Filming? Do this first.

How would you feel if you rocked up to Church and there was a professional looking crew filming you and your children as you arrived? Would you feel comfortable?

Filming and photography is an activity most of us enjoy recreationally, as it allows great memories to be recorded. But if the sight of a film crew makes you uneasy, do you know your rights? Conversely, if you are the one filming do you know and understand what your responsibilities are?

At RMS, we believe in protecting people so our one recommendation, if you are going to film on church-owned property or at an offsite church event, is this:

Get permission first.

We know that filming takes planning, so during your planning phase get written permission, from:

  1. the property owner
  2. the local council (if filming on public property) and potentially the land owner
  3. parents of children that may be filmed (proof of WWC may be requested)
  4. participants or attendees of the event

Please communicate clearly about any filming activity – via the bulletin, newsletter or advertising before the event, notices posted at the door, announcements – make sure everyone is aware that filming is going to happen. Also explain what the footage will be used for, where it will be shown or shared, and where it will be stored. This affords people the choice either to attend or bow out before a camera is all up in their face.

We do not profess to be experts in this area, so we highly recommend this article prepared by Adventist Risk Management, bear in mind that it is written for an American audience but the general ideas are the same for Australia and New Zealand. 

A final word about children.
We all love a video or photo of our kids – childhood is so fleeting it is nice to capture these precious moments, especially when they are participating in church. So, if you plan to film children, please review the Code of Conduct prepared by AdSafe, which specifically states:

  • Do not take unauthorized photos, movies or recordings of a child on church property, or at church activities, without church authorization and the parental/guardian consent.
  • Do not publish unauthorized photos, movies or recordings of a child or young person, including online, without parental/guardian consent, nor post online unauthorized private information about a child or young person that may identify them such as their: full name; age; e-mail address; telephone number; residence; school; or details of a club or group they may attend.

Two words in the above bullet points are key: “unauthorized” and “consent”. These two words hark back to our original point – get permission first – if you take the time to do that, your filming activity can go ahead without a hitch.

Click here to see the Church’s Code of Conduct, provided by AdSafe.