Archive for June, 2011

Tattoos & Copyright

The copyright issue around the tattoo in Hangover II this week had me thinking about rights and ownership around photographs this week.

So you want to use an existing photograph in your movie… Have you secured the rights to it? All the rights? Perhaps you’ve secured the publishing rights already (from the book or magazine publisher), and then found out there were still some reserved rights to be secured from the photographer directly. Next you tracked down and secured more rights still retained by the people depicted in the photograph… what about permissions around the location or the art in the photo? And now… the tattoo?

Securing all the rights to use existing work is never as easy at it first sounds. It’s not necessarily a one-stop shop to permission.

Sure, a clearance research report on the script may flag potential rights issues to you, but there are many items that make it to set that are not specifically described in the script, and so cannot be raised by the research report. Of course you’re going to need proper legal advice when it comes to rights issues and crew members are not lawyers, but crew members are in the position to flag potential rights issues as sets, props and wardrobe, for example, are assembled. The crew (not just one person on set) should have some working knowledge of rights and permissions. Use this week’s story of the tattoo to start or refresh awareness in the crew about potential rights issues. The discussion is bound to be both animated and entertaining. Everyone has a story. You’ll see…

For more on the tattoo & copyright story, here’s a link to the Hollywood Reporter’s coverage of it:

For a list of clearance research companies, see the resource links on my website: http://www.debpatz.com/pmlinks.htm

Cheers & a clear shoot to you,


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The Long Shoot Days of Summer

Longest shoot day I’ve been on was 23 hours long. Naturally, we saw both sunrise and sunset ing the course of that day.

With the summer solstice coming up this week, I got to thinking about how many hours of daylight is there between a couple of potential shooting locations. Who gets the best deal in sunlight for the summer next week (according to the Daylight Hours Explorer)?

Hollywood, California = 14.3 hours

Vancouver, Canada = 16.0 hours

Glasgow, Scotland = 17.3 hours

Reykjavik, Iceland = 20.4 hours

Honolulu, Hawaii = 13.3 hours

Auckland, New Zealand = 9.5 hours

Hmmm… looks like my longest shoot day would still have seen at least one sunrise or set during the day!

Cheers & happy summer shooting to you,

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“We use events to find dates, not dates to find events.”
– Ya-sheikh (Sahara, 2005)

Numbers can only take you so far, ’tis true. It is the events of our life that first come to mind before dates and ages are recalled. They help to carve our linear existance into stages. How we react to those events – I believe – defines us… although our reactions may differ as we travel and grow through our various and unique stages of lives.

You’re not the same person you were 5 years ago, are you? What event shaped your journey to this place and time in your personal history? It’s the event, not the date that mattered, isn’t it?

Thanks, Ya-sheikh for starting the train of thought.


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So you’re shooting in studio and the weather outside really doesn’t matter to the production or the crew. Do you just delete the weather forecast from the call sheet? You can… or you could take the opportunity to report on other weather forecasts that might be appropriate to the genre and tone of your production. For example, how about these ideas?

  • A fictional weather forecast for location in the script that day
  • Describe the weather inside the studio
  • A weather forecast for various cast or crew member’s favourite vacation destination
  • A weather forecast for random locations around the world

When you do include information on the call sheet that is along these “fun” lines, remember to be clear to the crew (the readers) that you are indeed having a bit of fun and that the information you’re including is not serious.

So, what weather-or-not ideas do you have?

Cheers & a sunny shoot to you (well, if it’s sun you want for the script!),

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