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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Lights...camera...action! » » "Can I Have Permission to Film You...?" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

DerekMerdinyan
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So what's the deal when it comes to filming strangers? Walk up to someone you don't know, "Hey how's it going? My name is X and I'm filming some street magic for YouTube, Myspace, Etc... would you mind if I show you something?"

Do you get them to sign anything saying you have permission to use the video however you want? Or perhaps just record them on film agreeing the film can be posted anywhere, and if any $ happens to be generated from the film, they aren't entitled to any? Do you get their contact information if the footage happens to surpass your wildest dreams and is put on TV? (see Marco Tempest's PhoneCam Series...)

Best

Derek Merdinyan
ScottRSullivan
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[insert standard "I am not a laywer and cannot be held liable for the use of information below" jumbo here .. Smile ]

You technically could go around not getting permission. You might be ok. But I would not recommend this route.

When I worked for a reality tv show, we filmed what we needed, then AFTER a new person was shot, go up to them and have the P.A. ask them to sign a release. We did it after because we didn't want to change the reactions during the filming.

If anyone refused, their face magically turned into a blur of pixels when it went to air.

My release states that the talent grants me (and my company) indefinate use in any medium for any reason, and also grants me permission to grant others to use their image/name/etc. along with other small print. This way, if anything I shoot is to be aired by another network, I legally have permission to allow others to broadcast the footage.

Typical info to get: name, telephone number, address, email, date of birth (different form is needed for minors), along with signature.

I get this for ALL footage and all people or else they don't show up. Otherwise, you'll spend money in post production blurring people's faces out.

Most people are honest and would just love to be featured, but in today's world, you never know who is lawsuit happy. Especially for what you are doing with internet broadcasts. For our shows I get releases for everyone. Cover yourself.

Scott
TV Magic Pal
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Dogtown up in the 'Lou
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You are generally safe with something that will not generate direct profits (ie something for YouTube) by asking them for permission on camera (afterwards) and having them state their name and that they are over 18. If any money is going down, you want a release that is written to mention they waive all rights to payment ever.
Michael L.

Magic is a lie. It is our job to convince the audience to overlook the lie and our goal to make them embrace it.
ScottRSullivan
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Where did you get this information? In today's litigious world, I personally would not, and do not, take chances with my business.

Besides, what if you wanted to do something with that footage years from now? It could be something simple, like put that footage on a montage DVD you are selling after a show.

Legally, you'd either have to find that person and get a release or blur them out. A few seconds to sign a release that spells out the rights in black and white could save you a world of hurt.

If you have informatino to the contrary, please correct me, as I am always trying to stay informed. I appreciate your other comments in the other threads. You (still not sure your name!) seem pretty well informed on some of the other threads (though I'm sorry I disagree with you on this one).

Scott
TV Magic Pal
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Dogtown up in the 'Lou
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Simple fact that video, particularly video with someone stating their legal name and answering a specific question, is usable in a court of law. In fact, it's a whole huge area of videography... Wills, depositions, etc. are submitted daily in the form of a video and have firmly established the acceptability of the format in the US courts.

And don't forget: a release does not keep someone from suing you. It does not even guarantee that you will win a court case, but it is a pretty safe bet because it shows they have an understanding of the purpose of the filming. Having them on video does the same thing... obviously, you don't want to rely on this with drunks (you'll lose), but then again, if someone intoxicated signs a release its invalid as well (just ask the boys at Girls Gone Wild....). Like I said, it is safe enough for video that you have no plans to use for profit. I wouldn't exactly sell that footage for stock or anything like that, but if you are trying to make something for your website you should be alright.

Now, if you went and superimposed their faces onto pornographic images (to make an extreme example) or did anything else beyond the reasonable expectations they would have from your conversation, especially if it is potentially damaging to their reputation, you could be in trouble. In music video stuff all it ever took was a two seconds of questions: "Can you state your name, confirm you are at least 18 and give us permission to use this sound and video footage to promote this band?"

It doesn't even take permission, in fact, if you can prove they were informed they were being taped and had the opportunity to leave. To quote the opening of one of the greatest soundtracks ever (Decline of Western Civilization) "Please be advised that by your entry upon these premises you are consenting to having likeness used in motion pictures, sound recording and for other purposes." I have been on multiple large scale projects (bike shows, kickboxing, fashion shows and the like) that used posters at the gates (and a similar blurb on the tickets or bike show contest entry form in the case of the bike show) to inform their participants and that it is all it took.

And my name is Michael (I filled out the signature in the profile but didn't realize it hadn't been turned on!!!!). I own Horizon Monster Video Productions with my wife and co-own World Magic Media LTD.
Michael L.

Magic is a lie. It is our job to convince the audience to overlook the lie and our goal to make them embrace it.
ScottRSullivan
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Michael, pleasure to meet you! To each his own, I guess!

I suppose I'm just very cautious and do things the old fashioned way! Sounds like that has worked for you so far, though. Please don't take offense, but I'm sticking to my written/signed releases.

By the way, that's a cool name for your company (Horizon Monster). What do you specialize in?

Scott
TV Magic Pal
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Dogtown up in the 'Lou
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Pretty much magic video lately; since my wife decided to go back to school to be a teacher I have started shying around from the whole video for hire thing (although I still do demo reels for magicians). I am pretty much doing what I want instead, so I have World Magic Media rolling with Abraca-Pocus!, Impact and a few things on the horizon I can't mention quite yet. Horizon Monster proper (named after my wife's Loch Ness Monster sighting... seriously) is now doing crazy stuff like making martial arts vids, applying for grants to document Native American languages before they disappear and such. My big pet project now is a series of art/social studies resources for impoverished schools that they can purchase through Amazon via a print on demand service they have... If it all works out (and it is looking really good), I'll be able to put out DVDs useful for multiple grade levels with all kinds of extra resources encoded into the disks for about $20 (which is super cheap for the educational market). I want to makes sure that kids everywhere get exposed to art even if their district can't hire teachers... I'll be lucky to make a quarter on each of those DVDs, so everyone go buy my magic stuff, okay?

I'm a Magic Lantern fan, by the way!
Michael L.

Magic is a lie. It is our job to convince the audience to overlook the lie and our goal to make them embrace it.
JoeJoe
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Most releases have more to do with unions than with law. If you are filming on public property, you can in almost all cases legally use footage ... at least in the US that is. Just look at paparazzi, a billion dollar industry that relies on publishing photos of people taken in public and in most cases without their consent.

The question is does the subject have any expectation of privacy? See this article and follow some of the links for more info:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/a......ws_x.htm

But anyone can sue anyone for any reason ... having a release may help you avoid legal fees from people attempting to sue you.

-JoeJoe
Watch the Pilot Episode of my new TV Show:As Seen on TV: The JoeJoe Magic Show
Learn JoeJoe's secrets at Magic Joint dot com
Bairefoot
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When performing and video taping at large venues and Family Kingdom we have a sign that says, "We are video taping today by entering you are giving permissions to be video taped."

Bairefoot
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