Is it me... or is there such a thing as the Film Police?

Cartoon 11 May 2012 HX1138.jpg

Crash! The unsuspecting director is pushed face first against the wall. Luckily it’s one of the art department’s creations and his thick-rimmed glasses (the style handed out at film school) survive. The faux-wall proves less durable, obviously another rush job, given the budget, and everyone crashes through…

“You have the right to remain silent. If you give up that right, anything you say, can and will be used against you in a court of Film law. You have the right to an attorney and to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, you’re obviously not charging enough.”

The gig was up. He’d eluded them his whole career – but he couldn’t escape forever. They’d finally caught up with him… The Film Police led him off the set.

Welcome to my nightmare.

You wouldn’t see them coming. You’d just shout action and then… nothing. The crew would literally freeze. For dramatic effect they might add a low level hum – but coming from the great days of early cinema they’d most probably deal in silence. You’d look up from your monitor and see shiny mirror shades. Worst still –shiny mirror faces and perfectly designed THX 1138 style costumes. That’s when you’d know your time was up.

I think I can trace the origins of this hellish nightmare. I was a young upstart, fresh out of film school. It was early days on The Cutter and I forgot to film some vital close-ups. For a sleepless night, I thought I was finished. I could feel the Film Police closing in…

But so far it’s remained a nightmare. And I’ve been free to ply my trade around the world. Speaking of which, I was in Dubai last month shooting for Samsung. Wow, that’s a place like no other. But that desert, it sure can play tricks on you… I swear I saw the shimmering of a perfectly designed costume. Maybe it was a mirage…

Or maybe they are out there after all! Operating without us knowing. Less film police – more Film Police KGB. Policing from within. They could be blending in as client representatives, agency workers or that awkward kid who gets you coffee. Look around your office, your set, can you trust them all? Can you?

What if it was this shadowy Film KGB who orchestrated the industry’s latest budget cuts? What if it was them who cancelled scripts when they were only days away from production? Or, worse still, made you rewrite that script until you literally couldn’t look at it anymore. They must be behind the industry’s new love-toy: the Canon 5D.

Make no mistake, the Film Police might cut your crew size and help you stay within budget….but they’ll take your soul.

My latest spot wasn’t shot on a 5D but I did do the styling myself. So if you don’t like it, you know who you can call. Not them, they don’t exist …or do they?

Carl Prechezer