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Just made my first commercial

Student Commercial

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#1 Kenny Williams

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 11:40 AM

Hey everyone I recently just made my first commercial for a school assignment and we had to pay out of pocket for anything we needed not the client. After many many re-edits and persuasion we finished. I finished the commercial and the client loves it and I just gave them the commercial but they've asked me for all the raw footage for a "future project'. I'm all for doing this assignment for class and doing it free, but I feel like the footage belongs to me and they shouldn't be able to do whatever they want with it. I've talked to a few people and they think I should charge them a standard day rate if they want the footage. I'm not totally against it but I'm not really sure if that's right. Anyone have an experience like this have any advice?


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#2 aapo lettinen

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 12:03 PM

you paid all the costs and they got a free commercial and now want also the raw material for free so they can save even more money when making the next one? they should pay all the costs + at least a lowered day rate if they want the originals. they should have paid all the costs for making of the commercial anyway even if it's a no-pay student project. What your school said about the situation?

 

Did you make a contract for the original deal and did it have anything mentioned about the rights of the final product + raw materials? also you have to take into account the actors/actresses 's contracts if there was any, you may not be allowed to transfer the rights of using the material in other projects or it may not even be possible. I mean, you may not be the only one who has immaterial rights to the material so it may not be as simple to give the materials away  :mellow:


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#3 aapo lettinen

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 12:12 PM

Did you make a contract for the original deal and did it have anything mentioned about the rights of the final product + raw materials? also you have to take into account the actors/actresses 's contracts if there was any, you may not be allowed to transfer the rights of using the material in other projects or it may not even be possible. I mean, you may not be the only one who has immaterial rights to the material so it may not be as simple to give the materials away  :mellow:

I just want to emphasise this more: If there were other people involved in the production, NEVER hand over ANY material unless you are absolutely sure that you have all the rights and permissions to do that. Same thing for the shooting locations, your permissions may not allow to use the material in other projects than originally agreed.

 

otherwise they may blame you and maybe sue you in more severe cases :wacko:  actors are very strict about this when it's a commercial project, they don't want their face to pop up in random commercials without specifically agreeing for it and been paid for it case by case  <_<


Edited by aapo lettinen, 18 June 2016 - 12:18 PM.

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#4 Kenny Williams

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 01:05 PM

I just want to emphasise this more: If there were other people involved in the production, NEVER hand over ANY material unless you are absolutely sure that you have all the rights and permissions to do that. Same thing for the shooting locations, your permissions may not allow to use the material in other projects than originally agreed.

 

otherwise they may blame you and maybe sue you in more severe cases :wacko:  actors are very strict about this when it's a commercial project, they don't want their face to pop up in random commercials without specifically agreeing for it and been paid for it case by case  <_<

No there were no contracts given or signed either way that's just how the class is run they provided me with a class of children who were the actors I had sound and camera for a crew but I had to pay them gas and feed them. I just feel I should get some compensation for giving them a free commercial and the way the class is run we pay out of pocket and aren't allowed to accept payment and they are told they are getting a free product but now the class is over and they suddenly  want my raw footage for some reason as if they feel entitled to it. I already spoke to my small crew and said I'd split it with them I just don't know if I really have the right to ask them to pay now.


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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 01:36 PM

I would explain the situation to the client you made the spec commercial for. Do not give them any raw footage. Tell them that basically, the commercial itself was a free gift but that is all they can expect to receive from you.

I am assuming there are no clearances, errors and omission insurance paperwork, or other things that basically make the commercial unusable to the client in it's current state. For example, if you had minors in your commercial, you would need to get clearances in writing from all of the parents or guardians, and for that they would mostly likely expect some form of payment. Same for any adult actors or background extras that appear on screen. Not having permission and contracts on file for this type of thing can lead to lawsuits later when the people who worked on the commercial with the understanding that it was a not-for-profit student exercise end up seeing it on tv.

So I would be very upfront about all this to the client. Tell them that if they would like to now hire you and your crew for an actual commercial, then you would be happy to produce a new one but they will need to pay for it. Then hire a producer with professional experience to budget it and handle the logistical details. But do not give them any raw footage under any circumstance.
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#6 aapo lettinen

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 01:36 PM

the client provided the child actors or did you make the commercial for the actor class? if they provided the actors they are obligated to making contracts with them (they surely have done that) . it sounds quite unfair that you had to paid the crew costs by yourself but if you had agreed to that policy then it is ok I guess. 

However the "product" means in this case the finished commercial, not the raw material (if not specifically agreed beforehand) so you should not have any obligation to give away the raw material if you don't want to and the crew (if working for free without contracts) does not have to give away those rights either. You should try to get them to pay you and the crew SOMETHING and let them handle the contracts to transfer the rights. do you know if they already made a written contract with the school, that is normally the way to do it? 

 

edit: like Satsuki said, if the client has not done the clearances already DON'T hand over anything or involve in any way in that mess or try to resolve it on behalf of them, it will be hell of a job and take enormous amount of your time and lead to liabilities and possibly lawsuits and whatnot  :ph34r:


Edited by aapo lettinen, 18 June 2016 - 01:42 PM.

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#7 Kenny Williams

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 01:49 PM

the client provided the child actors or did you make the commercial for the actor class? if they provided the actors they are liable to making contracts with them (they surely have done that) . it sounds quite unfair that you had to paid the crew costs by yourself but if you had agreed to that policy then it is ok I guess. 

However the "product" means in this case the finished commercial, not the raw material (if not specifically agreed beforehand) so you should not have any obligation to give away the raw material if you don't want to and the crew (if working for free without contracts) does not have to give away those rights either. You should try to get them to pay you and the crew SOMETHING and let them handle the contracts to transfer the rights. do you know if they already made a written contract with the school, that is normally the way to do it? 

I am pretty sure they didn't have a contract with the school but I can surely ask. They got releases from the parents to use the children in the commercial. Like I said the class was just designed for us to deal with clients and make a commercial and that's what I did, but now they want the footage. What I'm starting to see is that I guess I'm not in the wrong to ask them for something if they want the footage, and I'd love for them to hire me int he future for a paid job. As far as I know the only contracts were from parents allowing their kids to be filmed that is it. The crew was just a few friend volunteers and I never signed a contract with the client and I never gave them one.


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#8 Kenny Williams

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 01:52 PM

I would explain the situation to the client you made the spec commercial for. Do not give them any raw footage. Tell them that basically, the commercial itself was a free gift but that is all they can expect to receive from you.

I am assuming there are no clearances, errors and omission insurance paperwork, or other things that basically make the commercial unusable to the client in it's current state. For example, if you had minors in your commercial, you would need to get clearances in writing from all of the parents or guardians, and for that they would mostly likely expect some form of payment. Same for any adult actors or background extras that appear on screen. Not having permission and contracts on file for this type of thing can lead to lawsuits later when the people who worked on the commercial with the understanding that it was a not-for-profit student exercise end up seeing it on tv.

So I would be very upfront about all this to the client. Tell them that if they would like to now hire you and your crew for an actual commercial, then you would be happy to produce a new one but they will need to pay for it. Then hire a producer with professional experience to budget it and handle the logistical details. But do not give them any raw footage under any circumstance.

Everyone that appeared on screen had the proper releases signed, and  are aware this will be on tv and the internet for this organization. Thank you for the information everything you said makes sense and I will definitely let them know because they keep asking for the footage.  


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#9 Shawn Sagady

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 11:09 PM

Unless it was a work for hire contract you (or perhaps the school) owns the original footage.  Not sure what your contract with the school said, many schools have a clause that any work done on school time or with any school resources belongs to the school.  


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