Dr Duncan James > Storytelling > Short Films

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Short Films

I am currently obsessed by the genre of short films, often where they are made by small groups or even individuals on an amateur basis. Once I feel confident enough with my video camera and editing I hope to make one. Examples include Primer and First Contact. Please tell me about more good short films!

Here are a series of resources I have found with useful advice about obtaining permission for using objects in films:- Gallagher, Callahan and Gartrell are a legal firm with some good free advice which in summary advises to shoot alternative shots to keep flexibility during editing and to remember that "making reasonable effort to use fictional locations, people and brands" is a good defence in many situations; The BBC have a useful page on film copyright issues which reinforces the need to avoid putting any copyrighted video clips or photographs in your film and also to beware that even very old things may be in copyright even if the author or creator died a long time ago; Widerman Malek have an article about using objects in films in which they explain that in general if a recognisable product is used for the purpose it was intended without being negatively reviewed then that is alright; This discussion on Quora clarifies that if a recognisable product has more than an incidental role in a film then this is a problem which is one of the reasons I have not done more with my Roving Reporters videos at the time of writing; As explained on this UK government webpage about copyright making news/review videos or parody videos means you can give recognisable products a more than incidental role in a video which partly explains why some YouTube channels emphasise their role as review/news channels to get around copyright limitations; The Videomaker has a summary article covering many of the copyright elements of law relating to videos which reinforce information already described in earlier links; This Australian legal article about film permissions again talks about similar issues and also reinforces the need to be careful when using tobacco products and/or alcohol in videos which is not an issue for me as I am not a fan of either and would anyway avoid mentioning them in my videos; This pdf article about the paperwork to do with film product and name permissions is interesting as it shows how if you can do a thorough job of creating an audit trail of what you have done to meet the legal requirements it can later make your film easier to sell although for me this is not an issue.


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