Monday, 26 September 2016

Stalkerazzi Culture

I felt compelled to write this Blog Post after what I witnessed at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).  It got me angry at the behaviour of some of the people "fan watching".

There are 2 kinds of people that show up and stand around for hours waiting to see celebrities.

The 1st kind are the people that love their work or think they are beautiful or whatever fantasy they have attached to them, or they want to be seen with these people to show off to their friends and family.  Yes the celebrities are gracious to these people and pose with their babies as I witnessed Zhang Zie do with a young Asian family.  Signatures are out and selfies are in.  Smart celebrities have taken to grabbing the camera and taking the selfies themselves because it saves a lot of time for them.  Most celebrities are happy to do this and some know it's just part of their business and do a few.  Some celebrities like Gerard Butler like to take to getting the people to pose with him and do his signature salute photo.  He likes to have fun with it.  Some celebrities go out of their way to get to as many fans as they can and sometimes they want to but are on a tight schedule and can't sign or pose for pics.  Don't blame the celebrity, blame their hectic schedules.

The 2nd kind of "Fan" isn't really a fan, it's a Stalkerazzi, a person who will wait for hours to get a celebrity to sign a studio photo or poster which they turn around and sell on Ebay or a fan expo.
These people don't get excited and squeel in their excitement,  they literally yell at the celebrities.
What I witnessed at the screening of ReAssignment was horrifying and disgusting behaviour.  Both Michelle Rodriguez and Segourney Weaver were there for the screening.  Michelle arrived a bit earlier so she had a bit of time to sign and pose with the "fans" but Segourney spent time doing interviews and then had no time to sign or snap pics with the people waiting.  The director had already entered for the introductions and the stars weren't going to go on stage but they were being seated to see the film.  As I walked in front of Segourney to bring her into the building I was disgusted at the behaviour of the people waiting on the other side of the barriers.  They were rudely yelling at her to sign their photos etc.  One saying, "he waited all day".   How is that Segourney's fault?  They were upset obviously because he wasn't going to make any money off of her signature or photo.  Too bad buddy.  There are no guarantees that these celebrities will accommodate your bank accounts and I think the practice of selling signatures should stop altogether.

I heard that one celebrity started to refuse to sign things and opted to only take selfies with people.  As I thought about it, I thought that was actually a smart practice because they can't sell photos with themselves in it.  That's a fan thing ONLY.  

I had time to kill before a film and went to see my friends at Roy Thompson Hall and the Rolling Stones were there for their screening.   One guy was upset that he went for a break and missed 2 of the Stones that were there.  He said that the signature guys as he called them, were the crazy ones. He was carrying a ladder so gee wonder what his intentions were?  I didn't see them either but didn't really care.  They were already there when I walked over but I didn't really care.  I saw Keith Richards speak at his documentary last year and that was fine for me.
I guess I am jaded and over the craziness of seeing celebrities but really, you aren't going to form a lasting relationship with them if you see them for a second before they walk into a building.

The world has become too obsessed with Celebrity and sometimes I think I help feed into that because I have been a makeup artist, a filmmaker, and volunteered at a number of film festivals where celebrities are put on pedestals above everyone else.

They need to go to the bathroom just like the rest of us.

Some people are super talented and multi talented like people like Justin Timberlake who had a documentary about his last show premier at the festival.  He has been in the business since he was a child and has gotten to the top of the music business and is now tackling the film world and also has his hands in the design world and even in Tequila too.  I think people with years of work put into their craft should be respected.   Segourney Weaver should be respected because she broke ground for a lot of females to get tough women roles in film.   They don't deserve to be yelled at or made money off of.

Yes I love to take photos but not just of celebrities and I only take photos of people I admire for myself.  I am not looking to sell them.  I also take photos of random things on the street and homeless people because at heart I am a photographer.

So please consider the celebrity as a person and put yourself in their shoes and think about if you would like being yelled at or taken advantage of for just showing up somewhere.

People like Kim Kardashian have controlled the dollars to go to her for showing up but I think that her whole thing had driven the celebrity culture to do insane things.

Gone are the days where celebrities are portrayed a certain way and respected.  I long for those days to return.

Please stop buying those signed photos and give them the respect that you wish to have.  I am sure most of them would be happy to have a real conversation with you.