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The City of Beverly Hills Kinda Sucks

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Patrick OrtmanThe City of Beverly Hills Kinda Sucks
by on Apr 21, 2011 at 6:47:54 pm

Way to go, Beverly Hills! $500 to shoot still photos with an iPhone? You guys are awesome!

(yeah, it happened. I'm just whining)


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Chris TompkinsRe: The City of Beverly Hills Kinda Sucks
by on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:44:29 pm

Uhh,...Whose BH?

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Patrick OrtmanRe: The City of Beverly Hills Kinda Sucks
by on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:49:09 pm

Beverly Hills

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PatrickOrtman, Inc.
Los Angeles Digital Agency and Video Production Company


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Mark SuszkoRe: The City of Beverly Hills Kinda Sucks
by on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:54:57 pm

I'm gonna need more details, Patrick. Just remember the lawyers are watching...


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Patrick OrtmanRe: The City of Beverly Hills Kinda Sucks
by on Apr 21, 2011 at 9:07:17 pm

I bet they are :-). Hi, City Attorney!

In LA, you can get a still photo permit for $60.

Remember, I'm a guy with a 7D and a monopod. Not a big caravan of film trucks with dozens of people. I'm not shooting a film, I'm taking pictures of buildings and traffic for a doc. That's it.

Beverly Hills claims on their website that the fee is $142 or so, but in reality you'll end up waiting 6 weeks and ponying up very close to $500 plus whatever other fees they deem suitable.

Apparently, this applies even if you're just a guy with an iPhone, if you wish to upload those pictures onto the Internet. Even for noncommercial use. (Citation here: http://bit.ly/hHgfXY )

It's just me complaining, Mark. Gotta vent :-).

----------------------------
PatrickOrtman, Inc.
Los Angeles Digital Agency and Video Production Company


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Martin CurtisRe: The City of Beverly Hills Kinda Sucks
by on Apr 22, 2011 at 1:04:46 am

As I read it, the link refers to commercial photographers/videographers (i.e. not personal/private photography/videography).

Sometimes barriers are put in place just to discourage.


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Mike CohenRe: The City of Beverly Hills Kinda Sucks
by on Apr 22, 2011 at 1:47:51 pm

That website is a very confusing mishmash of information. It appears that, yes, there is a permit fee for commercial still photography - no surprise there. But photos or video taken for personal use are ok - just as long as a city official does not happen to walk by!

The line between commercial and personal photo and video is being blurred. It used to be that tourists used point and shoot cameras and pros used high end still cameras or shoulder mounted video cameras. Now consumers and pros may in fact use similar gear - hence confusing those who make rules and issue permits.

If you are shooting for personal use, just don't make it look like you are not. Setting up a tripod on Rodeo Drive can be construed as doing a commercial shoot. Appearance is everything. It probably would be a good idea to have a friend with you posing in front of whatever you are shooting to sell the "I'm a tourist with a nice camera" idea.

I think NYC has similar rules and regs. Just don't take pictures of bridges or hospitals!

Mike Cohen


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Patrick OrtmanRe: The City of Beverly Hills Kinda Sucks
by on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:56:45 pm

I find in unsurprising that the two places in Los Angeles County that are the least friendly to anyone with a recording device of any kind are the two places with arguably the highest concentration of lawyers- Beverly Hills and Century City.

I think part of the problem is we're so used to big film shoots. When we apply for a permit through LA, for instance, there's a huge list of things we need to check off- are we using a generator, how many hundreds of feet of parking do we need, etc. Stuff you'd need for a feature film, maybe. But not for a lone guy with a DSLR taking pictures of buildings. Still, at least LA has that option- solo dude with a camera- and charges appropriately ($60). For Beverly Hills to go about 10 times that much is a little crazy.

That said, yes I was told to just do a 1 day gig for TMZ and to keep my laminated TMZ badge. Apparently, that frees you up to shoot pretty much anywhere with impunity. (I should clarify- I wouldn't ever do that).

----------------------------
PatrickOrtman, Inc.
Los Angeles Digital Agency and Video Production Company


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Martin CurtisRe: The City of Beverly Hills Kinda Sucks
by on Apr 23, 2011 at 5:40:54 am

[Mike Cohen] "Just don't take pictures of bridges or hospitals!"
I get pinged all the time by security for taking video in the local hospital. The real hassle is, I work in the damn hospital. After a decade, you think they'd recognise me. Ahhh, security guards. Brains or good looks not required.


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Mike CohenRe: The City of Beverly Hills Kinda Sucks
by on Apr 25, 2011 at 11:34:51 pm

I was once walking outside a hospital with video camera - not actually shooting, and was picked up by security. The doctor I was working for had to come bail me out.

Hospitals have a lot to lose, so they have a right to be extra cautious.

Have not been nabbed for a bridge or tunnel shot yet.

Mike Cowen


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