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Dear Urban Diplomat: can I disobey the demands of sidewalk-hogging TV crews?

Dear Urban Diplomat: can I disobey the demands of sidewalk-hogging TV crews?

Dear Urban Diplomat,

I work near Victoria and Adelaide, which is almost always occupied by TV crews. I can’t go anywhere without some dictatorial, floppy tuque–wearing third assistant in a headset ordering me to stop—walking, talking, laughing—lest his shoot be interrupted. What would or could he do if I just ignored him and walked right on through?

—Scene Disturber, Downtown

I feel you. The city issued 3,184 permits for film shoots in 2013 alone, including between 50 and 100 in that area, which movie people like for its New York City vibe. While Floppy Tuque may treat the straight-to-VOD flick he’s working on like it’s the next Citizen Kane, I too find it insufferably arrogant that he assumes passersby will simply comply like star-struck sheep. But be warned: production companies pay the TPS to have an officer on hand to help with any issues (for instance: grumpy pedestrians). That said, strolling through a film or TV set doesn’t break any actual laws, just the unwritten ones about being a polite Canadian. So no one’s going to drag you off in handcuffs for causing a fuss—the worst you’ll get is a stern talking-to. Bottom line: If your goal is to make a statement, at least try to get a good selfie out of the stunt. If it’s to make your morning meeting, take a detour down the high road.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com

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