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Filming Illegal/ Dangerous Acts?

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  • Filming Illegal/ Dangerous Acts?

    Hello, I am a film student in the uk and I am currently producing a short documentary about Parkour/ Free Running.

    The nature of this project requires that I film a person trespassing and performing dangerous stunts (Myself and the film crew will remain outside any private land)

    Can anyone advise me as to what kind of form I would need to have the person sign to ensure that myself and my crew are not liable if he is arrested or injured during filming?


  • #2
    I am not familiar with UK law, but anywhere that is going to be tricky. The agreement/release will in effect be acknowledging that you are aware that the performer you are shooting will be violating law. That is not good for you. In the US that is called Conspiracy (you are conspiring with them to violate the law some time in the future) and Complicity (the act of helping or encouraging another individual to commit a crime.) You would basically be signing papers that you are knowingly breaking the law, but at least your performer agrees to hold you absolved of all liability. However, the constable will not be a party to that agreement and will arrest you for violating the law.

    In effect, you cannot make an agreement with someone to walk into a bank with them (maybe you want to get it on video) while they rob the bank, but your buddy will not hold you liable when he gets arrested. This is the same thing. Sounds silly.

    Stay within the law. It makes things a ton easier. Surely there are legal places your performer is able to practice?



    • #3
      Generally your only option to keep you from being complicit in the act is to have the person film themselves performing the Parkour, have them post it on Youtube or Vimeo where anyone can download the footage. This would make it public, as oppose to you commissioning the footage yourself. Also, make sure they aren’t using any of your equipment. It has to be their effort and not yours.

      - Wolf