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A Matter of Credits

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Doug Chambers
A Matter of Credits
on Apr 29, 2009 at 10:43:19 pm

I completed some promotional videos for a client recently and that client has used them in a multimedia CD-ROM that they are able to give out to those who are interested in learning more about their company. I wrote, shot, & edited all of the promotional videos, while another local company, we'll call them "company B", compressed the videos, put together the interface for the CD-ROM and had it mass produced.

I finally got a copy of the CD-ROM a couple of days ago and looked through it to find that no credit is given to me whatsoever on the disc. When closing the CD-ROM interface, a large "company B" logo, complete with phone number, web address, & e-mail address appears on screen before the program closes. I would not be terribly bothered by the fact that I didn't get credit on the disc if "company B" did not get a full advertisement with contact info and all. Not only do they get an ad and I don't, but this really makes it look like "company B" produced everything on the disc, including the promo videos that I made.

This really drives me crazy. I have e-mailed the people that I did the videos for and explained my feelings on this (no response yet), but of course it is too late to do anything about it as far as the CD-ROM goes, since it has already been mass produced.

What should I do with future clients to ensure that this type of thing does not happen again? I'm thinking maybe some kind of "Credit Clause" in my contract might be needed. Something that says that anywhere the final product is used, I am to be given credit for the production (unless of course it is a commercial on TV or something where a credit is not possible). Would something like that be acceptable or am I just expecting too much? Am I wrong in wanting to be given credit for my work?


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Mark Suszko
Re: A Matter of Credits
on Apr 30, 2009 at 2:25:30 pm

You don't have much right to complain after the fact, as you admit. You might add a clause to future contracts that says, if the product will have credits put on it, you need to be mentioned in them. Since that doesn't really add any cost to the client, they may say OK. Then again they may forget, really or on purpose later. I think rather than just trust to that, I would also ad a line that says you get to show a representative sample of their project in your portfolio, demo reel, and web site. I would have that in my boilerplate for all clients, to cover my bases. Later, if you find someone pretending to have done your work, you can use this to confront them.

If they balk at that because they want more control or are just very propiratary about their stuff, you can counter-offer to sign an NDA and only show a client-approved clip, not the whole thing, you'll throw in a free custom edit of the clip, no charge... or you steer it back to the original issue with "I wouldn't need to show clips on my own site, if I had your assurance that my name would always be on the end credits. I just want to be able to confirm to others that I worked for you on this, your reputation is great advertising for me, and it hurts my business if someone down the road takes credit for work I did for you".

A great deal of work I do goes uncredited, lots of promo type stuff doesn't really need it or justify it. What you DO want to leave the client with is an impression of you that's so favorable, they tell everyone who will listen to them about who did this cool thing for them. That's often worth much more than a screen credit.



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Stephen Smith
Re: A Matter of Credits
on Apr 30, 2009 at 2:32:04 pm

I image the client didn't even realize that this happened. I think the best way to prevent this from happening again is to offer authoring CDs/DVDs services yourself. If you can't do it partner with a company that does. Trust me, they will like the extra work and possibly return the favor by sending edits your way. That way you have full control.





Stephen Smith
Salt Lake Video

Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2


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Doug Chambers
Re: A Matter of Credits
on Apr 30, 2009 at 4:26:10 pm

What would I need to able to produce multimedia CD-ROMs, software wise? I do regular DVD authoring, but as far as I know none of the software that I use is capable of making this type of CD-ROM.



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Stephen Smith
Re: A Matter of Credits
on Apr 30, 2009 at 4:30:49 pm

We have an interactive guy who works at Lone Peak Productions. He uses Flash or Director and has made some very cool interactive CD's.





Stephen Smith
Salt Lake Video

Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2


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Stephen Smith
Re: A Matter of Credits
on May 1, 2009 at 11:37:48 pm

By the way Doug, I forgot to say that I do think that was terrible of the Multi-media company to do that to you. Best of luck in all of your future endeavors.



Stephen Smith
Lone Peak Productions

Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2


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