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What Is a Location Release Form?
A location release form is a document used to ensure that a particular location is secured for those who have specific, temporary need for it. For the most part, these needs will center around the art of photography or the creation of films. One cannot understate the importance of location for those endeavors, after all. Certain screenplays are known to demand one of a kind locations to be sought out. Remember that public places may not necessarily require a lot of official documents but private properties will. Location release forms must be created and presented to the owners of those properties to assure them that no ill will is meant, no misconduct will be done, and that nothing is done without the proper consent.
When taking into consideration the industry stats for photography, you should be able to see just how important a location release form is, among other documents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 29,230 photographers are employed within scientific, technical services, and other professional industries. Motion picture and video industries, on the other hand, have around 1,690 photographers involved. The latter is also among the top paying industries alongside Aerospace product and parts manufacturing. Warner Bros., a well-known film studio, is said to have a box office revenue of around 1940.7m USD according to Statista. With all the necessary locations that are needed for filming, you can bet that those working for that studio are more than well-acquianted with location release forms.
The Elements of a Location Release Form
When attempting to draw up a location release form for yourself or others, you must first take note of the elements present in every copy. Learning about these will help you better understand what this is for and why each element is necessary. Take a look at what’s been written below and see for yourself how it all contributes to the final output.
How to Write a Location Release Form
Now that you are aware of the elements, the next step would be to learn about how to put it all together to draft a proper location release form. All you need to do is follow the general instructions written below to ensure an easier and faster overall experience.
Step 1: Start With a Blank Document Sheet
Open your chosen writing program — good examples would be MS Word and Google Docs — and choose to start things off with a completely blank page. Be aware that there would be no need to have multiple pages since this is a fairly short document to contend with.
Step 2: Label the Document
The next step is to write the words ‘location release form’ on the upper-most middle part of the document. This serves no other purpose than to inform any receiver of this document of what it is all about.
Step 3: Write the Introductory Paragraph
The first paragraph is significant for a variety of reasons. First of all, this is where permission to use a specific property is given to the one writing the location release form. It also specifies not just the name of the property, but grants permission to use certain equipment already present in the property as well as the private equipment and personnel of the form’s sender. Lastly, the end of this paragraph will also be where the specific date of the property’s use is going to be written down.
Step 4: Write Down the Specific Rights Granted by the Document
Following the introductory paragraph, you may proceed to specify what rights are granted by the location release form. This will include the right to film or photograph within the property, the right to exhibit or release the output, and any rights to replicate, reproduce, or exploit the output in any shape or form that the photography/video owner wants.
Step 5: Write the Closing Paragraph
The closing paragraph is where the statement of the property owner regarding the giving of permission and rights to the one requiring the use of the property is written into.
Step 6: Include a Space for the Names, Signatures, and Property Address
The last step would be to dedicate a portion of the page to the writing of the property owner’s full legal name, personal signature, and the address of the property in question. This will be at the very bottom of the document after all of the paragraphs have been written. The date in which everything has been signed must also be written after everything else and is the last detail to be included in the location release form.
The Dos and Don’ts of a Location Release Form
It is not enough to learn about the common elements and the steps needed to create a location release form. To make use of this document to its fullest potential, you also need to be aware of the necessary dos and don’ts that comes with it. Take a close look at each entry on the lists below to discover what it means to be as effective as possible.
Do have backup plans just in case.
You may think that your chosen location is perfect and all you need now is to prepare the papers and forms. The truth here is that things can always go wrong and at any time as well. Having backup plans and ideas will save you from the crushing disappointment when something does not go your way. Try to develop project plans ahead of time. Scout for more than a single location and prepare the paperwork for those places as well.
Do keep the travel logistics in mind.
Whether you are traveling to a certain location by yourself or with a crew, it would be wise to give a thought towards how the overall travel experience would be like. Before you pick out a place, consider if you can make the trip in peace. In the event that much more preparation is needed, do not hesitate to work on that first and only go ahead with the decision once you are certain that you can pull it off without too much of a hassle.
Do research on your intended location.
Is your intended location really the best choice for your specific needs? That is an important question to ask yourself before preparing a location release form. Do your research and find out what awaits you. You can even place this task under a to-do-list checklist so you won’t forget. Sometimes, it is difficult to do things without feedback, so research questionnaires may be utilized as well. If you think that everything is going to go well, then proceed to your other preparations. In the event that it isn’t as good or as appropriate as you may like, then you can follow the first tip provided on this list and come up with a backup or alternative location.
Do consult experienced location managers.
Some first time location managers may lack the necessary knowledge and experience to pull everything off without too much trouble. If that sentence applies to you, then seek out somebody who actually has the knowledge and experience that you don’t. Ask for their advice and if possible, create a collaborative effort between yourselves. You may find what they have to offer to be an excellent
Do follow the necessary guidelines and regulations.
Depending on where you live, there may be different rules and regulations in place concerning the use of location release forms. This also the case with the chosen locations you have in mind. There may be some places where a location release form isn’t needed, while others may be the exact opposite in that there even stricter rules in place. Regardless of where you are or where you intend to go, always keep yourself informed and adapt your efforts to the circumstances that you find yourself in.
Do not neglect to double-check the details.
Remember that this is still a legal document and any important details included need to be written as accurately as possible. For that reason, it is a must for you to go over the details once all of the parties involved have affixed their signatures or included their names. It is better to catch a mistake and redraw the document from start than to continue with an inaccurate and faulty location release form.
Do not include any information that is irrelevant.
When writing the location release form, it is vital to make sure that the content will include only those that pertain to the use of the property, the rights and authority of all parties involved, and specific details such as the address and the exact date of usage. Do not include anything else. Neglecting this will serve as a waste of time and may come into conflict with the document’s overall purpose, should any unintended complications arise.
Do not neglect to consult an attorney.
You are within your rights to draft a location release form by yourself. However, you can still accomplish everything you want and more if you decide to work hand in hand with an attorney. At the very least, be sure to consult with one so that you won’t make any otherwise avoidable mistakes. Having an experienced attorney working alongside you will make everything go much smoother, so neglect the help of one at your own risk.
Do not just enter into this kind of agreement if there’s no real need for it.
Be sure to determine for sure as to whether or not you actually need a location release form in the first place. Although the use of a private property can make any project that much better, there may also be many alternative places that you go to where such formalities are not needed. You will be sparing yourself from a lot of trouble if you find such places first, so do your homework and see if you really need a private property or if it is okay to go with alternatives.
As you can see, there’s much to content with when it comes to the use of location release forms. Important as it may be to know how to make your own, this and similar documents such as model release forms and photo release forms do not have to be created from scratch. All you need to do is find the most appropriate templates for your needs. From there, you can make the necessary edits and then proceed to the printing-out process.