographs on location.

OLSEN: We’re aware because there’s a publicist on set literally always checking blogs. 
TAYLOR-JOHNSON: Well that and also the security, but it’s kind of great because they’re conscious of it. 
OLSEN: They know everything. The security knows everything. They’ll know where the photographers are and then they’ll discover some other exit of the building, and then they’ll never get a shot. But when we were filming in Italy, we were filming in town squares so because of the apartments, you can’t kick people out of their apartments.

But don't let this deter or distract you for the fact that when any studio films in public locations, it is perfectly legal to be beyond the lines that their production assistants and security people have set up. They can tell you otherwise, but when I asked a Cleveland policeman about this he specifically said it is a public location and as long as I (or any fan) was beyond their perimeter, taking a photo or video is not against the law.

Taking set photos is an art form though. One I like to think I personally mastered while Cap 2 filmed in Cleveland, in 2013. Because I never got greedy. I would be in a public spot, legally, and snap some photos, then move to another location and snap a few more photos. Once I posted all those pictures online, I would not go back to that spot. Matter of fact the one time I did this, and after I posted the photos, security detail was already in that previous location. The point is to be one step ahead and always on the move. If you do this, and make sure you're not in illegal locations, then there is nothing security can do to you since they are indeed filming in public.

Now if you have a telephoto lens which gives you a crazy amount of zoom capability, then you can literally set up shop in any legal location you want to and out of view from security. Your photos will be zoomed in so much that security will not be able to deduce you photo sniper spot. Or at least not as quickly as if you didn't have major zoom.

In the end, be smart, be legal and always think one step ahead so when you're lucky enough to click off a few pics—like the above photo which was the first photo online of the Winter Soldier's bionic arm on set—you can move to your next spot to take even more photos. Repeat as needed and good luck!

Don't forget you can email your set photos for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars Episode VII, Fantastic Four, Ant-Man, Batman vs. Superman or any other comic book movie to The Daily SuperHero here.





Disclaimer: This post is not any form of legal advice and is only commentary used for entertainment purposes.

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