You Oughtn’t Be in Pictures

Dear Movie-Crew Guy:

Don’t quit your day job, and next time you’re in someone else’s city, consider being more polite. Check your ego at the city line — or better yet, the state line.

Yeah, I was on Walnut Street hanging around with the throngs and taking photos. I’m not really interested in the people involved in the film. Even the celebrities. Ask any of my friends and colleagues: my pop-culture knowledge, particularly when it comes to Hollywood and film, is limited. I had to ask a coworker three times in the course of a single conversation, “what’s that guy’s name again?”… It was Colin Farrell.

So, clearly, I’m not all that interested in you either, Mr. Yellow-Vest-Too-Cool-for-Mere-Mortals. I like to take photos of the spectacle: the guide wires and cameras hanging from windows; the film trucks full of gear juxtaposed with the neon signs of a local Philly joint; New York cabs parked next to a Philly cop; or the angles and chrome in a pile of lighting-support poles. So, when you got in my face — or, more accurately, your chest got in my face since you’re quite a bit taller than I — and asked why I was taking your picture, it was hard not to laugh. But, I didn’t, and when I said, “I didn’t think I was,” that was the truth. I had no interest in taking your picture, no matter how snappy that yellow vest-harness thing might be, and was actually taking a photo of the side of the truck with the nearby neon. In your haze of self-importance, you pushed through while saying, “you didn’t ask for my consent and I don’t give you my permission to take my picture.” As a reasonable human being, I assured him that if I did take his photo, it was an accident and would be deleted immediately. His Royal Egoness (That’s ‘HRO’, if anyone ever needs to write him) kept sputtering more about it as he walked away into the crowd.

When I downloaded my photos later, it was just as I suspected: Mr. Holy Yellow-Vest was nowhere in sight. In any of the photos. Maybe I should have compassion. Maybe it’s a burden for him that he’s so handsome, cool or important. Maybe this is why no one else on the crew, the Philly PD, in the crowds or on security was asking people not to photograph them. Maybe he’s the only one that’s stalked by photographers? Maybe Colin Farrell (yeah, I remembered his name since I already typed it above) and Terrence Howard never have to deal with these problems during a shoot. Or…maybe he just thinks that Philadelphia is so provincial, when compared to LA or New York, that we can’t get enough.

So, Mr. God-of-the-Yellow-Vest, I took no photos of you. (I know. Hard to believe, isn’t it? I hope you’ll be okay. I know I will.) Perhaps try some of our tactics instead — tactics of us little people, mere mortals among Hollywood next-to-greatness. Be polite. You’re on our turf. Don’t get in someone’s face, especially if they’re female and significantly shorter than you and maybe ask if the person was doing what you thought. Repeat after me: “Excuse me, did you take my photo?” See? Wasn’t that easy?

We’ve been pretty hospitable here in Philly, and it’s been no small inconvenience. But, like most of the Dead Man Down crew, we’ve been polite. Why your behavior was so inconsistent with the rest of the film’s team is beyond me. I’m sure your job is important to the film, but I’d guess that, like most of us, someone else could do your job. So, follow the lead of the rest of the crew: work hard, enjoy the experience, and enjoy Philadelphia.

But, yo, check your addytood at your truck. And enjoy your stay.


About deb

Wandering and wondering - taking it all in -- and increasingly shaking my head. Who are we and how did we get to this here? And, what, where and how next? Putting what I see and think out there in pictures and always looking for other ways, hence, this blog. This blog, like me, is a work in process and still doesn't quite know what it wants to be when it grows up.
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