Styling for commercial footage: What not to wear
Styling is not just for fashion magazines and celebrities. In fact, styling for stock footage is a real art. You want to create footage that looks both contemporary and timeless — and that’s also commercially viable. In this post, rights and releases manager Pamela Haskell shares things to be on the lookout for when it comes to apparel that could render your footage commercially unusable.
It’s more complicated than avoiding logo T-shirts — although that’s a good place to start. You could have great models, an awesome location, carefully planned shots, and perfect lighting yet not be able to use a single shot because of branded clothing.
Bottom line: Don’t film models wearing clothing with logos, copyrighted artwork, or other distinct brand elements. The presence of a logo suggests a relationship between the end user of the footage and the brand, or endorsement by the brand. There is never a time when this will be okay. It doesn’t matter if the logo is small — iconic logos are instantly, internationally recognizable even at small sizes. For instance, the Nike swoosh is clearly a problem regardless of size.
Clothing from lesser-known designers should also be avoided. A shirt like this one from The Hundreds might slip past you because it doesn’t feature an iconic logo. However, the brand name belongs to the company, and the illustration is a protected artwork that requires an art release before it can be filmed commercially.
Other items of branded clothing are so problematic they will likely result in automatic rejection for commercial footage. These include commemorative event apparel, sports jerseys, ball caps with a team logo, and children’s clothing with licensed characters. Even knock-offs and parodies aren’t acceptable. They reference the original brand or artwork, which, again, you don’t have the rights to.
The devil is in the details
Sometimes it’s not a logo emblazoned across a T-shirt that’ll bust you — it could be the tiniest detail.
Be cautious when filming jeans. A model in jeans is no problem, but avoid filming denim details. They distinguish one brand from another and may be protected by copyright. For example, embroidery patterns on the back pockets, patches, and tabs are all protected.
Manufacturers make sure their brand identifiers are unique enough to be distinguished from other brands, and that means they can be recognizable in your footage. Most protected design details for jeans are on the pockets or fly, so avoid focusing on these areas, or obscure them with a longer shirt.
The same goes for shoes. In general, be more careful with more expensive shoes. Almost all shoes will have some branding that should be obscured if visible in a tight shot, but designer footwear is more likely to have unique design elements that are protected. Watch out for soles on extreme low shots — they often have brand names or identifiable patterns. And if you’ve bought new shoes for the shoot, make sure you’ve removed the pesky price tags!
Don’t despair after reading all the things you can’t shoot. Guest expert Ghyslaine — stylist for our contributor Hero Images — has tips for styling authentic, current scenes while avoiding branding issues.
T-shirt image via The Hundreds.
The Travelling Creative’s Ultimate Guide to Cloud Storage Services
Hayk Saakian is an entrepreneur and a software developer. He is a passionate tech reviewer covering apps, softwares, headphones, projectors, laptops, videogame articles and other in-depth tech analysis. Being in the creative field, may it be photography or filmmaking, keeping your files at your fingertips is essential. Having remote access while you are on an […] Read more
Transform Any Photo into a Dynamic 3D Image
3D images are popular features that give depth and dimension to your projects. We’ve noticed more and more sites using this engaging tool. That’s why we looked up what you would need, what options are available, and various ways to create your own 3D images. We’ve laid out the steps for beginner, enthusiast and expert […] Read more
Filmmakers…We Have Liftoff™
Take your passion to new heights with Dissolve Liftoff™, a solution designed for busy filmmakers who want to spend more time shooting and less time working. What is Liftoff? Whether you’re from a production company that makes professional-quality films, a filmmaker who has old b-roll from commissioned work, or someone who shoots just for the […] Read more