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Old 08-21-2012, 01:39 PM   #16
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracker Funk View Post
If the actor sues, regardless of the outcome, that would be bad. I'm just not sure that he would sue.
I, too, very much doubt the actor would sue. My concern would be
distribution. No distributor will agree to spend the money with this
scene in it. And E&O insurance would be sky high - or void if the
insurer found out after the fact that there is a scene with an actor
who in writing, told the producer he would not take payment and
would not sign a release.

Profit isn't the issue. An actor who has said in writing that they will
not accept payment and will not sign an image release has that right.
And that means the producer cannot use the footage. It sure would
be interesting to me to know about the case you mention.
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
It sure would
be interesting to me to know about the case you mention.
Me too. I just tried searching for it, but no luck. In retrospect, I think it was pretty much pointless for me to even mention it, seeing as how we can't examine the specific details. I promise I'm not making the story up, but for all I know, I could be remembering it not quite right -- could be some important details that my hazy memory isn't accounting for.

I get what you're saying about insurance and distribution. Those are good points to bring up.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catapalla View Post
Hello Everyone,

i'm producing an independent feature in London, a micro micro micro budget, which i'm financing myself. All the actors and crew have signed the release form so far except one, whom the 3rd ad has forgotten while on set. Now that specific actor was happy to accept the part, he's read the script (just 10 seconds screen time), he accepted it and was enthusiastic, he came on set, did his job with nothing going wrong on set (can you believe it?), then when i realized he did not sign the release form i sent him one, alongside with a request of invoice so i could pay him. He now says he does not like the quality of his performance, he will not sign the release form and will not seek any payment for it!!!! I am gutted as he showed no sign of discontent at all, at any time. What can i do? All is documented on email. That little scene has cost me 14 people crew for a day, a posh hotel room rental, equipment and so on... and i don't have a budget to re-do it again. Please tell me what's possible. Thank you.
Sorry for misreading while at work. I got this now. It happened to me in my very first production. The actor actually wants to hold out for more money.

Best solution, don't use any footage with the actor in it. Recast the role, if it is that necessary to use the footage and other actors are in it. Use the new actor's footage who signs the release first. Otherwise, discard the footage, if you cannot afford to re-shoot.

This solution was recommended to me by a crewman who is also an actor. When I called the actor to tell her that her footage would not be used and her role was recast, she came right out and said she was hoping for more money. I told her no, and her role was recast. We didn't use any of her footage. Only one other actor was in a night scene with her. She had a starring role. We never re-filmed that scene. We just shot other footage in the day with her replacement. Night shooting is more expensive because of all of the light equipment needed. And, you need a generator if you are too far away from a building.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracker Funk View Post
I promise I'm not making the story up,
I'm sure you're not. And there must be some specifics you are
misremembering. That's why I am so interested in what really
happened. Why would there even be a need for likeness releases
if an actor de facto agrees to be in the movie by virtue of being
there when the camera is rolling and saying written lines.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:15 PM   #20
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My understanding of getting an actor to sign a release form is so they know their likeness and voice is not only going to be used in this film but will/can be used in promotional and marketing material, which will be distributed via many routes.

The actor then needs to realise that once permission is given by the actor to use their likeness the filmmakers could decide to do whatever they want with it whether it's turning the project from a serious film into a parody where the actor's character is made fun of, or his image is altered in some way that could be offensive to the actor - I'm not saying that this is the reason why the actor in this case is refusing to sign but generally speaking it's something that could possibly occur.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:29 PM   #21
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Petrie View Post
My understanding of getting an actor to sign a release form is so they know their likeness and voice is not only going to be used in this film but will/can be used in promotional and marketing material, which will be distributed via many routes.
Most releases grant this to the prodCo. We can only speculate about
contract what catapalla used. But he DID say that the actor who didnít
sign the release does not like his performance and will not even
accept payment for his work. If we are to take him at his word (which
I do) the issue isnít the type of contract, the issue is his AD didnít do
the job and the actor didnít like the quality of his work. I speculate that
if the AD had done the job and had the actor sign the release BEFORE
the days work none of this would have happened.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Petrie View Post
I'm not saying that this is the reason why the actor in this case is refusing to sign but generally speaking it's something that could possibly occur.
I have never seen a likeness release that would allow a producer to
alter the image in a way that would be offensive to an actor. Have you
seen a release like that?
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:01 PM   #22
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I guess that was an assumption on my part because I personally haven't seen a release like that.

If the AD did do his job then I agree that none of this would have happened.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:09 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
Most releases grant this to the prodCo. We can only speculate about
contract what catapalla used. But he DID say that the actor who didnít
sign the release does not like his performance and will not even
accept payment for his work. If we are to take him at his word (which
I do) the issue isnít the type of contract, the issue is his AD didnít do
the job and the actor didnít like the quality of his work. I speculate that
if the AD had done the job and had the actor sign the release BEFORE
the days work none of this would have happened.

I have never seen a likeness release that would allow a producer to
alter the image in a way that would be offensive to an actor. Have you
seen a release like that?
Absolutely that is in my release. In fact, my release explicitly gives me the right to "subject them to public humiliation". They give up ALL rights. I can have another actor do the voice, I can digitally alter them to give them a second head, anything. They have no rights whatsoever as far as the finished product.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:49 PM   #24
Lucky Hardwood
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I record my auditions and have everyone that tries out sign a release and hold harmless agreement at the time of audition. If they refuse to sign, I tell them to leave.

ETA: The same thing goes for crew.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:09 AM   #25
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So wait a minute. They showed up, acted, never said a thing, the shoot ended, then a few days later you tried to get him to sign a release and THEN they refused? I believe there's already a valid verbal agreement in place. This is under American law that I'm talking about. Not sure about English law. It's not really normal for an actor to dictate this kind of creative control anyway, but putting that aside, if they were unhappy then they should have spoken up at some point DURING the shoot. I had a similar situation with two actors who I approached to resign releases and they refused. My attorney said there was already an implied verbal agreement.... lights, crew, equipment, they responded to a casting notice, they showed up on the set and acted. It's obvious they are going to be in a movie. In my follow up letter to one of the actors I stated that if their refusal to sign the release required me to reshoot any scenes or ever prevented the movie from getting distribution then I would hold THEM accountable for my monetary damages. That letter worked for one of the actors. I got a signed release right back. The last guy who never signed was just being a douche bag. I released the movie. He certainly would be wasting money to sue me. He was also paid and I have documentation of that.

Last edited by Blade_Jones; 08-23-2012 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:50 AM   #26
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YEAH!!!

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Old 08-23-2012, 02:14 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonzo_Entertainment View Post
Absolutely that is in my release. In fact, my release explicitly gives me the right to "subject them to public humiliation". They give up ALL rights. I can have another actor do the voice, I can digitally alter them to give them a second head, anything. They have no rights whatsoever as far as the finished product.
wouldnt happen to have a copy of somesort of this form do you
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:20 PM   #28
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wouldnt happen to have a copy of somesort of this form do you
Not on this computer. I'll find it on my laptop at home and post it.
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:06 AM   #29
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Oy vey. That's ugly. Right, like you said, Rik, I would not be happy with the AD who was responsible for getting the signatures. I guess this might be a lesson for micro budget filmmakers to double check any such AD's work, making sure everyone is signed. Of course, the whole point of delegating that task to someone else is so that they get it done and so that you don't have to do everything yourself.

Oh well, what do you do?

All I could say about the actor is, welcome to my cr*plist. Needless to say, I would not be working with him/her again. I really doubt there's much else you can do. But...unhappy to say, you dropped the ball, you didn't protect yourself. That sure doesn't make you the bad guy. It makes you a victim (...a sucker, even). But a victim who didn't have to be a victim if he'd/she'd been more careful to protect himself/herself and the production. =(

As for the AD, same thing. I couldn't bring myself to rely upon him/her again. How could you? On the other hand, before heaping too much comtempt upon the AD, I have to wonder, since this is micro x 3 budget film, was that AD a friend working for little to no money and who just did not understand how critically important the whole release thing is in filmmaking...if the filmmakers ever want to actually show the film? If they did, then it's a case of their egregiously dropping the ball. If not, then maybe some resposponibility falls upon the producer's shoulders for dropping that ball.

Cracker's anecdote is very interesting. Commenting on something that we can't cite, I'm guessing that it's a case of a judge using common sense and throwing a frivolous case out. But I'm pretty much 100% certain that even if that is the case, it does not mean filmmakers can forget about getting those releases signed --and presumably understood by the signees.

It's my understanding that any good likeness release form includes the right to make alterations that might offend the model or the actor. After all, people can and often do choose to be offended by anything and everything under the Sun. What if in post you decide to change an actor's hair from blonde to purple? What if you change the color of her dress from red to gray? What if she finds these alterations offensive? The point of the release statement is to set down the photographer's, filmmaker's, publisher's right to use the model's/actor's likeness and to use it with whatever alterations they see fit. The model or actor should understand this before signing.

Attorney, Bert P. Krages II, advocates simplicity in model release forms. The very simple release form he recommends includes this statement:

Quote:
...I further authorize that the photographs may be published for any purpose and in any form.
[The underline is mine.]

Looking at Sunnyboo.com's Actor Contract, it includes a similar, but more elaborate statement:

Quote:
The Actor hereby authorizes the Production Company to photograph, videotape, film and record (on film, tape, or any other medium), the Performance and audition(s) for the Performance; to edit the same at its discretion and to include it with the performances of others and with sound effects, special effects, digital effects and music; to incorporate the same into the Picture, trailers, posters or other materials or programs related to the Picture; to use and to license others to use such records and photographs in any manner or media whatsoever, including without limitation unrestricted use for purposes of publicity, advertising and sales promotion; and to use my name, likeness, voice, biography or other information concerning me in connection with the Picture and for any other purpose associated with the Picture. The Actor further acknowledges that the Production Company owns all rights to the Picture.
I'm interested to note that it doesn't seem to include a statement just like ...in any form. The closest thing to come to it seems to be ...to edit all the same at its descretion... Hopefully that covers everything, including things the actors might not like or might be offended by?

But, what do I know? Done with my babbling. If I misunderstand any of the above, or just don't know what I'm talking about, I beg pardon. =)

Last edited by richy; 08-24-2012 at 04:15 AM.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:56 AM   #30
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Lloyd Kaufman (shocking I know) made his actor furious in Toxic Avenger 4 by replacing his entire dialogue track with another actor's voice. He basically did it out of spite because he could. The actor had gone a little prima donna on him.
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