If you are considering filming your production in Georgia, it is important that you have a clear understanding of the laws in place within the Georgia film industry. There are a number of laws pertaining to actor’s rights, filming locations and film sets that require comprehensive understanding before filming begins. While this is an extremely simplistic and by no means comprehensive list, here are five legal issues to consider when filming in Georgia.
1 – Shooting Permits
While permits are not required for shooting films on private property, if public property is impacted (for example, if interior shots include shots of an exterior public area) then a permit may be required. Some municipalities require permits to shoot at specific locations such as parks and places of public interest. Applications for these permits can be completed through the appropriate municipal government.
2 – Labor Laws
When working in Georgia and employing professional actors for a film, it is critical to take labor laws into full consideration. This is particularly important when it comes to the employment of child actors, as the law is very strict with regards to the child’s working hours and conditions. Those filming in Georgia should have a comprehensive understanding of local child labor laws or employ a legal specialist to help ensure they remain in accordance with the regulations. It is also important to consider whether your production should negotiate with the various unions involved in film production.
3 – Copyright
Before filming, you should also give due consideration to your copyright process. Your legal specialist can help you determine whether you are able to copyright your work under state and federal law. This often depends on the type of production you are creating and the source for your creative process. If the film bears any resemblance to another production, you may face a copyright claim from other filmmakers.
4 – Interview Releases
If you’re interviewing members of the public or noteworthy individuals as part of a film project, you should procure that person’s written permission before your broadcast the film. This is important for filmmakers completing documentaries and other serious works, as it can help establish credibility and limit legal challenges after the broadcast has been completed.
5 – On-Set Legal Guidance
As in any working environment, a film set is subject to potential legal issues that must be resolved with the assistance of a qualified lawyer. This means you might consider employing a lawyer as part of the filming process or meeting with an attorney before you begin filming to discuss potential on-set issues that may arise.