Lights. Camera. Location! (Owners Beware) – Broadcast: Film, TV & Radio


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The film industry in Georgia is booming. The state ranks first in the world in producing the highest-grossing feature films, followed by the United Kingdom, Canada, California, Louisiana and New York. The state, with its temperate climate and scenic landscapes, backed by a highly successful tax incentive program, has proven irresistible to Hollywood production companies and filmmakers. From Savannah to Decatur, film crews can be seen filming public spaces, local businesses and neighborhood homes every day.

Before such private property can be depicted on film, however, filmmakers must obtain various rights from the owner or the owner’s authorized agent. In industry parlance, the right to access, record and represent private property is guaranteed by a location release agreement. As one can imagine, the length, scope and complexity of these agreements often vary depending on the needs of the parties, their relative risk tolerance and the overall sophistication of the transactions. Because the rise of the motion picture industry in Georgia is a relatively recent phenomenon, many property owners in Georgia have little or no experience with outside broadcast deals. This article aims to briefly outline some of the issues a homeowner should consider.

In addition to addressing access and publicity rights, most outside broadcast agreement forms coming out of the filmmaker’s camp will include a litany of legal concepts designed to favor the filmmaker. Therefore, it is important for an owner to appreciate the legal landscape associated with the act of filming and the industry, in general, and to bring in an experienced lawyer to help rebalance what is likely a one-sided agreement. . For example, a business owner seeking to minimize disruption to their business operations should insist that the agreement specify the specific date(s) and time that filming will take place. Likewise, the owner will want to protect the condition of the property and be compensated for any loss arising from use. In some cases, image-conscious owners may want to consider how the property will be portrayed and restrict any use that may be deemed embarrassing or defamatory, or simply not in keeping with the character or image of the property. In short, the creativity displayed in some localization deals matches, if not eclipses, the efforts of big-budget Hollywood screenwriters.

Using a single family residence will present a set of potential issues and concerns that are somewhat unique to a homeowner. Questions like: “Who will take care of my belongings and belongings?” “Should I pack anything and put it away? and “Will they need to paint or change anything, and if so, will they fix it?” Everything must be considered before handing over the keys. commercial property are a little more complex. For example, a landlord might ask, “What do the tenants’ leases say about this?” » « Do I have to inform my mortgagor and/or obtain his consent? “Should I let my insurer or agent know?” “Should I use license fees or rents received to reduce or offset operating costs?” project name published or shown in film? These examples are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and the stakes of a localization agreement can vary widely.

The depiction of a home, business or other structure in a feature film, advertisement or TV show can improve the intrinsic and monetary value of a property, but could leave the owner with headaches. post-production that could have been avoided with a little work. on the agreement on the front-end. Therefore, the prudent owner must take great care to ensure that the owner and his property are adequately protected. It’s a wrap!

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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