In this finale segment on the Orabrush YouTube marketing story, I again interviewed Orabrush CMO Jeff Harmon to talk about how his company has managed to get legally-binding permissions for shooting people and locations featured in their YouTube videos, without it slowing down your production plans. (You can read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3).
DISCLAIMER: The following video and article are meant for general information purposes only. They should not be construed as, or substituted for, professional legal advice from a qualified local attorney!
Tip 1: Run-and-Gun
Jeff explained that for some locations, where they're only going to be shooting at briefly and may have too many regulations to quickly get a permit, they usually do "run-and-gun" shooting. (I.e., set up and shoot quickly, and get out before attracting unwanted attention from any local authorities.) "You just hope that it's not going to be a problem," said Jeff.
Tip 2: YouTube "Schmoozing”
If the Orabrush video crew is planning to shoot in a restaurant or store location (which they have done before), their plan is to go to the owner before and sell them on the idea of increased visibility from their popularity on YouTube. He'll say to the owner something like, "OK, we get 'x' many views on our videos – can we use this place?" And then the owner just has to sign off on permission for them to shoot there.
Jeff says that this type of schmoozing with mentioning YouTube has proven successful for them with getting both professional actors as well as regular people. "Say if we're running around doing man-on-the-street stuff, you've got to have somebody that's just chasing people down, and asking, "can we use that on YouTube?" Says Jeff
"And usually if you say YouTube, they're like, "sure!" You know, it's very easy to get people to agree to YouTube stuff. Locations are much cheaper if you're shooting for YouTube. Everything is a lot cheaper.”
Tip 3: Always Have Releases Ready to Sign
Jeff says what's worked for Orabrush from a cost-savings is after they understood as much as they could with all the legal regulations for shooting video, they downloaded all kinds of releases – location releases, model release, actor releases, etcetera. Jeff said that they started out just doing keyword searches for all of those terms and downloaded the templates from online, and then later had them customized for their own business purposes. (Note: I personally recommend for most businesses today that they at least consult with an attorney specializing in new media and intellectual property law, and see if they already have a template they can customize to your needs. There's much less of any kind of "insurance" that a stock template will be legally binding!)
Tip 4: Shooting Crowds at an Event? Work with Event Organizers, Well in Advance!
When Orabrush did a YouTube video for "The Dirty Dash" – a half-marathon race that runs all across the country, along with some fun mud race events – they contacted the people who own and run The Dirty Dash, and asked them for permission to shoot a video. "So they have everyone who comes in, has to sign a release that basically says, if I die, or, if I'm on video, or anything – Dirty Dash can use it for whatever they want," said Jeff. "And so, all we had to do is get one signature from Dirty Dash, and then we were good to go.”
Tip 5: Watch The "Legal Video Guys" YouTube Channel!
For more legal information around doing online video for whatever business or profession you're in, check out my own "social responsibility" project over at youtube.com/legalvideoguys. There you'll find interviews with attorneys and other online video marketing professionals on the important legal issues that all of us should be paying attention to today around online video, and hopefully you'll find them entertaining as well as informative!