BY:STEVEN C. BEER, JAKE LEVY AND NEIL J. ROSINI
This Q&A was originally published in the Summer 2018 issue of Documentary magazine, a publication of the International Documentary Association, a nonprofit media arts organization based in Los Angeles.
Appearance releases take many forms and should be tailored to the type of production being made. Most appearance releases contain the following provisions:
Some appearance releases go considerably further, such as by authorizing the producer to make re-creations (dramatic sequences) portraying the participant, fictionalize events involving the participant, or use the material authorized under the release in books and even scripted feature films. If a re-creation, fictionalization or similar production technique, or a book or other derivative, is actually contemplated, provisions like these are appropriate. But while a producer might think to include such provisions “just in case,” they are objectionable to many participants and could stand in the way of a release being signed. In order for a producer to obtain signed releases successfully and without lengthy negotiations, it’s wise to include provisions like these only when needed.