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Legal Rights of Extras


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#1 FilmmakerJack

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 04:02 PM

Hey, I was wondering if anyone knew why you need written consent of an extra or a head in film, but in photography so many pictures get taken with no consent at all. Does anyone know the details about the copyright or legal information?
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 04:13 PM

In the USA if some one is seen in a wide crowd shot and you don't have a release for that person you are generally ok. I say generally because lawyers are bottom feeding leeches always looking to make a buck, this is where E&O insurance comes in.

Now let's say a person is seen in a wide shot in the crowd doing some thing unflatering which causes them embarrassment or financial loss, now your risk level goes up. In any court action the plaintiff would have to prove damage of some sort. What if the mafia watches your movie and spots some one they want, who the FBI put into the wittness protection program? Their life could be in danger, don't laugh it could happen. (hey great idea for a movie!!!)

I was in a Vegas Casino last year and they where shooting one of the many TV series set there. They had signs up that read, "you may be seen in the background of the show if you walk through this area." Obviously they are not going to stop every single pedestrian and get a release, this is unreasonable and the courts don't expect it.

Now in your post you say "extra" you mean some one hired to fill out a crowd? Well in that case they are obviously getting paid and they know they are being filmed.

My assumption is that you meant, people who don't know they are being filmed.

R.
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#3 FilmmakerJack

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 04:31 PM

Thanks for the reply; it helped a lot.
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#4 Matt Pacini

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 03:08 PM

These laws are so inconsistent, it's hard to know sometimes. I'm not sure either.
I worked on a music video a while back, shot in a club, and they put a poster on the front door stating that if they entered, they were effectively agreeing to a release.

I know that the Burning Man festival in Nevada has a release on the back of the tickets, so if you're in there, whatever you do is public domain!

A friend of mine shot a documentary there a few years ago, and he said he had people trying to stop him taping, trying to grab his camera, etc., because they didn't want some of the wild stuff they were doing to end up on someone's TV, which of course is exactly what happened.
At one point, he decided to rest & change his batteries, so he jumped up on this big trailer with living room furniture on it, that was being pulled around by a truck.
While he was changing his battery, his eyes were adjusting to the darkness, and only then did he notice some girl on the couch having sex with five guys.
I wonder if they read the back of their ticket?

MP
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Tai Audio

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Glidecam

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport