Video Release Form

Create an official, attorney-reviewed document

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Updated January 24, 2023

A video release form allows a third (3rd) party to use the appearance (both in video format and still image) and voice of an individual for the benefit of the third (3rd) party. These benefits may include use for media, online, physical products (e.g. DVDs), or any other type of publication. After the signature of the individual is provided on the document, the rights to their image, video or still, and any likeness of their voice is released to the third (3rd) party. There will be no compensation provided to the video owner beyond what is described in the document.

Common Uses

  • Courses
  • Documentaries
  • Media
  • Movies
  • News (Press)
  • Online/Internet Videos (YouTube)
  • Presentations

How a Video Release Works

A video release is used when an individual or property has been used in the creation of content that is to be placed on public display for commercial use. If a person, entity, or trademark is shown in the video, it most likely will need the owner’s permission before it can be made public.

Step 1 – Look Up Privacy Laws

person sitting at desk researching privacy laws on laptop

Privacy laws require consent to use other people’s images in footage or photographs. If you are producing a video, you should ensure that all who appear in the film have signed release forms. Failing to do so can expose you to future civil claims and can mean that an otherwise ready video must be pulled from the shelves or struck from the internet.

Video release forms have the added benefit of covering still images (video footage is really just a sequence of thousands of photographs, after all) – so you will cover your bases with this single form. Moreover, by making sure that you are on the right side of others’ property rights, you better position yourself to assert your own when you publish videos or photographs.

Step 2 – Obtaining Permission from Client

person on phone with client

The video release form represents an authorization granted from one party to another. While the form may provide examples of how the footage will be used, it usually functions as a blanket and enduring license.

In other words, by signing this release, the client authorizes the use of their image for any range of purposes in the future.

The release may also be conditional on payment. In the general release form, there is space for the client to specify how much they would like to be paid in exchange for this authorization.

Step 3 – Download, Fill and Sign the Document

person filling out video release form on laptop

Since the video release is a binding legal document, it should contain complete identifying information for the client. This includes both name and address, contact information, and the date of the agreement. If this form is being completed for a minor (usually someone who is under 19 years old, though the threshold varies by jurisdiction), then a parent or guardian’s signature will also be required.

How to Write

Download: Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx), Open Document Text (.odt)

1 – Download This Template To Obtain Permission To Use An Individuals Image And/Or Voice On Video

This form should be downloaded using any of the buttons in the image caption area on this page. If you wish to work onscreen make sure you are downloading a file type that you can edit with the software on your machine.

2 -Name The Recipient Subject And The Production Company

The individual who will allow his or her image/voice used in a video should have his or her Name prominently displayed on the first blank space of this form. The second blank space should have the Legal Name of the Production Company (or other Entity) supplied to it. This is the Entity seeking permission to use the Recipient Subject’s image and or voice in a video.

3 -The Recipient Must Sign This Form To Execute Release

The body of this paragraph will supply the language required to gain the Recipient Subject’s approval or release, however, we will need to solidify if a payment for the use of the Subject’s image and/or voice has been offered. If so, then mark the first check box (just before the words “With Payment”) then fill in the Dollar Amount the Production Company will pay the Subject for the use of his or her image/voice. If the Subject will not be paid for the use of his or her image/voice, then mark the check box just before the words “Without Payment Or Any Other Consideration.”

4 – The Subject’s Contact Information And Signature Must Be Obtained

Locate the paragraph beginning with the words “By Signing This Release…” then record the “Full Name,” “Street Address/P.O. Box,” “City,” “State,” and “Zip Code” where the Subject would like to be contacted by mail. The Subject’s “Phone” Number, “Fax Number,” and “Email Address” should be supplied on the next three blank lines. Finally, the Subject Recipient named above must sign his or her Name on the “Signature” line and provide the Signature Date on the next available space. If the Subject Recipient is not an adult and a minor, then his or her Parent must sign the line labeled “Parent’s Signature” as well as supply his or her Signature Date on the “Date” line.