Friday, March 31, 2006

Department of Homeland, er, Producing?

The restriction of official images is troubling indeed. Can we no longer write about, say, the FBI or CIA in ways that aren't strictly flattering? (And who wants to write or read ANYTHING that's strictly flattering about its subjects?).

I'd read some time ago that LAPD was considering copyrighting its name and logo so writers would have to pay a fee or get approval to use them. I'm not sure if that's fact or paranoid urban legend, but the topic seems to be very much in the wind.

I don't have an update on the outcome of Schulman's complaint, so if any of you do, I'd be curious to hear it....
A Los Angeles screenwriter is claiming that the Department of Homeland Security has informed him that he may not use the agency's name "or any of the Department's official visual identities" in the script for his film, Lady Magdalene, despite the fact that the film presents a positive image of the DHS. The writer, J. Neil Schulman, said Tuesday that he had received a notice from Bobbie Faye Ferguson, director of the NHS's office of multimedia, informing him that his "project does not fit within the DHS mission and that it is not something we can participate in." In response, Schulman wrote to Ferguson that he had already received assistance from a special agent of the NHS's air marshal service while he was preparing his screenplay and that the agency's notice to him now represents a violation of his First Amendment rights. "Merely the claim that you have the power to restrict such official images is chilling to the process of writing and producing a movie -- and certainly to an independent film in pre-production with a start date for principal photography only six weeks away," Schulman wrote.

No comments: