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Old April 16th, 2011, 12:24 PM   #1
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Signed release

Facing a challenge in a wildlife documentary interms of getting signed releases from people especially tribals and locals who are too scared to sign on a paper. They are ok being featured, but neither they understand english and signing something becomes scary for them. The situation is the same with some lower level officials as well. How do you guys handle it.

I guess for some officials, may be some form of small release rather than a lengthy document will be better. However, for others they are scared. Your suggestions would be highly appreciated.

Cheers,
Sabyasachi
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Old April 16th, 2011, 02:18 PM   #2
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Re: Signed release

that's tough to answer; do you satisfy the legal requirements if you make every reasonable effort, do you abandon shooting without the release, or do you shoot anyway and take the chance?

I've moved away from paper releases to using an ipad and doing it electronically. I don't know if that would help or hinder your situation. Personally, if I can't get a release signed, I don't shoot. Sometimes it comes down to playing on their ego a bit to convince them to sign a release but if nothing works, I am not willing to put myself or a client in a risky situation. at the end of the day you may be further ahead to just revise your shot.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 11:14 PM   #3
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Re: Signed release

If you are in India I understand your issue and have faced it many times. The best option is to pay them a little to get their signature, and to do it before you shoot anything. Keep it short and simple, and most will agree to sign.

If money doesn't buy it, friendliness will. The only thing you shouldn't do is to complicate matters by explaining what the whole thing means. They don't want to know. Hope this helps.

If you are dealing with government offices, they always have a filming policy that includes documentation work, so you are covered.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #4
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Re: Signed release

Wayne,
How do you do it electronically in the field?

Sareesh,
I am in India. The challenge is in getting release from the tribal members. As I am new to this game (of film making), grappling with the issue of getting release. Can you share a draft of any release that you use? I am trying to figure out something which is short and non-intimidating. And looking for a creative solution for getting release from the communities.

Cheers,
Sabyasachi
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Old April 17th, 2011, 10:17 AM   #5
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Re: Signed release

If you can specify how critical it is (depending on your client and delivery platform), I can send you a few samples. Email, too, please.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 12:31 PM   #6
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Re: Signed release

I've been thinking about this for a while and shot some footage recently of an old cowhand that says he can't read or write, but he may have been making that up. To show his face I will need a release for sure.

One non threatening way will be to ask for "permission to use your picture". When he agrees, I'll pull out a form with a title that says "Permission to use you picture". That may help things to be a little more relaxed. Maybe this will help in your case?

Regards & happy shooting,
Doug.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #7
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Re: Signed release

Here in the US you can get a release on camera. You will point the camera at them, turn it on and ask them to state their names and give permission to use them in the footage you're shooting. You may want to consult a lawyer for the exact wording, or you can find a standard video or modeling release online and just have them read that on camera.
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Old April 18th, 2011, 02:45 PM   #8
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Re: Signed release

Thanks Arnie,
This may be the most relaxed way to do it. Some people hate signing things, some have no problems with it.
Regards & happy shooting,
Doug.
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