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Re: project ownership

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Sam Lesante Jr.
Re: project ownership
on Jul 6, 2017 at 11:14:56 pm

Hi fellow cows,

If anyone can help me out here that would great.

So we have an employee, not a freelance person, an employee, employed by us.

We agree on a project that they are going to take full control of. This includes everything from setting up interviews, writing questions, shooting it and editing it together in their own creative way.

The time comes when the project is finished. After the owners review it, we give our edits to our employee.

Here's the part I need some help with.

The employee refuses to take off that it's their film. So what I mean is that in the beginning of the piece, they felt they could put in text " A 'employee's full name' film" which, to me shows they are saying, "this is my film." Now they graciously added the text about it being the company name production in cooperation with the company family name.

But I don't believe that they should or even think about putting their own name on it as their film.

We allowed them to put in the credits at the end that it was written, produced and edited by them.

Don't you think that's enough?

Again, this is an employee that worked on this project during work hrs, they only extra hrs they put it was probably 2-3 hrs at most.

Also, this employee does not have their own production company with their name being the company.

TIA


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Todd Terry
Re: project ownership
on Jul 7, 2017 at 3:20:23 am

This seems fairly cut and dried, unless I'm missing something. They are your employee, they are bound to do what you ask. They have the right to disagree, of course... just as you have the right to insist that they seek employment elsewhere.

These three words concern me... "The employee refuses..." Why is an employee refusing? Or more accurately, why are they still your employee if they are refusing to do what the boss asks/requires of them? This is the part I don't understand.

Apparently (since you refer to an "owner") your company doesn't own this project, but an outside client does. In that case, that owner is about as high up on the producer ladder as one can get, and they of course could insist on certain crediting that you'd be smart to abide by... but I don't see how a junior-level employee has the clout to dictate any of that.

And by the way, saying "A" and "Film", as in "A John Doe Film" is verbiage that is traditionally reserved for and only for the director of a film. I don't know of any instances when any other positions (producer, editor, whatever) that have been given the "A ... Film" designation. That's exact verbiage is a directorial credit only. Executive producers sometimes get a "production" credit "A ... Production." Those credits are typically before main title (with the director usually getting an additional "Directed by..." credit as the last credit of the opening titles. Producers, associate producers, editors, anyone else... they simply get title/position credits after the main title.

Of course, many productions (especially these days) buck the conventions of this exact lineup, but that's the traditional "Hollywood" way of doing it.

But that all begs the question of why you are allowing an employee to refuse your request.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Sam Lesante Jr.
Re: project ownership
on Jul 7, 2017 at 12:32:42 pm

Thanks Todd,

Sorry for the confusion. We have a family owned production company. There are 4 owners and I am 1 of them.

As far as us " allowing an employee to refuse your request " - we aren't in this instance. We treat our employees like family and give them many perks along the year. It's sad to see that certain one's feel they can do these types of things and think nothing of it.

We know what we have to do now, I just wanted to see if anyone else had experiences like this.

Thanks again for your time and knowledge :)


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Todd Terry
Re: project ownership
on Jul 7, 2017 at 2:30:35 pm

Ah ok, sorry for the confusion. When you referred to the project's "owners" (plural) I thought you were referring to an outside client that had hired your company to create the production. Now I know you just mean you and your partners, the company. That actually just solidifies the position in my mind... the buck stops with the company, and the company gets to make those decisions... not a paid employee.

I understand that you treat your employees well... we do, too. We also treat our employees completely and totally like family. But in that family, at the end of the day Dad is boss... and has the final word.

And he gets the big piece of chicken.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: project ownership
on Jul 10, 2017 at 7:57:51 pm

Did you grill the guy at all about how and why he comes to this idea that he has automatic credit on a client project? I'm asking; is this guy redeemable, once educated? You generally don't get any credits unless the clients want them, in commercial work. But an easy compromise would be (would have been) to allow something agreeable in their online portfolio or demo reel.


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Mike Cohen
Re: project ownership
on Jul 25, 2017 at 9:02:07 pm

Does the employee get a paycheck? That is his "credit" unless the client asks for his name to be on the video. On the rare occasion when a client has added my name to the credits I have been humbled and appreciative, but generally in a work for hire the client's name is what goes on the video.

I hope everything worked out.

Mike Cohen


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Todd Terry
Re: project ownership
on Jul 25, 2017 at 9:46:10 pm

[Mike Cohen] "Does the employee get a paycheck? That is his "credit""


I'm reminded of one of my favorite exchanges from one of the early seasons of Mad Men. I'm paraphrasing from memory but it was something like...

Peggy Olson: "You pitched the client but I came up with the ideas!"

Don Draper: "That's your job."

Peggy Olson: "But you didn't even say 'thank you.'"

Don Draper: "THAT'S WHAT THE MONEY'S FOR!"

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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