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Who gets producer/director credits?

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Chas Smith
Who gets producer/director credits?
on Jan 25, 2011 at 3:28:26 am

I produced a video recently, a project through an ad agency for one of their clients. Long-story short: the end-user/client wants to submit the video to a trade assn. video festival competition. Now technically, I produced all the video elements, came up with the approach, wrote the outline, shooting script, edited independently, etc. But since it's work-for-hire... am I the producer/director or does the ad agency get the credit or the client ( who paid for all this)?

I did all the production and creative.... BUT... they hired me to do that. What do you think? How's the best way to handle this?


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Cory Petkovsek
Re: Who gets producer/director credits?
on Jan 25, 2011 at 6:55:39 am

As a work for hire, they get the copyright, as long as it is stated it's a work for hire in your contract.

Copyright is independent from a producer and/or director credit.

I would work out a communication where you credit yourself, the ad agency and the client so everyone feels included, because they have been. You say you did all the production and the creative, but is that true? Who came up with the seed concept? Who paid for it? Who wrote it?

The person with the money gets an EP credit. The person who came up with the story only gets a "Story by" credit. If they wrote at least a treatment, I'd give them a writer credit. The ad agency is your upline, so treat them well and give them credit. Even if all they did was connect you, they are still a producer.

I would present something like this:

Executive Producer .... Client
Producer .... Ad Agency
Director ... You
Cast ...
Crew ...

If your role really involved a lot of producing I would bump you up to a director and producer and have the Ad agency be either an EP or a producer/co-producer. However it doesn't sound like this is the case; it sounds like you were a one or two man team. In that case I'd keep you at director and give producer to the ad agency.

I'd wrap all of that up on a credit roll. I'd send it in an email saying something like, I'm creating a credit roll which I'll apply to the video for your submission. I want to make sure I have everyone's names spelled correctly." Then send it having given them titles, and asking them for spelling rather than asking them for titles.


Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video

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grinner hester
Re: Who gets producer/director credits?
on Jan 25, 2011 at 10:08:42 pm

Credit them as they wish.
Aint a one of us here who hasn't credited someone else with what we did.
And aint a one of us here who have cared.
I remember my mom watching credits and telling me about seeing my name in the mid 90s but outside of that, man, I just can't remember cedits coming into play. I've never cared. Surely not enough to let affect my bottom line. My job has always been to make shows and type other people's name at the end.

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Malcolm Matusky
Re: Who gets producer/director credits?
on Jan 26, 2011 at 1:20:53 am

If you "produced" it, you're the producer; those who pay for it are the "client."

Everyone who is "involved" in making a film in Hollywood, and cannot be bothered to work on set is a "producer" a much abused title today. It can be equated with "buying" a title in medieval England, perhaps Lord and Lady xxx would be more accurate than "producer."


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Timothy J. Allen
Re: Who gets producer/director credits?
on Jan 27, 2011 at 9:58:35 pm

Most award associations let you list more than one Producer. Certain award organizations, such as the regional Emmy Awards, don't award to organizations, only individuals. In that case, my approach has been to list both the client (and sometimes his or her boss) by name as a Producer along with my own name. That way, they client can put the trophy in their display case and be proud of the work you did together.

If its an award organization that names companies as recipients, such as the Telly Awards, I wouldn't worry so much about listing your own name anyway.

I mean really, awards can be nice to receive, but it's even nicer to give them away.


p.s. Here are sample requirements for Regional Emmy Awards for your reference:

AWARD OWNERSHIP: EMMY Awards are presented to individuals, not to their employers. Ownership of the EMMY statuette is retained by the individuals and The National Television Academy, even if an employer pays entry fees. Stations, studios and production companies may order a duplicate statuette for display at their place of business (one each; up to a maximum of three per winning program entry). Corporations, production companies, cable companies and other employers associated with winning craft entries may purchase plaques from the Academy that have a replica of the statuette and space to list the names and titles of their employees' award recipients for display at their offices.

WHO RECEIVES THE AWARD: Producers, craftpersons and other statue-eligible entrants as listed on the entry form receive the Emmy® statuette, except where noted. Others who work on a nominated or winning entry may order production certificates or plaques.

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