tattoos and background actors


New member
Hello guys. I joined this forum pretty much to ask this question because I have no other real resources other than the cinematography forums.

anyway, I had a question about tattoo releases. I was recently selected to be a background actor for a TV series filming in the area. And I guess my tattoos are somewhat of an issue… Which is pretty much why they didn’t select me for previous roles.

I was cast as an extra in another show not too long ago and the tattoos weren’t really an issue I guess, because I worked for them on three different shoots.

this time around I was informed that, while this role will have me pretty much covered up on my arms, I would probably need some sort of release for future roles… If the opportunity arises.

my arms and torso are pretty much covered. And to be honest, I don’t even know if the guys who did a lot of my ink are even still around, or if the tattoo shops are still in business, or even the names of the artists. I spent 14 years in the Marine Corps and I have tattoos from like four or five different states.

How, for the love of god, am I supposed get releases for this stuff?!

How is it the “artists” who gives the blessing? Especially if the tattoos are on my body...and most of them MY concepts?

And are we supposed to believe that those actors/background actors covered head to toe in ink actually got documentation of every tattoo from every dude who tattooed them? Seems unlikely.

any workarounds that you know of? Anybody here have personal experience with this?



New member
It was a fascinating lawsuit. Whitmill argued that the tattoo is copyrighted work and that Warner Bros. needs to pay him for using his design. Whitmill sued Warner Bros., saying he did not permit the company to copy the plan for the actor Ed Helms’ character “Stu” in the movie. He claimed the filmmakers copied the design that he tattooed on Tyson in 2003 in Las Vegas.