It is also much more difficult not to impose an agreement on paper. Contracts help people clarify and determine on paper what they mean (note that I`ve seen a lot of confusing contracts that seem to be supposed to be confusing). With good thinking, planning, and a good lawyer, contracts can help clarify exactly what people intend and want to say with certain terms or phrases. Can I use celebrity paintings in my documentary? Copyright/Right: Do I need written permission to use celebrity paintings? I produce a documentary about my personal work. Important disclaimer: I am neither a lawyer nor a film school, it is not a substitute for you. This article is intended to help you navigate through documentary rights. Featuring anecdotes from experienced filmmakers behind films like DamNation, 112 Weddings, and Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton and lawyer Mark A. Sternberg of Creative Content Law, it`s a great place to get acquainted for your next field trip. We`ve added links to free publications that cater to documentary filmmakers, but as with everything else in this article, use your own judgment and take your own risks. Few documentaries proposed by the studios manage to enter production one day. That`s why Demain, who has the rights to live on the subjects of his documentary On the Ropes about amateur boxers in New York – another remake that was never made – is so tenacious that documentary filmmakers are looking for their subjects in teaching life history rights cases. “As filmmakers, we`re going to start and make a career, but for the subject, it`s probably their best chance,” he says.