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"Conflict of Interest" in Dry Market

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Patrick Reagan
"Conflict of Interest" in Dry Market
on Mar 20, 2014 at 9:18:19 pm

I've posted here several times for business-related things. I have a production company that's a one man operation called Patty Melt Productions. I am trying to break out in this (dry) area, and I have been... sort of successful. I've been focused on work, school, etc., so my marketing and outreach has not been up to snuff.

I've been approached by another small production company I just found out about to do VFX work for a couple of their small productions in addition to them calling for other people in the area to help. Their goal is to be able to use all these peoples' expertise in order to build their name and move on to larger productions.

While I'm always willing to help a fellow filmmaker, their goal, like I said, is to branch out here and start making money off this stuff.

Wouldn't that technically be a conflict of my OWN interest since I'm trying to do the same thing (at least making more money than I am now), or could this be considered a friendly collaboration if the details are ironed out the right way?

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Wayne Keyser
Re: "Conflict of Interest" in Dry Market
on Mar 21, 2014 at 3:14:19 am

If I read this right, this is not a case of "teach a man to fish" so much as it is a case of "give (actually sell) a man a fish."

If the other company wants to you to teach them to do the work, this might be working against your own interest in the long run. On the other hand, if they want to hire you to do the bits they can't do, without you teaching them not to need you in the future, they might call on you again to hire you again.

You can't prevent them from learning on their own, but if I were you I'd think twice about teaching them.


There is no "way to peace." Peace is the way.

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Bill Davis
Re: "Conflict of Interest" in Dry Market
on Mar 21, 2014 at 5:09:20 am

Oddly, there was just a post on my LinkedIn feed with the following advice...

"There are two rules for success...
1. Never reveal everything you know

Go figure.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.

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Mark Suszko
Re: "Conflict of Interest" in Dry Market
on Mar 21, 2014 at 1:50:05 pm

Wayne and Bill are both funny and right.

But I would consider this sub-contracting work. There's nothing wrong with it. Look at the credits for VFX work on any blockbuster and you will see tens or even dozens of VFX subcontractors, each of whom did a section or more of the whole.

Since you know your marketing has been weak, use this subcontracting gig not just for income, but feature your participation in their project in your blogs and social media marketing as something to brag upon.

Do protect your "secret sauce" skills and things like your project files as "proprietary", and only supply the final product, be sure to get at least partial payment up front, and there should be no issues.

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Patrick Reagan
Re: "Conflict of Interest" in Dry Market
on Mar 21, 2014 at 6:55:50 pm

Yes, I would simply be doing the bits they can't do and absolutely not teaching them.

Fantastic advice from seasoned vets, as always. Thank you all.

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Jeff Breuer
Re: "Conflict of Interest" in Dry Market
on Mar 25, 2014 at 2:17:26 pm

I really like Mark's comments. One way to see this is that you have been having trouble with marketing and this is business that comes to your doorstep. If this relationship works out, you may even have the opportunity to tap into some special skills they might have for one of your projects.

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