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Thread: Using Known Characters

  1. #1
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    Default Using Known Characters

    Hello,

    Not sure if this is the right forum.

    My question is: If I want to use the Samara Morgan (aka the Ring girl) character in my 5-minute amateur horror-comedy, who do I need to call?

    Zam
    Digital Video and Film

  2. #2
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    Default

    Dreamworks SKG at a guess.

  3. #3
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    Default

    ... or their lawyers.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I am no expert and my advice is not intended to say whats 'right' just what appears to happen.

    Screen characters, like music, plot and names are often 'owned' and thier use controlled - However in the context of use for non profit / spoof / fan films custom has shown that recycling characters for fun is ok.

    BUT if you made a promo for a company and used a superhero (for example) then the situation is likely to be reversed - getting caught is unlikely but poeople who have been caught have lost money and businesses - RIAA and the rest often take no prisoners.

  5. #5

    Default

    How would 'Fan films' fall under this catagory?

    But my two cents on the origianl question; you will be essentially using someone elses copywrited material/characters.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Indeed - but if your work is non professional and not for profit then custom has shown that all is well.

  7. #7
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    Default Using a Character - Some Progress

    OK,

    I contacted Dreamworks SKG as suggested and they informed me that the owner of the Samara charecter is Paramount Pictures.

    Paramount Pictures listened to my story and asked to fax a signed letter indicating what I am planning to do with Samara.

    I am now awaiting their response. If I hear from them in the next couple of days, I still have time to enter the contest.

    Thanks for everyone's input!

    Zam
    Digital Video and Film

  8. #8

    Default

    As a little aside, I tried to buy an Alien warrior head from ADI in the US, just as something I wanted. They couldn't sell me one because 20th Century Fox owned the rights. ADI only made them for Fox.

  9. #9
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    Default the plot thickens

    Hello,

    Well I still haven't heard from Paramount, but I think I know why. I did a bit more digging and discovered that Samara is actually borrowed from the character Sadako from the original Japanese version of the Ring.

    I tried tracking down the owner of Sadako and discovered that the image of a woman in a white nightgown with long black hair covering her face is actually how the Japanese represent a ghost (this would be equivalent to us Canadians putting a bedsheet over our heads with holes in it for eyes).

    So I think that's it. I have been trying to get the rights to a Japanese ghost.

    I MISSED the NSI contest entry deadline, but they are having another contest this month so I am steaming ahead with my movie. BUT ... I was going over it again last night and realized that the DELL computer logo is visible in a few frames. Now I am wondering if this will cause me any problems.

    Take care,
    D
    Digital Video and Film
    global warming home page

  10. #10
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    Chill out - like i said - fan films are cool.

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