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Re: Freelance Editing + non competition agreement

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lisa sermanRe: Freelance Editing + non competition agreement
by on Feb 23, 2011 at 7:38:40 pm

I definitely see your point. And yes, this was my very first long-form of anything to do with broadcast. My producer gave me an opportunity to work for her.... NOT PBS. I was hired via my producer through her company. And yes, I was on a learning curve and it probably took me longer than seasoned television editors. (but no more than a 40 hour learning curve)

With all that being said. I have to tell you that I'm 40 years old with a family to feed. I'm no student and although you say many people would have done this gig for free, you may be referring to students just out of college. My producer wanted to work with me because she knows I'll stay up 24 hours straight to finish something, If I don't know how to composite something in Motion or After Effects, I'll do whatever it takes to figure it out. I'm diligent, responsible and she knew this about me. This is why she asked if I would work on the project.

I also believe she asked me to work on the project because she knew she'd get the most bang for her buck. And yes, I feel sore and I feel taken advantage of, but that's my fault not hers. It doesn't really matter what I feel, it is what it is. I have to "suck it up" as they say.

I do not feel like I owe her anything beyond what I've already given her. The project is completed, PBS is happy. They contacted me for this little 5 minute piece. I probably should have called my producer (not to ask permission, but just out of courtesy) I realize this now. This is where the feelings got in the way and at the time, I felt like she didn't own me. I am a freelancer. I had already agreed to give her a finders/agent fee, and I told her I'd sign an agreement stating that I would not actively seek past clients up to a certain time period (from what I've been seeing online, some contracts state a period of 6 months up to 2 years).

I have a problem signing an agreement that I cannot accept a job from a past client even if they contact me. The ten years I've known her, I have only edited one or two projects a year. Most of them being 30-second commercials and one - 12 minute promotional video. It's not like I earned a set salary from her and worked for her full-time. I work for several people.

She's a producer and director. I am an editor. She has very little technical skill and does no editing herself on ANYTHING. I don't see where the competition thing comes into play in this situation.


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