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Jacob Burson February 29th, 2008 11:02 AM

Company name used in movie.
 
I'm getting my ducks in a row for my first documentary. The topic is homeless families in my community and one of the people that will be in the production was laid off from company "x". In the interview do I need to get permission from company "x" if he says, "I was laid off from X Industries..."?

My gut tells me to avoid putting company "x" in a negative context and just have him say that he was laid off and not say from what company. The company is active in the community and will likely support our effort.

Any and all advice is appreciated.

Carl Middleton February 29th, 2008 11:05 AM

Layoffs happen.... it's a sad fact of the business world we're in. If the company is as you say active in the community and likely to SUPPORT you.... I would definitely avoid making them out to be the bad guys. It's a sad business reality that people have to be let go, for whatever reason. If the company will turn around and try to support your efforts to fight the homeless problem, why chase them off?

C

Jacob Burson February 29th, 2008 11:32 AM

Thanks
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Carl Middleton (Post 835294)
Layoffs happen.... it's a sad fact of the business world we're in. If the company is as you say active in the community and likely to SUPPORT you.... I would definitely avoid making them out to be the bad guys. It's a sad business reality that people have to be let go, for whatever reason. If the company will turn around and try to support your efforts to fight the homeless problem, why chase them off?

C


Thanks for the confirmation, Carl. I know there are lots of folks that get involved with documentary films that will jump at any chance to shoot down a corporation and I definately do not fall into that category.

Richard Alvarez February 29th, 2008 11:52 AM

A lot of this depends on what your agenda is, what your 'message is, what your focus is.

You could simply say "John was laid off by a large commercial 'big box' retailer"... and let it go. Focus on what effect lay-offs in general have on people and the homeless.

Or you could have John say "Giant-mart laid me off, and ruined my life", while adding the comments from the Giant-mart interviews "We laid off these workers for xyz -reasons, and we are doing abc to assist them". And let their statements illustrate how this 'reality' has an effect on each entity. It depends on your approach, and what your focus is.

Jacob Burson February 29th, 2008 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez (Post 835312)
A lot of this depends on what your agenda is, what your 'message is, what your focus is.

You could simply say "John was laid off by a large commercial 'big box' retailer"... and let it go. Focus on what effect lay-offs in general have on people and the homeless.

Or you could have John say "Giant-mart laid me off, and ruined my life", while adding the comments from the Giant-mart interviews "We laid off these workers for xyz -reasons, and we are doing abc to assist them". And let their statements illustrate how this 'reality' has an effect on each entity. It depends on your approach, and what your focus is.


The focus is the homeless family problem in my community. Many people assume that these families are homeless because of drug use, which is the case a lot of the time, but there are several families that are homeless in my community because of work layoffs and other issues. Obviously, there are some personal accountability issues too, but most of the community has no idea how many homeless children there are in the school district. I didn't.

We're hoping to raise awareness and to get people involved. All proceeds from this project are going to the homeless organization.

Paul R Johnson February 29th, 2008 02:07 PM

Here in the UK, we'd happily name an organisation and state facts - what we'd avoid are situations where the firm could accuse us of bringing their reputation into disrepute. However, reporting facts is fine - is it different in the States?

Mike Barber February 29th, 2008 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jacob Burson (Post 835348)
The focus is the homeless family problem in my community. Many people assume that these families are homeless because of drug use, which is the case a lot of the time, but there are several families that are homeless in my community because of work layoffs and other issues.

It sounds to me like WHO laid off any of your interviewees isn't a relevant fact to your story, so it doesn't seem important to name the companies. But here's a few things to think about: If Company X wasn't likely to help your efforts, would you name them? Are you planning to keep Company X's name out, but keep other names in?

Jacob Burson March 1st, 2008 02:07 PM

That's correct, Mike.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Barber (Post 835444)
It sounds to me like WHO laid off any of your interviewees isn't a relevant fact to your story, so it doesn't seem important to name the companies. But here's a few things to think about: If Company X wasn't likely to help your efforts, would you name them? Are you planning to keep Company X's name out, but keep other names in?

I agree, Mike, the company name doesn't matter at all. There will be no company names mentioned if a "lay off" is involved. It's not relevant to our mission and my thoughts have been verified here with these replies.

Thanks for your help.


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