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Editor working with sensitive footage

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elad yaEditor working with sensitive footage
by on Nov 26, 2014 at 7:08:55 pm

I’ll be providing my video editor with footage that I don’t want disseminated- can anybody recommend a good form to have the editor sign to guarantee this? Anybody have experience with this?



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Mark SuszkoRe: Editor working with sensitive footage
by on Nov 26, 2014 at 7:29:58 pm

You're looking for a NDA, Non-Disclosure Agreement.

If the stuff it truly sensitive, have the editor work with watermarked proxy files instead of the actual clean footage. Then he gives you the final version of the project file, and you render using the original material it links back to. It will cost a bit more to own the project file, but it may be worth it in your case.

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Nick GriffinRe: Editor working with sensitive footage
by on Nov 26, 2014 at 9:31:37 pm
Last Edited By Nick Griffin on Nov 26, 2014 at 9:34:24 pm

I agree with Mark and will start with the second point. A watermark is a good way of discovering and PROVING a leak after the fact. You could also go all Hollywood and have a unique identifier for each stage of the process if you have multiple vendors involved. (Did you know that the "screener" copies sent to members of the Academy voting for the Oscars typically have unique serial numbers? If a popular movie shows up as a bootleg the studio knows EXACTLY where it came from.)

Now, to state the obvious, start with working with someone you can trust. Preferably someone with little to gain by exposing your work to others.

Which leads to the stickiest point. An NDA -- non-discosure-agreement -- really only means something to someone with something to lose. If you're dealing with a kid who lives in his parent's basement or a rented apartment, drives a klunker that probably costs more to keep running than it's worth, and whose sole asset is his computer, he or she doesn't have a lot to lose if they violate an NDA.

Typical NDA language says things like: "__(who you're hiring)__ understands and acknowledges that any breach of this Agreement will cause __(you)__ irreparable harm, the amount of which will be difficult to ascertain and, therefore, __(you)__ shall be entitled to seek from any court of competent jurisdiction preliminary and permanent injunctive relief." In layman's language, as best I can understand it, that means you an sue them and, if successful, you can take away their stuff. If they a) don't have much stuff to take, or b) don't fully comprehend what this says and its potential implications an NDA just appears to be a piece of paper that says "blah, blah, blah."

So it's your job to work with someone who understands and will live in respect (and fear) of this.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Editor working with sensitive footage
by on Nov 26, 2014 at 10:27:29 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Nov 26, 2014 at 10:28:59 pm

Another possible option is to have the editor be bonded/insured, or to have them pay into an escrow account, or you put their pay into an escrow account, and the NDA has a clause stating that in event of a leak, before a certain date, they forfeit the amount in that account. Getting paid for the work then is contingent upon maintaining security/integrity. But you can't withhold pay forever.

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Mike SmithRe: Editor working with sensitive footage
by on Nov 26, 2014 at 11:33:06 pm

I've worked on projects where the editing all takes place in a secure room on client premises with no internet access or other external connection, with usb drives disabled on the edit machines and with routine in and out searches of (carefully vetted) visiting crew. To an extent it depends om how sensitive the material really is.

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