PDA

View Full Version : Using Canon brand camera as prop?



somnang
04-28-2011, 08:26 PM
Hello,

Would it be okay to use a Canon camera in a short film? The camera I'm planning on using is the Canon A-1 (35mm camera). It will be the main prop and an integral part of the story. My main concern is that there's huge CANON etched in front of the camera and will obviously be visible if shot. Would I need to get permission to use the camera? Or can I get away with it?

Thanks in advance

clang
04-28-2011, 10:53 PM
If it's a noncommercial film and the camera isn't used 'negatively' at all (e.g. used to bash cute kittens to death or to photograph cute kittens being bashed to death :) ), then it's most unlikely that Canon would object or even care. Ask yourself - if you were the CEO of Canon and saw the film, would you be upset or concerned at all?

But Canon doubtlessly have a PR department, so I suggest contacting them, being honest about the nature of the film and how the camera will be used - couldn't hurt. They may say fine, they may ask for a 'This film is in no way connected to or endorsed by the Canon Corporation" type credit.

Another option to consider - could a small piece of black plastic (made to look like either a camera bit or a fake brand name) be blu-tacked over the Canon logo?

somnang
04-29-2011, 06:18 AM
If it's a noncommercial film and the camera isn't used 'negatively' at all (e.g. used to bash cute kittens to death or to photograph cute kittens being bashed to death :) ), then it's most unlikely that Canon would object or even care. Ask yourself - if you were the CEO of Canon and saw the film, would you be upset or concerned at all?

But Canon doubtlessly have a PR department, so I suggest contacting them, being honest about the nature of the film and how the camera will be used - couldn't hurt. They may say fine, they may ask for a 'This film is in no way connected to or endorsed by the Canon Corporation" type credit.

Another option to consider - could a small piece of black plastic (made to look like either a camera bit or a fake brand name) be blu-tacked over the Canon logo?

Yes it's non-commercial and not at all used negatively, in fact, it's used in a good way. Now that you mention if the film is connected to the corporation, I think I'll consider taping the logo. My short film is almost centered around the camera and seeing a huge Canon logo on screen might make people think it's a Canon related video. I'll look around for some plastic that matches the camera.

Thanks for the reply!!

Postmaster
04-29-2011, 07:49 AM
You guys are paranoid. What do you think you do when shooting in a city? Putting stickers over any advertising, billboard, car, neon sign andwhatnot?

These companies spending a huge amount of money to make folks see their logos. If you actually call them, than for the sole reason to ask them, how much they PAY YOU for showing featuring the brand name. :evil:

Here in Germany we have a law that says: Whatever you are able to see in public, you can shoot. No permission required. I don't know, why that would be different in other counties.

Frank

Gary Huff
04-29-2011, 08:07 AM
Here in Germany we have a law that says: Whatever you are able to see in public, you can shoot. No permission required. I don't know, why that would be different in other counties.

But you shouldn't just go and assume that for other countries either.

clang
04-29-2011, 05:43 PM
It's definitely not the case in some other countries. Certainly in the US, there have been lawsuits from companies who either objected to their logo appearing or objected to supposed breach of copyright.

More to the point, you don't want a big corporation suing you even if they're in the wrong - you could spend many thousands on legal bills before a judge got around to throwing the lawsuit out of court.

But Postmaster does raise a valid point - for some films, you might even want to try to get corporate sponsorship (either money or product). I don't think that's appropriate in this particular case, from what Somnang's said, but there are cases where it's perfectly ethically and artistically valid. (And others where it's just a big sellout :) )

Postmaster
04-30-2011, 12:12 AM
Look at any TV series or major movie that plays in a big city like New York or las Vegas - both are packed with product logos from neons, billboards to cars.
Do you really think they ask each and every company for permission.
If this is the case, something with the law in the US is out of hand.

Frank

Boncrek
04-30-2011, 12:59 AM
Do you really think they ask each and every company for permission.
If this is the case, something with the law in the US is out of hand.
Frank

I think the reason that law exists is so that misrepresentation doesnt occur.
For example: Its like taking Bob's picture and using it in a gore/horror movie.
Then lets say the gorey film becomes famous and now everyone Bob knows associates him with the gorey movie...
like his wife, co-workers, boss, pastor, guy on the street...
Its an extreme example but its to show the point that the same can happen with a branded company who cares about image and association with partcular values etc.

somnang
05-01-2011, 06:53 PM
Yeah I think I'll play it safe and find some black plastic to cover it up. Also I'll try to avoid extreme close up of the camera around the taped up area.

Thanks guys

clang
05-02-2011, 12:09 AM
Another lateral solution - 'openly' hide the logo. E.g. the camera may be damaged and literally held together with tape, or covered in stickers or paint or whatever, in each case conveniently hiding the logo. The camera still works perfectly but for whatever reason (ideally something plot or character related) it doesn't look pretty and new and well cared for. Obviously you still need to find some removable tape/paint/whatever, but it does mean you no longer need to avoid close-ups etc... :)