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Agreement to shoot and edit student athlete

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Dave RudolphAgreement to shoot and edit student athlete
by on Jul 15, 2008 at 6:04:12 pm

Cow folk,

I have been hired to shoot a ballgame for the needs of a specific high school player. His personal coach will use timecode to later assist me in what clips will be desired for a highlight reel. The degree and amount of subsequent editing and packaging will thus be forthcoming. We have orally agreed upon an hourly rate. It is the same amount for shooting as it is for the edit. I informed them that this hourly price presumed that I would retain the possesion and copyrights of the tapes. This seems important and logical to me, but is that normal when the shoot is being paid for? Would they normally get a tape copy or just the formatted clips as I have requested? They suggested that they would be willing to sign a release should I want to use this footage for other purposes but would want to know in advance if for instance the player was going to be in a commercial for my business or such.

In the interests of proceeding in a fair and straight forward agreement that will work here and work in similar future situations, I pose these questions and concerns. Are there stock contracts for this situation? Is a release necessary for me to sell game footage to other interested families in this case? Type and availablility of such a release?

As a side note it seems to me that it is unfair to the client to pay for the filming of a game and then find other families enabled to purchase footage from this effort. What is a fair way to treat this client? It is my thought that a percentage of any subsequent sold footage could be granted back to the client in the form of credit toward current or future work.

I am hoping for some sound advice that might put my client and I in a comfortable situation that will enable a good working relationship. I acknowledge that a lawyer would be prudent should this become a repeated portion of my young business.

Thanks for the forum to post and thanks for any comments or insight that might be informative.


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Brendan CootsRe: Agreement to shoot and edit student athlete
by on Jul 17, 2008 at 8:06:26 am

This sounds like a straight forward work-for-hire job where the client is paying you to shoot and edit on his behalf. Typically, in this situation the videographer/production company isn't entitled to any ownership rights (outside of the right to use for marketing purposes), and why should they be? The client is hiring you to create this work for him, and by footing the bill they are taking all the risk - it makes no sense for them to not only surrender all ownership rights, but to also let you turn around and profit from their risk. of course, if the client is willing to go along with this the rules change, but their sanity might need to be examined.

Either way, you might be better off using this client's footage as a demo of what you can do, using it solely as a marketing aid to convince other parents to hire you for their own video. Why spend the time and effort working out complex legal agreements, profit sharing arrangements etc. when chances are most parents will want their own video that specifically highlights their own child's performance? Sounds like a lot of added work and hassle without enough downstream potential to justify it. I would also add that you risk your client relationship getting a tad sour when you propose this whole idea, since he is very likely expecting to be the sole copyright holder on the work he commissioned.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

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dave rudolphRe: Agreement to shoot and edit student athlete
by on Jul 17, 2008 at 4:25:28 pm

Brendan, thanks for for the look at this. It is correct that the client is paying for "shoot and edit". I wrote to the Cow exactly because of some unique aspects that in my mind make it less than straight forward. It may very well be an unlikely agreement but…
1) I often and regularly shoot games without any promise of follow up business. I have a great archive. The client by recommendation from their trainer is ensuring that there will be quality footage for them from specific games.
2) Even in this case of "for hire" I will be shooting the game itself in the broad sense (later editing key moments of interest for this player's portfolio). It is possible/likely that another family would want the "game" or a close-up or a specific highlight or team celebration from this game. Another edit so to speak.
3) The game itself is a product that could be sold to other fans, other players might like a highlight or closeup pulled from this same footage.
4) The quoted hourly fee would in theory be higher when giving up the right to produce the above mentioned product.

I think the reason the client might not find this arrangement insane would just be that they need a specific product from the effort and have no need or interests beyond this. If you hire a photographer to shoot your kids party, maybe you get him a little cheaper if he can sell pics to the other parents as well.

BTW I am not understanding your point of risk. Are you thinking of a financial or legal risk for the client? Please explain.

I take your point about complexity seriously. There is no advantage in a contentious or difficult arrangement amongst my market. I am inquiring about the possibility of a simple contract/proceedure to achieve this arrangement.

Thanks again for your interest.

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Brendan CootsRe: Agreement to shoot and edit student athlete
by on Jul 18, 2008 at 2:02:22 am

On the risk question, I was referring to your client's financial risk.

On the other stuff, I hear ya. The only thing that matters at the end of the day is whether or not your client thinks this is an acceptable arrangement. I know that many business clients would laugh if you told them you wanted to resell the footage they paid you to shoot for them, but this is a little different.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

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