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Thread: Ethical dilemma. Pay ?

  1. #1
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    Default Ethical dilemma. Pay ?

    When I applied for that MA course I had to write a treatment for a 30 mins documantary - did one on prostituion, street prostitution but from the angle of the women who did the unpleasent duties.

    This year I promised myself I wouldnt only make daft funny stuff but also something of real value.

    I had a chat with a street worker today - her opinion was no one will do interviews for free - and why should they?

    Somehow paying a woman 30 quid to talk instead of fuck just seems wrong - I dunno - discuss.

    Is it ethical to pay peope to be in documentary when it is ' dramatic realization of actualite' - Vertov said that I think - did ' man with a movie camera'

  2. #2

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    You need to find some with cheaper tricks Mark
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

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  3. #3

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    thats a tricky question Mark.. No pun intended... Ethics is just a hard question to answer... I'll leave that pun alone.. lmao.. Ethics is an individual thing.. whats ethical to one person isnt to another.. Some think prostitution is a victimless crime.. is it? Im sure a lot of prostitutes think of it as just a business where their bodies and acts are the product. While others do because they feel its the only way to survive what ever situation they are in.. As far as it being ethical to pay them them for an interview.. im sure the ones that think of it as a business feel they should be payed.. Now if you find one that feels they have no choice and dosent really like it but feels they have to.. Im sure they'll be happy to share their story for free if it kelps others... Well thats just my thoughts on it.. I might be totally off base..
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    Nearly everyone who gives an interview for a professional documentary gets paid.

    Those professors, writers and "experts" who are becoming familiar faces all get a fee. A lot more than 30 as well. I would go so far as to suggest that, if you don't pay the girls, you are using them more than their sexual customers. You would get something from them, using their time and exposing them to public view, without giving anything in return.

    The moral question for me would be "is it right to use these women without paying?" and my answer would be an unequivocal "No!"

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    The majority of people have sex for free. Some people pay for it. The majority of people work for a fee. Some people people do it for free.

    And there it is. If you can't get an interview for free, you have to pay for it. I don't think it's an issue of morality at all. Perhaps the subject matter is creating a false impression of morality. Now I'm tempted to say that the women (and men?) involved would typically be open to some kind of donation - you could argue that otherwise you would be exploiting them. But, again, I think the suject matter is clouding the issue.

    But let's put it another way. If you were creating a doc about homeless, would you offer something in return? I don't think there's a moral issue there at all, is there? You're merely helping someone out in need.

    So perhaps that's my answer. If buy creating a documentary you can give something back, then there is no moral issue. The moral dilema here isn't whether you should pay someone to be in a documentary, is it? Rather it's do you feel that you should provide some kind of help and support.

    To wrap up, I think that's my distinction. I wouldn't pay someone, but I would offer to help if someone was in deed of that help. But the bottom line is that if you can't get an interview without paying (and i'm sure Katie Price pimps herself out at a hefty fee), then you have to pay.

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    Looks like others have summed this up nicely, Mark. there is no dillemma really.
    In this instance you are paying them for speaking instead of having sex. I can't see anyone having an issue with that.

    EXCEPT:

    If they are in prostitution to feed a drug addiction - this is a dilemma. You are assisting people in feeding their addiction by paying. Arguably by paying 30 that's 30 they don't have to do a trick for OR commit some crime for.
    Tim

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    If they are in prostitution to feed a drug addiction - this is a dilemma. You are assisting people in feeding their addiction by paying. Arguably by paying 30 that's 30 they don't have to do a trick for OR commit some crime for.
    I don't really see that as a dilema either. Isn't it the same to say that you shouldn't by CDs from musicians with a coke habit? I honestly think the industry we're talking about is creating a percieved morality.

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    Thanks everyone.

    A few responses.

    I dont have a moral objection to prostitution or drug use so the actual act of paying them I am ok with - I only give money to beggers in the full knowledge that it is for drink or drugs. I know the pain of addiction too well as an alcoholic in remission - about 8 years I think.

    The film will be supportive of them in that it is intended to be didactic with the women speaking as transparently through the camera as is possible within the bounds of the interview format.

    I think I should pay for the practical reason that they would be on the street if they were not in my front room, or perferably thiers. Seems fair.

    My problem is that I am concerned that if people are paid, thay make be taking part ONLY for the money and may not be prepared to speak with the gravity I am looking for.

    I will brave mockery from my street by talking to many more I think - I will first try to find people who WANT to tell thier stroy - that will make far more provocative and affecting video.

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    Between filming ants I went out last night to recruit.

    There I was drivelling on - no speak english - polish - tsk - was sooo delfated gave up and went back to ants. Lols.

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