Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Using Audience Reaction Shots

Dear Rich: What are the rules of use for the inclusion of "reaction shots" from an audience listening to a concert? Keeping in mind the camera is in plain sight and often the audience is notified by the performers during the show that they are being recorded for possible use in a documentary or other subject about the performers and or venue. The short answer is that you can probably use it since the audience members were aware of the camera's presence and purpose. In other words, their consent would be implied. You can shore up your situation at the next concert by posting information about the recording (and its subsequent use) prominently at the entrance. That provides audience members with a way to avoid the issue before the concert starts. 
You may wonder -- why would anyone want to avoid being photographed at a concert? According to the Dear Rich Staff's research, some reasons why an audience member may want to avoid being photographed at a concert include:  (1) the audience member told his boss he couldn't work the night shift because he was sick and then was seen screaming in support of Black Sabbath, (2) the audience member told her boyfriend she was busy that night and then was observed making out with another guy at the Taylor Swift show, or (3) a teenage audience member told his Mom he was attending a church special but instead attended a Pantera-Megadeth double bill.