I am writing a new screenplay for a future independent film based on a historical story in ancient Greece. It contains nudity here and there and I wish to stay legal as possible for each age group. The sexual scenes (if any) are ages 18+. Anything under or above have various nudity scenes such as wearing a cloak over a partial-nude body, training military in the nude, etc. Staying accurate as possible is a big deal. Where can I find the US laws regarding nudity in independent films with various ages and genders? Ratings aren't much of a concern as it is a historical story and trying to be as accurate as possible by law. Any insight or sites will be helpful. Thanks.
02-19-2009, 09:44 PM
Anyone who shows anything must be an adult. That person can act as a person of any age but the person must be 18. (Common sense)
When you think of the number of sick people out there it makes sense.
02-20-2009, 12:41 AM
I came to the conclusion it's really a state-by-state basis and what their laws are. Knowing how laws change frequently it's always a good idea to keep up to date. Ie, know what you're getting into. I think if it's clearly non-sexual and had no interpretation of it, it's fine, but it might hurt marketing efforts. That's a good idea too on making every attempt on finding someone who looks young but is 18+.
I just remembered the film Lord of the Flies (1963). It had no sexual immorality in it, just simply nudity here and there of boys. Was actually a good movie and still rentable: http://www.blockbuster.com/catalog/movieDetails/48959
02-20-2009, 05:47 AM
I'd suggest you'd be better off confirming the actual laws/rules about it.
02-20-2009, 07:28 AM
Definately a lawyer (solicitor for the UK folks) question.
02-20-2009, 08:42 AM
I'll do that. Thanks :)
Alter Ego Productions
02-20-2009, 10:57 AM
I can give you an answer. I have worked on countless adult projects. In the USA the statute is "United States Code 18 Section 2257" ( U.S.C 18 Section 2257) There is a lot of information contained in this law and it gets tricky. The bottom line is to be in federal compliance and play it safe. Make sure that everyone who portrays a nude character is 18 yrs or older on the day of production. Do the following:
1. Make copies of a legal government issued ID card, drivers license or passport is best.
2. Have the models hold up the ID cards next to their face and have them state their names and date of birth while recording.
3. Keep this information on file for 7 years.
If there is no sex involved, either simulated or actual this will cover you. If there is sex acts involved there is a bit more involved and I will give you further information. Just let me know. Now if you live in a very conservative state... is filming nudity legal? That you will have to check on. If there is no sex acts involved and you are on a closed set with permits (if needed)... I don't see how anyone can bother you.
02-20-2009, 11:45 AM
Regardless of what you have seen in other movies, what you think
is legal or the essential accuracy of your movie all performers
appearing nude must be of the legal age of consent. And all
performers under the legal age must have contracts signed by
their legal guardian and have a legal guardian on set with them.
Where can I find the US laws regarding nudity in independent films with various ages and genders?
And to be clear - the laws donít change for independent films.
So you can write your script to be the most accurate it can be.
When you get into pre-production you will shoot within the laws.
If you need a few hours with a lawyer to be within the laws,
youíll hire one.
But for now, you should write the script the way you see it. And,
like all screenwriters, keep an open mind about making some
changes when it goes into production.
02-20-2009, 01:00 PM
Excellent advice. I will write the script as historically as possible, and then I will work within the laws during preproduction. I think having a script and storyboard will be more helpful too for the lawyer to review.
03-28-2009, 10:44 PM
Make sure and let the nude actors know exactly what they're getting into so that there are no surprises. Document it in emails so they don't bait and switch. Ask them if there's anything they require (such as clearing out everyone off the set except the bare bones crew). Hire real life strippers for best results. ; )
03-29-2009, 01:00 AM
You know what, damn historical accuracy in this case. It is not an excuse.
If you try you can find actors who look younger but are old enough to play someone underage. I don't understand why this is even a question when the worst case scenario is that you go to jail.
It isn't cool or edgy to even attempt to push this envelope. It's not worth it. You are flirting unnecessarily with breaking the law. To be in this field you have to be creative. Come up with a way to imply the nudity or simply don't do it.
-- spinner :cool:
03-29-2009, 09:28 AM
Well said, Spinner.
03-30-2009, 02:57 PM
I don't see what all the fuss is about--simply make sure the actors are 18 years of age when production begins. Get proof, and document. You're all set. If the director wants to find an actor that looks 14, but is really 18, then let them do it...that's their choice. As long as the actor is 18, it doesn't matter what they look like, no more legal trouble can come your way because someone *looks* underage--simply be prepared to show documented proof.
03-30-2009, 05:27 PM
The issue was legalities for the age group. Avoid any nudity for anyone under 18, then you need no legalities.