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Old September 23rd, 2010, 04:33 PM   #1
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Releases for Political Ad

Hey all,
I am about to shoot a political ad for a candidate for a county office. One thing he would like in the ad is a couple shots of him greeting/talking to people at a public event. This event is not exactly open to the general public; it is a customer appreciation day for a local insurance company, so all of the people there will be customers and employees of this company. It will be held at the insurance company's office.

I'm not totally sure about the legal issues of this. I plan to definitely get a location release form signed by someone at the insurance company saying that we can tape on their property. But do I need to also get a release from all the customers who I tape talking to the candidate? If so, can I just modify my standard talent release form so that everyone can sign one form instead of each person having their own form? We won't really be implying that anyone supports the candidate. It will be just standard shots of people shaking his hand, maybe him talking to a small group of people. If this was out on public property (like in a public park or on the street) I wouldn't worry about release forms, but since it is at the insurance company I'm not sure.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Doug Chambers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 23rd, 2010, 05:36 PM   #2
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perhaps an addendum in the location release for all the people there, IOW, something stating that they might be video recorded and their image voice or likeness used in such and such political ad. The company might also put out a notice to all employees that this will be happening and if they wish not to be recorded they need to hide in the closet ;-) or something like that.
I'm a bit braindead now so I'm having a bit of a time coming up with the exact language but I have done stuff like this in the past and it's worked out fine, well at least I never got sued but I know there were some people hiding in closets

What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 24th, 2010, 09:00 AM   #3
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One question is 'Roughly how many people will you need to stay behind"? I ask because is this an event of 100+ and you hope to get a crowd reaction shot? If so, I would definitely have him announce the use of the video, and people disinterested in being in it move to the side or the back. If you're only looking for 10-20 people then I would have him announce for those who wish to possibly be in it to hang around after the event, and you can shoot it & have them sign it them. I see very little difference in having 1 form per versus 1 form with 20 lines for signatures. Be very clear about the purpose & intent of the commercial though, and that it will air on TV. These people could be let's say democrats upset with their local congressman, but then where they're put in in the commercial they could be on while the voice over speaks about "Failed Obama policy", and just cause they're against their local Congressman, doesn't mean they're against their governor, Senator, President etc.. (or vice versa)

Is it a health insurance company?? If so that might be dicey if it's ONLY employees. You may want to ask the companies HR rep, who would likely tell you no employees can be in a political ad to cover their own butt. But I doubt they should be, especially at a work sponsored event.

EDIT: Nevermind, you put CUSTOMER appreciation day. I thought it was employee appreciation day. Ha! What was I thinking, a company actually appreciating it's employees;)
David Barnett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 19th, 2010, 01:55 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice on this. The shoot did not happen, but this info may come in handy for the next political ad (if there is one). I will not go into any details of why the shoot did not happen, but let's just say this politician acted just like I would expect a politician to act and did something fairly dirty and dishonest the day after my original post.

Anyway, thanks to both of you for your help!
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