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Old May 4th, 2012, 09:35 AM   #1
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(Aus) Using General Public in a commercial/advertisement

G'day,

Location: Victoria, Australia

My brother is running a food and wine festival, and has asked me to go along and shoot some footage for a commercial for next year's festival, and for their blog/social media...

I've had a look here and elsewhere RE legalities of filming people in a public place... and whilst the general notion is that it's fine to film someone in a public location (the festival is being held with permission on public land, for an entry fee), I'm still not sure about using their image/voice in an actual commercial...?

Is there any difference between using the footage online, versus a televised commercial?

Whilst I don't intend/expect I need to get EVERYONE I film to provide permission (ie those who will only be seen as "background" footage), should I be getting those who I ask to, for example, provide some comment on their enjoyment etc, to state their name/phone # and confirm they provide permission for me to use the footage for promoting the festival?

(Or, do I take a piece of paper with the details written down, and ask them to hold it up so I can film them holding it, and verbally agreeing... etc etc)

I appreciate your assistance!

Cheers

Travis
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Old May 4th, 2012, 04:01 PM   #2
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Re: (Aus) Using General Public in a commercial/advertisement

You really need to chat with a lawyer who is knowledgeable about local laws. Here in North America there is a clear distinction in the level of releases needed for advertising uses versus other general uses of an image and I would expect it to be true in your part of the world as well. But only a local lawyer can give you an answer you'd be safe relying on.
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Old May 5th, 2012, 12:06 AM   #3
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Re: (Aus) Using General Public in a commercial/advertisement

Hi, Travis.............

Ticketed events are a different ball game to "in public". Ticketed events are not "public" by definition.

Like the almost blanket ban on shooting video cameras in cinemas or concerts (ticketed events), all that is necessary for everything to be "kosher" is that the ticket (and maybe a few well placed signs at the entrance(s)) quite plainly states that, by buying the ticket and attending the event, the buyer agrees to having their image used for the commercial benefit of the event and its organizers, unless at the time of the shoot they simply refuse, in which case they can be asked to leave.

It is, very simply, a contract. They buy the ticket and attend, they have agreed to the contract, end of story.

Do those very simple things and you're good to go.

Do check with an Oz solicitor (should take about 30 seconds) but that, from my meagre knowledge, is English common law, which with few exceptions, is pretty well copied by all of its ex colonies.

I would add this though, from shooting a few carnivals and public (really public) events here in NZ, that pulling out a Pro video camera and kit is a people magnet of major proportions - release forms?

You must be joking, they'd kill their best friend (on camera) to be on the telly or silver screen, sod any release form.

Never bothered with release forms.


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Old May 7th, 2012, 08:50 PM   #4
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Re: (Aus) Using General Public in a commercial/advertisement

Thanks for the feedback, guys.

Well, my fears were unfounded.

The only issue I kept having was people realising I was filming, and then ducking out of the way - but not because they didn't want to be on film - just because they feared they were in the way - "Oh! Sorry, sorry!" (Got that all day long)

I was careful when filming children - I only singled out 1 child, after her mother told me to!

Most everyone else whom I concentrated on I explained I was recording publicity footage for the organisers...

Very tiring day... Took me back to film school... though at least then I wasn't doing it all on my own.
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Old May 8th, 2012, 04:31 AM   #5
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Re: (Aus) Using General Public in a commercial/advertisement

Like I said before, filming for advertising purposes can be a different ballgame from filming for other types of uses, advertising usually carrying much more stringent requirements for releases etc. Before putting yourself out on a limb legally, check with a legal professional who actually knows the law in your jurisdiction and can give you a definitive answer. The cost of an office visit will prove small change compared to the cost of defending even one lawsuit.
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