Now that all the vendors, and people I've had to court to get what I need have been contacted, the pressure of rejection has
now exiled itself to the future where it will come back again for the next project. I had always said that the employees of the City of Hickory were wonderful. Below is the actual statement I made about Mrs. Hamby and the Chamber staff when they OK'd Meter, (hand gun and all,) for shooting downtown 3 years ago.
September 20th, 2006 - I Love This Town
You know I love Hickory, NC. It's my hometown for one, (obviously,) and yes, I've had my times of doubt and hated it, (and still believe that with the profession I've chosen have no business living here.) But one of the reasons I love Hickory is the people are genuinely nice and good people. In this instance, I submitted a Special Events Application to assure myself the approval of blocking of three parking spots and acquiring necessary electricity to run my lights from their power for my shoot. I was skeptical at first, that the City of Hickory would reject my application being that I needed the resources on a Saturday night. If you've ever been downtown Hickory on Saturday night, there this place called 'Olde Hickory Tap Room' and this is where sixty-five percent of the people go to get salsed after a long week of work. It may very well be THEE most populated bar in Hickory on that particular night. Maybe the City of Hickory thought that my proposal was a positive thing given again, that my production would be blocking four parking spots hence keeping four less cars full of drunks into the heart of our town. Then again maybe they are just that nice, because not three days after my submittal, I was given a green light and carte blanche for my small production. AND—Would not even be charged for power? Hunh? That's it? Really? Just like that?
Yes, just like that. These are the perks of small towns. This why so many people migrate here. The important people of our town are open to any idea and do spend the time to make sure their townsmen are given what they need to succeed. That is a valuable commodity and I will never speak badly about this town again. In fact when it's time for the feature, "Debauchery," to go into production, you can best believe it will shot in and around Hickory and will be promoted there within.
Thank you to Teresa Hamby and the many others that assisted me in this approval. Your kindness will not go unnoticed.
With this goal easily accomplished it is on to the Hickory Police Department's approval on the PROP GUN. This one may not as easy---
Here is the email I received from Teresa not a week after I submitted my application:
Good Afternoon Mr. Lane
Good news! Your Special Event application has been approved by all departments. I will be mailing you a letter from the city manager's office that officially gives your company permission to film in our downtown area. There will not be any charge for power used with your temporary lights. Please call Phillip Rocket or Alex Brittain (who are with our Public Utilities Department) @ 828-323-7500 as soon as possible to arrange a meeting so that they can discuss the area where filming will occur and power connections that you may use. If you have any further questions or problems, do not hesitate to contact me.
Thanks and good luck on your movie!!
City of Hickory
Development Assistance Center
Of course this time around I actually had to have a meeting with many city people and discuss every little aspect of my project. I answered questions that ranged from how many parking spots I needed to amount of sound level I was allowed to have.
The reason: Since Meter many other filmmakers have been taking advantage of the city's generosity and leaving a shambled path behind them. This pisses me off. I'm a firm believer of freedom of any sorts. But I also firmly believe that when people take advantage of those freedoms, those freedoms should be taken away from them.
I was told there was property damaged, a pedestrian injured and a fake permit produced. OK, I'm not the mayor nor am I of any importance, but I will say this:
If you guys fuck up a perfectly good thing where people of the community are being generous and offering us broke filmmakers free locations, resources and property, I'm gonna' find you and I'm gonna' take your shitbox camera and shove it up your Michael Bay loving ass!
Get a permit. Go through the motions. Do it right. I plan on shooting in Hickory again. Granted, with my track record it may be another year, year and half. But that time with your wrap sheet they may send me out of town on a rail for just asking. I don't, (and I'm sure you don't as well,) want to have to move everything to Rhodhiss or Valdese because you couldn't clean up your Red Bull cans or some poor old lady was injured cause you have two non karating, non kung fuing, friends of yours doing some thrown together fight scene on the sidewalk when one of the mooks throws some fake rubber star and it catches her as she walks out of the boutique.
Better yet, if you are too yellow or self involved or whatever to go through the motions, contact me. I'll do it for you if it means it saves me the option of having a beautiful city with very generous people in it to shoot in. Think next time. I know where you live and I'm not kidding.... Got it.
Get one of these. Its easier to carry this than the fear of getting caught.