"I'm here to shoot a pilot"

Old May 29, 07, 11:57 am
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"I'm here to shoot a pilot"

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/revie...062655,00.html

Director Mike Figgis spent longer at LAX airport than intended. He'd arrived in Los Angeles, along with half the acting and directing world, for what is known as 'pilot season', when the big studios try out new scripts, directors and actors in a two-week frenzy of auditions and career make-or-breaks. When Figgis was being grilled by airport immigration, he was asked the purpose of his visit. Unthinking and tired after a long flight, Mike replied: 'I'm here to shoot a pilot.' After five hours in an interrogation cell (yes, really), he finally made it into town.
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Old May 29, 07, 12:34 pm
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A big to customs officials for their handling.

Rather than dumping him in a cell, all the customs guy had to say was, "Excuse me? You mean you plan to kill an airline pilot?"

The guy would have said, "No, I mean film a pilot episode for a program."
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Old May 29, 07, 12:50 pm
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But he looks like a terrist, doesn't he now ?

http://www.britmovie.co.uk/biog/f/images/010a.jpg

Fools. If in fact that was the only reason for detaining him.
Part of me says even ICE can't be that stupid, but then again...

Last edited by Wally Bird; May 29, 07 at 2:16 pm
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Old May 29, 07, 1:00 pm
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In any other city in the United States, the confusion on behalf of security might have been reasonable. But, here???
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Old May 29, 07, 1:13 pm
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D'oh!
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Old May 29, 07, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
A big to customs officials for their handling.

Rather than dumping him in a cell, all the customs guy had to say was, "Excuse me? You mean you plan to kill an airline pilot?"

The guy would have said, "No, I mean film a pilot episode for a program."
Agreed. This is probably an instance where a clarifying question would have straightened everything out.
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Old May 29, 07, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by etch5895 View Post
Agreed. This is probably an instance where a clarifying question would have straightened everything out.
I wish I could believe that. The fact is, the perceived stakes are so high in the "war against terror" that nobody wants to be the guy who got it wrong and let the evil terrorist that pretended to be a TV director after mistakenly telling an officer about his nefarious plans go. This is CYA territory.

But, the fact that this was happening after a flight while leaving an airport does make it sound like a Three Stooges episode.
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Old May 29, 07, 1:58 pm
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Five hours of interrogation is out of control, however. I think if the situation cannot be resolved in 15 minutes or so, a legal arrest needs to be made.

You'd think that the Immigrations officers at LAX would be a little more familiar with media lingo. I am just picturing a group of immigrations personnel 'letting the guy sweat' in an interrogation room in the hopes that it would make him crack. A better option would probably have been to have one of his industry co-workers vouch for him. I'm sure that someone could have ironed this out in well under 2 hours, let alone 5.
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Old May 29, 07, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by etch5895 View Post
Five hours of interrogation is out of control, however. I think if the situation cannot be resolved in 15 minutes or so, a legal arrest needs to be made.
I agree, but in general, it is hard to arrest immigration officers unless you have a clear cut case against them.
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Old May 29, 07, 2:10 pm
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I still think that someone should do a statistical analysis of which airports have the most complaints against TSA, and Customs for ludicrousness. Given my personal experiences and those I have spoken to who essentially say they avoid LAX at all costs, I suspect LAX is right at the top of the list.

Not only was he there to shoot a pilot but he compounded his plight by implying he was a ring leader (a director). What more evidence do you need. Sorry we no longer need evidence. How stupid of me. Off to GITMO. Sounds like he has a new movie in the making - a documentary on the land of the free, on the backs of tax payers and passengers.
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Old May 29, 07, 2:11 pm
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At LAX I'd expect the immigration officers to keep a couple of their own headshots and/or screenplays on hand just in case someone LIKE Mike Figgis turns up in their line.

Sheesh!
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Old May 29, 07, 2:12 pm
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The big question is: will he now be on a watchlist and harassed every time he comes to the US?
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Old May 29, 07, 2:20 pm
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Originally Posted by youreadyfreddie View Post
At LAX I'd expect the immigration officers to keep a couple of their own headshots and/or screenplays on hand just in case someone LIKE Mike Figgis turns up in their line.

Sheesh!
OT, but I've been places in CA with my camera and had people like fast food jockeys asking if I would shoot head shots for them. Only in CA, I tell myself, do fast food clerks aspire to being movie stars and wonder if passing photographers can help them achieve that dream.
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Old May 29, 07, 2:22 pm
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Similar Story in DC Media Circles

This may just be an urban legend among Washington media circles, but a wire service photographer once told me a story about another press photographer who had flown to Rome on a free-lance book assignment back in the 1980s. It seems that when the Italian authorities asked him why he was visiting, his unthinking response "I'm here to shoot the Pope" led to several uncomfortable hours in detention.
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Old May 29, 07, 4:52 pm
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Sorry, but my disbelief meter is redlining...

This happened in April? Why did no one hear about it?
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