Documentary Legal Forms [Starter Pack] What's Inside

Essential legal forms & contracts specifically designed for documentary filmmakers. Packet includes the most commonly needed releases and contracts during the making of a documentary.

  • Talent Release

  • Location Release

  • Materials Release

  • Group Release

  • Extra/Background Release

  • Poster-Style Release For Shooting In Public Spaces

  • Crew Deal Memo

  • Bonus Form: Depiction Release (Life Rights Option)

Legal Forms & Contracts

Includes 8 Contracts & Releases.

Created exclusively for Desktop Documentaries by Entertainment Attorney Gordon P. Firemark.

Have the confidence that these forms are created and vetted by an entertainment attorney specifically for documentary filmmakers.

Make sure your documentary has all the proper legal paperwork. Click the red button for immediate access.
Documentary Legal Forms & Contracts [Starter Pack]

How To Use The Forms

  • Talent Release Form - ie Personal Release Form, use this for your interviews.

  • Materials Release Form - Use this form whenever you are including photographs, paintings, sculpture, other artwork, documents or artifacts in your film.

  • Location Release Form - Use this for permission to shoot on private property.

  • Group Release -Use when depicting larger groups, such as a club, athletic team, choir, etc.

  • Extra/Background Release - For persons who appear in the background of a shot or scene, but who are not the focal point or subject of the footage in question.

  • Poster Release - This is a poster-size release you should use when filming in public spaces where numerous people may be entering and exiting the frame. Examples: Public Parks, Government Buildings and surrounding areas, Shopping Centers, Malls, Sports arenas, and the like. (Note that location releases may be required for some of these kinds of places)

  • Crew Deal Memo - Use this release for all crew members working on the film. This includes volunteers, Production Assistants, etc., whether in the office, or on-set, who work during any phase of production, from development through post-production.

  • Depiction Release (Life Rights Option) - Use this form when you are acquiring the subject’s so-called “life rights”, for all purposes, which may include feature films, television movies, series, etc.

Use With Confidence

  • Word docs (.docx)

    All forms come in Microsoft Word for easy editing.

  • Attorney Certified

    Created by a Hollywood-based entertainment attorney.

  • Doc Filmmakers

    Created exclusively for documentary filmmakers.

Attorney At Law Gordon P. Firemark

Mr. Firemark is an entertainment attorney based in California and also teaches Entertainment Law in Columbia College Hollywood's film program. He's the producer and host of Entertainment Law Update, a podcast for artists and professionals in the entertainment industries and the author of The Podcast, Blog and New Media Producer’s Legal Survival Guide. The Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark cover intellectual property, cyberspace, new media and business/corporate matters for clients in the entertainment industry. More Info: Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark; Theatre, Film, TV & New Media


  • Are these legals forms applicable to filmmakers outside of the United States?

    Gordon P. Firemark: "I think they’re fine for filmmakers everywhere, but I can only vouch for their full effect in the US. I’m not licensed anywhere else, and the US has some freedoms not found everywhere. 1st Amendment isn’t absolute, so I don’t wish to give an opinion beyond the borders of the US."

  • Specifically regarding whether the forms would work in Canada:

    Gordon P. Firemark: "Mostly, yes, but I always advise checking with a local attorney, in case there are special issues in local law."

Documentary Legal Forms & Contracts Starter Pack

Make sure your documentary has all the proper legal paperwork.

Buy Now: $99

"We felt confident starting production with all the release and legal forms necessary to protect our interests and mitigate any legal risk. Thank you to Gordon for these very helpful resources!"

- Annette King/Splicer Films