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Old 01-14-2018, 09:56 PM   #1
jjdog
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Giving actors footage for their reels?

I did a shoot the other day and one of the actors asked me to send her clips. I said it'll probably take me a long long time to edit. She said just send her her parts and she can edit them herself for her reel. Sounded weird to me. I dunno, is that normal? I was under the impression that actors put together reels from completed productions available publicly, not footage that's barely in production and may never even see the light of day. In fact, I paid her pretty well (at least I think so), and my googles tell me that aspiring actors often pay to have reels made for them. I'm almost thinking that if she wants clips, she should pay me for the footage that I clearly own and that she of course signed a release form confirming my ownership.

Or am I just being a naive scrooge?
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:01 PM   #2
mlesemann
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As the producer of several features (and quite a few shorts), I've always made sure that actors get their clips from the final work for use in their reel and would never charge for that. I do think it's reasonable to ask them to wait until the movie is complete, however, rather than giving them raw footage.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:08 PM   #3
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It is (semi) normal to be asked for footage early, or at least, they ask if it is ready yet, etc.
It is not normal to give anything but the final cut.
Good lord do not charge her for anything!
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlesemann View Post
As the producer of several features (and quite a few shorts), I've always made sure that actors get their clips from the final work for use in their reel and would never charge for that. I do think it's reasonable to ask them to wait until the movie is complete, however, rather than giving them raw footage.
Yeah, I meant charging for raw or near-raw footage. Of course if I put it out there, they can download it and throw it in their reels, so I'd be happy to give them footage from the higher quality file I uploaded. But what if you're not happy with the final work and decide to shelve it, or what if you review the footage and decide you won't use it? Would you still send actors clips for their reels?

Last edited by jjdog; 01-14-2018 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:17 PM   #5
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Politely tell them they need to wait. Done.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:10 AM   #6
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjdog View Post
I dunno, is that normal?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjdog View Post
I was under the impression that actors put together reels from completed productions available publicly, not footage that's barely in production and may never even see the light of day.
That happens. It is also quite common for actors to use footage that
isn't in the final production.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjdog View Post
In fact, I paid her pretty well (at least I think so), and my googles tell me that aspiring actors often pay to have reels made for them.
Actor often pay editors to edit a reel for them. But they don't pay
the production for the use of the footage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjdog View Post
I'm almost thinking that if she wants clips, she should pay me for the footage that I clearly own and that she of course signed a release form confirming my ownership.
How much do your think she should pay you for the use
of the footage?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjdog View Post
But what if you're not happy with the final work and decide to shelve it, or what if you review the footage and decide you won't use it? Would you still send actors clips for their reels?
Yes. I would still let actors use the clips. Even if I wasn't happy with
the final work or decided I won't use it.

Last edited by directorik; 01-15-2018 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:45 AM   #7
jjdog
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Maybe a better way of thinking about it is an actor puts some of my footage in their reel and whoever sees it also sees my name. I think I was just caught off guard by her approach. I'm perfectionist to a fault, so I couldn't fathom why she'd want anything short of a final, polished work, especially if I were to determine it wasn't worth publishing.
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:24 AM   #8
directorik
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Different methods, right?

I can't fathom why a director would hold back footage from an actor.
I freely and enthusiastically give my actors any footage they feel will
help with their reel. I'm honored when they want to use footage from
the movie we worked on.

It sounds as if this is something you don't want to do. Do you really
feel your reputation as a director would be harmed if she were to use
a scene you ended up taking out of your final movie?
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Old 01-15-2018, 04:08 AM   #9
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I posted this in the newb section because I'm a newb asking a newb question. There's no "method" here. I even admitted a personal flaw and thought of another point of view that would be the exact opposite of harming my nonexistent reputation. lol
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjdog View Post
Maybe a better way of thinking about it is an actor puts some of my footage in their reel and whoever sees it also sees my name. I think I was just caught off guard by her approach. I'm perfectionist to a fault, so I couldn't fathom why she'd want anything short of a final, polished work, especially if I were to determine it wasn't worth publishing.
You just answered yourself. You are the director so this is your decision. Wait for final cut. If they worked for free, and you cannot/will not finish the film, you should offer them footage for reels though.

Next time you can clear all this up beforehand.
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:56 PM   #11
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjdog View Post
I posted this in the newb section because I'm a newb asking a newb question. There's no "method" here. I even admitted a personal flaw and thought of another point of view that would be the exact opposite of harming my nonexistent reputation. lol
I apologize. I tend to be more direct in my replies than is
comfortable to some people. To me it seemed you were
worried about footage you didn't fully approve of being seen.
So I asked a question I thought might help me understand
better. I misunderstood.

I personally see no reason to not give actors the footage they
want, but if that makes you uncomfortable then you should
express that to the actor and not give her the footage until
you are comfortable. That's why I mentioned different methods.
There is no correct way - we each decide based on our own
personal method. That was not meant as a put down to you
in any way.
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Old 01-15-2018, 03:57 PM   #12
jjdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
I apologize. I tend to be more direct in my replies than is
comfortable to some people. To me it seemed you were
worried about footage you didn't fully approve of being seen.
So I asked a question I thought might help me understand
better. I misunderstood.

I personally see no reason to not give actors the footage they
want, but if that makes you uncomfortable then you should
express that to the actor and not give her the footage until
you are comfortable. That's why I mentioned different methods.
There is no correct way - we each decide based on our own
personal method. That was not meant as a put down to you
in any way.
It's cool. I get where you're coming from.
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:10 AM   #13
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If they've volunteered their time, personally I go out of my way to help them with the footage. One caveat I've always held to. If the film is unreleased, it cannot give away a plot twist critical to the film.

What's in the final version of the film isn't always useful for an actor. They may want to cut a scene to better help them with their showreel.
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