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Showreels and distribution concerns


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#1 Mark Williams

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 09:56 AM

I am helping to make a film that I am hoping will get distribution I have been told by a crew member that I should allow the cast and crew access to the film for use in online showreels My concern is a distributer may not take the film on.

 

What are your thoughts regarding this?

 

TIA

 

Mark


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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 10:10 AM

Likelihood that a distributor will take on a UK-produced film is effectively zero anyway, so you're probably worrying about nothing.

 

It is, however, quite normal for people to have it wait until the DVD comes out to get reel material. But for that to work, it has to be a real movie that is actually going to get a release and a DVD they can go and pick up in HMV.

 

P


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#3 Mark Williams

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 11:28 AM

Thanks Phil, So are you saying a distributer or say channel 4 Revolver etc are happy to accept your film with showreels online?


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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 11:33 AM

I've no idea. I wouldn't be surprised if a company kept material back for that concern, is what I'm saying. I've worked for people who did.

 

P


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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 01:12 PM

I suspect Channel 4 tends be one of the investors in the films they distribute. 


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 01:56 PM

In most contracts with actors and DP's, it specifically states that they can have access to material for non-commercial personal use. The distributor often honors that, even though it is a contract with the producer, but control against pirating by only offering select clips at standard def, which is fine for actors but makes it hard for a DP.

In practical reality, most of the time I either get the footage early enough so that the production company can give it to me before a distributor takes over ownership of the masters, or I have to wait until it comes out on home video and hope there is a blu-ray release. Then I don't have to deal with bureaucracy of distributors even though I have a legal right to use the footage according to my deal memo.
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#7 Mark Williams

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 03:32 PM

Thanks David. Yes non commercial use is fine if you are only showing to potential employers agents and password protected. But what if the cast and crew want to use their showreels online publically like You Tube?


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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 03:36 PM

Again if it's a reel for getting work they should be allowed to post it to Vimeo or YouTube without password protection, but if you want, you could require a watermark on the footage at the bottom.

My reel is on Vimeo with just a link from my website, otherwise how would anyone see it if it were password protected, they'd have to contact me first to get the password, which sort of defeats the purpose of having a public website to get work. Few artists, photographers, etc. have a commercial website but then tell the public that they can't see their work unless they privately ask for a password.
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#9 Mark Williams

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 04:00 PM

Okay so if every actor and crew member want to use the clips they were in and put that online This would not affect a distribution deal? The distributer would be okay if clips of the film were floating around so when they come to market the film and look at its strengths and weaknesses and look for the optimal strategy they wouldn't consider people may do a search on the net and make a purchase decision on that Or take the footage and show bits and pieces that give away the plot before the film is shown and so decide to pass on the film as it would be less marketable?


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#10 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 04:05 PM

I take it you didn't have any kind of contract with the cast & crew that specifies how & where they may use the clips, right?...


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#11 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 04:07 PM

In practical reality, most of the time I either get the footage early enough so that the production company can give it to me before a distributor takes over ownership of the masters, or I have to wait until it comes out on home video and hope there is a blu-ray release. Then I don't have to deal with bureaucracy of distributors even though I have a legal right to use the footage according to my deal memo.

 

That still seems like an awful lot of strategizing to go through simply to get HD footage for your reel, David.  You would think it would be something that's fairly automatic at your level.


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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 04:09 PM

Generally a producer does not sign a contract with every crew member high and low that they can use footage for a reel so this doesn't come up with distributors. But a distributor is normally not going to be concerned at the notion of select clips being used for self promotion, their main fear is piracy of the whole project. But anyone you give access to for clips should have a contract signed where they agree it is for non-commercial purposes. But I've never heard of a movie where every crew member including drivers and craft service people sign deal memos granting them access to footage anyway, it tends to be limited to a few -- the actors, the department heads, etc.
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 04:15 PM

The problem is that a DP often wants or needs the whole project at high quality to cut a reel. It's one thing for an actor to ask for two scenes to be dubbed for them, but a DP often needs either twenty or so shots or several scenes and then you run into the problem of money... A distributor doesn't want to spend the money to hire an editor to pull a lot of elements nor do they want to simply hand over a copy of the entire movie either, so a DP gets caught in the middle, he can't live with just two scenes handed to him and he isn't allowed an HD copy of the whole movie unless it has an ugly watermark over the image. On the other hand his deal memo says he has to be given access to the material.
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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 04:19 PM

In terms of showing footage before release, usually it is understood that no one is allowed to show clips before the release without permission -- obviously the actors in the upcoming Star Wars sequel are not going to be putting clips of the movie on their personal website before the release. Everyone signs non-disclosure and privacy agreements these days.

Put whatever protections you need into the deal memos.
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#15 Mark Williams

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 04:20 PM

Okay so only a select few would get to show clips in their showreel and would these clips be made available and agreed by the producer Before it reaches a distributer or would the deal be done for those with an agreement by the distributer.

 

Or would the clips just be chosen by those with agreements themselves?

 

Okay Thanks David You already answered!


Edited by Mark Williams, 09 July 2015 - 04:22 PM.

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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 04:22 PM

Deal memos with crews usually predate a distribution deal when it comes to independent films.
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#17 John E Clark

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 04:47 PM

But I've never heard of a movie where every crew member including drivers and craft service people sign deal memos granting them access to footage anyway, it tends to be limited to a few -- the actors, the department heads, etc.

 

No, but I have heard of drivers/delivery/crafts people putting clips from the movies they 'worked on' in that capacity, into their demo reels... to pad their resumes.


Edited by John E Clark, 09 July 2015 - 04:48 PM.

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#18 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 11:20 PM

I can't even imagine what a driver demo reel would look like. . .


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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 07:43 AM

Me neither, nor a craft service demo reel. Who'd even take the time to watch such a thing? Now a STUNT driver, I could imagine a demo reel.
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#20 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 08:29 AM

Look at how well apportioned this table is!

Though I could see like a kind  of feed on their site (craft) that shows their little set ups from sets and happy crew smiling with like yummy snacks etc.


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