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Olly LawerPermissions
by on Jun 1, 2010 at 9:15:58 am

Hi,

I filmed a short corporate production recently which included interviews from members of the local community.

It was queried wether I had written permission from each of the people I interviewed. I do not. I have never sought permission from those I film before, however, do I need to seek permissions to release the video? What about the Cafe's I filmed in?

Also, to complicate matters. I am still working F/T for the company I produced the video for (my video production company is still P/T, but will be my full time profession shortly). Am I able to use the video for my own promotion?

Thanks

Olly Lawer


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Mark SuszkoRe: Permissions
by on Jun 1, 2010 at 2:42:35 pm

Next time, have some postcards made up with a simple model release form on them, have the people sign it before you start, filling in their name and address and proper title. Roll tape on them while the do it. When shooting, tell them you are adjusting the microphone, could they please say and spell their name, home town, and their title? Oh, and, do I have your permission to use your comments and image in this project for documentary purposes? Yes? Great.

Now, even if they didn't sign the release, you have video proof that they agreed to let you use them.


As far as your current project, you can hopefully track those folks down and get a release signed. Lack of clearances often kill projects like this, especially for art or music in shots.

I don't know that you need permission after the fact from the cafe where you shot, but it might be be nice to ask them if they want a credit at the end of the piece.

Unless... you were sneaky, and they didn't know you were shooting there? Or there are protected trademarks somewhere in the shot? That doesn't autmatically mean you can't use it, but they *might* stir up trouble, and nobody that would run your film wants any legal troubles.


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Olly LawerRe: Permissions
by on Jun 1, 2010 at 9:37:32 pm

Thanks for your reply. OK - so bar going back and getting a signed release or to camera permission from all 20 interviewee's, I cannot get all the permissions. What is the consequences if I haven't got a release and I promote the video? I am assuming people who have agreed to be filmed (all be it not captured on film) would be happy it being used for the purpose intended or they would not of agreed to give the interview. I filmed an event recently and it would of been impossible to collect all those recognisable.

Also, does a permission allow me creative freedom. I often cut about what people say to make it more concise.

PS - the film is literally a short 2 minute production to promote the work of a Council in the community. It is not to be sold.

Olly Lawer


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Richard CrowleyRe: Permissions
by on Jun 1, 2010 at 9:46:35 pm

You MIGHT be able to get away with it for short-duration promotional purposes for the "council" (some sort of government or para-government agency??) You might get away with using a shot or two for your "reel". But don't plan on using those shots for anything else that will be seen in public (whether for $$$ for free.)

But let this be a VALUABLE learning experience. NEVER go out and do that again without a clipboard of release forms. Murphy's law states that if you FAIL to get a release for someone, that will be the very clip you (or your client) want most to use. And if you use it, THEY are the ones that will come after all of you. Very bad practice. Even "drive-by" "man-on-the-street" interviews must have a signed release, doesn't matter whether they are sitting or standing (or walking). This is why there are production assistants: to chase down people with release forms.


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grinner hesterRe: Permissions
by on Jun 1, 2010 at 7:46:45 pm

They did sit down interviews, man. It's not like they didn't acknowledge being recorded. Don't let anyone make ya over think it.




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Noah KadnerRe: Permissions
by on Jun 1, 2010 at 9:00:11 pm

True they did sit for interviews and technically knew of course what it was for. But also technically without a signed or verbal recorded release anyone who ends up in the finished film can take you to court. Good idea to plug those holes before you go too far along with the movie. Also a distributor wouldn't touch a doc that had no releases- if that's a factor.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Learn DSLR Cinematography.


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Nick GriffinRe: Permissions -- WHERE?
by on Jun 1, 2010 at 10:31:34 pm

Guys-
What strikes me is Olly's spelling of "recognisable." Olly, so far you only seem to have received advice from people in the United States and it appears quite possible that you are located outside of the US, hence not subject to the way laws in the US are interpreted and enforced. Not to say that it may be much different under UK or other systems, just that you should rely on more than these opinions. If there is money involved in this project seek local legal help. You may easily have less (or more) to worry about.
That, as said earlier, though, use this as a learning lesson for how to proceed in the future.


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Noah KadnerRe: Permissions -- WHERE?
by on Jun 1, 2010 at 11:23:35 pm

how astute. Yeah it would help if he'd said it was shot in colour...

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Learn DSLR Cinematography.


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