Michigan movie blog Michigan Movies and More has been reporting on the Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice shoots in Pontiac, including the posting of some spoilery set pics, but things took a more serious turn in an article they published yesterday. It seems security around the movie may be getting a little heavy handed, as blogger Bananadoc felt the need to remind photographers of their rights:
Security (as ever) is tight. But Batfans, NO ONE ever has the right to take your camera or your memory cards, or even to ask you to delete any pictures you have taken. If you are on public property (that’s key), like a street, or sidewalk, you have every right to be there and to take pictures. Movie security guards have a tough job, but they have almost no actual power. If they touch you, harass you or threaten you in any way, be polite, but don’t let them intimidate you. Usually the best thing to do is to comply and move away, but if they get out of hand, don’t hesitate to tell them that you know your rights. I always carry a copy of “The Photographer’s Rights.” It explains your legal rights and gives advice on how to handle potential confrontation.
In the comments section of the article, one fellow Pontiac resident told a more personal story:
Well, I wish I knew that this weekend. I was over by the Wendy’s side of the set looking toward the open part of the green screen and I took some pics. I was not on the part that said private property. I didn’t cross the No Trespassing barricade. Heck, I had my 7 yr old son with me. I wasn’t going to take pics and sell them. They weren’t even filming! It was Sunday. I wanted them for me and the big fat guard came over and made me delete them. I had more than just movie pics. I was pretty sad. Now, I wish I knew all this and I could tell the guard a thing or two.
This guard was an older guy, graying with a mustache and a huge belly. I could have run and he wouldn’t have caught me, but I did have my son with me. :). I wasn’t belittled but he definitely tried to threaten me with jail if I didn’t hand over my camera and prove that my pictures were erased.
Of course, as stated, WB's private security has no grounds at all to demand that a photographer delete pictures if they're taken from public property, and lying about it being illegal and punishable by imprisonment is just over the top shitty on the part of big fat guard, if true. We'll be keeping our eye on this one, and we'll let you know if we hear anything else. If you're in the Pontiac area, feel free to do some reconnaissance and let us know what you find.