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Ryan Lester April 2nd, 2008 10:52 PM

help with reality based TV show
OK............ So.......... i'm trying to film a pilot for a reality-based program that i have in mind.

I have Crew, Location, equipment......... but what i don't have or have any idea about is the legal side of things.

For example:-

This is a reality based show that will be filmed in a Pub and the workers and patrons will be the stars. Think 'Airport'........but in a pub. I'm guessing that we MUST make patrons aware that we are filming and if they choose not to be on camera they should let us know (that way we can blur them out ect ect).

Plus,......... because it's in a pub, it will obviously have music. Do i then need to get clearance if a song is being played in the background?

anything else that anybody can think of?

Greg Quinn April 3rd, 2008 12:02 AM

Ryan; I like the concept of this - a real life "Cheers"

What's the budget like on this? I'm not sure about Oz, but in the US music clearance for current songs on a project like this would be prohibitively expensive. If you know the folks who run the pub, would they be open to playing music from up-and-coming bands that you could make arrangements with, or low cost generic music for the periods that you are filming?

If it were me, for anything but the most incidental of appearances (you might want to fuzz their face over, in addition to having a prominent sign about filming in progress) I would get them to sign a strongly worded release. Presumably you have done your research (being forced to spend time in a pub is the best kind of research I can think of!) and you'll have an idea of interesting regulars and will have gotten OK's in advance.

Good luck; I look forward to seeing this.


Martin Pauly April 3rd, 2008 11:58 AM


I don't know what the situation is like in Australia. But, and this is probably applicable anywhere in the world, I recommend you get as much information as you can find for free, turn it into a plan, and then spend a couple of hours with a good attorney (someone with experience with the legal side of TV productions) in your area to review the plan.

- Martin

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