There were some movies filmed in our city in the past few years. Some people believe that filming movies in the city centre should be banned, and I am writing to support their view.
First of all, the life of citizens will be greatly affected. Usually, filming movies along the street requires road blockage. While Hong Kong is a tiny, crowded city, blocking the main route within the city’s heart area will definitely create a tremendous amount of traffic flow to other districts, generating much burden on the capacity of the already cramped transportation network. Serious traffic congestion can occur, and there will be chaos all over the place. Think about the economic situation in Hong Kong: every second is very precious, and the traffic jam will disrupt the economy, as most employees are stuck at the bus stop, and business cannot be run properly. The operation of certain areas will be paralyzed, then the whole city may suffer a loss.
Speaking of the negative effects brought by the shooting process, apart from the impact on the economy, the disturbance caused to the near-by population should never be ignored. Imagine when a criminal movie is being shot, and the actors are holding pistols and rifles on the street, shouting loudly towards the police. Although there are cameras and microphones around them, I would say there must be some people being scared, and feeling frightened because of the sound effects. Also, the ones living near-by will be annoyed, when they find that they are unable to enjoy their relaxing time or be free from being disturbed. There may not be any big panic I would say, but I am quite sure there must be disruption to the residents around the area. For example, the retailers cannot do their business due to the road blockage, or the residents around the area suffer from the inconvenience caused by the packed roads, and so forth.
While it may be true that filming a movie in the city can bring certain benefits, there are still some doubts as to whether it is worth doing so. I would say that the benefits cannot outweigh the drawbacks. It is true that it may help to promote the tourism of the place, bringing more income to the local retailers, but adversely, more tourists entering the city means that the city will become even more terribly crowded. I think in the current situation, when Hong Kong’s economic development is already stable and it has a certain status in Asia, the government should put more efforts into improving the living standard of the citizens, instead of continuously ‘boosting’ the economic development, regardless of the ones who live in and work for the city. Furthermore, with modern advanced technology, it is possible for us to produce nearly everything we need for any scene in the movie, with the help of computer. In fact, many of the Avengers movies are not shot in the real New York city. Instead, most parts of the movies before were filmed under a giant green screen, and the city is ‘made’ of after- effects, and of course, so are the dinosaurs in ‘Jurassic Park’ as well. They look so genuine, with the CG technology used. I would say it is not quite necessary to film a movie in the city centre. What is needed to create a movie is only an advanced computer, and probably just photos taken in the place.
I would like to say that allowing movie producers to film in the city centre brings negative influence to the city, creating inconvenience and disturbance to both people and society as a whole. With the alternative of filming with technology, it is never impossible to ‘make up’ any backgrounds and settings as desired in the movie. It is, therefore, not worthy for the city to bear the loss. After all, I think that filming directly on the busy streets should be banned.
Yeung Chun Wing, Vincent