Discuss the legal and ethical issues that can effect your film production

On my productions, I know that I won’t copy anyone’s idea’s, music or sound recording unless I have permission from that person/company. As I am in college, whenever I do my own productions then it’s under their copyright law, and not mine. For example, if I make a production which may want to be published they don’t need my permission to publish it, only the college’s permission.

I know that if i’m interviewing people I don’t twist their words or tell anything that isn’t true to a public audience (Libel Law). I always need to get a background of how I found any information about the person so that if the subject is saying I’m telling any untrue facts, I have a clear path to the facts. Also, I can’t say anything that will ruin that person’s reputation.

I can’t discriminate against anyone, especially different races. I know that I can’t use any offensive words or stereotypes against that race in any of my productions (RRA).

If I use any children in any of my productions, even if they’re in the background, I need the parent’s permission on a form. They need to know exactly what you are shooting, whether the production is going public and if they want their children on the production or not. The health and safety issues need to be very on point with children on set if you have children, especially young children, there because you may be able to easily trip over a small wire.



Copyright Law ©

According to Oxford Dictionaries, Copyright is “the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material” (N/D) 

When you’re in education there is flexibility on what we can use and what we can’t because it’s for our knowledge rather than to go to the public. Also, if you’re a student that has done a projects, i.e. a video, the student who made the product isn’t the person who holds the copyright rights and if someone want’s to use that product all they have to do is get permission from the college. However, if you’re not in education then you have the copyright rights to your own products,“Copyright gives the creators of some types of media rights to control how they’re used and distributed. Music, books, video and software can all be covered by copyright law.” (BBC Bitesize, 2014). Copyright lasts for the life span of the creator and 70 years after his or her death. In the case of joint creators the term of copyright protection is calculated with reference to the date of the death of the last surviving author. In the media, films copyright expires after 70 years after the death of the two key directors, the last director to die. In broadcasting it expires after 50 years after the first broadcast, and in sound it expires after 50 years from when it’s made/published. We need to be aware of the Copyright law because “Copyright is an important issue to be considered during your production planning. Make sure that the ideas you are presenting are your own and avoid mimicking too closely any that already exist in the creative media sector” (Baylis and Proctor, 2010, p37). You want to avoid being sued in any situation. For example, after Monsters Inc was released a song write Lori Madrid claimed that the film idea was stolen from her 1997 poem, “theres a boy in my closet”.

Libel Law

“The Libel law prevents media producers publishing or broadcasting anything about somebody that is untrue or may damagers his or her reputation” (Baylis and Proctor, 2010, p94). This means that if you’re putting anything public about a person you need to do detailed research into anything you’re going to be broadcasting about them, so that if they say it’s a rumour you know for sure you won’t get sued, you need a clear pathway of how you got the information. For example, in 2007 Keira Knightley sued the Daily Mail under the  Libel law for comments about an alleged eating disorder and was awarded in £3,000 in compensation.

Race Relations Act

This act is where you can’t discriminate people on their racial ground. Racial grounds are defined as colour, race, nationality, or ethnic or national origins.”It covers employment, education, housing, advertising, and provision of food and services” (In Bried, N/D). This means that if anyone is seen in media as discriminated in any of these sections that they can get sued against this act.

BBFC – British Board of Film Classification

BBFC is a company that says weather you’re allowed to release the film in Britain. They chose which age group you’re allowed to watch it, depending on what features they have in the film. Three judges have a checklist to see which age group it’s set at, and if they all can’t agree then it’s sent to another three until they agree.

PG Vs. 15:

In PG films you’re only allowed to use mild language such as “S***” and “Son of a b****”. However, in 15 rated films you’re allowed to use language such as “f***”. In PG films, sexual references are rarely used, but if they are then they’re used mildly and infrequently. But In 15 rated films, you can portray a lot of sexual actively and strong references to sex. You can also have sexual nudity and small scenes of sexual violence. In PG films you can have mild violence with no injuries conflicted in strong detail. Only fantasy, historical related violence. But in a 15 rated you can have violence in a verbal and physical way.


Rate a trailer yourself – BBFC website

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

I said that Mockingjay part 1 has weapons, threats, violence and dangerous behaviour. I also rated it a 12A. The BBFC said it has threats, violence and themes. They say that it’s a 12A because the trailer has a “moderate threat and intensity that pervades the content. We see a man say, “it’s the things we love the most that destroy us” at the beginning which establishes the tone of the trailer before seeing various images of war-torn locations, people crying and screaming in fear, a damn breaking and the protagonist running from bullets. The cumulative impact of these images creates a moderate tonal threat which examiners felt was too intense for the PG category. Though there are scenes of violence such as when Katniss and Gale shoot down an aeroplane or when soldiers shoot at people running towards them, these images lack any strong detail or personalisation and are relatively brief. This trailer was passed 12A.” (BBFC Website, ND).