The Rockstar Photography Blog

No Cameras Allowed, fake or real film by Marc Haney

There´s a new film out called ‘No Cameras Allowed which shows the journey of a guy named Marcus Haney who got into Coachella festival with a fake press pass and took exclusive film footage of famous bands. Furthermore, after doing this, he got invited by bands like ‘Mumford and Sons’ to join them on tour. It would appear that this film-trailer has become a big hit on Youtube. Is “No Cameras Allowed” real or just a fake story to get some money out of kids who believe this is how the music business works?  Read on.

Click here to see the Trailer to “No Cameras allowed”

Who of you who are into music photography wouldn´t want to shoot directly for bands and go on tour with them? Who wouldn´t want to be a Rock-Superstar Photographer overnight and who wouldn´t want to make a living out of concert photography? Most of us want to live this dream. And now, following the release of the film  „No Cameras Allowed“, it seems so easy. You don´t have to be honest or hard working anymore. By faking Coachella festival wrist bands, Marcus Haney snuck in under the security radar and filmed footage from the photo pit. The film trailer also shows that he went on-stage to shoot exclusive footage with his Press wrist band. And they state that after the bands had seen his footage, they immediately took him with them on tour.

I have been a pro-music photographer for a couple of years and have worked directly with artists such as Iggy Pop and The Prodigy and have shot hundreds of bands such as The Rolling Stones, Nine Inch Nails, Miley Cyrus. Iron Maiden, Rammstein and Foo Fighters for many international publications. I am also the tour photographer of the German band Shantel and have travelled with them on tour for the last year. I found my way to get into the music business with an approach that is honest to bands/managements, because I think this is the professional way of doing things. This is what I believe in and if you´re doing things the wrong way in this business, you´ll be kicked out faster than you can click your shutter button.

I just want to make clear at the beginning that I am not jealous of this guy, because I am already there. I just want to tell you my point of view about the trailer I saw, because I think a lot of people will believe what they see in “No Cameras Allowed” and it might distort the reality of working as a music photographer.

 

1. How do you get Press Accreditation in reality?

A press accreditation is basically an agreement with the band’s management that allows you to enter the venue with your professional camera gear and take photos of the concert. This means you need someone like a music magazine to give you permission to do this. Then the magazine gets in contact with the concert organizer. Concert organizers are companies that book bands who will then check with the bands’ management to see if they agree to allowing photographers into the gig. As you can see so far, there’s some steps to be taken before you get a press accreditation. In „No Cameras Allowed“, Marcus Haney faked a wrist bands to sneak by the security guards. Ok, this might work, because Security guards have to check thousands of wrist bands and getting over this hurdle is definitely possible.

However, if you shoot for famous bands, you have to sign contracts with the band’s management before you’re allowed to shoot them. They will check the magazine in which the pictures will be published, because big stars want big media coverage. So, how would he be able to get into the pit with a fake wrist band with fake media coverage?

 

2. The Photo pit

Once you get into the festival venue, you head to the Photo Pit. This is the dedicated space in front of the stage where concert photographers work. In general, you’re only allowed to shoot from the photo pit for the first three songs, after which you get kicked out of the area. So, Marcus Haney might have managed to enter with his video camera and film from there. I am a photographer and not a video guy, but from what I know, even the largest Television team (here in Austria) is only allowed to film a couple of seconds of the gig and they´re sometimes not even allowed to record live audio. This might be different in the US, but there are definitely strict limits for more famous bands (see the contract issue mentioned above). So how should he got his awesome film footage then?

 

3. Onstage action

The trailer also showed that he got onto the stage with his fake wrist band and shot whilst onstage. This is where the film gets really far-fetched. I have shot onstage for bands such as Iggy Pop, The Prodigy and Portugal. The Man and there’s no way you can get onto the stage without knowing the tour manager or the band! A normal wrist band won´t do the trick and you´ll need an AAA (Access All Areas) pass. There are stars like JayZ and U2 in the film! So do you think anyone with a fake Press pass can just get onstage and film from there? If you have no direct contact with the band, you´ll be kicked out of the venue immediately and probably never get back in!

 

4. High quality film coverage vs. analog footage in ‘No Cameras Allowed’

In the trailer, Marcus Haney uses an analog film camera to cover the concerts. However, most of the trailer shows high quality film footage shot from above (possibly from a helicopter or crane), onstage action and musicians smiling into the camera. Maybe he also had a fake technician crane or helicopter pass? Oh, and why is it produced by MTV…?

 

5. Legal issues

And then there are also the legal issues. If he had to sign a contract which normally  states that you’re only allowed to post your footage in the magazine you have permission to shoot for, then he would be in big trouble. And eventhen if he didn’t sign any contract, then it’s not clear if he’s allowed to use his film footage to make a film and make money from a commercial product. How’s it possible that none of the bands’ management, sued him and  cancelled the project? Maybe they‘re also involved and will get their share of the proceeds from this film? 

 

6. Marketing stunt or the real s**t?

When I firstt saw the video, I was instantly reminded of “The Blair Witch Project”! I don´t know if you can remember this fake horror movie, but it´s where some students disappear in the forest and weeks later someone finds the video tapes showing  they were propbably killed by a witch? This film was also released in cinemas and it was an enormous success, because it was a new approach to making a movie different and special. I have the same feeling about „No Cameras Allowed“. Maybe it´s just a great marketing stunt by the music and film industry working together, to make the Rockstar life of musicians more interesting?

 

6. It´s a punch in honest concert photographers faces!

It doesn´t really matter if “No Cameras Allowed” is fake or real. But what matters is the fact that Marcus Haney, by acting dishonestly (if this is true) and doing things illegally, gets the respect of all the media and musicians. Scott Kelby mentioned this on a recent youtube comment and got already some nasty comments back. What do they want to say with this film? Do things that aren’t allowed and you´ll get what you want?

I think it’s a punch in every honest concert photographers faces! I know of so many people around the world who are great and honest guys. They live their passion as music photographers and give their best to make a living out of it. And then along comes this film which tells you, just fake a press wrist band and all doors will be open to you!

I can understand why made this film for commercial reasons. Sure, the rockstar business seems like a cool business to be in and it should stay like this. I haven’t watched the movie yet and I am interested as to what other secrets about the music biz this film tries to reveal. In a long term, I guess it’s just another way to make the already struggling music industry seem a bit cooler.  Marcus probably met the right people at the right time and I think all of us would have taken this opportunity to become a Rockstar photographer overnight.

Again, these are just my thoughts on the film. I don´t know if this film is really or fake, but it seems they took more care trying to make his movie sellable than showing the truth about being a concert photographer.

What do you think? Fake or real?

UPDATE: Ok here’s some news about the story. After posting my article on my social media channels it spread like wildfire. First Music Photographers and Gig-Photographer jumped on the train and there was a lot of buzz going on in the concert photography community. Also Todd Owyoung tweeted: ‘Is a fake? thinks so. Some interesting points’ and David Hobby (Strobist) wrote: ‘Totally agree w/photographer Matthias Hombauer, who is calling bullshit on the new “documentary” No Cameras Allowed. ‘ Finally it got covered by PetaPixel who also published  the original story about “No Cameras Allowed” before.

So it seems most of the music  photographers see it as a fake marketing stunt. Even more funny is the fact what my photog friend Marty McFly found out: “the Youtube link is marked as deleted due to copyright claims by “F the fence, LLC” (which seems to be an LA based filmproduction startup and also listing Caafilmproductions and Fake Empire Inc.)”. The television division of Fake Empire is based at Warner Bros. Television, which distributes the Gossip Girl, Chuck, Hart of Dixie, The Carrie Diaries, Cult, and The Astronaut Wives Club television series. Marcus Haney said in an interview with Noisey that the trailer was leaked and maybe this is the reason it got deleted.

I am still not sure what to think about it. Marcus’ music portfolio is great and therefore I would assume that he is a concert photographer. However, reading the intro of the Noisey interview doen´t make me take this guy too serious: “Marcus Haney has never paid to go to a festival. He makes replica wristbands, sneaks past security guards, and walks with confidence. Sure—he gets chucked out. But often he ends up on the mainstage, hangs out with bands, and captures unique views with his camera.” Maybe this is the new way of  becoming a Rockstar Photographer in 2014. At least for MTV.

If you want to become a Rockstar Photographer check out my “Guide to Rockstar Concert Photography”. Click here to learn more.

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  • Rolf Riot

    just watched it a few minutes before you posted this and thought the same thing…

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      Yeah, something is strange about this movie!

  • Marta Ribeiro

    I couldn’t agree more with your words. Something is not quite right about this whole situation. And I actually think is kinda degrading the image of music photographers. It seems we are not “serious” and take the easy way of things!

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      exactly Marta!

  • Jurriaan Hodzelmans

    If this is real, this Marcus is a real douchebag and a lucky guy at the same time. If it isn’t, it the most stupid publicity for bands I’ve ever seen. It’s definitely produced due to the heli/crane shots. Still, I’m really curious about the entire movie.

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      I totally agree with you Jurriaan. Sure, there are stories where people get into the music scene overnight. Like Katarina Benzova. She was taking photos of Guns N Roses with a snapshot camera at a concert in vienna. Afterwards she posted them and Axel Rose found the pics on her FB profile. He invited her and now she is the official tour photographer of them. This can happen, but this movie seems to be more a marketing move for the music industry.

  • Robert Altman

    It all looked VERY suspect to me- the footage he got/the on-stage access/biggest of big names just isn’t realistic (as those of us living and shooting in the REAL world know all to well!). And video is VERY restricted at concerts and festivals-unless it is all arranged ahead of time. I agree that it is a ‘Blair Witch Project’ type of pseudo-documentary…Probably still fun to watch though!!

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      Robert, thats what I was thinking. It´s too polished and this guy wont never get the chance to shoot the big guys with a fake Wrist band

  • http://www.thefnumber.com Andrés Abella

    Remember The Blair Witch Project? Same here. Agreed film recording, supposed to be a “fake IDs project”, just for marketing stuff, imho

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      Thanks Andres. “Blair Witch Project” was also my first thought.

  • http://www.pittsburghmusicmagazine.com Alan Welding

    Definitely fake and a slap to all of us who take the profession seriously. I too follow the rules and am respected by the promoters and professionals who run the venues (as well as security) who we continually maintain a relationship with. Anyone who wants to stay in this business better learn that lesson first. I have seen many “rockstar” photographers banned from facilities for life due to their actions. Also, I have befriended many bands and never once has that been out of my unprofessional actions but the exact opposite. Being professional and following the bands wishes are often what opens doors and creates opportunities such as shooting from the stage. If there is any advice I could give to young people looking to get into this as a profession, it would be to take this film with skepticism, like any film or media, and think for yourself. As someone who has had some awesome experiences in the past few years I can tell you that preparation, research, networking, and people skills will get you much further in the long run than trying to take or look for the short cut to success.

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      thank so much Alan for sharing your opinion here. I can not agree more that trust and honesty are the key ingredients to make it into the music biz. Taking shortcuts won´t help you on a long run. Again, I don´t know of this is film is fake but definitely don´t take this approach if you want to become a concert photographer by yourself.

  • Maryelle St. Clare

    “One guy and a camera” – and the other guy filming the one guy and a camera. I think this whole “documentary” is fake. And that dude can go fuck himself. He’s a liar and a cheater and a thief. What if we all did what he did? I will NEVER understand the glamourization of criminals in this country. It’s disgusting.

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      exactly @Maryelle St. Clare:disqus. They would have need 2 press accreditations for a fake magazine at the biggest festival in the US. And there were for sure contracts to sign for the famous bands!

  • Maryelle St. Clare

    And I hope NOBODY plans to PAY to see this. Stealing was good enough for that guy; he should be happy to see everyone else stealing from him. I plan to torrent it far and wide.

    • Dylanj04

      Is your torrent up yet?

  • Maryelle St. Clare

    I’ve seen plenty of video releases in the past few years – they are normally the first 30 seconds of one song. It’s inconceivable that all those bands just “let him” stay in there – with a Super 8 no less – if he supposedly had plain old video credentials. Of course people hired by the band or those with special access get to take video for longer, but he’s claiming he just wormed his way into it. Total BS. He is either a liar, or somehow, incredibly, ran over and over into the largest amalgamation of stupid dense lazy security personnel on the planet.

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      haha, that could also be the case ;)

  • Mario

    Let’s wait the movie… I’m curious anyways! Any news about when?

  • Manuel

    I think you actually have a point. If the film is produced by the music industry couldnt it be just a way to “inspire” more kids to be music photographers, leading them to work for free (and the aggravation of photo contracts, ending of the remaining business, etc) ?

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      good point Manuel! I am looking forward to see how this story evolves. It seems that actually a lot of “real” music photographers” are pissed about the movie

      • Manuel

        Well I guess in the next few months we’ll see a lot more new faces in the pit, like it’s not bad enough already. haha
        I get why they’re pissed, we all work hard and never gain this kind of recognition, but I mean if the story is actually legit, he’s a 26 year-old kid and many of these photographers who are pissed are mostly butt hurt, you know? I’m pretty young for the average age of music photographers and I take shit for that all time whenever I shoot out of my area, cause some photographers (older ones though) feel like “here’s another kid screwing our market, must be here for the free show”.
        Although I completely agree with you and the rest of the guys who can see this as an actual threat to our industry and our not just bummed cause a kid made before they did.

  • Robin

    I posted this story on my Facebook page because I couldn’t have said it any better. Here’s what I said “I have to share because when I first heard of this I was pissed. Concert photography is what I really enjoy and would love to do all the time, but it’s difficult (in my experience) to get the access you need. Then, some kid comes along and, seemingly, fakes his way into some pretty. If name concerts, and then profits by way of this movie. Matthias (the blogger linked) says what I’m thinking so no reason to reinvent the wheel.”

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      Thanks Robin! I think there might be some true stories behind this film, but I know that it will work like that. As you said. concert photography is not taking a camera and shooting the biggest Rockstars on this planet by just sneaking into a photo pit.

  • Matt Lambert

    Based on what I’ve been reading it seems fake. Definitely a dishonest approach which I don’t like. I haven’t watched the trailer yet and I’m not sure I want to. Although on the other hand it may be interesting. I hope people don’t take it seriously! Maybe it’s co-produced by the Onion?

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      This is also what makes me angry Matt. The film seems to say, “live your passion and it doesn´t matter if you are dishonest or not in your approach”. This is absolutely not the case and if people try to copy it they will be out of biz before they even start.

      • Matt Lambert

        That will be the worst part if people start taking this approach and shifting the way it’s been working for most of us. Although “fake it till you make it” saying comes to mind as well. With that being said I think that’s more internally thinking and less actually faking people out and entirely cheating the system.

  • Lizzy Davis

    I’m sure the movie itself is fake, but I’m guessing it’s at least 75% based off a true story – and that makes me angrier than I have words to express.

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      yep, for honest hard working concert photographers it´s a slap into our face.

  • diego_fg

    I would like to see a movie made about me and how it really is for concert photographers. It would start with me discussing with the security guy at the press entrance because for some reason my name is not on the list, they would call someone on radio and let me in because I was told a few days ago by the promoters’s media guy that I was allowed to take photos of the show. I park, wait in the parking lot until another security guy escorts us to a room where I am given my wristband and sign the releases. Then wait there, wait some more, until it’s time for the opening act and we’re escorted to the pit for almost three songs because they are already kicking us out by the end of the third one and then taken back to that room to wait until it’s time of the headliner to take the stage. Repeat the process until I am escorted out of the venue so I can keep my camera in my car and go back to see the rest of the show. That would be the most boring movie ever! but this is how it really goes for most of us, and I actually have fun going through all that. Oh and the after credits scene will be me on my computer finding out that one band used my image without credit!

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      Hi Diego! thanks for sharing your movie! ;) Yes, this is the reality to be a Rockstar Photographer, but the problem is that your movie wont sell. Therefore take a nobody that become a hero by living his passion. It´s a perfect Hollywood script.

  • RiPT

    I’m a bit confilcted about this movie. I to have a similar story. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a photographer and always had a passion for capturing something truly amazing. I wasn’t some groupie trying to get close to steel a pick or touch some musician. I’ve always ALWAYS loved music and wanted to capture an image that truly personified the music I was hearing. Almost all my life I would sneak a camera into concerts and would try to get closer to get some sort of shot (that I could share with my friends and say “man you should’ve been there”). I still have images of some of my 1st concerts that I captured with some old crappy camera that my dad had from when I was 1st born (let’s just say it’s around 40 yrs old). Which brings me to how I got started. Now I didn’t fake my credentials, I went to a festival very early, asked about media access (was brought to a special tent), said I was shooting for a local weekly publication (which I really wasn’t), some person got on a walkie talkie (some chit chat back and fourth) and with in minutes I had my 1st Photo/Press pass. After the festival was over I farmed my photos out to over 100 media resources (which was always my goal), and they got picked up and published. I was in my 1st publication off what I consider my 1st professional live music concert photography (because I was able to use my pro gear). Concert photography has always been my passion, and I felt I was doing anything I could to get my “break”. I did it wrong at 1st, and now I do everything by the book. I work freelance for some international publications and still don’t make a ton of cash, but I’m doing what I love. I did what I did to try and “break” into the business. I think this kid might have the similar story to all of us, although he probably did capture some live footage, shared it and his story – Then got lucky and the rest was “Hollywood-ized”. We all have a story, and today I don’t encourage anyone from doing what I did, or being dishonest. I just feel we all love what we do and are just waiting for our big “break” moment. I think I would check the movie out, cause it’s in my line of work and I’d consider it research (then use it as a business expense for tax purposes). LOL ;)

  • Martin Aubertin

    its film in such a pro-grade way. it does not look all filmed with the camera he shows in the trailer. and those crane shots and helicopter shots. its just a publicity stunt. The media and AAA passer are not so easily counterfeit. And he shows his face, he shows the artists, he uses their song in the film. It screams fake

  • John Schulze

    The whole thing seems staged. It’s too produced, too glitzy and too well thought out to be a real random in the moment occurrence. I simply don’t buy it as a straight forward documentary. Also, I won’t be watching it, as I have no interest in the kid as he is portrayed in the trailer.

  • CSM

    Excellent article. After this movies release, I suspect, there will be a sharp increase in the number of unauthorized photo publications of bands. The founding principle of this film is that illegal activity is acceptable if it’ll make you famous.

  • Josh Chaikin

    At one of the last concerts I was at, I was talking with someone in the pit, who had something far from a professional setup. He told me (bragged, really), that he’s not a photographer, but a writer, and picked up the camera so he could tell his weekly he could shoot to, and get paid double, since they didn’t need to send a photographer. Needless to say, his photos looked like shit.

    This scenario is different from what is being shown in the trailer, but it’s the same, in that it shows a blatant lack of respect, not only to photographers, but fans on the whole, as a sub-standard product is being put out there.

    If this is fiction, and it inspires people to try to sneak their way in, they’ll fail. If this is based in fact, than the guy was an ass and, hopefully, he’s doing things legitimately now…but, the times, they are a changing…

  • roosterscrow

    I think it’s real. He may have started the project independently and after going on tour with the bands and joining with MTV was able to get the rights to show the bands in the film, get the additional hd crane footage from MTV, and shoot the on-stage shots while on tour. In the trailer it looks like he snuck on-stage at the beginning but it could just be the way the trailer is cut showing things out of order.

    I will go see this movie to hear his story, and see how he snuck in and how he was kicked out. (the security golf cart shot looks like he gets caught at least once) I will see it to appreciate his work in putting together the film, which seems like it was a labor of love and took tons of effort. I don’t really care for the bands shown in the trailer, their existence in the film doesn’t influence me to pay for the movie ticket. I think he’s profiting from using their images without permission, but for me I will pay for a movie ticket just to see his story and interactions with security, accredited photographers, and the people working the events. Just because he got in illegally doesn’t negate that he documented it. It’s more of a film than just live band footage, everything else is the value he added with his perseverance.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing it.

  • http://www.nilphotography.co.uk/ NILPhotography

    This screams fake even before I found out it was done by MTV who have a reputation from making ‘reality tv’. he’s faking wrist bands from photos which I can’t work out how he obtained in the first place and amongst a far longer list of things that push me to say it’s faked is that after knowing you get in a shot unaccredited I strongly doubt anyone in the industry would ever work with you again.

    Put in the work and earn that spot in the pit, you wont have broken the law and you’ll feel better about it at the end.

    Matthias Hombauer you made solid well thought out points, pointed out a few thing’s I hadn’t considered having watched the trailer.

  • Slvrscoobie

    I LOVE your comments. Thank you for speaking out for the correct, legally and morally, way to peruse a career. This whole generation has decided that, ‘Im more important, and can do what I want, and you should be HONORED, that *I* and doing it. Look how good I am!’ Hard work means nothing.

  • http://kaisaphoto.com/ Kaisa

    Maybe we can all just stream it for free ‘cos stealing is okay?! ;P

    Anyhow, apart from everything else the first thing that popped into my head was everything related to licence fees etc. I recently supported a Kickstarter campaign, so I could legally see a movie about a cool photographer (http://heraimistruemovie.com/trailer/). Their problem was that they couldn’t afford the fees for the music to be used in the documentary. Like a real legal documentary. So this kid for sure couldn’t just make a movie and be good with it.

    Ah, yeah, MTV is a giveaway that it’s probably all crap. Sadly MTV is nothing like it used to be. It’s not about music at all.

    Also, that kid looks super young, he would look suspicious right away. He would stand out (not saying it’s okay that only middle aged men get to shoot concerts, but more or less that’s how it looks).

    If I were an artist I would never want anything illegal be connected to me. That’d be just uncool. Unless someone really took cool photos and I appreciate them and make everything legal in the future. But not promote stealing!

    So I would expect that movie has a punch line somewhere.

    Or you know magic could happen if he were mind blowingly talented and totally different from everyone else out there. Like this guy (whose name I can’t remember atm) who took one of the most famous shots of the Rolling Stones back in the day. He sneaked in with a camera and was kicked out and then became famous. Would totally sound more legit if I could recall his name. :)

  • Sam Mortensen

    Jealous much? When writing on a particular subject, it helps to do some research other than watching the trailer and making a bunch of assumptions. It’s called google! Most of the questions you pose can be answered with a little searching.

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      Thanks Sam Mortensen. maybe you can tell us more about it

      • Sam Mortensen
        • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

          It´s a fantastic marketing pitch. People will see their stars in “real” live and this guy has his short fame. That´s it. I wouldn´t mind about that. The problem I have is that people will get the impression that it´s really easy to be a concert photographer and all that it takes is a faked wrist band.

          • Sam Mortensen

            .jamesmarcushaney.com

          • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

            The discussion is going on now for the whole day on FB and Twitter. My post got published in petapixel and 99% of concert photographers seems to agree that this documentary has nothing to do with the reality and is more a punch into a honest concert photographers face. If you like this guy, I have no problem with it. Maybe we are all wrong and you right, who knows. If you are a concert photographer by yourself let´s try this approach and tell me how far you will go.

          • Sam Mortensen

            I have nothing against concert photographers, but a lot of the comments I’ve seen from them today come across a little defensive and almost jealous sounding…as opposed to critical or informative. Not all of them, and not yours. Please don’t take it personal. I understand how most professionals experiences in the business are much different. The hard work, the mastering of your craft, etc.. That is no reason to hate on the idea that someone did it differently…and it worked for them. He is an extremely successful photographer. I don’t think the average concert goer sees this as “the reality” of shooting concerts, but it is his reality. A reality that began 4 years ago. The questions posed in the article can be answered by that fact. The footage is recent, since he has been embraced my musicians and their mgmt (hence the credits), and not from a fake pass that got him on stage.

            The point isn’t to pretend this is the reality, but rather to show how one person did things differently, a little controversial, and with a lot of luck was able to become successful. It’s a story of how he said “damn the man” and over time he was able to cone out on top. To me, imho, that’s the definition of rock and roll (which is also why I feel the musicians have embraced him). They remember sneaking into shows, trying to get backstage to meet their idols, rebelling. This kid reminds them of that time, when it was about the art. The music. Not the rules, or merchandising, or record contracts.

          • Sam Mortensen
  • silkimagery

    Real or bullshit, the guy is getting a lot of press at the moment. Personally, I’ll watch it just out of curiosity but I’m not wasting much more time and energy thinking any deeper about it.

    I’m too busy working on my own shit and trying to forge my own path in the industry at the moment.

    m/

  • Martin McFly

    Great
    article, Mat! Meanwhile the Youtube link is marked as deleted due to
    copyright claims by “F the fence, LLC” (which seems to be an LA based
    filmproduction startup listing members James Haney (!),
    Caafilmproductions and Fake Empire Inc.) When i add
    to this my experiences with accreditation both as a lighting technician
    working onstage aswell as a photographer i would pretty much consider
    it a maketing gag.
    cheers, martin

    source: http://www.corporationwiki.com/p/2ea30z/f-the-fence-llc

  • Paul Crutchley

    Thank you for your honest view. Think this is one of those films – don’t believe the hype. Think it would be better to make a film about concert photographers who get into gigs through the proper channels.

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      I agree Paul, but unfortunately that wont sell. I also see this guy more of a Paparazzi than a professional concert photgrapher

  • Sam Mortensen

    The fact that the video is no longer available due to a copyright claim should tell you how real it is.

    Really though? How is it a bunch of self proclaimed concert photographers don’t know who Marcus Haney is? Ever heard of google? This story is four years old!

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      The Youtube link is marked as deleted due to copyright claims by “F the fence, LLC” (which seems to be an LA based filmproduction startup listing members James Haney (!), Caafilmproductions and Fake Empire Inc.)” Sounds still real? Anyhow we have different viewpoints. And yes I have never heard of this guy although I am in the music biz for 6 years. I know the big concert photographers in the US and also met some and talked to them. Are you are a professional concert photographer or how do you know about the music biz?

  • Jacinta

    awesome job on getting published,great read, but it makes you feel funny doesnt it? weather or not its real or fake is beside the point, now how many people are going to look at this, and think “Oh its that easy I can do that! ” and go and do it, some people will succeed and some fail but it as you said, is a huge kick in the face to us, who do this for a living, unfortunately I’m not quite there yet, but you know what I mean, its a competitive industry and doing what he did was wrong, like c’mon its basically stealing away what could be our hard earned work… that aside he does happen to have a very established portfoliohttp://www.jamesmarcushaney.com, I’m impressed its all shot on film. so maybe there is credit behind this, but we wont know until its out, i guess.

  • joeysimpson

    Hmmm could be fake but who knows..

  • Guest

    What’s most damning is that he somehow could afford to travel around the world to states like California, Tennessee, ENGLAND (Glastonbury) before he got his break. How could he afford flying to England but couldn’t afford to pay to get in?

    • Samantha Saturday

      If you saw the film, you’d know exactly how he was able to travel to each of these destinations on little or no dim.

      He was hired by HBO to film the Running of the Bulls in Spain. It was around the time of Glastonbury, so he asked them to change his travel itinerary to get there in time for Glasto. From there, he hitch hiked to get into the fest.

  • Samantha Saturday

    My question is: Did you actually see the film before making all of these assumptions? I’d highly suggest actually doing some research and seeing the film before spouting off about it.

    As a working music photographer who has been working my ass off for years to get where I am (and granted, I still have a long way to go), seeing this film has inspired me even more to take risks to do what I love. I’ll admit, going to the screening, I had my reservations about Haney’s methods. When you actually see his story, everything comes into perspective. He didn’t sneak into Coachella because he was trying to get into the pit – he was trying to sneak in because the girl he liked was going. He was a film student at USC and brought along his cameras as a decoy.

    The trailer is definitely misleading, as in the end, it’s more about his relationships with friends and family along the way – how they were damaged, repaired, and strengthened.

    As for the copyrights, Haney stated in his Q&A that it’s been a long and hard road getting permission to use all the footage and music in the film and his lawyer is still working to make sure they get all the proper licensing.

    Please, see the film before you make any more quick judgements.

    • Samantha Saturday

      Additionally, this would be an entirely different story if Haney wasn’t an incredibly humble, yet ballsy kid and a phenomenal photographer/videographer.

      A friend and fellow music photographer has met Haney in the pit and she’s told me that she had no clue he wasn’t there with proper credentials. Her account is that he was professional and courteous.

      • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

        Hi samantha. Thank you for your comments and the insights to the story. I don’t know Marcus in person And i can just make my opinion based on the trailer and what i read about the film. As a pro concert photographer myself, I can not imagine how to sneak into a festival and film there in the pit. It would also be interesting which equipment he was using. Maybe the security guards at Coachella are just lazy, but this would never be possible at a festival in europe. if this is true then it would be really bad publicity for the organizer of the festivals. What puzzles me the most is, why should this story become a movie project?Serious documentaries are not produced by MTV and the music biz is too restricted to release this kind footage in a film. We, as concert photographers have to sign contracts and sometimes we are not even able to use our photos for our own internet portfolio. You get sued by a band if you print your pics on tshirt and sell them. So in my opinion this is a music image film, most likely for Mumford and Sons and Marcus provided the cool backstory for it.

        • Samantha Saturday

          If anything, the way I’d view it as a festival organizer is to use it – and Haney – as a resource to beef up security in those areas that need it. Haney has even said he’d be happy to help festivals figure out where they need security, similar to how software companies hire hackers to test the stability of their products.

          This story became a film because Haney (a former USC film student) had all this footage from the festivals and travel that he decided to put it together to tell his story. Before No Cameras Allowed, he made another short about sneaking into festivals called Connaroo: How Broke Kids Do Bonnaroo. This is the short doc that he gave to a Mumford & Sons crew member, which eventually made it to the band, which in turn got him invited on tour with them. This was not produced by MTV, it is being distributed by them. The film was made long before MTV got involved.

          And if you actually see the film, you’ll know there’s so much more to it than just Mumford & Sons.

          And yes, it sucks that this could cause others to try to sneak into the pit, but as a general rule for keeping my head above water in this business, I keep my head down, blinders on, and do what I love to do. To me, I don’t mind so much who else is in the pit if they are being courteous and professional. We all had our first learning experiences in the pit and in the music photography business. Haney has a true passion for it and it’s reminded me of why I got into this in the first place, and I thank him for that.

    • Sam Mortensen

      “Please, see the film before you make any more quick judgements.”

      Common sense prevails!!! Thank you!

      • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

        Sam, i’lll definitely will have a look at the film once it’s available in Europe. Some people commented here who saw the film and it seems he snuck also 16 of his friends into the photopit. This would be probably the worst reputation for a big festival organizer eve and i don’t think the Coachella guys want to have this shown in publicity.

  • Eric Burgasser

    I’m assuming that the video he shot has audio. Recording right in front of the stage is probably not the best location when it comes to audio. Normally I see audio recorded through the soundboard, so this would also require him to establish some relationship with the sound guys too.

  • CodeMellow

    I took my boyfriend to see the premier and all he could do was whisper bullsh*t every other 20-25 minutes of the film. And after reading all the comments on this threadno one has mentioned the second half of this film includes his entourage of 16 friends that also manage to sneak in and take photography. One of which shoots his camera feet away from JayZ his wheelchair. My boyfriend is also a professional in this industry and called out that some of that equipment requires 2 people to shoot. My personal belief is that there must be 10% of truth somewhere between all the bullshit. I’m sure Warner Bros & MTV partnered up, beefed up the footage with real documented shots sitting somewhere in storage, and convinced several artist to release rights. Not to mention this is one big ass Mumford & Sons’ infomercial

    • CodeMellow

      And that 10% credit is just my loyalty to optimism because truth be told…there is even more insider evidence proving this movie is one big marketing scheme. But hey…MTV had to come up with something after the Real World. I’d love to know what Coachella thinks about the glorification behind sneaking into their event and how much fun they are going to have dealing with all the idiot re-enactments they’ll be able to anticipate next year.

      • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

        Hi CodeMellow! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about the movie. If it’s true that 16 people snuck in then the festival organization is into big trouble and maybe the glorification in the movie has some consequences regarding their security plan. it seems that almost all concert photographers who are active on facebook and twitter believe this movie is only a marketing stunt. Thanks to your comment we have even more reason to believe in this.

  • Mark

    Maybe we’ve all missed the fine print that states, This movie is loosely based on true events, but then Hollywood glammed it up just to make a buck. Please don’t try this at home because it’s only SLIGHTLY possible. Or I could be wrong and Hollywood takes us for idiots that this is how it really could happen and stealing and trespassing is Ok. And that artist enjoy you not paying for tix to see them because they alreadyake enough money anyway.

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      Both of your options can be possible Mark

  • http://alv.im/ Guilherme Maia Alvim

    They just needed to call it a “movie” and not a “documentary”. now, too late. just wait and watch the movie. then judge if you find necessary. I’m not defending the movie or documentary as they say, but people need to be more light. Too many rants, too many haters. Just don’t give enough buzz to it. Watch, rate, judge. The truth may come easily and maybe it is already there. It is just a movie. or not. Relax, people of the internets.

  • Justin

    Ive snuck into a couple music festivals, It’s not hard, And i didint need a wristband to get on the stage. Just confidence. Gaurds aren’t paid enough to give two shits, Half of them take $ and walk you through a back gate themselves. Get real. “Fake” Pssssh…You’re just pissed you didin’t have this idea. He wanted something, He went out and got it.
    Lazyness doesn’t mean you’re not a hard worker, It means if there is a faster and easier way to get the job done you’ll do it.
    Big middle finger up from Florida! :)

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      Hi Justin! Thanks for your comment. Being dishonest is just not my style, but it seems you are more clever than all the other concert photographers out there.

      • justin

        I did it as an attendee,Not a concert photographer. I said it as an example to how easy it is to sneak into a big festival these days.

        I’m sure it is a punch in the face to you “Real” Photographers though, Seeing a young kid do something never done before. And getting all the praise he deserves for it. God that must suck huh? Enough so that you had to write a detailed article about him and his movie?
        He is no different than you. He is a real Videographer/Photographer.
        Not many kids his age have the chance to get on stage and shoot, So why the hell not should he forget that fucking majestic idea of sneaking in and having a pair of nads (A big pair at that) To put his dreams into motion?

        • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

          I guess doing this and having success with it is one thing. Starting a marketing stunt about this movie for MTV another. He could have just kept it for himself and could be proud of him. I mentioned before I am not jealous at all, cause I made my path already by being honest and building tust with people. Your (now glorified) approach to see Security guys as idiots and just give them enough money to sneak in is far from professional. If you don´t give a shit about other people then maybe it´s the right way for you.

  • MarcusHaney

    Hello guys, Marcus Haney here, from the doc. Would love to clear up any questions regarding the legitimacy of this film. First off, many questions you’ve posted here I’ve already answered here in my reddit AMA.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2c1tjs/i_am_james_marcus_haney_you_may_have_seen_a/

    If you have further questions, feel free to go ahead and ask me right here too! I’ve got nothing to hide.

    To be crystal clear – this doc was not made by MTV. They are solely a distribution partner. They had nothing to do with the creation of this doc.

    Also – EVERY single piece of footage you see in the film is shot by me, or by my close friends. Every single shot. 90% of it came from my camera, the rest came from my close friends (most of which are the shots that you see me appear in). There was never a crane used. I did hang off the rafters above stages for certain shots, and that’s probably what you’re mistaking for crane shots. I did (spoiler alert) sneak a remote controlled helicopter with a camera on it into a festival for some shots. The accusations of the footage being too “glitzy” and “produced” and “slick” are very flattering, thank you.

    Again, please read the reddit AMA and if you have further questions, I’ll be sure to answer them here. Please forgive me if I don’t get back in a super quick fashion, as I’m on the road and working. Thanks.

    -Marcus
    http://www.jamesmarcushaney.com

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      Hi Marcus!
      Thanks for your comment. and thanks for clearing things up. Your story generated a big Buzz in the Concert Photography community. So I really appreciate your move by being open for discussing it here. Best Matthias

  • W C

    Marcus, as one photographer to another, I would love to punch you and your inflated ego in the face…

    -WC

  • MaxMax

    It´s not so hard to get into festivals and even on Stage with a camera. It happened to me already two times without big effort.

  • Steph Pearl Photo

    I wonder if some of these artist will sue him for taping them without
    some kind of acknowledgement of it being done…he got some pretty big
    names with this stunt of his. I completely agree with you on this. I
    honestly can’t make heads or tails of this..other then it feels like a
    slap in the face

  • Sophie

    I personally know Marcus Haney. I have snuck into many festivals with him and unfortunately for all you haters that video is 100% real. My best friend worked on editing. If you saw the movie it would explain how he got the footage from above (he used a go pro helicopter) and how he got high resolution video (snuck in about 5 cameras). It’s pretty pathetic that you would accuse someone of being a fraud simply because he did something differently. Oh an MTV bought the documentary after he made it, he shopped it around which is how most of the independent film industry works.

    • http://howtobecomearockstarphotographer.com/ Matthias Hombauer

      Hi Sophie! Thank you for your comment and sharing your knowledge about this controversial topic here. It´s not about doing things differently and I am by far not a hater of Marcus. As I said before I wrote about my experiences as pro music photographer and if it´s so easy to sneak in, than probably the security issues in the US are different. I am just wondering why bands will sue you if you just print your pics on T shirts and sell them (which obviously is stealing their merch) on one hand but on the other hand everyone is cool by sneaking in, making illegal video (!) footage, selling it to the media and gets hyped as you are the coolest guys around. I mean, if I were a guy in the music manager, I would be pissed and I am sure it´s a really bad reputation for all the concert organizers. Anyhow. congrats if you made it, but I wouldn´t be so proud of sneaking in and doing things in an illegal way. Hope you don´t get blacklisted.