how to: neutralize paparazzi
I am surprised that celebrities do not try harder to foil the efforts of those insistent hooligans: the paparazzi. Nonetheless, hand extensions are popular. So are downward-casting eyes. Mr. Kanye West recently demonstrated that the classic grab-camera-and-smash-on-floor move is not only an inefficient deterrent to photography, but also, a felony.
So, to those that suffer at the hands of group of strange men documenting one’s every trip to Duane Reade, all flip-flops afoot and ironic t-shirt donned, all Just Like Us, to them, I humbly offer two innovative solutions:
- Mist with a spritz water bottle. Face it, camera lenses are very sensitive to schmutz. Any water droplets, fog, hair, sand, or granuelle on the front of the camera lens will ruin a photograph. So, arm the bodyguards with spritz/spray bottles filled with distilled water, and a shot of mist should disrupt any in-your-face paparazzi for a significant amount of time. The lens cannot be quickly wiped, for fear of scratching. The light water does not damage the camera, eventually evaporating without leaving a smidgen of residue. Also: this item reportedly works on cats.
- Dump the market. Paparazzi only hound celebrities because the financial upside is huge: they unload photos to the tabloids for amount as high as $1,000 per juicy photo [citation needed, okay maybe I just made it up]. The solution then is to remove the financial incentive for paparazzis to bother following a given celebrity. We can do that by dumping on the price for celebrity photos by flooding the market with cheap photos of that celebrity.
Here’s an example: Assume Owen Wilson. Owen Wilson hires a photographer Phil, on an exclusive contract, to take pictures of Owen Wilson as he goes about his day. Owen Wilson may even tip off the exclusive photographer on his occasional location so as to capture candids. The exclusive photographer Phil, under contract, then turns around and sells these photos to the tabloids but at a huge discount, let’s say, for mere dollars. Presumably, the tabloids will realize they don’t have to pay $1,000/photo for photos of Owen Wilson from all the other paparazzi; why bother when they can just buy them from Phil on the cheap? The market value of Owen Wilson photos plummets. The paparazzi say, “WTF? I’m not going to follow around Owen Wilson all day. It’s not worth the time. Where’s Christian Bale at?” And there you have it. Economic warfare.
Thoughts, audience? Will the spritz defense result in lawsuits anyway or merely usher in the era of the telephoto? Is dumping-the-market unviable in the aggregate?