I starting up a small production company with a friend of mine. Both of us did freelance work for a couple of years and also we worked in a couple of production houses and tv stations.
Im putting together our first company showreel. I want to put some of our previous work on it as we don't have anything that we did as a company yet.
What is the standard for giving credit on such a showreel? For example I directed a documentary film when I was working for a tv station and my friend edited a couple of episodes of a tv program when he worked at a production house.
What can I write down that will both show that this and that was our creation and yet that it was produced by another company?
It is always go to tell the other companies that you want to use this footage in our demo reel and if you are clear about what you are showing, this is a sample of my work I directed, edited, wrote and so on. Then ask the production house if they require a credit.
I don't mind if a freelancer that I hire to edit uses the video on his demo reel as long it is clear that this is something that he edited and not something he produced. I have rented a camera from someone that wanted samples of the footage we shot so he could show what his camera can do, I gave him some and months later it was on his site under "Music Videos" for his production company. I was pissed and made him remove it and not to use the footage again for any reason.
Be honest and up front and hopefully can make everyone happy.
opinions differ on this, but I don't think it's necessary to seek approval from previous employers to use stuff for your reel provided you actually worked on it. These days, it is a given that any production a freelancer works on will be shown on their reel. Unless it was a private, not-for-public-consumption video, something that gives away trade secrets or a production that has not yet been released I think it is fine to use it at your discretion.
The caveat here is that you should always credit the production company. For example, you could label each video with "Client: xyz studio" and then a brief line about the work you/your company specifically did on that video. Without the credit, you are implying you landed that job and managed the client. Without saying what you personally did on that project, you are implying you did all of the work. Best to avoid confusion on either of these.
Now that you are a production company, the rules change a little. GET A CONTRACT put together, and make sure your contract stipulates that you reserve the right to use the video for the purposes of promoting and marketing your studio.