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Retaining Creative Control


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#1 James B

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:28 PM

Hi
About to embark on a small project, combination music video and interview for a client who is also a creative director.
For purposes of my reel, of course I want director credit, but more importantly, I want to have full creative control over camera angle, shot list and editing.

Of couse I would solicit the client's feedback for edit revisions, but I was wondering how one'formalizes' the degree of creative control on any project, big or small. I'm well aware of all the disagreements that well known directos have had over not having 'final cut' on their projects.

And historically, in any creative profession, there has been no shortage of controversy over who gets credit and who contributed what. The Beatles infamous Lennon McCartney partnership comes to mind.

How would one put this in writing?

Can you put a 'percentage' amount on degree of creative input you will allow the client to make?
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:35 PM

James,
While I can't say in truth how you could formalize creative control, I will say that whomever is the one paying you is the one who has full creative control. If the client wants a bad angle, and despite your suggestions otherwise, insists upon it, then it's up to you to provide that.
That being said, you'd need to work out a deal memo with them more than likely which will list your applicable credit on the project (director), your right to use the footage for non-commercial usages in the form of industry standard demo reels.
You can also try to put something in like "client agrees to allow final framing/composition/lighting/and editorial choices to be made by the director" but honestly, I've never seen something like that in a memo and I don't think any client would agree to something that broad... they are, after all hiring you to fulfill their needs.

take from that all what you will and as always this is my opinions/experiences only.
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#3 Travis Gray

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:41 PM

Agreed. Whoever pays you has the real final say.

Now, you may have someone who hired you who trusts your creative input and you basically do get final say. That's always a good thing.
Or, you can employ tactful language to suggest what you know will be best... or ok, not even tactful language, just honest opinion. You can't come right out and say "no, we're doing it this way", say why you want to do it that way and how it's beneficial to the client. Then it will mesh with your style, something you'd be proud to put on your reel, and it fulfills the client's needs.
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#4 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:24 PM

What Adrian and Travis said. If you want full creative control, you need to be footing the entire bill.
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rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

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Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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