You need filmmaker release forms for everybody. Point blank. Don’t skimp here. Get a lawyer.
Get releases for locations, actors, crew and anybody who shows up on camera… Pretty much if someone is working with you, you need paperwork. You will want to make sure you have legal releases for everyone associated with your project. Also, since you’re probably hard up for cash, check with your state. Most states have lawyers who can help you with your artistic legal needs at a discount, based on your income.
Based on my experience, the name of the game is CYA (Cover Your Ass). You will want a release from everyone working on your movie, including the guy cooking the food. You’ll also want a release from the actors as well as the location owners. Should any corporate logos make their way into your movie, you’ll need permission from the corporation. And if you’re getting music for your film, make sure ALL copyright holders sign (not just the singer)!
The other thing you’ll want is some production insurance for your movie. Liability insurance will help in the event someone gets hurt on set. There are also people who recommend you consider Errors and Omissions insurance even in preproduction. For more information on the types of insurance you’ll need, contact folks in the online filmmaking forums.