Friday, August 30, 2013

Guerilla Filmmaking, Film Permits and Extortion In Southern California

California Film Permit Czar
Los Angeles, CA—The great film director Werner Herzog advises young filmmakers to forge film permits!  The permits require hefty fees, expensive liability and workman’s comp insurance that aspiring filmmakers simply cannot afford.   The result is lost art and missed opportunities as government tyranny once again raises its ugly head. 
The minimum permit fee weighs in at $1,000.00 and when you add in additional requirements making films in Southern California is extraordinarily difficult for all but well-financed studios.  Of course the studios are smart enough to film anywhere far away from the L.A. Film Permit Nazis
Film permits are required even if you’re shooting inside your own home!  The cops will be sent out to shut down no budget productions and to cite these dangerous criminals.   This is just another sad example of government excess. 
I think every filmmaker understands that if streets must be shut down and dangerous stunts are filmed there are legitimate issues of cost and public safety.   But a tiny production by hobbyists, film students or beginners does not deserve the boot of government on their necks. 
Steven Spielberg made his first films as a child in Arizona.  He never had to fear that cops would shut him down.  Imagine what would have been lost had that legendary filmmaker been deterred by extortionate government thugs?
In Los Angeles the aspiring artists resort to what we call Guerrilla Filmmaking.  They hide their movie making activities and shoot scenes with a sharp eye out for the cops.  We’ve seen the government clamp down on children’s lemonade stands in recent times and this makes about as much sense. 
The cost of film equipment has plummeted, as the quality has been better than ever!  People are learning the magic of making films and the quality that amateurs are accomplishing is astounding.
Whatever happened to the First Amendment?  When did we began to tax expression, art and thought?  
More importantly if you kill filmmaking productivity through tax extortion and over-regulation normal income taxes won’t be realized either.  The result of this insanity is that a huge percentage of film production has run far away from Southern California. 
The politicians don’t seem to understand that the people left behind are the non-productive, imprisoned criminals and those addicted to entitlements.  Does the City of Detroit mean anything to anyone?

1 comment:

Cara said...

The only thing that would surprise me is that there isn't a tax on the air you breathe in the Socialist Republic of California, to try every way possible to make up the shortfall for their failed, corrupt government. Oh wait, yes they've done that too: Never mind! I don't understand why any sane person with options would choose to live there. I saw the light 16 years ago and never looked back.