Offering free work

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    • #93623

      This is the first time I’m posting up on here so hope it’s in the right place.
      Recently I did some TFP as a videographer and invested around 70 hours to film and edit a fashion modelling shoot for free.

      I finished with the project; the video ran for 2mins and informed clients that the video was ready to upload. I was then asked if I could do a one minute version of the video which I said I would do but they could only have one video.

      Anyway I sent several emails to all clients involved on the shoot informing them that I had completed the video which was ready to be used.
      I requested that they tagged my name and company name to any site that the video was uploaded to and if they could leave a review on my site which was agreed before the shoot.

      The video has now been sent off and I’ve had no emails or messages back from the clients, I’ve had no reviews or any thanks for all the hard work I’ve invested.
      The work in question is professionally created and is of decent quality that I’ve already had praise from other people so I know that the work has nothing to do with emails ignored.

      At this point I’m now concerned that the clients will be using my material for business usage and to make money without my consent as I only agreed that they could us for their portfolio of work.

      I am at the stage that I’m no longer going to offer TFP shoots anymore due to the lack of respect you get from doing them.

      Has anyone had to deal with this? And how do you deal with clients if they use your work without tagging your details and using without consent if they fail to agree with the terms you originally set out before agreeing to shoot.

      Thanks for the advice

    • #215531

      Ok – you got the rules wrong. I’m guessing that you had no proper contract, but did you have all this in perhaps an email chain, where you explained, they then responded with questions and that kind of thing? If you did, you have the contract terms agreed.

      If a client wants something, then they should want it enough to pay. They are in business, they know the rules.

      Next step – search out your video and check that it actually is being used, and hasn’t the tags you asked for, and they (hopefully) agreed to.

      You do not do work in return for thinly applied advertising. Amateurs and beer money people do, but if you produce work good enough to be used, it’s good enough to pay for. I produce lots of stuff that never sees the light of day. For regular clients that I trust, I probably don’t do the formal contract, but I carefully word emails that need them to respond with decisions, and I take that risk. For these clients, I tell them daily rates for shooting and editing, a guesstimate as to the time and suggest we set a project warning limit for some – One recently was shooting the progress of a new factory being installed with kit. The trouble was they didn’t really know what it was for? So I agreed they could simply call me when something was arriving, and I’d shoot it – if the costs got above £1000, I’d invoice that section of the project, and also that if we started to approach five grand in total, I’d warn them. My request for script content, the typical client for the video and the real purpose never got answered, so I kept working on it until they stopped calling. I emailed to say here was the invoice to date, and just to let me know when they want to move forward. 9 months has passed and the project I suspect is dead.

      The rights thing is easier. They do NOT have your permission (unless you actually gave it to them) to use the material. If you want to make the point – keep searching until you find the material being used – which is what you have to get as evidence – capture the web pages so you can prove the use. Then you demand that they remove the pages or you will take legal action. You also visit their social media pages and tell everyone what they have done – make a real pan of yourself. However – this is going to get you a bad rep, so it’s a last resort.

      If they used it, then intellectual property court is the process in the UK, a simple to use service like our Count Court system.

      Never provide the final material until it’s sorted – wedding people don’t do it, commercial video businesses don’t do it and neither do photographers.

    • #215550

      Charities are the first to expect freebies, but they do pay many of their key people, and while most charities are good ideas and worthy, they are to the professional – work. I work mainly in theatre, and if we do things like live stuff for Children in Need, many of the actors, dancers and singers are happy to not charge a fee if they want to broadcast one of our shows – however, the musicians ALWAYS insist on being paid, as per their union agreements. So I spend ages processing their claims and getting the BBC to agree to pay it – then, when they get the cheque, they all handed it back and put it in the charities account. Their point being that giving to a charity is an option, and working for free is not!

      You will lose the occasional job, but try to not let that worry you. If the charity has a burst pipe, do they ask a plumber to fix it for free?

    • #215546

      Great advice mate. Thanks for the input
      I made sure everything was in several emails and explained from the begging up till the end what I was doing. The final was in regards to what they could do as in terms of portfolio (no business) use as well as making sure my name and company names were tagged into every site they uploaded the video to. I have agreement from one client but no the others so I only sent the one copy to that person who agreed by email to my terms and conditions. So I have everything in email that will give me the full power to take action if I need to.
      Very true on working for free as a professional, as I’ve had to many people say I’m mad as my work is way beyond the freebie status so as of last week I’ve stopped. I had a very similar episode last week with a charity who ignored that fact I was there to film an event with no appreciation or thanks for what I was doing. So as a business that’s not my way anymore.
      I love what I do and I guess that is why I was doing it free but I can’t afford to do that now for my own state of mind and artistic soul. I don’t mind doing it once in a while to keep my sills up-to- date and on really good projects but that will be a once in while episode.

      Again thanks for the advice is it really helps out allot when you’re starting out within a business where you’re told the best way forward is to do free work to promote yourself..

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