Legal and Safety Issues
The legal stuff and health and safety issues can seem complicated but are very important.
6.1 What Legal Issues Do You Need To Consider When Filming?
- Filming people in public - In the UK, with some exceptions, you are allowed to film in a public place without permission.
- Filming actors and interviews - Anyone considered important in your film will need to give you their written consent.
- Filming children - Children are a sensitive subject and you will need parental consent for under 16s.
- Location permissions - Non public access areas will require owners permission for filming.
- Causing a nuisance or obstruction - The police may move you on if you cause a nuisance, this includes tripods blocking pathways!
6.2 Do I Have To Consider Both Sides Of A Story?
- Fairness and the right to reply - You are obliged to be fair to both sides (or more) of a story. Offer the right to reply.
- Legal and compliance - As the producer of a film you are responsible for knowing what broadcasting rules there are.
- Libel and brands - You can feature any brand you like if it isn’t unjustifiably critical.
6.3 Can I Use Music and Film/TV Clips?
- Music copyright - Music is owned by the authors and its contributors, the rights can also be bought.
- Using music - You have to have permission; this is possible via bodies such as the MCPS (see appendices).
6.4 Who Owns My Work?
- Getting copyright for your work - Copyright is an unregistered right, there is no official action to take.
- Controlling the use of your work - The "Creative Commons" licence will allow limited use of your work (see appendix).
6.5 What Are My Health and Safety Responsibilities?
- Risk assessments - A risk assessment form makes you think about ensuring safety (see appendix for a template).
- Knowing the risks - Caution must be used, even in the least hazardous areas. It is easy to name 5 major hazards when filming in your kitchen.
- Insurance - You may be covered through personal policies, specialist insurance may be expensive.
6.6 What Practical Steps Should You Take?
- Who is liable/responsible - Everyone has responsibilities; it is a good idea to make everyone risk conscious.
- First Aid - Have someone around who is capable and preferably qualified if needed.
- Fire - Have a list of your crew and cast, and establish the exits and procedures with everyone.
- Notifying the authorities - You do not need permission to film but best practice is to tell the local police what you are doing. Don’t attempt anything involving weapons or violence on public streets without talking to the Police. They may not write this down so take a name and a number!