I hate dealing with releases. It’s a huge pain in the ass to carry around reams of paper and intimidating to people you’re otherwise trying to put at ease. So I was thrilled when my friends Basil Shadid and Matt Freedman turned me onto an iPhone app they jointly developed, called mRelease. I’ve had a chance to use it for a couple weeks, and it’s successfully changed how I feel about getting releases!
Everything you need for your next release is contained within the app, beginning with boilerplate legal text (which Matt assures me they hired a real lawyer to create and vet). The novelty of signing with your finger is actually kinda fun, and the app let’s you snap a picture of the subject to attach to the release, so that if you forget the person’s name, you can id them by their photo later. It then emails a copy to yourself and the person signing. Sweet.
Here’s a few screen shots:
This app works great if you don’t have huge numbers of releases to collect, but it doesn’t work so well as a way to organize your releases and keep track of them. For that, you’re best off to take the PDF copy of the release that is emailed to you, and fit it into your existing system (I store mine in a folder called “releases” contained within the project folder for the film I’m working on, organized by date).
Included within the app so far (it’s been updated once already) are: Appearance releases (the most common type that I use), Property releases, Location releases and Crew releases. You have the option of giving them an unlimited release, or a release limited to the project you are working on. There’s an option for guardians to give consent for children as well.
The app costs $2.99, a bargain considering the amount you save on printing supplies and paper if you commit to going paperless with your releases. I’ve done it, and won’t be looking back.