Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.


Legal Logo Laws?

When I was in film school we were hammered with the message: Do not include any logos from anything in your videos! Do not allow any brand name to appear on screen. Don't do it, or you could be sued.

On the major shoots we did, we even had insurance to cover "errors and omissions" for those pesky trademarks that would sneak into a bag of chips on top of a refrigerator in the background of a shot. We taped over car logos. We turned cans of carbonated beverages around. We made sure our actors didn't wear any t-shirts with brand names.

This is a practice I continue to this day.

And that's why it shocks me when I see student filmmakers get away with magazines on screen. I'm appalled that professors allow brand names in film festivals.

And then today, while "tooling around" the internet, I came across a video, produced by professionals, that contained two (2) major brand names. One of the brands was pivotal to the script.

Pringles & Wii

Did they have permission?


Granted, this was a "spec shoot," so, to my understanding, it was okay... but there's something odd about this: It's okay to use restricted logos as long as you're trying to sell yourself/your idea, but if you're making a video as a project (even for the educational benefit of it) that is not legit?

I'm no lawyer, so things may be slightly different than that--and it's been a long while since I was in "mass media law." Even so...

The world is odd.

~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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