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Client wants my .drp?

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andrew smith
Client wants my .drp?
on Nov 26, 2013 at 1:43:54 am

Hello forum friends,

I have an interesting request from a client today after delivering a project I did remotely on my own system they are asking to also have the .drp because they say they might have additional cuts and want to be able to apply my grades. Normally if I am at a company's facility using there system they have access to the project and can do whatever they want after I leave as one would expect. I dont know this employer too well and they were a bit of a pain to work with to be honest.

I dont normally get this request except for one very good and frequent employer I am friends with who renders stuff out on there end to get stuff faster from me and to there clients. I know and trust them well so I am not concerned with them taking my 'special sauce' if you will but I have been thinking about it and with all other freelance artists its normal to have to give your employer a psd, ai, aep, etc. as it legally belongs to them etc. It seems silly now to even say they cant have my .drp but curious to get other opinions on the subject. I would imagine CO3 does not give out there drp's right? If clients need new shots or more handles or whatever else they have to come back with there drive and likely pay for the time no?

Thanks
Andrew


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Marc Wielage
Re: Client wants my .drp?
on Nov 26, 2013 at 2:31:57 am

This kind of question comes up in the world of audio as well. As a general rule, Pro Tools re-recording mixers do NOT hand out their Pro Tools sessions as part of the deal. The goal is to give the client the *work* involved -- not the road and building blocks that eventually leads to the work.

Having said that: if this is a regular client, and it was a case of ensuring client loyalty and you trusted them, I'd have no problem with it. If it was a one-shot deal, absolutely not.


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jake blackstone
Re: Client wants my .drp?
on Nov 26, 2013 at 2:43:07 am
Last Edited By jake blackstone on Nov 26, 2013 at 2:49:08 am

When you say "after delivering a project I did remotely on my own system" what you really mean is you did the grade and rendered at your office. Because doing "remote grading" implies doing grading in real time, while connected to your client and in that case you automatically "deposit", if you will, the project on the client's machine. In that case client doesn't need to ask for the copy of the project. It's there automatically. As fas as to give or not to give, it's not your call. Any work product performed under employment contract belongs to your employer. That is why, for example, when a company performs VFX work in every case they must deliver all roto masks, tracking info etc. It's in the contact...
If client wants the project .drp, I have no problem giving it to them. If they want to decipher my work, go ahead. What do I care? It's like someone trying to buy some Resolve looks and then applying them, thinking they don't need a colorist. If that's what that particular client thinks, I don't think this is the client I'd want to hold on to...


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Clark Bierbaum
Re: Client wants my .drp?
on Nov 26, 2013 at 2:56:50 am

I had this situation as well on a movie that I colored on my system. They have a Resolve license as well. I was credited as colorist and told the client that I would strongly prefer to be involved in any additional tweaks. I did do the work as part of the package and it did involve several additional hours but I knew no one was going to change the final product. I feel that I am paid for the output only and unless negotiated up front (for a large additional fee) I would not give the .drp to the client.

On the other hand, I regularly use an in-house system at another client's location and they have all the project data but I make it easy to call me for fixes and they would rather do that as they are busy billing doing other tasks.

I'm also interested in other perspectives.

FYI, most CGI folks I know don't give the .aep or other files, only the output.

Clark Bierbaum
Color Grading / Post Consultant
GarnetColor.com
Charlotte, NC


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Dan Moran
Re: Client wants my .drp?
on Nov 26, 2013 at 11:35:48 am
Last Edited By Dan Moran on Nov 26, 2013 at 12:33:00 pm

I'd never give out my project at all. If they want my work they need to come and grade with me... well unless your a friend / nice to me. Then I'll share it.

My pet hate is when they want want to take a previous grade I've worked on and go use my grades on an updated edit somewhere else.

--

Dan Moran
Colourist
Smoke & Mirrors: London
http://www.danmorancolor.com/blog


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kim krause
Re: Client wants my .drp?
on Nov 26, 2013 at 11:28:13 am

i would only release the project files (.drp) after being paid....after i've got my cut they can do what ever they want...it's their show after all.


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andrew smith
Re: Client wants my .drp?
on Nov 26, 2013 at 7:08:18 pm

I did get paid yes so that's what I was thinking and kind of mulling over now. Thanks for the replies thus far, nice to get some insight from other professionals.


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Malcolm Matusky
Re: Client wants my .drp?
on Nov 26, 2013 at 10:43:41 pm

For this "client" give it to them, if in the future you have an issue with this, make sure it's in YOUR contract for services, before, taking the assignment. That way it's upfront, no one feels "cheated" and you can then charge for it later if they want it.

M

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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Joakim Ziegler
Re: Client wants my .drp?
on Nov 27, 2013 at 4:58:23 am

I don't actually know what common practice in in color correction (we've never had this request), but when it comes to sound for feature films, it's quite common practice for distributors (especially international) to request the entire ProTools session on DVDs.

--
Joakim Ziegler - Postproduction Supervisor


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Sascha Haber
Re: Client wants my .drp?
on Nov 27, 2013 at 7:46:52 am

If you read between the line, they dont want to use you anymore.
As common practice in VFX houses we offer "buy-outs" for flame reels and master tapes.
Its basically going into a car repair shop and asking them to give you the tools they use.
No go.
Not even presets.
Nada.
Only for a considerable amount of money.
Now you need to find a way to explain it :)

A slice of color...

Resolve 10.0.0.073 , Smoke 2013 EXT
Colorist / VFX / Aerial footage nerd
http://vimeo.com/saschahaber


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Margus Voll
Re: Client wants my .drp?
on Nov 27, 2013 at 7:59:43 am

They are just asking for the workflow so to say and in this case it is your work
so they could tweak it later and not paying you.

Here we also deliver product not the tools or workflow to execute it.

But sure it would help to explain it before hand.

I agree with Sascha that it is already there in the lines, no more pay for you is the goal here.

--

Margus

http://iconstudios.eu
https://vimeo.com/iconstudioseu/videos

DaVinci 9, OSX 10.7.4
MacPro 5.1 2x2,93 24GB
GTX 470 / Quadro 4000
Multibridge 2 Pro


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: Client wants my .drp?
on Nov 27, 2013 at 3:17:49 pm

Around here we call that our "intellectual property" Whether it be a colour session, or an edit session, there has always been a note at the bottom of the quote, stating that those files remain with my company. On the rare occasion i am asked about this, i explain, much like Sasha did...its like me going into a car dealership and asking for the blueprints and schematics to one of their vehicles. Sure i've bought one in the past, but i just realized i can build it myself for cheaper, so if you'll please just hand it all over...

Typically i tell them those files are available, but at a cost above the original quote price. Usually close to paying quote price again. On 3 occasions, the request has been made, only once was the decision made to basically pay twice to acquire those files.

Now if a client tells me up front that they are going to require those files, then i can discuss it with them and adjust my quote accordingly.

Glenn


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Mike Most
Re: Client wants my .drp?
on Nov 27, 2013 at 3:36:14 pm

ProTools sessions are a required deliverable on many, if not most, studio level television productions. Color sessions are not, primarily because there are multiple systems being used and therefore no one "standard" project format.

Personally, I really don't see a problem with giving a client a copy of the session. For one thing, they would need to have another system with the original footage available, and an operator savvy enough on the program to link that footage properly. They would also need to have any and all LUT's that you might have used. If you believe in your own abilities, and they believed in you enough to have you do the job in the first place, you're in a good position for working with them again in the future. Perhaps they want the session just to have a copy themselves in case you don't happen to archive yours and they need to return. Perhaps it's more sinister, as some people here seem to want to speculate on. But either way, a session file is just a session file. The work was done by a human being. If they want similar work done, they need to employ the human being again. And if they don't, they don't. There's no sense in being antagonistic about it.


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Joseph Owens
Re: Client wants my .drp?
on Nov 27, 2013 at 11:43:07 pm

Perhaps the client is naïve enough to think that what they are getting is some kind of "secret sauce" that is going to be a magic wand they can wave over the rest of their revisions, or other projects... it just doesn't work that way. The corrections within a grade are *always* dependent on the source material, and are usually absolutely unique to that clip. An exported project is ONLY valid for that particular timeline, that's all there is to it. If the client wants a backup, great. Should I be keeping 10 years worth of grades on my system? Maybe, if its a great look that resulted from a creative session. That raises the question -- does the original booking client, who ostensibly paid for that development, "own" that look? Or is it "mine" to sell to everybody else?

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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