View Full Version : Actor/location releases...need info on the legalities.

09-19-2005, 02:07 PM
I have a short film that I'm working on. It'll be 15 to 20 minutes max and I hope to enter it in local film festivals. I'm auditioning actors next week, but it's the first time I've done this and I'm wondering what I need from them as far as a release to use them in the film. Coming from the still photography world where we use model releases everywhere, I'd imagine that something similar would have to be done. I should mention that this is a zero-budget production, that I'm going broke putting it together, and that I was considering writing a contract where the actor would get a percentage of any profits (unlikely, but if it happened I'd gladly share).

On the same note, I'd imagine I need something in writing for the bar that we're shooting in for one scene. Also for the extra cameramen and the still photographer. Is there a resource for these forms or does anyone have some that they're willing to share?

The film's site is www.nevadabadass.com. Not a whole lot of info on there yet, but it's coming...


09-19-2005, 04:16 PM
I've got some. HTML, WordPerfect doc, Word template. I forget where I got them, though, so I'd have to email to you, rather than point you to a link.

Hmmmm...I probably got them from here: http://www.sonnyboo.com/downloads/downloads.htm

See if something there will suit.

09-21-2005, 10:16 AM
Perfect...gives me a place to start at least. Thanks for the help.

09-22-2005, 01:14 PM
Offering gross or net points to your actors is a nice gesture, but keep in mind that most shorts don't make any money unless you invest the marketing money to distribute it yourself. (BROKEN is a great example of doing this.) I've cast five different shorts, and I'm very upfront with the actors that there's no money involved, but that I will feed them and get them a copy of their work in a timely manner. If you're using actors who have any experience on the indie film scene, they'll appreciate your honesty and have no problem signing the release.

Oh, and it's a great idea to get the release signed before shooting! It's one less thing to worry about the day of the shoot.

Cryogenic Filmworks
09-27-2005, 11:05 PM
Try this link from sonnyboo. Lots of forms and other stuff.


09-29-2005, 05:14 PM
Yeah good post... any idea of where to get a sample of copy of good releases for actors and location releases?


09-30-2005, 01:32 AM
I agree...I'm not expecting to make any money on this short. If it makes it into some film fests, I'll be stoked. If I break even, I'll be freakin' ecstatic! If I make a profit, hell, I just won't know WHAT to do. :-p

In any case, that's the first thing I've told the few actors that have called for auditions...there's no money involved, but I'll do my best to make it worthwhile. You're definitely right about getting the release signed first...I figure I'll do that the second that I "hire" them. (Can you hire somebody without paying them? Hmmmm....)

09-30-2005, 02:08 AM
Give 'em a dollar to make the lawyers happy.

04-30-2006, 07:17 PM
Sorry to revive an old topic...
Is it perfectly ok to borrow the text written by one source and just change the names of the company? Or should one always write it's original contract? and how do you write all these very difficult words without hiring a lawyer?

Paul Coleman
05-08-2006, 11:37 PM
This is a great resource: