Product question for indie feature length film.

We are shooting a comedy feature length vampire film with many film references. The script calls for the first victim of the movie to be wearing a red Star Trek shirt, with Star Trek posters on the wall. Can we do this? Also we have a scene in a comic book store with a Stan Lee look alike. The scene calls for teens to be playing Dungeons and Dragons, one of the teens is wearing a yellow cheer-leading uniform and her name is Buffy. Is that a problem? Is that a problem? Thanks.
 
We are shooting a comedy feature length vampire film with many film references. The script calls for the first victim of the movie to be wearing a red Star Trek shirt, with Star Trek posters on the wall. Can we do this? Also we have a scene in a comic book store with a Stan Lee look alike. The scene calls for teens to be playing Dungeons and Dragons, one of the teens is wearing a yellow cheer-leading uniform and her name is Buffy. Is that a problem? Is that a problem? Thanks.

I would hire an attorney for copyright clearance. Go to a script clearance service like Indieclear and have them look at your script and ok it before you take it to the cameras. I think making a small reference to other films sand tv shows is alright but still get a professional to ok it first. Only because you don't wanna be cheap and shoot the film and then get socked with a copyright infringement lawsuit and then you end up needing a lawyer anyway and the whole suit end up coating you a lot more than if you'd only did it right the first time.
 
This question always enamors me, because it's a frequent problem for indie filmmakers. Personally, I've always either parodied what I was trying to show, or I've chosen to not show it at all. I've never let actors on camera with branded clothing in an attempt to avoid this sort of thing.

I really do think that parody is a wonderful tactic to handle a lot of these situations. Make something really stereotypically Star Trek looking, and have the kids playing a really over the top card game reminiscent of Magic or DND. Sometimes, that makes it even funnier. As for the Stan Lee lookalike... you're probably fine in that regard. I don't foresee Stan Lee's camp coming after you any time soon...
 
Depends on the desired method of distribution. Festivals? Youtube? Profit? No profit? If it's no-profit and for fun or as a proof of concept thing, or a fan film/non festival thing, then I recommend you go ahead and do whatever you want. If you're thinking festivals, DVDs, distribution, etc., then I recommend you do otherwise. For the Star Trek posters, extensively check if they are royalty free/public domain. If not, then contact the owners and see. Although costs could run high and you should either shoot with a VERY shallow depth of field to blur the posters, make up posters, or make fan versions of the posters. No problem with the Stan Lee look alike, check and see the copyright info for dungeons and dragons, and the Buffy scene shouldn't be a problem (unless it's a store bought custom costume) shouldn't be an issue.

Is that a problem? Is that a problem?

It could be. It could be.
 
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