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Elevator enthusiasts or lift enthusiasts/fans are people who are interested in elevators and enthusiastic about them.
On the internet, especially on YouTube, there is a community with many elevator enthusiasts called the YouTube Elevator Community. This community began in 2007 due to the popularity of Dieselducy and Musicfreakcc's elevator videos and has thousands of users worldwide in it.
Some of the characteristics of an elevator enthusiasts are:
- Riding the elevator up and down
- Riding the elevator to the highest or lowest floor
- Sometimes taking pictures or video(s) of elevators and sometimes sharing them on social media
- Recording the speed of the elevator
- Focusing on the leveling of the elevator
- Check the elevator inspection certificate while they are riding
- Watching or sometimes identifying the elevator fixtures
- Looking for many places that may have interesting elevators to ride
- Doing a research of elevators
Although it is unknown how and when people's interests in elevators started, Dieselducy is well known for being perhaps the first person to show interest in elevators in the way enthusiasts do today. In 1988, he came up with the idea of filming elevators in his 5th grade classroom when he saw a Video Camcorder on the A/V cart while he was reading a National Geographic magazine article about the high-speed Otis Elevonic 401 scenic elevators at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. As a result of becoming fascinated with these elevators at the same time of seeing the camcorder, he thought about how using a camcorder to record this elevator system could allow him to watch the experience of the ride over and over again without having to keep going back to the place, thus forming the concept of filming elevators. He did end up doing it in 1993, making him the first person in the world known to film elevators specifically for hobby-related purposes.
Introduction of elevator filming/enthusiasm to the internet
In addition to coming up with the idea, dieselducy is also well known for introducing elevator filming and enthusiasm to the internet via YouTube videos. He posted the first-ever hobby-based elevator video to YouTube in October 2006, and then in February 2007, when he went to Atlanta to train for his job at Norfolk Southern Railroad, he began uploading elevator videos regularly when he revisited the Atlanta hotels he filmed in back in 1993 and retook those elevators with his Sony T1.
A Growing Community
Ever since dieselducy filmed several elevators in early 2007, more people who are interested in elevators have come across his videos and started making elevator videos themselves and posting them to YouTube. Although this trend surfaced when crapper1 uploaded a couple elevator videos to YouTube in March 2007, it wasn't until musicfreakcc began filming elevators and uploading them to YouTube that elevator filming became popular.
Issues regarding elevator enthusiasts filming elevators
Many places with elevators have rules and/or laws that conflict with elevator photography, especially after the attacks of 9/11. These are some of the most common examples:
- Many elevator filmers have been harassed and/or detained by security guards and occasionally police officers due to their behavior of entering buildings and/or taking pictures and videos in places where photography is prohibited or without permission from security guards or building owners. In the worst cases, it has led to the filing of a trespassing order and somethimes calls home from authorities. Elevatortimes is a good example of someone who used to be one of the most well-known elevator photographers but ever since quit filming elevators due to being harassed like this. However, this isn't always a problem on all buildings with security. For example, Reza Tanaka has been become good friends with the security guards of Gotong Royong Hospital, a hospital located beside his former school.
- Elevator filmers that are children or teens sometimes get questioned and/or kicked out when trying to enter places such as commercial or privately owned buildings.
- The filming of service/freight elevators is also controversial because normally, they are not designed for passengers and restricted to authorized personnel only. Thus the majority of places ban public passengers from riding them. They are also often in restricted areas of the building, so elevator filmers who enter these areas to ride these elevators could, in the worst case, be filed for trespassing and/or burglary charges.
- Many elevator filmers have bought and collected elevator keys off the internet and although that, itself, is completely legal, many filmers in the past have misused such keys on elevators. Most commonly, they have been used to turn off elevator cab fans that enthusiasts find to be annoying and that drown out the sound of the elevator motor. They have also used them to put elevators into special operating modes that, in normal situations, would disrupt normal, efficient elevator operations. The most serious issues are enthusiasts using them to access floors usually restricted to the public without permission and the possibility of falsely summoning the fire department when putting an elevator into fire service. If someone is caught using elevator keys illegally, they could be permanently expelled from the property, filed with trespassing/felony charges, and/or in the worst case, be arrested and thrown in jail. Thus a couple YouTube elevator filmers have made videos addressing this issue to inform others about the unlawfulness of such behaviors. See also: Appropriate Use of Elevator Keys.