PDA

View Full Version : do I need model releases or not



tony404
08-27-2005, 11:13 PM
Doing a public service commercial on spec. Part of it I will need shots of my city , traffic, homeless on the street. Would need model release for all of that? Thanks in advance

JimWells
08-28-2005, 09:15 AM
If you are and the subjects are in the public domain, then no releases are neccessary. Just use caution, and good street sense, many people, (homeless and other are very sensitive).
Long lenses and good comon sense must be used at all times. Try to work with at least one person as a spotter, or assistant, and be able to leave the area at a moments notice.

tony404
08-28-2005, 02:51 PM
Im a noobie what is public domain ?

Walter_Graff
08-28-2005, 06:53 PM
I'll make that more legal sounding. If you shoot a subject in public and you are deliberately focusing on that subject (not just a street scene of a lunch time crowd gathered in a square) then you need to get a release. So if you are shooting a homeless person and specifically shooting that homeless person, you should have either a written release or an on camera acknowledgment that you are shooting him specifically for the purpose of your PSA. Just because he is homeless does not mean he is afforded ay less rights.

tony404
08-30-2005, 10:12 PM
I'll make that more legal sounding. If you shoot a subject in public and you are deliberately focusing on that subject (not just a street scene of a lunch time crowd gathered in a square) then you need to get a release. So if you are shooting a homeless person and specifically shooting that homeless person, you should have either a written release or an on camera acknowledgment that you are shooting him specifically for the purpose of your PSA. Just because he is homeless does not mean he is afforded ay less rights.
I never assumed or stated the homeless have no rights thats why I asked on this board. Please dont put words in my mouth, its insulting.

Walter_Graff
08-31-2005, 05:32 AM
Didn't put words in your mouth, just answering the question. If you are specifically taping someone, then they need a release. If they are homeless they also need a release.

galt
08-31-2005, 05:52 AM
You specifically asked about homeless. If you had said "people on the street" Walter would have just talked about people. But every person that recognizably appears should sign a release. I just learned how to smudge faces this week, because I had a couple of crowd shots where I didn't have (could not reasonably get) a release for the people in the foreground, but really needed to use the shot.

DMProductions
09-02-2005, 12:40 PM
Cover your butt - get a release or a verbal on camera. Even though the stated "homeless person" or someone just strolling down the street when you shoot might not see the PSA, why risk it?

Trent
09-02-2005, 12:43 PM
I am with DM it is always better to cover yourself...

Taylor Moore
09-03-2005, 10:29 AM
Get a verbal release on camera????
I had never heard of this apprach before...is it as good as a signed release?

Does it have the same legal strength...

Walter_Graff
09-03-2005, 10:35 AM
In a pinch I have done it for network programs. As long as you state to them that they understand that they are being taped for whatever and that you have all rights to what they do on camera and their name, the date and their acknowledgment, it's good. We don't do it because then you have to keep track of tapes so the written one is easier.

Taylor Moore
09-03-2005, 10:38 AM
In a pinch I have done it for network programs. As long as you state to them that they understand that they are being taped for whatever and that you have all rights to what they do on camera and their name, the date and their acknowledgment, it's good. We don't do it because then you have to keep track of tapes so the written one is easier.

Thanx Walter,
I am a one man band shooting tourism footage, so the video release is actually easier in this case for me.

Taylor Moore
09-04-2005, 11:30 AM
Walter, another question re releases.
What if the people are undistinguishable because they are back lit sillouette with no facial or clothing detail.

Also what if shooting on a public beach where there are like 75 people, obviously it would be impossible to get releases from all of them...

thanx

Walter_Graff
09-04-2005, 12:28 PM
A simple rule of thumb for me is this:

If you can distinguish a face, get a signature. A face means eyes, mouth and nose. Shooting a mouth talking is fne. Shooting eyes close up so that you could not tell what face it is connected to is fine. Shooting an ear is fine. BUt if you can say that it is a person and your camera is deliberately concentrating on them, then you need their permission. Backs of heads and silhouette are fine. If its beach shot and its just a wide shot showing the beach as long as no one is prominently displayed (aka following one person throwing a Frisbee) then you are fine. If its a street shot and man people are crossing the street and you are not following anyone in particular but showing the flavor of the public space as a whole than you are fine.

Taylor Moore
09-04-2005, 12:58 PM
Thanx Walter...just the info I need.

Fake Name
09-04-2005, 01:49 PM
I agree with Walter if you want to play it completely safe. But it is possible to split the hairs just a little more. I am a still photographer, so perhaps the rules differ here- keep that in mind, and remember this is free legal advice (worth what?) from someone who is not an attorney.

That typed, traditionally, editorial images do not need a release, that is, images used for reporting purposes or purposes depicting a scene. An example would be, say, the beaches of San Diego. If your film showed a shot on a travel show about what you might find on the beach in San Diego, you'd be fine without releases. Even if it was a promotional short for the San Diego Visitors and Convention Bureau, you'd still probably be ok.


However, if you used the same images for Whamo, marketers of the Frisbee, and had distinguishable faces, you'd have to have releases. Even in the long shots- if the faces are recognizable, you should have a release.

If you are doing a documentary or news story on the homeless living on the beach of San Diego, you probably would not need a release. But if the footage was used in advertising a new anti-homeless drug (New from Pfizer: Homforall- ask your Doctor if Homforall is right for you, by prescription only), then you'd need releases.

Make sense?

fn

Taylor Moore
09-04-2005, 02:18 PM
Thanks Fake Name...

just the info I need.

Speezy
01-17-2006, 06:37 PM
An on-camera waiver works as it proves that the person acknowledges that you're shooting them but nothing trumps a signed release. You might want talk to a lawyer about what you want to do specifically though.

David G. Smith
01-17-2006, 07:47 PM
I have a friend that just got his J.D. from the University of Virginia, and since I have comprimiseing photos of him, I asked him to get me a difinitive answer about the "Man in the street" images and needed releases. What we found is that in any commercial situation, where a persons identity is recognizable in the project, the only thing that excluded the individual from further compensation, or adjutication was a signed release.

What is a head scratcher is, that during his precedent search, he did not find a single instance where a video, on camera waiver was contested. Not one single instance where where an on camera consent was successfully contested. No, he did not find on single instance where an on camera waiver was litigated.

Now, getting this information has cost me quit a bit. Not only do I have to promise not to every show my bro's fiance, the photos of our trip to Tiajuana, I have to now video his wedding for free!!!.

So, the advice his research provided is, if you want to win a law suit, get a signed release, if you want to avoid a law suit, get an on-camera waiver. Both would be best, don't you think?!!!

MsManhattan
02-10-2006, 11:57 AM
I'm weighing in a little late here, but FYI: If you plan to submit this spec commercial to any festivals or contests, they often request signed hard-copy release forms as part of their submission materials -- I think because if they select your commercial for a screening, they want to be sure they are covered. And, if your spec project goes all the way and actually gets picked up for broadcast, you'll definitely need them for the client.