January 12, 2017 at 12:57AM, Edited January 12, 1:05AM

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Use release forms! But what about getting a lawyer's opinion?

I've made a couple music videos in the past, but I've never thought about liability until recently. I'm looking at shooting another one this summer with an upcoming summer camp run by a non-profit (Civil Air Patrol) as the subject matter, and I'm figuring out how to handle getting appearance release forms.

So, I've tailored one of the many you can find on the internet (and added parts of a few others), but I really don't feel comfortable using it without the input of a lawyer. I've found that, out of all the articles and forum posts about this, everyone says to get releases signed, but almost no one follows that up by suggesting that those releases should be check by a lawyer. Is it not really that necessary? I assume that, if you have the money, you should probably seek advice, but I don't think I can afford the expense.

So what do no-budget filmmakers do? Do people really just make the best release forms they can and hope that there aren't any holes in them, or should you really go to a lawyer to get your forms looked over?

2 Comments

I don't think it's always necessary to have professional input for such things. For less serious productions, a written agreement is all that's needed, just to make sure everybody is on the same page. However, I can tell you that I dropped out of a feature because the producers got some contract online and altered it. There were some things that didn't sit right with me, so I had an acquaintance who's a lawyer take a look and he basically said "Yeah, bad news, but it isn't legally binding any way."

January 12, 2017 at 9:20AM

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All right. Thanks for the help. I still don't feel 100% comfortable, but I'm glad I got some verification.

January 13, 2017 at 3:18PM, Edited January 13, 3:18PM

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Adam Hocutt
total, utter noob
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