Videotaping and the English?

Old Dec 12th, 2002, 08:52 AM
  #1  
Len
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Videotaping and the English?

I want to bring my DV camera to England when my father and I go in the Spring. What is protocal in England for shooting video? Do the English see it as rude? Where can you shoot and where should you never pull out the camera? Please advise as I do not want to offend anyone or look like an ignorant American. Thanks.
 
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 09:39 AM
  #2  
Linda
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Len,
We used our video camera quite a bit while in England. No one seemed to mind. Mostly we taped the major sites. We didn't use the camera inside at certain places such as the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London but most places allow it. If it is not allowed usually signs will be posted.
 
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 09:42 AM
  #3  
oldorch
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use it and enjoy..just don't be rude when you use it.
 
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 09:45 AM
  #4  
Ben Haines
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Thank you for asking. I am afraid I am giving my own feelings here: I have not consulted others. I see the first distinction as indoor and outdoor.

Indoors, most videoing is rude, so I should not expect to be videoed in a pub, train, shop, church, concert hall or restaurant. I am content if people video large crowds in large places ? for example railway termini and airport concourses. At a school Nativity play yesterday in our local church proud parents were making videos of the performance, so I think I can say that it is fine to video public performances by amateurs. You would challenge the authorities at a church where families are allowed to video during the services of baptism and marriage if you went to a stranger?s wedding and took a video. If family can, why not you ? But watch out: some brides have big brothers and beefy bridesmaids.

Outdoors, close-up videoing of scenes with ordinary people strikes me as rude, as does videoing of ordinary people so close that they are recognisable. I see no problem with videos that survey large crowds outdoors. Also fine with me are videos of outdoor places with many tourists, such as the London Eye or the pavement (sidewalk) below Big Ben. Indeed, I cannot see how you can video Big Ben without people at the foot. Two in the morning, perhaps ? Again outdoors, I am sure that public performances by amateurs are fine to video: there is often a clutch of cameras out when morris dancers dance at pubs in summer, and aimed at floats in the Lord Mayor?s Show in November. Whether you should video outdoor, free, public performances by buskers, such as fire-eaters at Covent Garden, I do not know. I think I would ask permission first, and pay a couple of pounds fee. Police at Westminster, troopers at Horse Guards, the Household Brigade at Buckingham or St James Palace, Beefeaters at the Tower, Cathedral staff and H M Judges in outdoor procession, and police on horseback are all thoroughly used to being videoed, the first four categories if possible with a pretty woman (well, I am not saying that the judges would be adverse, but the police would stop you). But not Chelsea Pensioners, bus conductors, nor policemen on foot on ordinary duty at a non-tourist spot: there I think I would ask first. You can video a market stall any time, and welcome, guv, but should ask permission if you want to include the proud owner (Anyway, you want audio for a good stallholder). Much the same for gorgeous sarees in shops on Brick Lane, with the added point that it is very rude to video Muslim women without their agreement.

Please see this as a first sketch of a reply. The custom seems to me to be the same for photos as for videos, and many forum readers have taken one or the other. So unlike me they can say by experience what reactions they had at various places with various people. If enough readers pile in we shall have written a new book of etiquette. We may also hear from any who provoked big brothers. Then all we shall need is a book on the etiquette of making people sit and watch the resulting videos.

I do hope that you will stop to look at places, as well as videoing them. Much more fun. Welcome to cool, under-lit, grey, non-photogenic London.

Ben Haines
 
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 11:28 AM
  #5  
xxx
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Dear Len,
Should you make ANY missteps during your travels, don't worry, you will not look like an ignorant American. You will look like an ignorant LEN. Please don't take the rest of us down and spread the blame. Thank you.
 
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 05:14 PM
  #6  
Len
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To xxx... go away!!! I am enjoying the wonderful replies from helpful people like Ben Haines. Ben, thanks so much for all that advice. I do want to be respectful of the local courtesy.

Thanks again to all who responded positively, and to the others, you must have something else you could be doing than ripping on me for trying to be polite. Because God knows no one has ever accuses anyone of being an "Ugly American." Grow up.
 
Old Dec 13th, 2002, 02:43 AM
  #7  
golden
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It all comes down to treating people as you would like to be treated. If you were taking part in a parade or were part of a crowd at some event then you probably wouldn't mind. If you were going about your normal business or were singled out from the crowd then you would.
 
Old Dec 13th, 2002, 12:44 PM
  #8  
xxx
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Len, you may find some sensitivity if you point your camera at other people's children. Ben's post reminded me that there was a recent report in the British press of a primary school headteacher who banned parents from taking DV and still photographs of her school nativity play in case images found their way on to the internet. It was generally derided (by the parents especially) as a total overreaction, but, this is obviously one area in which feelings run high.
 
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