Random video blurs on House Hunters shows, why?

I’m watching House Hunters and noticed a few weird artificial blurs in scenes. I know you have to blur the faces of people who you didn’t get the release to show, and they’ll blur the house numbers on the houses, but I noticed one episode they completely blurred out the windows on a house they were looking at (the front windows were just one giant blur blob) and in another episode somebody had a book case and they blurred the spines on all the books.

Anyone know what’s up with that?

Most likely someone who lived in a house where they filmed asked (or their lawyer asked) the production company not to show certain things visible in various shots outside or inside their home (or other property).

For example, during the production maybe the homeowner notices that some shots are framed in such a way that shows a bookcase with his collection of ancient Hungarian pornography. He didn’t think of that ahead of time but now he wants to make sure the book titles don’t appear on the program.

Or maybe the homeowner doesn’t want their children to appear in the program but the kids are gawking through the front windows the whole time the production crew shoots exteriors of their house. Voila, blurred windows.

Same thing could happen with bumper stickers on cars in the driveway, election yard-signs, or a whole bunch of other things.

On one of the “Scratch Off” episodes of My Lottery Dream House, the pop up factoid said that they’ll blur art work on the walls if the “don’t have the rights to use it”. Sounds like BS to me, but that’s what they said. They also blur some product-branded tee shirts.

Yes, I see that once in a while. I’ve just assumed it’s because of trademarks and/or sensitive material. It’d be easier and probably cheaper than sorting out each potential infringement.

Trademarks are blurred because they haven’t paid for commercial time. And, it’s not that the presenters think they can get money from these companies; it’s to avoid the complaints from their actual sponsors about that “shoe company” (or whatever) that’s getting free advertising on the show.

That sounds plausible. In Storage Wars they blur the license plates of the cars, which I understand, but they also blur random products inside the lockers.

Along that line, I have also seen people with their tattoos blurred, for what I assume is the same reason.

There was this this lawsuit 20+ years ago about a sculpture in the movie “The Devil’s Advocate”, that just looked like another famous sculpture. The studio agreed to remove/blur it in their video releases & TV showings. So yes, using actual art work without permission could be a legal problem.

I just watched a Bar Rescue where all the Bud Light labels on the face of the bottle were blurred at a bar, however in both dialog they referred to the beers as Bud Lights and they didn’t blur the neck labels on the bottles that said Bud Light.

Related question, if I may. New car commercials. The rear license is always blacked (not blurred) out. What’s the point of that?

So that they don’t have to have 50 versions of the commercial. The thinking being: that someone in IL would be subconsciously disconnected from a car that shows an AR license plate. And so on.

Or perhaps they use multiple cars to film the commercial, and they don’t want to have a continuity problem when the license plates keep changing.

Commercial producers also create fake license plates with palindromic letters and numbers that will still read as plausible if the footage is reversed so they can run the advert in both right- and left-hand driving markets.

Like I’m totally connected with a car driving along a rocky coast or through the Rocky Mountains, like most car commercials. (I’ve got hills, but nothing dramatic.) I’m sure it’s similar to your explanation, they just don’t want a distraction from the product. They don’t have to have any license plate, but it’ll look even worse with no plate.

My question, with regards to blurring, is how easy or difficult is it to track a spot on the screen to add the blur? I’m sure it’s easy these days, but is it “point and click” easy blur this no matter where it goes, or give it to an intern to blur each frame?

During Breaking Bad’s run, they had a weekly podcast with the editor (Kelley Dixon) and Vince Gilligan. One of the things that came up in quite a few of those was how much time they spent getting permission from copyright holders to have things in the show. IIRC, they had a team dedicated to just that. Every single picture, every book, every vase, every brand of everything, they had explicit written permission to show. In some cases, where they didn’t even technically need permission (IIRC, they didn’t for things like outdoor graffiti, they’d still get it). They were so used to the copyright holder having some hesitation about it that when people would say ‘you want my artwork on a TV show!? Yes, of course’, they felt the need to explain the show’s premise to make sure the person understood what they were agreeing to’.

I usually see a license plate that looks like a license plate, but painted the same color as the car. That way you don’t have a big empty license plate holder area, but you also don’t have a big reflective license plate drawing your eye away from the car. It’s probably cheaper than fabricating a one-off bumper without the license plate holder on it just for a few commercials.

That makes sense.