documentary - need release forms?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Eric, Aug 30, 2003.

  1. Eric

    Eric Guest

    I am shooting a documentary at a public event. Do I need anyone on
    camera to sign a release form?

    It seems that with "expose" stories on the evening news, they're
    always showing some lowlife scammer in some undercover sting. You
    would think they wouldn't want their face on camera.

    Also in Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore visibly upsets Dick Clark
    and Charlton Heston and they both storm off. They couldn't possibly
    have signed a release.

    Eric, Aug 30, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  2. Eric

    Krazy Kanuck Guest

    Good points.....I'm currently editing a doc I shot in June covering a
    musical convention.....I had the performers sign release forms for their
    performances and interviews....the general attendees that I interviewed I
    didn't bother as I think it's pretty well understood that they are
    voluntarily talking to you and know that they are being is
    obviously not some kind of a hidden camera thing and in the interview they
    are answering pointed questions about the event which they are
    enthusiasticly talking about.....I also did a section with quick responses
    of the "man in the street"....for which I just asked people in a nearby
    outdoor mall if they would mind responding to one question and allow
    themselves to be videotaped for a documentary.....I of course could have my
    A** sued off but I'll take my chances....
    Krazy Kanuck, Aug 30, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  3. Eric

    nutbagz Guest

    if you shoot kids make DAMN sure you get permission.....other then that its
    a hard call for expose stuff.....ask a media lawyer for proper direction on
    nutbagz, Aug 31, 2003
  4. Eric

    thrillcat Guest

    If you plan on pissing people off in a scheduled interview, get them to sign
    a release BEFORE the interview. If you are filming in a private venue, you
    should also get a location release from the owner of the property, to save
    your butt.

    News programming has a few extended privileges in the release category.
    They are granted a few more rights in the whole "freedom of the press"

    In Bowling for Columbine, the Charlton Heston interview is obviously
    voluntary. If ever brought to court, he could just show the film of Heston
    scheduling an appointment to "answer a few questions on camera," as well as
    the footage of him voluntarily leading them through his home to the shoot

    The footage of Dick Clark is in a public location. Somewhere, there is a
    law that states, basically, if you can see it from a public location, you
    can shoot it and use it. The crew was on a public sidewalk, filming Dick
    Clark, who was on a public street. Had they snuck into Dick Clark's garage
    to get that scene, they could be sued.

    That's the way I understand it.
    thrillcat, Aug 31, 2003
  5. Eric

    Ron Charles Guest

    You can go ahead and shoot without any releases, create a great doc, and
    then find yourself in the horrible position of not getting broadcast

    I would suggest 2 things.

    First seek legal counsel from an enterainment attorney who specializes in
    film rights.

    Then ask an entertainment insurance firm about their release form
    requirements for Errors and Ommisions Insurance coverage on documentary
    projects, which you will need before any channel broadcasts any project
    Ron Charles, Aug 31, 2003
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.