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Another rights question ... sort of

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Greg Ball
Another rights question ... sort of
on May 20, 2009 at 10:37:16 pm

I shot and edited a video for a client about 2 years ago. Now another individual in their Europe office wants me to send them all of the footage so they can edit it into a show they are producing.

My question is how much to charge for sending them my raw footage.
Nobody ever discussed who owns the raw footage, and I've kept it for 2 years. It's on six 30min. Beta SP tapes.

My initial thoughts are to charge $100 per tape plus any fees for PAL conversion. Do you think that's fair?

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Mike Smith
Re: Another rights question ... sort of
on May 21, 2009 at 10:29:37 am


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Nick Griffin
Re: Another rights question ... sort of
on May 22, 2009 at 1:36:51 pm

[Greg Ball] "Do you think that's fair?"

[Mike Smith] "Yes"

More than just being a contrary POV, No.

I think at that price you are underselling yourself and the value of your footage. We (and many others) have an understanding with clients that a "buy out" of the raw footage is AT LEAST one third more than the cost of shooting material we will then use to complete a program. Afterall, when they want the footage they are telling you that they are going elsewhere for future post production. I don't see how asking for it two years later is any different.

Why don't you try asking them if they'd like to save that extra cost by having you do the new program? Editing in PAL is not very different from editing in NTSC -- just about every NLE can do it, and if the product stays in the digital world and doesn't have to go to tape you probably already have everything you need. And with tools like MediaBatch non-local clients can easily participate in initial cuts through to the finished show.

The big issue here is at what point you make the NTSC to PAL bump. And can your material get away with a conversion less expensive than going to a facility with one of those really, really expensive hardware-based conversion boxes. That you might want to explore on one of the COW's other forums.

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Franklin McMahon
Re: Another rights question ... sort of
on May 24, 2009 at 3:35:50 pm

I agree with Nick...buyouts should be a lot more.

Also keep buyouts in mind for future projects as a line item. Add a section in the contract where they can opt to either buy the raw footage and/or buy the rights (with a suitable and substantial price attached). You'd be surprised how many companies will just pay the extra up front to have the flexibility down the line. If explained and pitched correctly they just bake it into their budget. Then you don't have to worry about a phone call 2 years later, working out a price and verifying your archives.

I learned about the value of raw content when I started to do photography professionally. Selling and reselling images, assigning a higher rate for usage that often eclipsed the original shoot cost, etc. There are several good books on photography selling and reselling, these are fairly eye opening for a lot of video producers, and it really hit me at the time that value is in the stills or footage and their worth, as opposed to the hours clocked producing it. Really shifted my way of thinking about producing and I applied it to other things such as video, graphics, web, etc.


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