Member Offer
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Freelancer - In need of advice

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by Ravens, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. Ravens

    Ravens Junior Member

    For the past 3 years I've been tasked to create a yearly promotional montage video for a company.
    The first year it was done in studio at their premises, and they'd give me feedback as I worked, it was all quite informal. I was given or had to source movie clips of the franchises they worked with, and input the musical piece they had chosen to use for the video. Once done and everyone was happy with it, I got paid (£300, not sure if that's good or not).

    The second year I was tasked with the same job but I'd moved away and couldn't possibly do it at their premises. So I had to use my own facilities, my own software etc and using the details they'd provided me (along with questions and clarifications I sent them) I completed the video. Along with the final video I sent them all the clips along with the Premiere project file as I had completed the video to their specification, but I figured if they wanted to do any final tweaking they'd have the facility to do so. However they wanted changes, by changes I mean removing things that originally were supposed to be in and adding things that weren't, so in effect changing their minds. Among others, my question is, is this standard practice? I get the feeling these kinds of changes would ordinarily have to come with an additional fee, as the changes are not part of my negligence or because they're unhappy with the work, but because they want certain things adding or removing that I wasn't informed of until then.
    I did this extra work, not really thinking about it because the previous year I had made on the spot changes as people were walking by and looking at previews as I progressed. I'm not exactly a professional freelancer, just a student. I was also being paid an extra £100 more (which I requested) as I was more able than the previous year and was using better software.

    This year after finally completing the video after many many alterations (of which a lot were back and forth, can't make their mind up what they want affairs) they now want all my clips (many which I had to source and convert myself) as well as my project file. They already have the final movie digitally, but they now want that as well as the aforementioned burned to DVD.
    When I questioned why they wanted the project file, I was told it was "normal practice" to be handed all editable files. To me though this seems most odd. I'm paid for the movie file surely, not all my files which enabled me to get there unless specifically requested at the beginning. Is that not the case?

    As I say I'm not up to speed on what exactly is right and wrong, and the norm. So I'm typing this to hopefully get some perspective and learn from your experiences.
    Is it normal to hand over editable files, or do they belong to me unless it's part of the initial agreement? Also is £400 a decent amount for a 4-5 minute montage promotional video? I do put more work into it than simply slapping some videos together with music, which I assume is why I've been asked back continually. At the same time I don't want to be taken advantage of.
    If they ask me back next year to do it again am I within my "rights" to require that I be given specific instructions on what they want, so I don't end up going back and forth with alterations constantly in the hope they approve of it?

    I appreciate any feedback you have thank you, and Merry Christmas!
  2. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    OK Now this is my perspective on it although my area is slightly different (CAD Rendering and animations etc). Other might have a different perspective.
    It all depends on what you've agreed to at the beginning, but in most cases the client is paying for our services not our work.

    With my work I have in my terms and conditions that all content created in house (this is any cad, created or sourced artwork etc - excluding finished images/video) remains my property unless specifically requested in the initial consultation and quotation stage. Any work supplied by them remains theirs although obviously it's needed for completion/alterations of any work later down the line. I also keep a copy for atleast 3 years in case of replacements being needed (at additional cost). All work is kept under my standard non disclosure policy.
    Any still/animated work (CAD) is supplied so that they can use it however they wish (sourced imagery allowing). Graphics is a little different as you have situations like logo's for web only versus online/offline use etc.

    If the client wants the work I've created I'm happy to supply it but the price will be adjusted accordingly as this would restrict 'return work' for any alterations etc. It can be bought after completion if they want too.

    In my view £400 is ok as long as there is no post processing work, copyright considerations (music) etc and it is a more basic premiere project. Plus you're a student and it's a learning thing too.

    As to the rights for specific instructions - a signed agreement would be the best route (it should be standard for a business) stating what they want, how many alterations you will allow for the quoted price, what they will receive, when etc. If they change the terms mid project you then have the contract allowing you to change price etc if the work is worth more.
  3. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    edited the above a little for clarity

Share This Page