A Practical Discussion of Appearance Releases Part 3: What Is an “Area Release” and What Purpose Does It Serve?

POSTED ON December 11, 2018 / IN

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.

An area release is not a release at all; rather, it is a written notice that producers may post in an area where they record. The notice tells people entering an area that they are being recorded for a particular purpose.  When obtaining individual appearance releases is not practical. However, posting an area release does not confer upon producers the same benefits of an appearance release signed by a participant and is best used when participants appear fleetingly or incidentally and are not featured onscreen or shown engaging in controversial behavior.

Text should be printed in a large font and displayed prominently at all entrances and exits where recording occurs, and notices should be photographed as deployed to demonstrate their use.

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