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How to reserve a location


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#1 FilmmakerJack

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 07:55 PM

Hey, I'm trying to find a hotel that would let me film in a room, in a hallway, in the stairwell, and even a short portion in the lobby. The film is a short and won't run any longer than five minutes. Any chance this could happen for a student with almost no budget? I listned to the commentary in Pimer and Shane Carruth said he sent a letter to Hilton, but in the end it didn't matter and he still needed permission of the actual location he used. Does anyone know the legal issues I have to take care of, as well as the best way to go about this situation?

Edited by FilmmakerJack, 10 June 2005 - 07:56 PM.

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#2 drew_town

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 08:17 PM

Don't ask us.

Call and ask them.

There's no legal issues involved. It's like borrowing your neighbor's lawnmower. They will either say yes or no. It's their decision. If they say yes you need to kindly ask them to sign a location release form. And if they say no you have to decide if you're going to be sneaky about it and do it anyway. Like Carruth did for other shots.
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#3 FilmmakerJack

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 10:06 PM

How do I make a location release form? Do I just make a paper that says I have permission? I don't see how that has any legal binding.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 10:17 PM

Talk to the owner of the location and ask what they need from you.

Otherwise, you should get advice from a locations manager or perhaps a city permit office.
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#5 drew_town

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Posted 10 June 2005 - 11:32 PM

A location release is a brief legal document that states the owners of the property have given you permission to use their property in your film under the understanding of certain criteria. It's used to clarify that you did in fact have permission to use these locations in the event a dispute were to arise during or after you have shot there. There are also talent release forms that cover appearances, voices, and likenesses of the people you use in your film. Search online or perhaps in a filmmaking book for an example that you can copy. If you cannot find one, I can email you a blanked out version of the one I use at work.

Getting advice from a locations manager is a good idea and worth considering. In certain cities the city permit office would not know how to help you if you asked them about using property for your film. Take for example the small town where I was raised, where the only camera seen in public is a rather large VHS-C camera bolted to the top of a motor cycle helmet to document the senior citizens' trek across town.
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#6 Robert Edge

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 12:06 AM

You are talking about filming on private property. To do that, you need the permission of the owner or, in this case, of the hotel manager. Personally, I wouldn't worry a whole lot about whether the permission is oral or in writing unless you are doing some big-time commercial production or intend to defame the hotel. If you want it in writing, there is no need to get real fancy. Just have the manager sign something that says "Jackfilmaker has permission to shoot in the lobby of the hotel".

You definitely do not need a permit from the city to film on private property. You only need a city permit, in some cases, to film on public property.
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