Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., wants to bring a little more Hollywood to Washington, claiming the Capitol grounds should be open to commercial filming when Congress is out of session.
Norton plans to introduce legislation after the recess that would expand permit privileges beyond Union Square, the 11-acre area below the west side of the Capitol and part of the plaza that includes the Reflecting Pool.
“Hollywood and other commercial filmmakers should not have to go to fake capitols for movies and films about the capital of the United States,” she said in a statement released Tuesday. She added that the Union Square access shows “Capitol Police can handle filmmaking on the grounds when Congress is not in session.”
The Netflix hit “House of Cards” filmed on the National Mall in August 2014 but shoots most principal photography in Baltimore because of the Capitol restrictions. Norton introduced a bill that year to allow commercial film and photography crews to apply for permits for exterior shots of the Capitol and grounds.
Her reasons for bringing up the issue again include its possible boost to the capital economy and to spread the story of Congress and help the “low” reputation of the legislative body.
Of course, more cameras around the campus might also mean more opportunity to record incidents like Norton's attempt at parking earlier this year . Cinema verité has its risks.