Image Release Form.
Dear Videomakers, in this third chapter I will address a very delicate topic, that of the Image Release Form.
What is it? Substantially the Image Release Form is a written authorization signed by the person who acted in your video and by which the actor/actress gives consent to the distribution of his/her image on every existing platform and means of communication (like social media, websites and press) in exchange for, when otherwise agreed, monetary compensation.
Why do I say “substantially”? In short because this document is not actually composed of two sentences written by the person who gives authorization but it contains, instead, a very specific structure:
- Actor’s Personal data.
- Personal data of either the person in charge for distribution, the video-maker who shot the video or the third party that commissioned the job.
- Description of the job including locations and dates of shooting
- Authorization for the distribution and publication which can be confined to a specific period or be unlimited in time. The authorization can also include the largest scope or it can be circumscribed to specific situations.
- Compensation. You will have to mention the agreed amount in exchange for the actor’s performance. In case the actor agreed to perform for free or in case the agreement provides for an exchange of favors, you will have to write it down as well.
Last but not least, the prohibition of publication of content that might lead to detrimental of dignity.
Keep in mind that even when the actor/actress who participated to realization of your brand video, corporate video or spot commercial is a friend of yours, a parent or somebody you know very well, you have to have him sign the Image Release Form. Always. Remember the old saying “trusting is good not trusting is better”? Well, mark those words my dear friend.
There are also specific cases in which the authorization is required even if the face of the actor/actress never shows in your video:
- If the actor/actress can be recognized by the silhouette.
- If the actor/actress can be easily recognized by any tattoos, birthmarks or scars (or other visible signs)
- If the actor/actress are underage. The Image Release Form must be signed by the parents.
There are also few cases where the Image Release Form is not necessary:
- When the person is so small in the picture that neither the contest nor any other details can make her recognizable.
- When the person’s silhouette is not enough to make her identifiable
- When the content shows crowds of random people (like in concerts or stadiums)
To SUM UP:
Dear video makers, what do I personally get from all of this? Not being an expert have the people acting in your videos sign the release form. You need to protect yourself in the first place, always. And that even when the actors are close friends or parents.