Archive for the ‘AWOL’ Category

There are several comments today about the somewhat heavy-handed way in which individuals were told to stop taking photographs on the set of AWOL on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. On Friday night in downtown Ypsilanti, I witnessed a member of the production crew approach a woman who had taken pictures of the riot scenes setting up. He asked her to delete the pictures from her memory card and she began to comply. I approached and as politely as I could, advised her that she did not have to do that, and that he should not ask her to do so. I then took some pictures myself and was told that I was breaking the law, and that my pictures were the property of the production company.

In fact the law is very simple. If you can see it, you can pretty much photograph it (that’s not the precise legal terminology!).  The law is very much on the side of the photographer, and, particularly in the situation of movie sets on public property, no one has the right to tell you to stop taking photographs. In fact, if they harass you, tell you they will call the police, ask you to hand over your camera, take your camera or delete the photographs, THEY are the ones in violation of the law. Now, security guards will tell you to stop. They are paid to do that, and they succeed because men in uniform look official and some can be intimidating. And because most people do not know the law.

So I politely advised the member of the crew that I understood that he was doing his job, but that he was incorrect and that could (and would) photograph the set. He then set off to find the police to reinforce his message. I don’t know what the police would have said, because I moved on to another part of the set and continued to take photographs!

On to today. I’d no sooner begun to take a snap or two when the same crew member approaches. He leaves after I smile and shake my head at him, but he brings back  a campus police officer who also tells me I should not be taking photographs because the film company ‘doesn’t want it.’ Well, they may not want it to be 95 degrees either, but this is Michigan. I slowly, clearly and calmly explain that I am on public property, taking a picture of something on public property and that I wasn’t doing anything wrong by taking photographs. She asked for my name and contact details, which I gave and immediately regretted, because… why? I wasn’t doing anything wrong, and she clearly didn’t know the law either.  I pointed out the OTHER people around taking photographs and asked why they weren’t being stopped and she told me that it was because I’d been seen on the set before! Aha, so my crime wasn’t taking pictures today, it was taking pictures more than once.

Finally she suggested that I speak to the University liaison, who eventually arrived. I  spoke to her for a few minutes  and explained the situation and she said that the University had leased the area we were standing on to the movie company. Then she pointed to an area 20 feet away that wasn’t rented to the movie company. Apparently I could do anything I wanted there, and she advised me to that if anyone else hassled me, to send them to her.  She rocks.

Even so, I was hassled again by both security and by crew. It’s crazy. #1. Learn the law and stop harassing people with cameras who are not getting in your way.  I am at a distance. I am courteous. I am not causing anyone a problem. #2. Really? This is an Indie film. George Clooney was totally happy with people taking pictures of the Ides of March filming. But this crew is keeping everything under wraps? Seriously? Absurd. #3. Around 30 people read this blog on a good day when I manage to get a celebrity. Enjoy the free publicity.

There’s plenty on the web about the rights of photographers. There’s even a current legal battle in Florida because a film company thought they could BAN photography from the streets around the set. Uh no. Other great articles like this: Photography and the Law — Know Your Rights.  I’m not a lawyer, don’t quote me. Always be polite. Don’t get argumentative. You may have the law on your side, but if the security guard is having a bad day, you may still get hurt!

I have nothing against the crew guy who seems to have made it his mission to stop me taking pictures of the AWOL set. He wasn’t rude or abusive, just ill-informed and frustrated with my refusal to stop. A week of filming left and I’m not sure I have the energy to fight it. But tomorrow is another day, and I do love all those 70s outfits. We’ll see.

Today seemed to be more crowd scenes — student protests on campus. 1970s extras filled the small square, a lot of tie-dye, plaid and paisley. Teresa Palmer and Liam Hemsworth here in the middle of the scene.

Austin Stowell, watching the scenes. No one seemed to notice him, or the rest of the cast sitting at the cafe.

AWOL filmed today in front of Ulrich’s on S. University on the University of Michigan campus. There was a little too much drama for me, but I’ll leave that for another post. For now a few photographs of the set.

Love all the old cars that keep cropping up on AWOL and Freaky Deaky.

Time and prices were rolled back a little too. We saw these shop fronts before in the Ypsilanti street riot set.

And right next door, sitting quietly outside at a cafe, Wyatt Russell and Chris Lowell.

AWOL Riot Scene Extras

Posted: July 31, 2011 in AWOL

Several extras from the AWOL riot scene in Ypsilanti have asked me to post my pictures. Here they are!

The lovely Teresa Palmer signing autographs for fans on the set of AWOL in Ypsilanti.

The super cute and really nice Aimee Teegarden.

Both Teresa and Aimee went out of their way to interact with the fans waiting. We’re not naming names of those who were far less willing to do so. I know it must be tough to be a celebrity (ha!), but a ‘crowd’ of 5 or 6 people isn’t really that intimidating. Be nice, it doesn’t cost anything.

P.S. Security were great too. Movie stalkers always appreciate that!

Liam Hemsworth was happy to pose for photographs with fans on the set of AWOL in Ypsilanti last night. Hope my new movie-stalking friends don’t mind me posting this picture for all of the 23 people who read this blog to see!

The storms of earlier in the week had moved on, and filming of the AWOL street riot scenes started again in downtown Ypsilanti last night.  The street was blocked by 2 old buses at Michigan Ave, and filming went on all evening through to the early morning.

Just an average night in Ypsilanti — random gunfire, barricades of trashed furniture, and angry crowds. It was a little strange that the angry crowds, carrying banners and in very groovy 1970s outfits, were entirely silent in their rioting. I guess they add the sound later.

Security was, I’m told, a little tighter than usual around the set due to the presence of a certain teen celebrity who may be dating one of the cast. However, I still managed to get some shots of Liam Hemsworth, Teresa Palmer and Aimee Teegarden. Will post these later.

A side street in Ypsilanti tonight was set up for a street riot, AWOL style. 1960s and 70s vehicles, a barricade of broken furniture, and nothing at all happening. The huge line of storms on the radar had caused the postponement of the riot scene until tomorrow and/or next Monday.  @DelvonRoe10 had tweeted the night before that shooting had to be stopped due to rain. That’s Michigan weather.

Hey, I think I saw that Detroit Police car in Freaky Deaky! I wish you could see the shine on that Plymouth. Hard to believe a car that clean could exist in the middle of a street riot.

Is that an IKEA couch I see in that barricade?


When these prices went up on Gas Buddy, motorists started queuing at theI94/Huron St exit!

Yesterday Teresa Palmer and Liam Hemsworth were filming right on Michigan Ave in downtown Ypsilanti in a diner made to look like early 1970s Michigan, with appropriately attired extras. I have to say that most inhabitants of Ann Arbor could be used in the movie with little wardrobe adjustment! Though there are a lot less placards carried these days, and I doubt that many wander the street carrying a tamborine–apparently that was a required accessory back then. Gotta love the ‘fros.

AWOL was filming yesterday in a diner on Michigan Ave.  More photos to follow, but for now here’s a teaser of Liam Hemsworth and Teresa Palmer on set.