Why You Need a Video Appearance Release Form 

Picture this: you’re checking out the amazing stats from your new YouTube video 🖥️ when the phone rings. It’s the guest from the video, and they’re calling to say they’ve changed their mind and aren’t comfortable 😕 with their appearance in your video. You suddenly realize you don’t have permission forms on file, and you’ll have taken the video down. The best way you can avoid losing out on all that engagement is to have a video appearance release📃 at the ready when you film.

It’s safe to assume that you as a video producer want to make sure you’re covered. Here’s a little breakdown of what a video appearance release form (also known as a talent release form) is and how it works. 

So What Exactly Is This Form?

A video release form for guests is a legal document. This type of film release form lets your guest or interview subject know that they will be featured in your production. It also shows that they are fully aware 🤓 and allow you to do so.

By having your guests sign✍️ this form before production wraps, you can use them in your video without any issues. Without a video appearance release, however, you can run into some nasty legal problems⚖️. If that occurs, you can’t sell the rights to the video you worked so hard on or use it in your portfolio as a content creator because of the contested personal appearance. A filming release form can help protect your work. 

When Do I Use the Video Appearance Release Form?

If your videos are mainly educational 👩‍🏫 and non-promotional, then you generally don’t need to use a video appearance release. But what if your videos are meant to put some money in your production company’s pocket 💰 and will include some kind of promotion? In that case, you’ll definitely need to throw in a video appearance release form for your interview subjects or other guests. Whether it’s for you, your company, or another entity 🏢 like a client, you need to cover yourself to avoid getting into any sort of legal trouble.

Regardless of the scope of your video, you should always get the appearance release signed during the period of time before you start filming. Trying to track down everyone involved after the job is done is such a chore 🥱. And if they don’t want to sign, then you can’t use any footage that they are in, which can bring on more problems👎. So it’s best to come prepared and get everything signed before you get things moving.

Don’t Forget to Get Location Permission Too

The next consideration you need to make is the type of location that calls for a video appearance release. If you’re shooting 📹 in a public space like a busy street or town square, then a release isn’t usually necessary as long as you’re not capturing audio of someone’s conversation. After all, most people give up a reasonable amount of their privacy by being out in public. Some places will require you to get a permit to record✔️, but that’s not related.

What if you’re recording on private property for commercial reasons or you’re taking identifiable audio-visual recordings? In that case, you need to get a few formalities out of the way. First, you need the property owner’s permission 📝via the appropriate film location release form. Once you have a filming release form for the location, then whoever is involved in the video needs to sign a video appearance release. If the person is a minor, you’ll need a parental consent form as well. 

Video Appearance Release Forms Are Your Friend

The most important thing to keep in mind☝️ with an appearance waiver is? The basic rules dictate that if you’re going to use your video for any sort of commercial purpose, you need one. This is especially important when you’re recording on private property 🏠 and you’re including assets that are owned by someone else.

That being said, you don’t need approval in writing if your production team is filming in public for editorial reasons and/or people can’t be identified. For example, the appearance of students in the background of a shot on a college campus doesn’t normally require an appearance request subject waiver. 

Get Your Video Appearance Release Form from A People’s Choice

If you want to avoid going through the tedious process😔 of putting together a video appearance release by yourself, then you can buy a template from us 😊. Ours is both customizable and effective 👍 and makes sure the release is professional and legally sound. Because our electronic form is customizable, we can help you craft a model release form template, standard actor release form template, interview release consent form, or any other permission forms you may need. 

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, then you can book a consultation✍️ with us whenever you’re ready. Don’t forget to check out our blog posts and podcast for informational purposes as well. Just don’t forget that apart from your camera, having a waiver on file is one of your most important tools. Get in touch with us today to get one!🙌