Shooting a Video...In a Cemetery?

Ok, so I’m planning on shooting a video for one of my songs. I’ve been trying to figure out where I should shoot and what the setting should be. At one point I was contemplating on shooting some scenes in an old abandoned house that doesn’t have a roof, but after inspecting the house it just seemed too tiny and I didn’t think there would be enough space for the camera girl to operate safely and comfortably. So, a few days ago I checked out a few cemeteries. There’s one cemetery that looks really good for some interesting scenes but I don’t know how it would look if me and the bass player drive over there , pull out our instruments and have the camera girl start filming us…? There’s a few sections that we might be able to remain unnoticed for a short time, but the guitars are definitely going to catch people’s attention, if they do see us. They also have a few security cars driving around the cemetery,…but it’s a HUGE lot.

Another thing I’m a bit hesitant about is, we’ll have to play our music loud enough so that we can lip synch and guitar synch to it…I think we’ll have to leave the drum kit and amps at home. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: The music can possibly draw attention also, if it’s too loud.
Is filming in a cemetery even legal???:thinking:

The girl who will be filming our video is a Japanese videography student, who wants to get footage for her portfolio. I want to make sure she gets what she wants and is happy and comfortable with everything. We’ll provide her with transportation and food. Is there anything I should mention to her, or ask her, so that we can make the experience better for her? I’ve talked to her on the phone and she is very nice and really into doing this video shoot.

Any advice on shooting a music video other than the questions I asked?

I would highly suggest talking to any surrounding neighbors, assuming there some. Chances are, one of them is a caretaker for the cemetery. What you’re considering doesn’t seem like it’d be a huge problem as long as you clear it with the neighbors.
It’s a bit like having a garage band. It’s usually better to get permission from neighbors than to ask for forgiveness after the fact. That’s my 2 cents.

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The cemetery is really big, so I doubt the neighbours will notice us, but I am kind of worried about the people that are visiting the cemetery, and the security patrol cars. You might be right though. Maybe we just need to get permission from some authority that takes care of the place.

I read one comment, on another site, that suggested blurring out the names on the tombstones ,when the video is being edited. I’m not sure I like that idea…I guess I would have to see what it looks like in the video. If the names can be read clearly, that might be considered some kind of infringement, but long shots, from far away would likely be fine to use.

If you’re talking about names from generations ago, it doesn’t seem like it’d be much of an issue, but I’d probably just play it safe and not make them a point of focus while shooting

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The laws regarding that probably vary by municipality. Local ordinances might be a good reference, or ask law enforcement if possible, they should know what they would do if they come across someone doing such things.

A place to go to the bathroom? (clean, not at a gas station :wink:)

Getting permission from the groundskeeper or caretaker could smooth things out. I think cemeteries are a weird cross between public and private (unless explicitly marked private), so I don’t know how much they can tell you that you can’t do (unless sign are posted), just what the law says and what their preferences are for “good taste”. Some people might consider a Rock video in a cemetery disrespectful or offensive, especially if it’s visiting relatives and they see/hear you. Certainly don’t prance around on top of the gravestones or otherwise disturb the premises, just get good shots from a respectful distance. I would guess that it’s not good form to feature the names on the gravestones either (unless it were someone you knew personally?). While there’s probably no legal issue, again it could be a respect thing. I have taken personal pictures in a cemetery, including unrelated headstones around family members’ headstones (scenery was nice). I didn’t think about it at the time, but I think that’s different than putting a video of it on YouTube.

You might consider a small old cemetery out in the country, if you can find one. Likely nobody would be around (unless the caretaker lives next door), and the vibe could be cooler and creepier than one that is kept up, popular/busy, and with well-manicured lawn and landscape. I don’t know what your song subject is, but it sounds like old, isolated, cobwebby, creepy, scary, menacing is what you’re after. :scream: Something to do with Halloween coming up?

That’s one way to get around it. You could mention that if asked, too.

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Actually, that’s a good point!

Love the thought. Just do it if the spirit moves you. Maybe the stones could play too??? Would be fun to know the name of your song? Please post how this turns out.



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Yeah, I should make sure that there are no strict laws concerning this.

Yes, that’s important. We’ll have to drive her to the nearest restroom if she has to go…,unless she’s one of those carefree types that doesn’t mind going in the bushes.:thinking:

Yeah, as soon as it’s posted to a public forum, things can become more complicated, in a legal sense.

This is a good idea…I know of a particular spot that I found this summer. Might be a bit of a drive, but it could be worth it.

It would be cool if the spirit possesses me and my performance is totally demonic…That should translate well to video.:grinning:

The name of the song is Darkness & Wither.

I’ll let you know how it turns out, and if it’s good enough I’ll post it on here for bashing. :+1:

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While you’re there you should defile graves in search for jewelry to pay for the shoot. Those deadites won’t need them anymore. They’ll just use them as weapons when they come back to the real world.

When I was a kid I used to take long walks with my headphones on, and there was a cemetery and funeral home about a mile from my house. I’d usually walk up there and sit underneath the trees because it was the quietest place in town. No one ever gave me any shit, though I did have the moral decency to avoid the place whenever they were burying somebody. I guess I was a weird kid. I applied for a job at the funeral home in high school, but they told me I was too young.

Funny, my old co-worker’s signature quote was “Ask for forgiveness, not permission.” Now he’s part of the International Thespian Society and is quite a successful musical actor. He was always a charming dude though, he could get away with it.

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Another reason was probably when you told them you wanted to streamline the cremation process and generate revenue by doing body burnings like they did during the Bubonic Plague, and selling $10 tickets to the community.

Sure, @clownpenis.fart used to to jump around on the broken cremation equipment outside the funeral home and piss in the forest next to it. I’d definitely ask the caretaker though, if you’re bringing instruments and a camera it may be a problem. I mean, if you were just filming you probably wouldn’t have to ask, but since you’ll be there for a while playing a song it would be best to get clearance.

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George Carlin said something similar, and everyone respects him. Except it was public execution they had to pay for, in this case it’s more humane since they’re already dead.

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I’m to lazy to dig for the loot…and I’ll have to share my treasures with the camera girl and the others. Maybe I could get them to do the digging , and I’ll film them.

I love graveyards! Like you said , they’re so peaceful and low key…and the dead are very don’t give me no back talk. They’re so agreeable. I Love The Dead !

I might end up doing some video shots without the instruments and music, just so I don’t draw attention to us. The guitars and music might be to difficult to hide from the cemetery visitors. I’ll read through this thread again when my mind is focused and try to make the most educated decision from that.

If you really wanted to be screwed up, you’d wait until Veteran’s Day to do the filming!

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Or maybe I can crash a funeral burial party. :smiling_imp:

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Talk to your state film commission.

From a legal standpoint, they are a unique type of private or municipal entity, neither fully public or fully private. You need to speak with the cemetery.

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Keep us posted on the progress! I’m anxious to see what you do with this!

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Well, we did a half-assed shoot in the graveyard. We were pretty discreet and quiet about it, and there were only 3 of us, but somehow a security guy found us and he told us to go to the cemetery’s main office to ask them if it’s alright to film there…So I went and asked the receptionist…She made a phone call to some higher authority, and they said that we couldn’t film. She said that many funerals and burials were happening that day, and that was the reason why we weren’t allowed BUT I got a feeling that was just an excuse and that we likely wouldn’t be allowed to film (with a guitar) at any time. We didn’t see ANYONE being buried or any funerals at all. The cemetery seemed pretty quiet. I’m pretty sure that the appearance of a bright orange/red electric guitar was what lured the security. Otherwise we would have remained unnoticed, I think…Although it’s possible that security heard the quiet music we were playing on our ipad. I thanked the receptionist for her help and we went to film more footage at an old abandoned house, in another part of town

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