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Thread: Being a video editor and having a portfolio

  1. #1
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    Default Being a video editor and having a portfolio

    Hello everyone,
    I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but well, I hope so

    I am a freelancer video editor and many of customers ask me for videos I can show them. I am allowed to show them finished videos of my customers or am I allowed to upload some of my best work on my vimeo page?
    I am very unsure about this. I hope that someone can help me

    Thank you!
    kamil

  2. #2
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    That depends entirely on your agreement with the customers whose work you will be showing. If you don't have an agreement (and it sound like you don't) then why not ask them. At least you know to discuss this with your clients and get it written into future contracts.
    Tim

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    Can't you link to some videos that are posted on other people's channels?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bouldersoundguy View Post
    Can't you link to some videos that are posted on other people's channels?
    That would be LYING to a potential customer !?
    There is nothing wrong with same "fake it until you make it" attitude when you are starting out and don't have a portfolio, but straight up telling a potential client: "Here, i filmed this and i edited this" when in reality that was someone else's work... that's pretty much committing fraud and deceiving a client.
    There are many bad implications in doing that - you could mess things up for the client who hires you thinking they hired a professional (imagine if the had a deadline for some important even where your work had to be presented and you fail to deliver in time or quality), the client will get embarrassed and potentially lose money, your reputation will be worth nothing if you fail like that and not to mention it could end in a lawsuit if it happens in the USA.

    Now that i got your attention after this scare, let's look at some "not the end of the world scenarios".


    Quote Originally Posted by kamil49 View Post
    I am a freelancer video editor and many of customers ask me for videos I can show them. I am allowed to show them finished videos of my customers or am I allowed to upload some of my best work on my vimeo page?
    I am very unsure about this. I hope that someone can help me
    The first question is - do you have your own work to show them? I assume that you do, from what you have said.

    Generally speaking, when you create work for a client - video shooting, editing and so on, you are still the Author of that work and YOU own the copyright to it even if a client payed you to do it for them. Just because they payed you do make a video for them, does not mean they own the copyrights to that video. You are the Author.
    If it is not strictly specified in your contract with the client, that THEY will get the ownership rights to that finished product, then it's your property!
    In that case you don't need anyone's permission to show that material to potential new clients or to showcase it in your portfolio.

    If you had a contract where you signed a release form to give up any claims on that footage, then you should ask that client for permission to show the material to a potential new client or to use it in your portfolio.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by RL_Sensei View Post
    That would be LYING to a potential customer !?
    I reckon Boulders means video's that OP made and is currently already on the client's website/youtube channel.
    That's what I often do myself as well. I don't always bother uploading a finished product to my channel but I'm happy to share the link of my video that's on my client's channel.

    Quote Originally Posted by RL_Sensei View Post
    If it is not strictly specified in your contract with the client, that THEY will get the ownership rights to that finished product, then it's your property!
    In that case you don't need anyone's permission to show that material to potential new clients or to showcase it in your portfolio.
    This is true and is often the case with my clients that hire me as a freelancer.

    Quote Originally Posted by RL_Sensei View Post
    If you had a contract where you signed a release form to give up any claims on that footage, then you should ask that client for permission to show the material to a potential new client or to use it in your portfolio.
    Yes, in all other cases always ask permission.
    The cats are watching us...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapes View Post
    I reckon Boulders means video's that OP made and is currently already on the client's website/youtube channel.
    That's what I often do myself as well. I don't always bother uploading a finished product to my channel but I'm happy to share the link of my video that's on my client's channel.
    Boulders post wasn't specific enough and sounded to me like simply showing someone else's work.

    But in that case - of course, it's your work after all.
    If the client has put your work online for everyone to see, then you don't even have to ask their permission to show that work to potential new clients.


    One more tip i can give you is - make sure that you ask the client if they want to buy the ownership rights as well before both sides sign a contract.
    Because most clients don't know or understand how ownership rights work and they just assume that if they pay you to make a video for them, that they automatically own the rights to it. That is not the case.

    I had this once where a made a video for a client with a standard contract that did not mention ownership and did not have a release form. So i was obviously within my right to use that material how i want, because - i own it after all.
    A couple weeks later someone from that company noticed that i had used some of the footage for a different project and they went bananas on me (supper aggressive - we will sue you bla bla bla, we payed you to film this for us... this belongs to us... bla bla bla)... So i had to explain to them that: "Guys, you do NOT own that material just because you payed me to make it. Our contract was for my service that i did for you not for the ownership rights as well. I am the Author and all of that footage and end product belongs to me. You just payed me to create something original that i am allowing you to use for you project, that's all".
    Once they checked the facts with their attorney they understood the situation and offered me to sell them the rights to that footage and finished video i made for them.

    So always make sure that you ask the client if they want ownership as well - but then tell them that it will costs extra.
    After all - i could have made potentially a lot of money from that footage by selling it on stock or using it in other projects or selling it to other clients directly and so on for many years to come.
    And when they want ownership rights, then i am losing that potential money, so they need to compensate me for it.

    So don't sell yourself short!
    Last edited by RL_Sensei; 06-08-2018 at 10:19 AM.

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    Now I remember why I had RL_Sensei on my ignore list.

    Of course I meant videos made by the OP.

  8. #8

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    Contract:
    If the client asked for anonymity, then don't show it period. But usually the client doesn't ask for this. You can always upload videos unlisted even to Youtube, and then show that to your prospects (as long as the original client didn't specifically ask for anonymity).

    BTW, you should definitely have a contract. No ifs, buts or maybes. There is no single valid excuse for not having a contract if you are charging for work. It makes for bad relationships, it creates uncertainty, it invites disputes and confusion. You owe yourself and your client an organized business relationship and that includes a contract.


    Also, it seemed pretty apparent to me that Sound Guy meant links to OP's work. In the future maybe give the benefit of the doubt, and/or ask for clarification.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jochicago View Post
    BTW, you should definitely have a contract. No ifs, buts or maybes. There is no single valid excuse for not having a contract if you are charging for work. It makes for bad relationships, it creates uncertainty, it invites disputes and confusion. You owe yourself and your client an organized business relationship and that includes a contract.
    For online work it is an option to direct all your business through a freelance platform or an other form of escrow service and use that a safety net. That way at least you can be sure you'll get paid.
    An other sure way is to ask for money up front or before delivery. But yes whenever you work directly with a client a contract is an absolute must although in some countries a written agreement in the form of an e-mail is perfectly acceptable and holds legal value.
    The cats are watching us...

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    Here in the US an email is enforceable (your lawyer won't be happy that that's all you have, but it will count if it comes to it). What is needed is a written meeting of the minds. Something that states the terms like if you can show the stuff in your portfolio, what happens if the client doesn't like the result, what happens if you can't make it to the day of the shoot, etc. Even written on a napkin it holds value because it shows the people coming together on the details of the project. An online freelance platform would provide many of those details/rules for you, if that's how you make your income.

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