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Old October 22nd, 2013, 04:58 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Fresno, Ca
Posts: 214
Private Investigator

Hello everyone. I was contacted by a Private Investigator who wants me to record some video of him and his crew on the job. My question it legal to show the faces of those they come in contact with, or would I need to blur their face? They want a short Cops style 10-15 minute video shot. Thanks in advance. They want to pitch it for a reality show in Los Angeles.
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 05:03 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Re: Private Investigator

I'm not a lawyer and don't know the law in your area but I would have to think that if they don't sign off a release you'd be best off blurring the faces. Keep some releases in your pocket filled out ready to go, so if they say OK you're ready and all they have to do is sign off.
Better safe than sued!
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 05:50 PM   #3
Inner Circle
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Location: Apple Valley CA
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Re: Private Investigator

You're in Cali-sue-ya... don't feed the attorneys!

Either get releases or be prepared to blur out any and all identifying faces/markings. Better safe than sorry.
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 06:43 PM   #4
Inner Circle
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Location: Sydney.
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Re: Private Investigator

A reality show like this won't be plain sailing for the crew, your PI is likely to organise some fireworks for the pilot.

So wear some sort of protection, a bullet jacket comes to mind and get some insurance.

30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
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Old October 23rd, 2013, 11:21 AM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,774
Re: Private Investigator

As already stated if the plan is to broadcast the footage you will either need to get a release or make sure they are not recognizable. You may also need to blur any trademarked logos, etc. I've worked a few documentaries and when we're doing any shots where the public could be recognized we have PA's to go get their releases or we take note to remember to blur them in post.

I agree that there could be some fireworks and you're crew should be ready for even the strangest thing to happen, including an angry subject slamming your camera to the ground.
Garrett Low
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Old October 23rd, 2013, 12:15 PM   #6
Major Player
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 576
Re: Private Investigator

OTOH...if it is a non-broadcast sizzle reel, wouldn't there be a lot more latitude on faces and releases? Granted, it's always safer to protect yourself on the back end, but it the project is clearly shot and delivered as an in-house, never to be seen in public project, I'd not be that concerned about releasing everyone in the video.

Of course, this depends on your trust level with the PI that he won't repurpose the video as an advertisement on his website...
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