Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Release forms for footage

Notes on the Filming Release Form

You need a Release Form for anyone who either gives you an interview or who speaks on camera, or owns a location that is not located on public land.  You do not need a Release Form for people on the street as long as your camera is not concealed. 

You will need Release Forms for people who are identifiable in sensitive places even if they are not speaking e.g. hospital waiting rooms, gay clubs, law court corridors.

You should warn your interviewee that you will need a Release Form signed after the interview and get it signed straight away.  Try not to leave it until the next day or the next week by which time they may have changed their mind.

Anyone under the age of 16 needs to have their Release Form signed by one of their parents.

It is crucial that the Release Form is not signed under any misapprehension or false pretences.  Whilst you do not need to share all your plans or thoughts for the film with the contributors, what you do say must not be misleading.  It is best to communicate with your interviewees in writing before the interview so that you have proof that you were clear about the nature of the film.

Most documentary interviews are given for no fee (if that is the case simply remove the clause which refers to the fee).  However, many people do now ask for a fee – particularly if the whole film revolves around their contribution.  There are no guidelines as to how much this amount should be although it is common for expert commentators such as historians or scientists to receive between £100-200.

Below is an example of a Release form Template


King Edwards V1 College
King Edward Rd, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV11 4BE
‪024 7632 8231‬
HNC Creative Media Production

Filming Release Form

Name and address of Contributor:



New Wave Footage (working title)

I agree to the inclusion of my contribution in this feature, the nature of which has been explained to me.  I understand that my contribution will be edited and there is no guarantee that my contribution will appear in the final film. I agree that my contribution may be used for educational purposes and to possibly publicise the educational course.

I have agreed to accept £0.00 for the use of my contribution.
I understand that this feature (or part of it) may be distributed in any medium in any part of the world.

Signed ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­(contributor)


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