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need advice re documentary release form

17 replies

ParpMyself · 13/03/2006 19:13

i've changed my name, partly to preseve anonymity and partly to remind myself to be a better contributor to MN. Not sure if this is the right topic to post this on but here goes. Anyway, my dad is an ordained priest and also does quite a lot of healing ministry, very quiet and not hallelujah at all. He was recently approached by a tv company who said they were interested in interviewing him for a documentary about healing. He then got a call asking him to meet another healer, and he thought it was just a preliminary chat, he got from the call that the TV comapny would not be there. So he turned up, and the cameras were all set up, and it turns out this other healer thinks he is St Paul when he heals - something my dad was not comfortable with at`all. He did not sign a release form but he did agree to be filmed on camera, and he feels he was a bit set up and may look like one of this man's posse - there were other healers there that knew this man. Can he do anything about it now? Is there anyway he can object to footage of him being used. He feels a bit uncomfortable now, and it does seem like he was a bit set up. Any advice much appreciated.

OP posts:
Twiglett · 13/03/2006 19:36

tell him to write to production company to tell them that they categorically do NOT have his permission to use any footage of him

tell him to check his house insurance for legal cover and see if he's covered for this and consult a solicitor

oh I don't know .. why did he chat to the bloke on camera if he was uncomfortable?

Baja · 13/03/2006 19:37

Really tricky. consenting to filming puts him in a difficult position, because it shows clear willing to participate.
However, they should have asked him to sign a release form, and they will need to provide this form when they deliver the programme to the broadcaster as part of the delivery of the programme.
If your father feels really compromised he should call the company and say that he's sorry but he hadn't agreed to the filming before hand, was suprised to see the cameras when he went to see the chap and sort of said yes out of courtesy, but without time to think seriously about what he was verbally agreeing too.
If he's happy to participate in the film he should say so, but set out the terms that he's happy to do it under, and say that on that basis he'd happily sign a release form, but currently he wants to withdraw his contribution to the film.
If the company try to intimidate him, which if he's nice they would be foolish to do, then he should say that he's going to register his experience with PACT (the producer's association for cinema and television) and also the broadcaster (i'm assuming he knows who the film is being made for?).
good luck, if you want any other advice post again and i'll help you if i can.
i work in tv, and what has happened to your dad is not best practice. It may be that crossed wires were had in the preliminary chat and the researcher/AP miss understood your father, and vice versa. Often these things come down to that, as it costs a lot to set up filming and to have the contributor refuse permission to use the footage means it's money down the drain and few companies can afford that risk.
good luck.

ParpMyself · 13/03/2006 19:38

i know twiglett - i'm not sure how much he chatted to the bloke, but he does feel silly for getting involved now. He's the type of person that tries not to ruffle feathers and please people, and i think he was naive in this context. its just that he was taken completely but surprise.

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ParpMyself · 13/03/2006 19:41

thanks Baja - we will try that - i think my dad didn't ask enough questions and they told him the bare essentials of what he needed to know - i feel they exploited his naivety. Its a tricky one though.

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Baja · 13/03/2006 19:42

if he's really angry about it then he should call PACT and ask for advice, and he should also speak with Offcom and register the company's practice.
The production company will have insurance which would cover legal for a contributor who was agrieved with the film, but without a form there is nothing formal to say he was on board bar the footage shot.
I think that the broadcaster/PACT/Offcom would be best to call to get legal advice.

ParpMyself · 13/03/2006 19:43

but surprise - i mean by surprise! they did ask him to sign a release form BTW, and he declined to do so - then they asked him to say if he would be willing to be filmed - and he said yes - i think he was afraid of upsetting everyone.

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Baja · 13/03/2006 19:45

It's a really sensitive subject too, and it's very possible that everyone is treading on eggshells around each other and not being open and frank for fear of upsetting and loosing contributors.
If he's keen to still participate, and he's clearly a key figure in the healing community then he could suggest an interview that woudl put this previously shot footage into context, and sign a form that incorporates that i/v into it as a condition of his participation.

ParpMyself · 13/03/2006 19:48

that's a good idea Baja - I'll run that past him.

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Baja · 13/03/2006 19:51

did they record him saying he was willing to be on camera?
If so then that's even more complicated, but still doesn't get around the fact that they don't have paper to deliver to the broadcaster.
He should be honest with them about how he felt it was done, and that he is not happy about the footage going out.
If he's willing to discuss a way around it, i.e filming another i/v with him, then that may avoid a difficult situation.
he shouldn't let it go if he feels that this could harm his reputation or work, and given the nature of his work and that it's founded on absolute trust he should point out to them that he's very concerned about the effect this 'suprise' i/v might have on his career.

Baja · 13/03/2006 19:55

If the programme is for a USA cable network or has USA money as part of the financing they wont touch his footage with a bargepol without a release form, their insurance wont cover them for any legal reciminations without the relevant paperwork.
that's just another thing to know if he needs to.

ParpMyself · 13/03/2006 19:59

i think he managed to say on camera that he doesn't agree with this guy thinking he's St Paul on camera , but who knows what they'll do with editing. Unfortunately he did agree to being filmed and it was on camera. I think he just feels set up - the crew had been there since 8.30 am and he arrived at 3.30pm, never having met this guy in his life and not seeing him do any healing work, and it looked like he knew him and had witnessed his work. It is a biggish TV company, and they seemed to have little regard for their subjects, so he just feels a bit exploited.

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ParpMyself · 13/03/2006 20:00

its for the BBC.

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Baja · 13/03/2006 20:11

Ok, out on a limb here, but there is no way that if the film's main contributor thinks your dad is god, that they're going to want to loose him in the film, so he's in a strong position to get what he wants.
The BBC have to tread really carefully, and if he starts to say that he's going to go the complaints commission (forget pact and offcom they don't really have any sway with the bbc)then they've got to sit up and listen.
The flip side is that they should be more understanding than some companies because they're not workign to the same stresses.
I would suggest a chat with the producer/series producer or editor and go from there.
keep me posted.

ParpMyself · 13/03/2006 20:15

thanks baja - i don't think they think my dad thinks he is god [phew!] but it might look like he is friends and endorses this other healer guy who does think he is St Paul. We'll see what happens.

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Baja · 13/03/2006 22:16

sorry i meant that if this other bloke thinks your dad is god then the doc makers will want him in their film.

ParpMyself · 14/03/2006 10:07

as yes sorry - you can never be too careful these days! Grin

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Baja · 29/03/2006 19:47

How did your dad get on?

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