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Short Film Poster Clearance

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:16 pm
by Northern Star
Hi all, long time lurker but first post

I am a film producer and we are about to make a short film set in the 1970's. The script involves a young boy infatuated by the pop star Marc Bolan posters of whom adorn his bedroom. He also buys the album "Electric Warrior" which we will see in close up.

I take it we need to clear the album cover from the record company - it was released by "Fly" records in 1971 and the artwork was based on a design by the art group Hipgnosis? But the posters..they are prominently in shot but I can't trace the original photographer.

Marc Bolan died in 1977.

The film is non profit but will play in International film festivals.

Thanks in advance for any advance.

Re: Short Film Poster Clearance

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:50 am
by AndyJ
Hi Northern Star,

I don't think the inclusion of either the posters or the album cover will be a particularly contentious issue, but it would be sensible to at least clear the album with the record company. They are most likely to own the rights to the cover artwork, but if they don't, they will know who does.

As for the posters, since they form part of the set dressing, that will probably be covered by the incidental inclusion exception. However, in order to avoid any rights issues, it's worth checking to see if the underlying photographs are held by any stock picture libraries, since they are the most likely to be litigious. So first of all try searching some of the major picture agencies such as Alamy, Getty or Rex Features. If you find the pictures there, you can get a licence from the site concerned. Next, you could try the Marc Bolan Fan Group to see if anyone can identify the source/photographer, of the posters you are interested in. Another resource worth checking is the many sites for music poster collectors, such as this one. Undoubtedly someone out there will know the provenance of the posters. If all else fails, maybe try Bolan's former manager Simon Napier-Bell, although that is something of a long shot given the amount of time which has elapsed, and Napier-Bell's age (80).

I hope this helps.

Re: Short Film Poster Clearance

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:49 am
by Northern Star
Thanks you for the swift reply.