Location Clearance

Location claims may become an issue if you fail to obtain film permits from the city or state in which you are shooting; this may vary depending on the location’s requirements.

There are two parts that make up the location agreement: a lease or rental agreement for use of the property and a written form of consent to photograph the property and use in the film. In the case that the background of a shot is non-distinctive, you may not even need a location release. However, err on the side of caution and remember another general rule: do not assume anything. If you have gone through the legal process of acquiring a permit to shoot in a museum, do not assume that a specific piece of artwork in the background is included. You will most likely need separate clearance for that. If you have a shot in which your characters drive by multiple houses on a street, you need to decide whether these houses are blurred enough that they would not be identifiable to an audience. If not, have the house owners sign release forms. In the case that there is artwork such as a sculpture on the property (both inside and outside the property) remember that it may be copyrighted. Just because the property owner thinks he owns the sculpture, you cannot assume that they own the copyright of the actual art unless they can prove that they made it.

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