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Old October 28th, 2008, 11:34 PM   #1
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Questions about filming at a school...

Hello,

I have been approached by a college to put together a promo for the theatre outreach program.

They want to show a performance at a local grade school and the impact of the program.

I know this is a touchy subject when it comes to filming kids.

What are my options?

Releases will be impossible as the show will happen at school and the kids will come and go.

But the smiling faces will make the most impact.

If I contact the school do they have some sort of global release for a class etc...

This is for an institution but I can guess already that the answer is No! :)

Thanks for your help.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 12:28 AM   #2
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Hi Tim...........

Seems to me this is between the College and the School, keep out of it.

If the College can't get the school's permission and releases, then you're out of it entirely, and you certainly won't get what's required.

Push it straight back to them.


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Old October 29th, 2008, 08:40 AM   #3
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Thanks,

That sounds like a plan, but I need some ammunition to give the college contact as to what to ask for and what is possible.

The contact was thinking backs of heads, but we all know that is quite difficult in a crowded area.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 10:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
Thanks,

That sounds like a plan, but I need some ammunition to give the college contact as to what to ask for and what is possible.

The contact was thinking backs of heads, but we all know that is quite difficult in a crowded area.
I agree with Chris, push for them to try and secure releases. There's too much potential of getting more then backs of heads to really even make the shoot worth while. Maybe mention that they could have the forms sent home to the kids parents with a cover letter describing the project? Could work.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 11:46 AM   #5
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IANAL ... With the extreme paranoia regarding child safety currently pervading society I think it would be very risky for all involved to proceed without written releases secured ahead of time.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 02:01 PM   #6
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We get a permission/release form each year from our kid's schools as to whether they can be photographed etc, and the images used in school publications. We always say yes. now that is for the school's own use, since this would be outside, not sure about covering an outside use. The way schools are these days, having to be buzzed in etc, issues like this have probably been discussed and a policy in place. But best to let the two organizations hash it out.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 02:36 PM   #7
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Absolutely a case where "Your People" should talk to "Their People". This is a case where the two institutions should discuss the rights and contact procedures. Not your bailywick. The college should contact the grade school and ask them for permission and assistance in securing releases. Furthermore, any child WITHOUT a release should be excluded from the assemblies to be filmed.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #8
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Thanks,

So to be clear, what exactly do I tell the college contact person as to what is needed?

Just a release from each parent, or a form from the school or both?

In short, we think about this stuff, but other folks are not going to know much about it.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 06:24 PM   #9
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Tim,

Google is your friend.

"Photo release for minors" turned up

http://www.browardgirlscouts.org/fil...orel-minor.pdf

For the girlscouts - and dozens of others. Shouldn't be too hard for THE COLLEGE's LEGAL DEPARTMENT to do the same, and make some boiler plate forms for the kids to sign. Or perhaps the Gradeschool already has them.

"What you tell" the college is that they need to get releases for the kids. How they do that is their problem. You can suggest they google up some sample forms, and reformat them for their own entity.


(My 'google-fu' is strong.)
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Old October 29th, 2008, 06:49 PM   #10
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I do lots of work for Warner Bros Records, and I've had this issue come up. I shot at a school a year ago in Reno where Missy Higgins was performing. Here's what Warner legal has us do:

1-Posting a "if you're here, you're being filmed and you consent" placards at all entrances. You need to photograph these with a time/date stamp.

2-All minors need express written release forms signed by parents. This was done in our case as parents came in with the children. About 100-150 families came in and it worked out fine.

3-Any minors featured on cam (close-ups) needed still frames pulled and attached to their release form.

When there is a finished edit, all featured kids/parents are identified from the cut and their releases pulled for legal dept.

Warner has, over 25 years of making music videos, certainly had their share of lawsuits from parents of minors being featured in their productions, and this is how it is currently handled to minimize their exposure to litigation. In general, on shoots like these, my producer is the one who makes sure all this happens. If you had one inexperienced person, but dedicated to the task, I would imagine it would work out fine. $100 for 2 hours of releases work?

BTW, for the person(s) who suggested this was the job of the school to handle, if you ask nice they should understand it's in their best interest to help make it happen, but generally, it's the prod co's responsibility on all jobs I've done.

Since what I've suggested is just about the extreme safe way to handle things, I bet if you mention all this to the college, you'll look sharp and pro, and then they'll say they are comfortable with a lesser combination of the steps outlined above.

[p.s. This is how ALL filming for a large amount of documentary work I do for Warner works, btw. This was certainly not a special case situation above. The only thing different than usual was that there was a large number of minors.]
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Old October 30th, 2008, 12:10 AM   #11
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Thanks for all your responses.

I will send it up the flag pole.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 06:36 AM   #12
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Bearing in mind the legal differences between our countries, on the assumption things are very much the same over your side - I don't think there is a problem. Of all the dealing with kids type institutions, schools and colleges know exactly what is ok and what is not. Shooting video on educational premises is done every single day as part of their education. I can only speak for the UK, but video evidence for achievement is so built in now, that what usually happens is that part of the enrolling process involves the parents agreeing to this kind of thing. It gets complicated off educational premises, but on it? No problems at all. In the UK, the only complication with using an outside company to do it is contact with the kids unsupervised. We have a kind of brief or deep check on criminal records that the school can do if they wish, but this is only for when people spend close time with the kids, so the teachers get a deep check, but the dinner ladies and caretaker may only require a brief check. People in the offices might not get one at all. If they give you a purchase order to do the job, forget about all the problems and just do it. If they need special clearances, let them do it - but as has been said, this isn't your problem. Not really much different to an electrician being asked to go in and fix something. People who don't know any better just get a bit sensitive.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 09:10 AM   #13
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another suggestion is to have a notice sent home with the kids telling the parents / guardians about the college program and that footage for a promotional video for the outreach would be taken during the performance. and while there is no guarantee that their child may appear in the video, the possibility does exist and if the parent / guardian wished to exclude their child from any possibility of being taped durning the performance, to let the school know.

then those children could be kept in the back out of camera range

for close-ups, then get a true release

I used this approach with a couple of shoots done in schools and the schools then made contact with the final few where releases were necessary.

it proved for less headaches then sending releases for 200 kids and trying to keep track of them.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 09:33 AM   #14
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Nate's comments are an excellent example of how a professional production company handles the situation. And its a good template to follow.

The original poster seemed to be acting more as a 'hired gun' on behalf of the theatre department of the college - hence, I took the position that the theatre department was the 'producer of record' for the project, and will retain all rights to the footage and final product. This is why I suggested it was their job to handle securing the rights. I'm assuming its the Theatre Departments job to transport the actors, and get permissions from the schools to perform, etc.

The entire project is another example of how videographers can find themselves hired to 'make a video' for someone - without all the job obligations and legal responsibilities clearly spelled out. Its a plain example of why legal contracts should be used from the start - outlining the scope of work, the areas of responsibilities, the schedule for payment and delivery, etc.

Verbal 'understandings' rarely are.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 03:17 PM   #15
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I agree that Nate's suggestions are very good and make an excellent templete. I think in the OP's case, being in a grade school opens up other issues that wouldn't work.

some parents can get a bit, eh paranoid--As I learned once :>(
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