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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


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Old March 16th, 2002, 11:52 AM   #1
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Legal releases

I'm going to be following the subject of my documentary around for a while videotaping him...and he'll be interacting and speaking with people he encounters. How should I handle getting releases from these people? If they're in public, is it necessary?

Some venues will be at concerts, populated with paying audience members. Are there standard releases that can be printed on the tickets? I know some sports tickets say "..your image can be used for promotional purposes..." or words to that effect. If it's a public auditorium, does that count as a public space (even though they're paying to be there)

Any experiences you've had in this regard would be appreciated!
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Old March 17th, 2002, 11:48 AM   #2
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Generally speaking, if a person appears on screen and has a speaking part, you should get a release. I usually carry around a clip-board and a pen and get a signature on the spot.
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Old March 17th, 2002, 07:49 PM   #3
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Plus the clip board make you look important and like you're supposed to be somewhere.
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Old March 18th, 2002, 11:20 AM   #4
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I used to work at a local tv station doing ENG work. Roll the camera, point it at the ground, then ask your interviewee if they would talk to you on camera. Thus verbally agreeing on tape!

I don't know if indeed this is the "legal" way, but it at least protected me from the people that deffinitely didn't want to be on camera. Those are the type of people that will give you problems.
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Old March 20th, 2002, 05:59 PM   #5
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What I am doing is I am making a form for my company where it will have a paragraph explaining what they are signing and then underneath is where the sig's would be.... So this way if people want to read or know what it is for then they can read the short description on the page that they are signing.

So if someone could please write up a draft of the best way to word it on my form and post it here I would be greatful.

Thanks
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Old April 12th, 2002, 03:25 AM   #6
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I had worked on a shoot at a major event at a PBS station. Signs were placed around the space (and at the entrance) saying "a documentary film is being shot here ..your attendance is permision to use your image and voice in this film....:
At the begining of the event footage was taken of the signs...then we filmed away.... LEGAL I do not know.... but we were informed by the powers to be that it is an old Frederick Weisman method.. this is a link to us at the event and from there you can get to the event page http://www.stillriverpictures.com/2.html
thank you
JC
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Old April 12th, 2002, 07:42 AM   #7
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Release

...not that I liked the book but - 'Feature Filmaking at Used-Car Prices' Third Addition includes a standard release contract in Appendix E.

Regards,
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Old April 12th, 2002, 12:25 PM   #8
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"I used to work at a local tv station doing ENG work. Roll the camera, point it at the ground, then ask your interviewee if they would talk to you on camera. Thus verbally agreeing on tape! "
"I don't know if indeed this is the "legal" way,"

in many states it is ILLEGAL to record audio without a persons approval BEFORE you record !! what is strange that in many states you can record VIDEO of persons in public/private without telling them as long as you are NOT recording audio. if you record audio you are breaking law ...

also just asking somebody it you can record them/talk on camera doesn't give you any release rights other then for PRIVATE use ...
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Old April 12th, 2002, 12:59 PM   #9
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Hi,
ENG work is done for news, for the public and without personal gain. People who are around a public event or news worthy piece do not enjoy the right of privacy as would a person not attending a public or news event.

You can video tape them for spontaneity and then ask for a release, if they say no, don't use it.

Tip- you might video them either accepting or rejecting the model release.

Anyone can sue you for anything - what you're trying to do is reduce that risk (and unnecessary legal fees).

A model release must include some form of stated consideration, $1.00, a polaroid, copy of tape.
Make sure they're not minors.

Hope this helps some.
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Old November 23rd, 2002, 11:21 PM   #10
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I've been perusing different talent releases that people have posted in these forums and one thing strikes me about those that I've seen...only the "Talent" themselves are signing the release. If they have an agent, shouldn't BOTH have to sign it? And in the case of a Talent who is also a Minor, wouldn't that require three signatures (minor, parent, and agent)?
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Old November 15th, 2004, 11:13 AM   #11
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Releases

I have a situation going on now from a documentary I shot about moose in Maine. While riding with a game warden, we happened upon three men who had shot a moose. I shot everything, got audio, etc. The game warden told me when we left the scene that he suspected poaching. It turned out they did poach two moose, broke numerous laws and my video helped witnesses identify the suspects. This is on public property. I later videotaped the suspects' moose and equipment being confiscated from their home, etc. (I shot it all from the street). I got releases from the law enforcement people and am trying to get them from the suspects but I'm not expecting them to sign. This is for a commercial documentary, not a news program (I was in TV news for 30 years). Any thoughts? Thanks.
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