Get A Waiver!
A year ago before I even picked up the camera I went and had a free 30 minute consultation with an entertainment attorney. She said this in a nutshell, “Don’t film anything or anyone you can’t get a waiver signed from.” So, I took it to heart. You will notice in the film, as in this shot I simply cut off everyone heads, or made sure they weren’t the “focus” of the shot. Or better yet, filmed them from behind. Here I am in San Francisco, and although it’s a still photo, I set the shutter speed real slow so that the messenger screen left and the cars waiting to turn are in focus, but all the people walking around in the shot are blurry. I found it profound that the messenger and cars (especially a taxi) are the two things you assume are in continual motion, yet in this shot they are the only things remaining still. One last note, I didn’t want to bother this guy for a waiver so I didn’t talk to him, but he’s riding a totally classic beat up Ciocc steal italian road bike to work as a messenger on. Most likely a sign of a veteran messenger.
I went to a suburb of Chicago to interview Jeffrey Kidder, Ph.D who studied messengers and wrote a book about the culture. On my last day with Jeff I took the train into the city and interview two Chicago messengers. While both messengers had great things to say I never used their interviews in the film. I did however walk around Chicago and get some great shots of the city and a few random messengers. I kept starring at this photo and it finally hit me what it is that makes one feel unique to be a messenger. Except for those who commute on bike each day, you are pretty much the only person on street riding a bike. Maybe it’s like people with tattoo’s in the 70′s. Sure we knew millions of people had them, but it wasn’t everyday you would see someone with one. Now you don’t go five seconds without seeing a guy or girl with full sleeves tattooed on them. Maybe one day more people will ride their bikes in crowded U.S. city’s instead of drive. One day.
So I when I finished my interviews with the two Four Star Couriers in Chicago, I asked where I would go to film other messengers. They told me to go to a certain pizza truck where all the messengers hang out. They told me the pizza wasn’t any good but it was cheap. They were right. I bought a slice of pizza and a root beer and sat down with pizza in one hand and camera in other. The messengers flocked to this pizza truck like moth’s to a flame. But I was sitting so close to the truck it just seemed weird at the time to film them eating pizza. So instead I filmed kids who dress similar to messengers and ride bikes that may fool the average person. But rest assured, this girl isn’t a messenger. How do I know? Well for starters she went right by the cheap pizza truck and into a hipster cafe with $7 subs. No messenger would spend that much on a sandwich unless it came with a case of beer.
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