Location Scout Property Releases
An important part of the location scout / location manager / producer / director / photographer collective workflow is obtaining a property release or location agreement, which is written permission to use images of a property or location for publication, particularly in instances where private property is concerned. This permission must be obtained from the property owner.
Likewise, property owners should insist on a property release or location agreement being signed by all involved parties, if for no other reason than furthering the interest of a general atmosphere of understanding and cooperation.
There are many more or less standard legal forms available which should be customized as may be appropriate with the production company’s and / or end-client’s information as well as showing the amount of monies to be paid to the property owner and any special conditions as may exist.
Below are some useful property release resources:
Caveat: R. Richard Hobbs / nyc.locationscout.us is not an attorney or for that matter, a legal professional in any capacity – The content presented here should only be considered general information derived from experience in the production field and you should consult an attorney for answers to any questions and / or to check validity of any statements made or forms referred to here within.
American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) | Home > Commerce > Legal Resources > Property Releases Tutorial | By Richard Weisgrau and Victor S. Perlman
This article originally appeared in “A Subject of Urban Legend,” which is posted in our Legal Resources area.
The whole subject of property releases is filled with urban legend, assumption and myth, along with a bit of actual law. As you know, using a person’s likeness for trade or advertising purposes requires a model release. That is because a person has a reputation to protect, a right of privacy and (in some states) a right of publicity. Property has none of these rights. So why should you go to the trouble to get a release?
ASMP Property Release / American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) | Home > Commerce > Legal Resources > Releases Tutorial | Why you need releases
A release is a written agreement between you and the person you are photographing, or the person who owns the property you are photographing. The purpose of the release is to protect you from any future lawsuits the person might file for claims such as defamation and invasion of privacy.
The ASMP piece directly above discusses property and model releases. The location professional will obviously be most concerned with the property release parts of the discussion, however it is probably a good idea to have a general grounding in both types of releases especially if your job descriptions cross over between location services / general production / photography / directing.
Definition: When using pictures that contain clearly recognizable places or other property (such as pets), a property release protects you against legal claims by the owner of the property.
Fotolia offers personalized model releases to you for various situations (pictures of a minors, pictures of models, and photographs of personal property).
Location Scout Resource: Location Contracts for Location Scouts, Production and Homeowners
– Attached are two (2) boilerplates of the location contracts we use so there is a written agreement between us, production and property owners when a deal has been negotiated to use a property as a filming location for a film, photo or video shoot.
- is a long form
– the one that has been around here some time now, but often seems intimidating and “overkill” for “everyday” use…
- is a shorter form
– less detailed but seems to-the-point for most everyday use.
- Please read each document you plan to use carefully and edit the parts specific to *you* (and the location property owner)
Location Scout R. Richard Hobbs is NOT an attorney and makes no warranty of legal validity of either document presented here. These documents are presented “as is” for illustrative purposes only, do not neccesarily constitute legally binding agreement(s) and certainly do not represent agreements of any sort between R. Richard Hobbs and anyone who views or uses the aforementioned location documents. For legal advice seek the services of a registered, licensed law professional.
…at the same time, please feel free to use these documents for your own purposes as reference or for ideas to use to come up with your own forms.
MS Word Format:
Adobe PDF (.pdf) might be more difficult to edit than the Word files (above)? DO NOT use the documents below “as is” for any purpose other than reading!
- American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) article and downloadable templates of model releases and property releases
- American Photographic Artists (APA) Business Manual w downloadable forms: note: some files are password protected for use only by APA Members. Join APA!
- FilmAnchor: Free Film Contracts and Forms
- Film Business Forms at Amazon
- Video Business Forms at Amazon
- Photography Business Forms at Amazon
- Event Management Business Forms at Amazon