Client wants my Raw footage to pass on to another company to revamp Music Video before its official release!
I really need advice guys! Please help. Two months ago I was asked to create a music video for an organisation. I will not name for reasons we are still in dispute and it could turn legal. So I just want to protect myself before I get called up on any slander! The organisation was a Breast Cancer organisation that required my services and I was brought on to create the video until it was completed by a agreed deadline. Because it was for charity I bared that in mind and only charged at a discounted price, seeing that I too had family and friends that have suffered from the same disease and I really want to do this for a fighting cause as well.
The deadline date was for the video to be completed was during early - mid October because the song is now released. I did complete a draft in early October to show the organisation. They stated that they wanted more stuff done to the video before it was released, in which I agreed to make a few chances free of charge. More fool me hey? They pulled at my heart strings. However they bombarded me with so many pictures and clips it was unreal and they basically wanted me to replace original footage that I filmed. And even when I worked with them in putting the clips in, they still were not happy with the finished project and they still wanted to make more changes. I had to then be firm with them and state that this was my time and effort into doing this and any more changes would have to come at my full costs to them. They had such a discount because of the fighting cause and it was agreed on the deadline to film and complete. However I did not want to be mean as I know this project was done in wanting to raise awareness in Breast Cancer Awareness Month but I feel they ruined that because of too much emotional and egoistical people to be honest. The single was released and it was only fair that the video should have came with it. Now the music video has not surfaced yet while the single is out not getting that marketing and promotional support..
NOW here is my dilemma! The video has gone through so many changes which THEY wanted me to do. Then all of a sudden they requested for me to send all of the RAW material as they have found another organisation that suggested they can revamp what I have already done. This was the last straw for me! I feel so disrespected. The point I am making is that I know they CANNOT just demand what I filmed so that another other organisation can take over. I asked them what is that they want to do with the footage I filmed that I can not do myself? But I feel I am in a tricky situation with them as time is money and I can not keep making change after change until they are simply happy. I have put so much effort into this already free as they are a charity. I know they are a charity trying to do their "charity thing" and seeking another company to do it for free. But enough is enough! They are wanting to come to an agreement where I hand over the raw material and still give me full credit as a producer, director and editor of the project. But this is my work right? IO own this right? its my intellectual property for the raw material AND finished music video? Why should I just hand over my material to them just for them to revamp it to their so called standard. if so I must still get credit for them copying and using my work. It is obviously they want to find more footage from elsewhere that I am not prepared to do and then have to find more time to edit which I am not really prepared to do. Especially when I feel my video was and still is more than good enough to be released.
So these are just questions that will make me see things clearer:
1) They have not signed a contract with me whatsoever so I still own the Raw material right? Should I charge them for the raw material to revamp elsewhere so I am not dwelling on doing any more work for free?
2) Can I still release the video as the production company although no contract was signed but verbally agreed and emails to prove I was the company asked to produce the video for release. Again because the music video was done with a choir and actors etc, if they do not like the video then can they decline or request for the video to not be released? They did not sign any contract with me, but they singers were all supportive of the video being made.
3) Can I pertain ownership of the raw material and for it to not be used elsewhere without permission and full credit and copyright/IP?
4) If the Music video is revamped by another organisation but it is agreed I still have ownership and credit does the actually music video still become my intellectual property as well, as they is my artistic creation ad I do not want anyone stealing my creation to make it their own work.
Any advice on anything is great! They are wanting my raw material as I know they have nothing to work with and I can only imagine that the choir is so fed up with what is going on to do the whole thing again. I can honestly tell you its the bigger heads that have made a fuss but I only worked with what I given at such a short amount of time.
I will not bow down to their wishes without knowing where I stand. They are writing up an agreement to give me which I will get back you on this board
Sometimes you have to set boundaries with clients. If they want your help, they need to conform to the patterns you agree on. If that does not work, let someone else shoot it, but the creative process is something I always reserve privilege over if they want to work with me.
Professional videography since 1996
Adding a note to bump this to the top of the forum -- I just now discovered this post in the Classifieds section of the COW, and moved it here to raise the discussion in a more appropriate forum. 👍
Damien, do let us know if you have an update.
Everyone else, feel free to chime in!