How to Film in Nigeria and still be human by Niyi Akinmolayan



Documentaries can take you anywhere

Documentaries can take you anywhere

hey guys.

so in preparation for our collaborative documentary project, i wanted to talk briefly about consent. If you hope to work with big organizations and create documentaries for an international audience, this is going to be very important.

Most times, documentary filmmakers touch on very sensitive subject matter. This can have really great impact and sometimes cause chaos. Its important to get as much permission as you can when covering an event, a place or conducting interviews.

A consent form is designed to help you cover all of this.  I usually use three and i have attached a sample here for you to tweak. Its a microsoft word document so enjoy. click  consent forms template.   The three types of forms are:

  1. LOCATION AGREEMENT: This is where you request for a non exclusive right to use the location for filming. You would also have to state how long you intend to use it and emphasize the fact that you will cover any damages made during the filming. Its also important to let them know that the footage you cover belongs to you and you can use it in any kind of medium. if they agree to what your documentary represents, they wouldn’t have a problem letting you use it. There are some cases like public places or areas hostile to filming. In this case you might not be able to get them to sign a form but if the subject matter is important, go for it.

    consent form-location

    consent form-location

  2. APPEARANCE RELEASE FOR ADULTS: This is usually for interviews. You are basically asking the person to agree to be filmed and interviewed. You are also letting them know what you intend to use the documentary for. if the adult cannot speak or read English. Find someone they can trust to help them read the form and then they can sign.

    consent form - adults

    consent form – adults

  3. APPEARANCE RELEASE FOR CHILDREN/DISABLED PERSONS: You might not get to interview children much but might require them in the documentary. Always get the consent of their parents or guardians. Same applies to disabled people. Make sure whoever is signing can read and write.

    consent form - children

    consent form – children

Sometimes you may want to give a clause in the form for people who don’t want their faces  shown. Like rape victims, criminals etc. so you indicate that you will blur out their faces or mask them out in the video. While you may not always be able to get everyone to fill a form depending on the nature of the documentary, Its always a good start.


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  • Posted: April 25, 2017 11:04


    Good Stuff.... Once again, Thank you for sharing.. I see Robert Peters...I see Desmond and I see you....Is that Grace Amah in the red Dress? I had a serious crush on her for the longest...smh.
  • Posted: April 25, 2017 22:13

    Abosi Ogba

    Awesome. Thanks for this. I honestly can't wait to do documentaries. This is something I WILL do a lot. Quick question: in cases where you have to shoot on, say a busy road, whose signature is important? The police? LGA Council? Area boys?
    • Posted: April 27, 2017 01:53

      Barnabas Emordi

      i'm sure you will find out at the boot camp bro !
  • Posted: April 30, 2017 18:31


    Thanks sir
  • Posted: May 3, 2017 21:51


    Say hello to the director of wedding party 2, our boss egbon Niyi. I know you are going to do awesome sir.
  • Posted: May 4, 2017 06:44


    This is great sir Thank you
  • Posted: May 10, 2017 13:32


    I am feeling this for real. Keep it up sir.