A slightly different “legal” question

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums General Open Forum A slightly different “legal” question

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • Author
    • #43720


      Within the past 6 months I’ve decided that I want to expand my subject matter when it comes to shooting video. I’m a father that shoots tons of video of my young child,mostly around the home. While that has been extremely rewarding, and allows me to be creative, I want to do more… I want to venture outside the home and film nature and architecture, and I want to work towards learning the processes and techniques of creating, shooting, and editing short films. However, I keep running into an issue (probably just my own personal issue) and I wanted to find out if my feelings are justified, or if I am just too darn timid and need break out of the shell I live in. So here are my questions…

      I’m driving down a country road and I see a pasture with horses in it. Is it against the law for me to pull my car over on the shoulder of the road/highway in order to shoot some video? Similarly, are there any issues regarding me shooting video of someone else’s property/possesions? I would think that pulling over on a major interstate (for the purpose of shooting video) would be illegal in most states, but outside of that I’m wondering what (if anything) I should be concerned with. I often see vidcasts on videomaker.com where it looks like they just pull over on the side of the road… but is that what they are really doing (just pulling over)? Or dothey call local authorities to tell them what they are doing in order to get the proper “permission”.

      Kind of along the same lines… what about parking lots? For example, if a parking lot at a retail store has the look that I want for a scene, can I just setup my camera and start shooting? Or do I need to acquire permission from that business first?

      I guess I’m just trying to avoid breaking the law. Nor do I want the dude that owns the pasture with the horses in it to pull out a shotgun and “pepper my tailgait”.

      I knowtheseare odd questions, I actually feel like an idiot asking them…but I’ll feel more comfortable following my heart (which pleads with me desparately to turn the car around and go film the horses) if I now that these things are okay/safe to do.

      Any advice/feedback you are willing to offer/share will be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

    • #183160

      Fuzzy area here. I try hard to respect personal property and won’t trespass on private property without permission but I have no problem pulling off a road and shoot something on that property. Other situations can get tricky. I had a conversation with a ranger in a Natl. Parks office locally who said that I might need a permit to shoot within the park. He couldn’t delineate what would constitute the need for the permit and I haven’t pursued it further. Clearly they have no problem with a tourist family shooting with their handicam. Can news crews shoot there without permits? Dunno. Would a big crew with a lot of gear need a permit? Maybe.

      That said, I take the “proceed until apprehended” approach of shooting in public places and in private places where I have permission to be there such as sporting events and parking lots.

      Something that might help you is here: http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm It was written for still photogs but applies to videogs too. I keep a copy with my kit but haven’t had to whip it out for anyone yet.

      I understand your trepidation, but if you don’t shoot you won’t have any of that footage you want. To give you an idea of what I’ve done, check here: http://www.vimeo.com/whitemountains This all shot on public property, parks, parking lots, rest stops and by the side of the road. You gotta shoot.

    • #183161

      Thank you so much for your reply and for sharing your personal experiences in regard to this topic. I had a feeling that some of it was like that, in that I just need to do it until I’m told not too (or arrested… not that I have any intent on purposefully doing anything illegal). I’m going to get over this weakness of mine and do exactly what you say to do… just shoot.

      Thanks for posting your vimeo site also. I checked it out and you have some gorgeous videos out there. I just signed up for vimeo 3 days ago, and am looking forward to using it as a method for sharing the work I do with my family and friends… and maybe one day, the world.

      Thanks again.

    • #183162

      I had the same concern shooting on sidewalk downtown Omaha. I called a guy with the city and got a permission form and phone number if police ever stop me.Safe than sorry.

    • #183163

      I would definetly ask the businesses before shooting. Chances are they will be fine with it but that way you don’t burn any bridges.

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • The forum ‘Open Forum’ is closed to new topics and replies.


Panasonic LUMIX GH5s w/ Leica lens

Given away to one lucky winner

Competition is open worldwide