Permits, et al are importa

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Permits, et al are important, but most towns don’t require you to get a permit unless you want to actually block off a street or completely take over a sidewalk, etc. Generally, taking pictures, be they motion or still, is perfectly legal in public. Now, I worked for a mall for a while, and while all mall managers are different, the ones I knew had very strict “no taping” rules on the property. You definitely need to get permission first, and it might be worth considering throwing in an offer to promote the mall if you even want a shot. The manager at our mall did allow a couple students to do a project, but they were only allowed to shoot in certain areas.

Now having said that, filming permits aren’t going to be your biggest issue as much as release forms for the people you’re interviewing. You need a form typed up and ready to go that says something roughly stating that the person allows you to use their likeness/image in your production, and they will hold you harmless for anything resulting from the video. Have a stack of these, and have an assistant who will snag people after you interview them to get them to sign these forms. If you want to show your video publicly, these are essential!

Now, you pretty much only need to worry about your main subjects if you’re shooting in public. In other words, you don’t need to get a release from every bystander passing by. There’s an assumption in law that if you’re in a public place, it’s likely you’ll be caught on film sooner or later, but if someone comes up and requests that you blur them out, always do it.

That’s about all I can think of at this moment, though I’m sure there are more nuggets of wisdom I’m neglecting.

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