Are you sure you have the right to distribute the movie after making the film?

Whether you're working with a crew of 3 or 300, you must fill in the talent release form, which gives you the right to distribute the movie with the actors/actresses consent.

Not filling the form could put you and your production at legal risk.  

Not sure what the talent form is? Continue reading to find out.

If you are already familiar, you can download our FREE template right here!

What is a talent release form?

A talent release is a form that enables you to distribute and market your film with your performers' approval. After the production is over, this document safeguards you from your talent getting cold feet.

When do you need a talent release agreement?

The term "talent" here refers to everybody who is featured in your movie. Pro actors, non - professional actors, child performers, models, and even animals are all included.

A talent release form must be signed by everyone who appears in your film. A guardian must sign and authorize consent for kid actors. You must also seek to have all of your cast members sign a release form.

You won't need a form if there are large crowds in the distance with blurred faces. A distributor will always request copies of your talent release paperwork if you plan to distribute your movie.

hand sign contract

What are the consequences of not filling in a talent release form?

The main aim of the talent release form is to ensure you don't get a lawsuit on your hands. If you don't file the talent form, there are chances that someone will take legal action (oh, oh... I smell a lawsuit brewing).

The truth is that you don't officially have the authorization to present particular talent in your film if the talent form isn't filled. The talent and their agents can essentially keep your film hostage, demanding things you may or not be able to pay, deliver or offer.

Who's in charge of filling out an actor release form?

The legally binding agreement between you and the actor is called an actor release form. It gives you the authority to use any work created in association with your film.

You don't have the right to use an actor's image, voice, or act without a signed form, and you can't sell or distribute your film without those rights. Simply put, it's a general release form that permits you to use the actor in your project and makes it legal for the actor to do so.

An actor release form should be filled out by everybody who appears in your film in any manner, size, or form. This encompasses the main cast and any extras, voiceovers, and even people that appear in images or other forms in your film.

It is your responsibility to make the actor sign the form.

How to complete the actor release form?

Fill in the standard fields

Before printing out the forms, ensure that you have all the standard information and then do a printout.

These standard fields include production, production number, production title, film title, director name, producer name. Moreover, they include:

Name

The actors' full legal name.

Voice

The actors' voice used in the film.

Image and likeness

It is a legal abbreviation for some aspects of an actor's performance, including the actor's name, voice and image, etc.

Performance

The actor's character in the film or the role they interpret.

Image

Your actor's physical look being portrayed in the movie.

signing a contract

Fill in the variable fields

Variable fields include the actors' names, contact information and character and name. Make sure the name that you fill in is the legal name.

Once you fill in the forms, you can print out the stack of the documents. Pack the paperwork with every other documentation for your main cast and have everyone sign it all before the show starts.

When it comes to extras, having a stack of talent release forms on hand while shooting is a good idea, as you can often find extras at the last minute.

Ensure all parties involved sign the form

Get signatures from all the actors.

Closing thoughts

Filling in talent and actor release forms are a must to protect the production house from getting sued.

A talent release form isn't the only document you need for your production, however. So, we've gathered all of our FREE film production templates in one place right here!

If you want to learn more about film production in general, then check out our article on filmmaking right here!

Talent Release Form FAQ

What is a talent release form?

A talent release is a form that enables the cinematographer to distribute and market your video/film with your performers' approval.

Who is responsible for the talent release form?

Cinematographers and videographers are responsible for filling in talent release forms.

How is a talent release form used?

An actor release form (also known as a talent release agreement) is a legal contract between you and the actor. It authorizes you to use the actor's image or voice in your film without restriction. This includes their permission for their appearance, likeness, voice, and performance to be used.

What is the purpose of a release form?

A talent release form is used to protect you from being sued.