Whether you’re a photographer, representing a production company or you own property someone wants to film, it’s important to know how to create and use a location release form. Before anyone touches a camera, getting all your paperwork in order is crucial, which means drafting and signing a release. To do that, you’ll need a high-quality professional template. Fortunately, downloading ours is as easy as clicking a button and opening the document in MS Word or a similar writing program. From there, all you have to do is input the right details and customize it for your specific needs. We’ll teach you everything you need to know.
What Is a Location Release Form?
A location release form grants permission from the owner or an authorized representative of a property to let a specific individual or organization use it as a filming location. The document outlines the terms and conditions under which the property can be accessed, used, photographed, or recorded. Typically, this is for a specific production and often comes with other terms and conditions like carrying insurance and waiving liability for the owner in case of accidents.
Why Is Location Release Form Important?
A location release form is important for anyone who wants to use someone else’s property to take photos or shoot video:
- Permission and Authorization: Demonstrating clear permission from the property owner or their representative is vital. Ensuring the filming production has the right to access and use the location is a legal requirement.
- Liability and Protection: It is important to protect the production company from any potential legal issues or claims by outlining the responsibilities and liabilities of both parties in your release form.
- Consent for Use: Legally recorded consent shows that the property owner agrees to have their property photographed or recorded and used.
- Terms and Conditions: Establishing the specific terms, duration, and limitations of the location’s use, including any restrictions or guidelines to be followed, is a significant portion of your location release form.
- Insurance Requirements: The production company might need to carry liability insurance to cover any potential damages or injuries that may occur during filming. To do this, they must prove they have the right to be there.
- Professionalism and Respect: Having a release form is a professional approach to location scouting and production, showing respect for property owners and their rights.
Essential Elements of Location Release Form
The essential elements of a location release form grant legal use of a property as a filming location, establish the terms and conditions for accessing and using the location, clarifies liability and compensation, and protects the interests of both parties. Here is what you need to include in a comprehensive location release form:
- Title: Shows that the document is a “Location Release Form”
- Photographer or Production Company Name and Contact Details: Includes the name, address, phone number, and email address of the photographer or production company seeking permission to use the location
- Statement of Authorization and Intent: States that the property owner or authorized representative consents to the use of the location for the specified production
- Location Details: Provides a detailed description of the property, including the address, unique identifiers, and the specific areas or features of the location that may be used in the production
- Purpose of Use (Specific to Each Production): Describes the specific production or project for which the location will be used. Always include its title, genre, and any relevant details.
- Date(s) and Time(s) of Access: Specifies the dates and times during which the production company is allowed access to the location, and lists restrictions or limitations to that access
- Compensation Agreement: Outlines the compensation terms agreed upon, if applicable, including any fees, and reimbursements
- Access and Representations: States that the production company will conduct itself in a professional manner, respecting the property and complying with any rules or regulations as outlined
- Release of Liability: Clarifies the responsibilities and liabilities of both parties, addressing any potential damages, injuries, or claims that may arise during production.
- Indemnification: Adds a provision that requires the production company to indemnify and hold harmless the property owner
- Governing Law and Jurisdiction: Indicates the governing law and jurisdiction that will apply in case of any legal disputes or issues related to the production
- Entire Agreement: State clearly that the location release form constitutes the entire agreement between the parties.
- Consent and Comprehension Statement: At the bottom, add a statement where the property owner acknowledges that they have read and understood the release form’s terms and conditions and that they consent
- Signature and Date Lines: By signing the document, the property owner, authorized representative, and the photographer or production company create a legally binding contract for using the property as specified on the form.
Pro Tip: When filming in a foreign location, it is essential to research and comply with local laws and customs, which may include modifying your location release form.
How to Write a Location Release Form
When writing a location release form, you must ensure you’ve collected all the right information and included the essential elements. You can do that with the help of a template. Here are a few more important things to consider when composing your legal document.
- State the purpose and intent of the form in clear concise language.
- Use simple terms and avoid complex legal jargon.
- Include detailed information about the production, like its title, dates, and duration of filming.
- Specify the rights granted to the production company, including using the property’s name, likeness, and any recorded content so they can legally use their own creation.
- Where applicable, outline the compensation and fees for using the location.
- Don’t forget to add relevant restrictions or limitations like noise restrictions or limiting access to certain areas of the property.
- Clearly define the responsibilities and liabilities of both parties, including insurance requirements and damage liability, to prevent future disputes.
- Finally, proofread and edit your document before signing. Verify details like numbers, and pay special attention to spelling and grammar.
A location release form can be used for both private and public properties. In the case of private properties, obtaining permission from the owner or authorized representative is essential before using the location for filming. Public properties, such as parks or government-owned buildings, may require additional permits or approvals beyond a location release form, depending on local regulations, but there are also times when you don’t need special permissions to photograph or film in public areas.
The short answer is yes. A properly written location release form should protect you if damage occurs to the property during production. It should always include clauses that address liability for damages to the property and waivers for you in case of accidents or injuries during filming. However, it is crucial to note that the effectiveness of such clauses varies depending on the jurisdiction, the wording of the release, and specific circumstances. It’s best to consult with legal professionals and carry appropriate insurance coverage to protect against potential damages or claims.
Obtaining a location release form with written consent from the owner or their representative is critical in ensuring a smooth and legally compliant filming process. The production company and property owner protect their interests by obtaining explicit permission, clarifying terms and conditions, and addressing potential liabilities. This helps maintain a professional working relationship. Clear communication, respect, and proper documentation are key to successful location agreements. Using our Location Release Form Template will help you streamline the process and ensure all parties aware of their responsibilities regarding the production.