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Old May 3 2011, 04:53 AM   #128
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

FalTorPan wrote: View Post
Oops. I completely misread your previous post. My apologies. I can't find the "Totally Undo" button.

Back on topic...

Legalese - Whether you pay them or not, should cast and crew be required to sign release forms? Breaking even, much less making a profit on a super-low-budget film is not a likelihood. Still, selling a DVD or access to a digital copy can help to recoup expenses.
You want talent releases from everyone who appears on camera. If you don't, your ability to show the production publicly can hinge on the whim of someone who may, at some point, decide they don't want to be seen in the film after all. It doesn't matter that you may or may not make money.

Frankly, contracts are always a good idea, even between friends, because they spell out clearly to both parties what is going on, and eliminate a lot of the "but you said" types of incidents that can occur otherwise.

Here's some language I use:

I, being of legal age, hereby give FILMMAKER'S NAME/COMPANY, his/her/its licensees, successors, legal representatives, and assigns the absolute and irrevocable right and permission to use my name and to use, reproduce, edit, exhibit, project, display, copyright, publish and/or resell photography images and/or moving pictures and/or videotaped images of me with or without my voice, or in which I may be included in whole or in part, photographed, taped, videotaped, and/or recorded on DAY of MONTH, YEAR

I hereby waive any right that I may have to inspect and/or approve the finished product or products or the editorial, advertising, or printed copy or soundtrack that may be used in connection therewith and any right that I may have to control the use to which said product, products, copy and/or soundtrack may be applied.

I hereby release, discharge and agree to save FILMMAKER'S NAME/COMPANY, his/her/its licensees, successors, legal representatives and assigns from any liability by virtue of any blurring, distortion, alteration, optical illusion or use in composite form whether intentional or otherwise that may occur or be produced in the making, processing, duplication, projecting or displaying of said picture or images, and from liability for violation of any personal or proprietary right that I may have in conjunction with said pictures or images and with the use thereof.



Since such things are legal documents, do NOT use a company or production company name unless you have an actual company, because a legally non-existent entity can't really have rights signed to it. It's generally safer for the filmmaker to have the rights signed over to herself, especially if they are the copyright holder of the production.

It's actually good to have a liability waiver, too. It's also good to have Production Insurance. I think Dennis can address that.
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