jump cam

Film captures suicides on Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge officials are seething that a moviemaker who told them he was working on a "day in the life" project about the landmark was, in fact, capturing people on film as they jumped to their deaths.

Steel also flew around the country logging nearly a hundred hours of interviews with jumpers' families, friends, witnesses, medical and psychiatric professionals and several attempted jumpers.

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20 Responses:

  1. adameros says:

    "Attepmted jumpers"? What, they couldn't clear the rail?

    • bokane says:

      No; having thoroughly fucked up their lives, they went on to fuck up their deaths.

    • majcher says:

      Some friends of a friend are doing the filming on this project. From what I understand, most of the time they just leave the cameras rolling all the time, and review them afterwards. When they are there, however, they're not just ghoulish "observers" rubbing their hands together with glee every time a jumper comes along - from their account, they have actually personally prevented at least two people from going over. I would guess that those could be the "attempted jumpers" - the ones that the filmmakers saved.

  2. no_brakes23 says:

    The city officials are worried that his project could cause more people to jump.


    I suppose GTA makes people go on killing sprees and Marilyn Manson made Columbine happen.

    Whatever. Fucking politicians.

    • geektalk says:

      How I read it was that he was concerned that more suicidal people would use the Golden Gate bridge as their final exit strategy as opposed to some other method. Which seems like a reasonable assumption to me.

      Of course, it also seems kinda selfish, since he mostly just doesn't want to deal with the headache of extra suicide paperwork or something.

      • dominobutter says:

        reminds me of the 1000th jumper deathwatch.. where they wouldn't publish any information about suicides for fear that someone would jump just to be #1000. at the same time there were published statistics about the average number of bridges people crossed before jumping off the golden gate. if you're gonna jump, why not jump off the most famous?

        regardless, the odds of dying on the bay bridge without jumping seems rather high in the last few years.

    • linda712 says:

      The board member quoted being concerned about copycat suicides is supported by research.

      They have found that the media likely played a role in approximately 10 percent of suicide deaths of people younger than 25--either by giving youths the idea to commit suicide or by providing youths already contemplating suicide with information about a specific method.


  3. pavel_lishin says:

    Did they stop to consider that maybe if the highlight of a person's life is having their suicide captured on film, their death might not be such a great loss to society?

    I guess the bay would get kind of mucked up after awhile, thoug.

    • pavel_lishin says:

      Also, isn't this news story generating a lot more attention towards Golden Gate Suicides? Prior to this, it was just a man and some cameras, doing his own thing in the privacy of, uh, a public park. But now everyone knows that at some point cameras were rolling. Won't they be much more tempted to commit suicide, hoping to get filmed?

      • xtingu says:

        Reminds me of a jewelry store in Mesa, AZ that had a hand-painted sign that said, Engagement Ring Sale Today!! "Well, my girlfriend is a wretched naggy bitch, but hey, rings are on sale..."

        If you weren't seriously contemplating suicide, why would being the 1,000th jumper be incentive? And if you are seriously considering suicide, what do you care if you're #1000 or #56? "Well, I'm only somewhat inconsolably depressed today, but hey, I could be the 1,000th jumper..."

        I dunno. Just seems illogical. (Alas, methinks logic doesn't apply here.)

  4. endico says:

    That must be who I saw the day i took this picture. In november I parked at Crissy field and walked up the trail to the bridge and back. Just past that weird hobbit hole tunnel thingy is a picnic bench and some guy was sitting there with a ton of really expensive looking video stuff aimed at the bridge for no reason. I wondered what that was about. Now i regret not stopping to talk. Not that he would have admitted anything interesting.

    When I got my shot of the suicide sign there was a family there taking a pic of a teenage girl posing under the sign. I wonder if they interviewed any families like that for their documentary.

  5. jtemperance says:

    I realize this is really sick, but the first thing that came to mind are those cameras that capture your facial expression as you go down the big drop on an amusement park ride. You can pay $10 afterwards for a copy after seeing the photo on a monitor at the end of the ride.

  6. luserspaz says:

    Still, "we are a public facility," bridge spokeswoman Currie said. "So his request will be handled accordingly. But now there's the question of what else might he be misrepresenting.''

    "What else did he film?'' added board member Brown. "The underside of the bridge? The security patrols?"

    Oh horrors! Not the underside of the bridge!

    • fo0bar says:

      Damn conservatives! First Janet's boob, and now they're objecting to showing the undersides of bridges!

    • violentbloom says:

      on the radio they were trying to connect this deceitful act with the potential for filming for terrorism and how they needed to crack down on permits.

    • I find their question about security patrols to be rather disingenuous. It's the same ridiculous paranoia that causes cops to hassle anybody with a camera these days. Especially given the restrictive legal climate over needing clearances to use images of anything private, public works were one of the few things left that you could photograph in your documentary and not have to pay exorbitant fees.

      I'm not saying all documentarians are saints, but this is the kind of thing that ought to specifically be protected --- even despite his duplicitousness in saying he was making a movie about monuments to get permission.

  7. zapevaj says:

    That's what they get for falling for art-school bullshit like this:

    "powerful and spectacular interaction between the monument and nature"

  8. mykwud says:

    I'd post an ironic DVD-screen-cap of Bruce Willis and Sam Jackson doing the exact same jump.

    But alas, I'm lazy.

    And moreso, don't own Die Hard 3 on DVD. ;~(

  9. qacdefeej says:

    '"It is a movie about the human spirit in crisis. It is a movie about people," Steel wrote."'

    Bullshit. It's a snuff movie. By the time he talks about them, they're no longer in crisis, nor are they people: they're corpses.

    What a cold bastard.