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do you need the same type of permits and releases to shoot a music video?


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#1 Noam Gagliardi Rabinovich

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 03:10 PM

are the requirements for shooting a music video the same as for a film? do music stations ask to see permits and releases or are they less strict about such things. ... on indie music shows you see some videos that look like they were shot by the band with their cellphones (you know, those punk videos of the band out partying and walking around the city and whatnot)

Edited by Noam Gagliardi Rabinovich, 16 October 2007 - 03:12 PM.

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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 03:27 PM

are the requirements for shooting a music video the same as for a film? do music stations ask to see permits and releases or are they less strict about such things. ... on indie music shows you see some videos that look like they were shot by the band with their cellphones (you know, those punk videos of the band out partying and walking around the city and whatnot)


It depends where you are shooting. Most large cities require filming permits when you shoot outdoors on city property. If you shoot on private property, you need the owner's permission and sometimes a permit. Some cities don't want production at all so they won't issue permits or make them very difficult to obtain. If you shoot in "po-dunk" USA where shooting a movie is rare or unheard of, they likely don't have any permitting process at all, though it is still a great idea to get permission.

In terms of what ends up on film, if your project will be potentially for profit (non-private use), you need permission (at the very least) to show any type of branding at all, meaning company logos, signs and products. If there is any doubt at all, don't shoot it or plan to cover it in post.
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#3 Simon Miya

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 11:31 AM

do music stations ask to see permits and releases or are they less strict about such things.


You need permits during shooting, not during exhibition. I don't know if I caught your drift correctly, but you seem be confused on that point.

Otherwise, listen to Bryan, he covered it well.
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#4 Simon Miya

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 11:43 AM

Releases are a different story, however, I don't know much about them.

Not being able to edit my posts is driving me crazy. I see a membership upgrade in my future.
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#5 Noam Gagliardi Rabinovich

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 08:15 PM

yea I know that for releases (DVD or theatrical) distributors do ask to see paperwork, I don't know if any festivals do.

meanwhile, I have a related question: how does this work for guerilla films? I know the movie pi, for example, had a few shots made on unauthorized locations. how were they allowed to get such wide distribution, seeing as they wouldn't have had all the release forms etc. (the subway scene was stolen, for example)?

is it possible to get a deal with a distributor for a film that doesn't have the proper release forms or insurances and all that?
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 09:43 PM

yea I know that for releases (DVD or theatrical) distributors do ask to see paperwork, I don't know if any festivals do.

meanwhile, I have a related question: how does this work for guerilla films? I know the movie pi, for example, had a few shots made on unauthorized locations. how were they allowed to get such wide distribution, seeing as they wouldn't have had all the release forms etc. (the subway scene was stolen, for example)?

is it possible to get a deal with a distributor for a film that doesn't have the proper release forms or insurances and all that?


permits and insurance paperwork has nothing to do with getting a film distributed.

permits are not necessary for guerilla filmmaking, but if you get cought you might lose your location. But you also may get to shoot in a place that may be difficult or impossible to get if you just ask.

get used to the idea that it is easier to play dumb and apologize for not knowing than to ask for permission beforehand and get caught doing it anyway.

best

Tim
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#7 Noam Gagliardi Rabinovich

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 09:31 AM

Ok, thanks. yea because in film school they told us that you don't need permits as long as you dont get caught; but better safe than sorry.

I think I'm just confused... I've been reading a lot on the production aspect of film lately; I would like to produce my own project some time, and I'd like to be prepared and do things right. but the whole legal side of film production seems very overwhelming...

thanks for the help all.

... o, Errors and Omissions insurance is a must though, right?
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#8 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 09:57 AM

Ok, thanks. yea because in film school they told us that you don't need permits as long as you dont get caught; but better safe than sorry.

I think I'm just confused... I've been reading a lot on the production aspect of film lately; I would like to produce my own project some time, and I'd like to be prepared and do things right. but the whole legal side of film production seems very overwhelming...

thanks for the help all.

... o, Errors and Omissions insurance is a must though, right?



Nothing can take the place of an experienced Producer and/or entertainment attorney... however, I recommend this book: Dealmaking in the Film & Television Industry, from negotiation to final contracts by Mark Litwak. ISBN 1-879505-15-0 Silman James Press.
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#9 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 12:23 PM

meanwhile, I have a related question: how does this work for guerilla films? I know the movie pi, for example, had a few shots made on unauthorized locations. how were they allowed to get such wide distribution, seeing as they wouldn't have had all the release forms etc. (the subway scene was stolen, for example)?

is it possible to get a deal with a distributor for a film that doesn't have the proper release forms or insurances and all that?



Although Pi was produced on a shoestring budget, the production had what is known as E&O Insurance [Errors and Omission]. This is what distributors [and programs like Independent Lens on PBS] require from a production in order to protect themselves from lawsuits that may result from violating a third-party trademark, or an accidental failure to obtain consent or a proper license.

So let say that you, like Darren Aronofsky in Pi, sneak into the subway with your camera hidden inside a bag and film scenes with your actor. Well, a distributor probably isn't going to ask to see a copy of the permit authorizing you to film in the subway. But they will want to see a copy of your E&O insurance that would protect them from a lawsuit from Coca-Cola or Nike because you filmed this and other scenes with your lead actor [who portrays a subway serial killing maniac] who likes to wear a Nike shirt and drink a 20oz bottle of Coke.

As far as shooting "guerilla or run and gun style" on music videos, yes, you probably can shoot without permits in most areas in Southern California, as long as you're not blocking streets or sidewalks and/or using a large genny. You see film students from all the local schools shooting all the time, especially on weekends. However, if you're working with a record label and a budget, and your treatment calls for filming a moving vehicle, or filming in high traffic areas, and you have to park production trucks, trailers, honeywagons etc, you're going to have to work with a qualified producer, location manager and other film professionals who will coordinate and expedite matters with the local film office to pay for and obtain the necessary permits.

Btw, several indie guerrilla styled music videos often get picked up and are aired by MTV or BET, etc, but if they infringe on a logo or trademark and/or violate the network's policies, you'll see the offending logo or action(s) blurred. This is also true of artists associated with major labels-- the Superman logo was blurred in the very popular "Crank Dat" music video by Soulja Boy.


Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. I am not associated with Viacom, Pi, Darren Aronofsky, Soulja Boy or his record label. :)
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#10 Noam Gagliardi Rabinovich

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 02:04 PM

haha cool, thanks.

damn I've been trying to get that Soulja Boy song out of my head for the past month ...
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#11 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 09:22 PM

Although Pi was produced on a shoestring budget, the production had what is known as E&O Insurance [Errors and Omission]. This is what distributors [and programs like Independent Lens on PBS] require from a production in order to protect themselves from lawsuits that may result from violating a third-party trademark, or an accidental failure to obtain consent or a proper license.

So let say that you, like Darren Aronofsky in Pi, sneak into the subway with your camera hidden inside a bag and film scenes with your actor. Well, a distributor probably isn't going to ask to see a copy of the permit authorizing you to film in the subway. But they will want to see a copy of your E&O insurance that would protect them from a lawsuit from Coca-Cola or Nike because you filmed this and other scenes with your lead actor [who portrays a subway serial killing maniac] who likes to wear a Nike shirt and drink a 20oz bottle of Coke.

As far as shooting "guerilla or run and gun style" on music videos, yes, you probably can shoot without permits in most areas in Southern California, as long as you're not blocking streets or sidewalks and/or using a large genny. You see film students from all the local schools shooting all the time, especially on weekends. However, if you're working with a record label and a budget, and your treatment calls for filming a moving vehicle, or filming in high traffic areas, and you have to park production trucks, trailers, honeywagons etc, you're going to have to work with a qualified producer, location manager and other film professionals who will coordinate and expedite matters with the local film office to pay for and obtain the necessary permits.

Btw, several indie guerrilla styled music videos often get picked up and are aired by MTV or BET, etc, but if they infringe on a logo or trademark and/or violate the network's policies, you'll see the offending logo or action(s) blurred. This is also true of artists associated with major labels-- the Superman logo was blurred in the very popular "Crank Dat" music video by Soulja Boy.


Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. I am not associated with Viacom, Pi, Darren Aronofsky, Soulja Boy or his record label. :)




I have had young rappers who want to make their first videos ask me if I can do "that thing where logos are blurred out", not because they
are concerned about the issues discussed here but because they see it on videos and think that it looks cool.
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