The Vastness of the Law

Short Film Directors And Producers Should Keep Actors Safe From Unnecessary Harm

Actors interested in breaking into the entertainment business see advertisements for short film casting calls often. A well-made short subject can win awards and draw attention to the director. Thriller shorts, in particular, prove popular, as they are never dull. Such a film can also involve quite a bit of action. The budgets, however, make hiring trained stunt professionals prohibitive. Therefore, novice actors must perform physical stunts without a double. Directors and others involved with the production can't hide behind budget limitations and cut safety corners, though. Someone hurt during the filming of a short project may have grounds to sue negligent directors and producers.

Physical Action Can Lead to Accidents

Physical activities, such as fight scenes, walking on a roof, climbing over walls, all present accident risks. Practice helps reduce the chances of someone suffering an injury. Rehearsals that carefully detail all the steps necessary to perform the actions help. Rushing in the production without adequately prepping the actors and crew could prove dangerous and, possibly, be seen as negligent behavior. Any negligence on the part of the filmmaker could make him or her liable for injuries suffered.

Pressure and Raising Negligence Stakes

Pressuring an actor to do something he or she feels uncomfortable about could be an even greater form of negligence. If the director threatens the actor for refusing to perform a dangerous stunt, he/she takes a significant liability risk. Extorting an actor with bad referrals to make him/her take risks comes off as a gross form of negligence.

Locations, Hazards, and Negligence

A budget sometimes forces the director to shoot inside of available locations. If someone is willing to lend an apartment to serve as a no-cost studio set, the director may accept the offer. Regardless, the interior has to be one where people can move around and work safely. Tripping over furniture or suffering slip and fall accidents due to a layout unacceptable for action-oriented scenes opens doors to liability. Not only would the film's director and producer be potentially liable, so could the owner of the property or the person renting the space.

Special Effects and Added Safety

Special effects require extra care and safety. An inexperienced filmmaker who purchases materials for makeshift gunshots or fires is only asking for trouble. Anyone who suffers harm due to improperly devised special effects might be able to take legal action.

Anyone harmed on a short film's set may find it best to consult with a personal injury attorney. They say people do "suffer for their art," but suffering due to negligence is a different matter.

For questions you may have regarding potential personal injury liability on a film set, consider consulting with professional injury lawyers like those at Campbell Barnett PLLC.