Legal Question in Entertainment Law in California

Releases for Documentary Film Participants

When shooting a documentary film, do you need to get releases

from every individual in the shot? Or can you post a general

notice?

Asked on 11/11/03, 10:50 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Sheldon G. Bardach Law Offices of Sheldon G. Bardach
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Re: Releases for Documentary Film Participants

I think the general rule is if they are identifiable in the shot, you should get a release. Always act on the side of caution.

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11/11/03, 11:20 pm
Stephen Loeb Law Office of Stephen R. Loeb
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Re: Releases for Documentary Film Participants

You should get releases.

Should you like to discuss this or any other legal matter, you can call my office to schedule an appointment for a consultation or in the alternative, I can be reached for on-phone low-cost legal consultation at 1-800-275-5336 x0233699.

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11/12/03, 8:09 am
Erik Hart Law Office of Erik A. Hart
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0 attorneys agreed

Re: Releases for Documentary Film Participants

A documentary filmmaker generally must get releases for any person who is "identifiable" in the film, or they must edit the film in such a way as they are no longer identifiable. There are some exceptions to this rule, but those go beyond the scope of this service. When making a documentary, it is imperitive that you hire a competent entertainment/ first amendment attorney for this and several other legal issues that naturally arise when one is filming in uncontrolled public places.

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11/12/03, 10:16 am

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