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OT: Archiving client projects

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sformbyOT: Archiving client projects
by on Jan 10, 2007 at 4:20:00 am

I've got an off-topic question. I have a new client that I just did a 60 second spot for. Now that we're done, he's asking for the project files and media for the job (actually done in FCP, with some M100 and After Effects and Motion). Our contract stipulates nothing of the sort, so I'm wondering if any of you give clients all of the files from a project? Our contract wasn't work-for-hire, so by rights I own the project files, right? What would you do, to protect yourself and yet treat a client fairly?

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santellavisionRe: OT: Archiving client projects
by on Jan 10, 2007 at 4:19:51 pm

This has been discussed before. Usually, the client owns the Master tape. You own the elements. (The exception is the shoot tapes. My clients can have them if they want. But I usually charge for duplication and keep originals because they will usually lose them)

It is a good idea to save your elements for re-editing. Edit files, audio, tapes for re-digitizing graphic files etc. Just burn 'em to DVD data disks. Because, either now or in the future they will want to revise it. (No project is ever finished in my experience - haha)

So, save your elements, especially discrete audio tracks that can be re-mixed with new v/o later. That happens quite a bit. Plus, this is the way a Pro facility does it. And you look like a hero when they do ask and you can say, sure, no problem, I still have everything, I'm ready. Clients remember little things like this, because so many editors are lazy and don't do it.

Ernie Santella
Santella Film/Video Productions

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sformbyRe: OT: Archiving client projects
by on Jan 10, 2007 at 4:47:18 pm

Thanks for the response. All of the footage was royalty free stock for this job, so I don't have any problem giving them those files. But I was just confirming that indeed, I own the edit and motion graphics pieces because these are things that _I_ created. Just need to compose the right sort of email response, you know.

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