Being at a Supernatural filming location is one of the BEST things I’ve ever done. Cast, crew, and production people are all friendly and welcoming, and they seem only too happy to talk to us and include us, where they can.
In two visits to Vancouver I’ve been lucky enough to be present at six separate filming locations – four were Supernatural locations, and two were for The Tomorrow People. You can read about some of those experiences here, here, here, and here. I’m not trying to set myself up as some kind of expert, but I’ve seen a couple of fans do things that could quite easily have caused problems. With VanCon 2014 looming very close, it seemed like a good time to post my thoughts on what constitutes filming location “etiquette”. Some of these might seem glaringly obvious, and others ridiculously pedantic, but it’s so easy to do something silly and unthinking in the heat of the moment. It’s better to be aware beforehand than too late. So here goes:
- If we find Supernatural filming, we represent the entire fandom. We don’t want our behavior (either on set, or what we share later) to cause the show any trouble. We want all fans to be able to enjoy seeing them film, and it would take just one bad experience to ruin it for everyone.
- If you spot a filming location, find a safe place to park, away from the actual site. You don’t want to be asked to move your vehicle because it’s parked in the direct line of filming, or in the way of production vehicles coming and going.
- If there is already a big group watching, go away, and maybe come back later. We don’t want to cause safety or logistics problems. There is serious, expensive work going on, and our presence should not disrupt that in any way.
- Don’t get on your phone and tell the whole world where they are ( see number 3)
- We are allowed to stay BECAUSE THEY LET US. I’ve seen it argued that if it’s public property, they don’t have the right to make you move on. Which is probably true, but if they (or worse, a member of the public) have to call the police because you pose a traffic hazard, or are blocking someone’s driveway, they will not be inclined to allow fans the freedom we’ve had up till now. Plus, we want them to continue to enjoy having us around.
- Do not enter properties unless specifically invited (this includes motels, stores, residential properties). If you are not on those properties to conduct legitimate business, or have not been invited, then you are in all likelihood, trespassing.
- Do exactly what you’re asked, as soon as you’re asked without complaining, eye rolling, or being argumentative.
- Ask if it’s ok before doing anything. Don’t just assume.
- Be quiet (not just at night when sound travels more, but all the time). Their sound equipment is extremely sensitive and we do not want to be the reason for needing another take.
- SMILE. Be friendly, courteous, and interested in everyone, not just the actors. The crew are just as necessary to the production as anyone else, and they are the ones who get the least recognition.
- No flash photography under any circumstances. Also, turn off any sounds your camera makes, eg when focusing.
- Be aware that some people may not want their photo taken. Some crew actually posed for us, but be sure to ask first.
- Do not post photos, videos, or descriptions of scenes filmed until after the episode has aired. Most likely, anything we are allowed to watch will not be particularly spoilery anyway, but we are fans, not paparazzi.
- If somehow, you get a pic of sensitive info (phone numbers, schedules, call sheets etc.) DO NOT POST THEM EVER. To do so could cost a crew member their job, and will harm the ability of fans to get close to sets in the future.
So there you have it. What it all boils down to is this: Have fun, but please, PLEASE, use common sense. It would be terrible if the thoughtless actions of one or two over-eager fans ruined it for the rest of us.
Being close while Supernatural is filming is like no other experience. If you get the chance DO IT!!!
I, for one, am hoping we will have many, many, more opportunities to watch filming in the seasons to come.