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Who's Production is it Anyway?

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Logan Parks
Who's Production is it Anyway?
on Nov 30, 2009 at 2:02:51 am

I was hired to shoot a 6hr conference with about 8 speakers. I did the job for what I feel was about half what I should have charged - for two reasons - which I explained to the client.

1. I wanted to put my name on it.

2. I hope to get repeat business from the "organizer" (the client) of the event, as he is responsible for putting these types of events together every so often.

All the videography was done by me. The client asked that I get some interviews with attendees, and that was pretty much the extent of his creative input. Other than that his role is hiring me on behalf of the company that he works for, and having them write my check.

My question is: does this make him the producer? He wants me to write "a (his name) production" at the beginning of the video. Did he produce it? If so is it his production? Of course I would credit myself also. However, I would expect a viewer who wanted the same type of work done would want to contact "that guy productions" rather than myself which kind of defeats the purpose of me doing this. I want my client to be happy, but not if it means discrediting myself from hours of hard work - especially considering how cheap I did it.

I'm not new to this kind of work, but I guess I am new to contracting my own jobs and dealing with clients. So any insight on how this kind of thing should go would be much appreciated.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Who's Production is it Anyway?
on Nov 30, 2009 at 10:40:59 pm

A: Never cut the price the way you did, you will have a hard time negotiating it back up to "normal".

B: The guy who cuts the check can have it say whatever he wants on it. If your ego is having a hard time with that or you are trying for a marketing opportunity down the road, suggest his title as "Executive Producer", and you as "Producer" "Field producer", "Director-Editor" or "Videographer".

The people that know something will correctly assume who did what, based on that. Exec producers *can* sometimes be very hands-on, but often the title means "He signed the check" is the extent of the contribution.

If I had a nickel for every time in my career somebody gave themselves an undeserved credit in work I did, well... I would be typing this from somewhere with way more sand and better drinks.

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Scott Carnegie
Re: Who's Production is it Anyway?
on Dec 1, 2009 at 5:41:31 pm

The person that pays the bills calls the shots, you are hired help. "Putting your name on it" is over-valued, it really doesn't mean anything in the corporate video world.

Charging half price so you can "put your name on it" makes you look like a chump, lesson learned :) Do a good job at full price and the organizer is likely to hire you again, squabble over credits and you are less likely to be hired again.

Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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Kai Cheong
Re: Who's Production is it Anyway?
on Dec 3, 2009 at 12:37:43 am

We find that we usually get referred business from happy clients who recommend us to other businesses or friends who are 'looking to do a video'. More so then having our website & company 'advertised' as part of any video we do.

Though if the client is willing (I'd say since he's the one paying for the video), It wouldn't be a bad idea to have you company name/logo somewhere in the end product. But I think it's not as important to hassle over the exact credit.

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grinner hester
Re: Who's Production is it Anyway?
on Dec 7, 2009 at 8:28:18 pm

It's his production. He hired you to be the button pusher. Push em.
Charge twice as much next time.

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