If you are using a large number of people in your digital video production, from regular actors to extras, it may be hard to get single photo releases for each person. That would end up being a huge pile of documents, which is difficult for even the most organized producer to keep track of. For this purpose it may be best to get a group release, where everyone’s name is on one form.
Introduce the Contract
To do this create a single contract with an introductory paragraph at the beginning. In this say that in return for receiving screen credit for the following (name your production company) has the right to use their image, likeness, and anything else from their involvement in the production. Then state that all of these elements may be used in a specific production, then include the tentative title of the project you are working on.
The next paragraph should say that these rights are permanent, and pertain to not just this country but any part of the film distribution internationally. Make sure to then list that this may pertain to all aspects of pre-production, production, and post-production, as well as distribution on unlimited formats.
The last, and most important, element of this contract is the final name list. Provide a number of lines for every person on the cast, and also include room for the crew if you would like. That is always a good idea because you never know when you may need to use a member of the crew in front of the camera. If you have a large number of people involved you may have to have several pages for this part. At the top of these lines put a place for them to print their name on the left, their signature in the middle, and their address on the far right. At the very bottom of all of these lines include a place for you, the producer, to print and sign your name. Below this put a place to date the entire signing.
This is an important part of production that will not protect you entirely, but is a good safety measure. Make sure to be comprehensive and get everybody on the list, but to just be sure get the main actors to sign personal photo releases as well.
This post is part of the series: Pre-Production
Learn about some of the elements of digital video film pre-production.
- Chopping Up Your Screenplay
- The Elements of Pre-Production for Documentaries
- Pre-Production Tasks for the Digital Video Producer
- Final Check Digital Video Pre-Production Tasks
- The Importance of Using Photo Release Forms
- Making a Cast and Crew Liability Release Form
- Using a Location Release
- Creating a Group Release Form
- Lowering Production Costs on Your Digital Video Film
- Getting Costumes for Your Digital Video Film
- Creating a Shot Log
- Creating an Equipment List and What Should Be On It