Employers not allowing artists to have reel material?

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  10 October 2012
Originally Posted by evolucian: thats where secrets count, so its understandable. Its stuff like a random TV commercial not being allowed where its extremely confusing, and quite stupid.


In many cases the studio can't give permission, because they don't own the rights -- the client does.
 
  10 October 2012
I'd run a mile from any company that didn't allow me to put their work on my reel. Leaving aside companies involved in secret development where the practice at least has a reasonable justification, expecting people to work in their own time to develop a reel on top of working all day is insane and frankly stupid.

This is why I stick to regular film studios. None of this bullshit.
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  10 October 2012
Make that large film studios.

I know small studios that take the weight off larger ones have this problem as well.

Random small studio A does some shots for an over-burdened big name studio B, and the small studio doesn't get the rights to show the work they did cause it's technically under the large studio's name.

I really hate all of this ownership/technicality bs. If someone made something, let them show it. Obviously there are a few scenarios where it makes sense, but for the most part it comes off as petty or over-bearing.
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  10 October 2012
It's a way to handcuff you into staying where you are and limiting future opportunities. There are obvious times where this makes sense, like others have said. If it's secret or gov't work, cancelled projects without IP ownership, and under NDA for unannounced projects that makes sense. But once it's been released or seen by the general public, I can't see any reason for not using it. Even when it's a character, environment, or whatever that was made for the project but not ultimately used.

In my experience (maybe it's just been cool companies) but 2 have told me after being laid off or quit, that I was welcome to come back into the studio and make my reel on their equipment using any asset I worked on. Situations like this make you more apt to keep the studio in good standing with you for recommendations and networking. Reputations are everything in this tiny industry.
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  10 October 2012
Originally Posted by unparent:

In my experience (maybe it's just been cool companies) but 2 have told me after being laid off or quit, that I was welcome to come back into the studio and make my reel on their equipment using any asset I worked on. Situations like this make you more apt to keep the studio in good standing with you for recommendations and networking. Reputations are everything in this tiny industry.


I've always worked for small studios and have received the same generosity. Most business professionals that are successful seem to know karma, good will and not burning bridges. Also, if you contributed to the success of a business (the good ones) respect what you have given in time and creativity. Plus in some sense, you showing off completed work is promoting their studio as well.
 
  10 October 2012
Originally Posted by XLNT-3d: I've always worked for small studios and have received the same generosity. Most business professionals that are successful seem to know karma, good will and not burning bridges. Also, if you contributed to the success of a business (the good ones) respect what you have given in time and creativity. Plus in some sense, you showing off completed work is promoting their studio as well.

Hey Jon!

Here in DC we are small HIGH pressure market, so we need to know that the guy working with you will watch your back. It is weird thing that our client can be CAST IRON jerks, but in my opinion, artists in this area tend to be really nice and grounded.


I guess it is the nature of working on a town were networking is king.
When I interview people for our studio I look for people with decent social skills and decent to great traditional art skills.And we like to avoid divas at all cost.
Part of the reason is that we have gotten burned by divas ("what do you mean I have to operate a camera for a webcast?") who dont play well with others.
Reps here are king.
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Last edited by RobertoOrtiz : 10 October 2012 at 07:08 PM.
 
  10 October 2012
DC market is high pressure and very competitive. Also, it seems to be more towards the commercial sector and DOD. Of course the government stuff is off limits for showing around and in my field, cases have to be settle first or have gone to trial. Even then, our clients have strict rules that have to do less with restricting an artist, and more with preventing future issues or even a public relations mess. When a company spends large sums of money in branding and corporate id, they tend to want to control anything that is in the public eye.

The only other thing I think that companies want to avoid is an artist showing a clip of work and getting a large account versus just getting a job. Many employees have been known to quit and "open up shop across the street" as they say. Sometimes they are concerned about you walking to a competitor with the company's proprietary information and any competitively advanced techniques. Of course the paranoia is only there because the best talent to recruit is the one someone else already spent the money to train and on top of that, when you go to a new company, many take clients with them or the new employer will ask if you have any leads.

Last edited by XLNT-3d : 10 October 2012 at 07:21 PM.
 
  10 October 2012
Originally Posted by XLNT-3d: .....Plus in some sense, you showing off completed work is promoting their studio as well.


I would have thought so too. I mean it is like free good publicity for the studio, and it seems silly to turn ones nose up to good publicity.
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  10 October 2012
Originally Posted by XLNT-3d: DC market is high pressure and very competitive. Also, it seems to be more towards the commercial sector and DOD. Of course the government stuff is off limits for showing around and in my field, cases have to be settle first or have gone to trial.


Having done work in Texas for NASA, this makes perfect sense and I would expect as much. What doesn't make so much sense, however, is work that was destined for broadcast, tradeshow, etc., type work being limited by employers, which is what it sounds like a lot of folks have been experiencing.
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  10 October 2012
We generally never deny an artists to show work they have done at our studio so long as it contains only the work they did with their responsibilities stated alongside and is clearly watermarked with our company's logo.

The problem we have faced though, which is a common problem, is that another studio will hire that artist and showcase our work that is on their reel in marketing newsletters and such. This insinuates that that studio did the work and its aggravating (to say the least) when we see our work, being showcased by another studio that did none of it simply because they hired that artist. In my opinion, this is unethical and most likely why artists now have such a tough time getting studios to allow them to post their work.

As someone else pointed out earlier, many projects are also done under NDA's and we do not have the authority to allow it to be shown because our client has asked us not to. In such a case, the artist should be respectful of the terms as these are usually stated to them up-front. In a case like this, I see nothing wrong with an artist getting paid to do a project he/she will never be able to put on their reel due to confidentiality so long as they have agreed to this up-front. We, as a studio, often have to do the same thing: take on a project and get paid for it knowing we will never be able to put it on our reel.

Finally, I personally think it's wise to have a non-public (password-protected) reel that artists can show potential employers if they have the authority to do so.

-Richard
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Last edited by richardrosenman : 10 October 2012 at 09:04 PM.
 
  10 October 2012
Originally Posted by Stellios: the point is they keep you in a cage, unable to leave because of lack of reel




But seriously, I have worked for several Federal Government departments in Australia, and in general they are much more co-ordinated with each other and with state bodies than the USA, and getting access to someones credentials or list of projects worked on would be a nightmare here.

So, your reel ends up being "Worked at the DoD for 6 years doing . . . stuff. I can't tell you about the stuff and you can't see the stuff. In fact I can't even really tell you who I was working for or with. But trust me, it was pretty awesome. So can I has money now please?"

Last edited by DoubleSupercool : 10 October 2012 at 06:49 AM.
 
  10 October 2012
The amount of times I'd have never ended up with the ability to show the work I've sweated over for companies if I hadn't just stuck it on a thumb drive and added it to my reel once its been released to the public are numerous. Saying that, all my animation work has been for entertainment purposes and there was no need for secrecy once it was released. If I ever worked on something that was outside of the entertainment sector and was actually for something serious then I wouldn't take it.

In fact there's still work I didn't just take that I wish I'd grabbed when I had the chance because I've done work for companies that decided never to get back to me or went under and now there's no way I can get a copy of it.

I don't show the stuff I've worked on unless it's out in the public sphere though because then there really would be trouble.
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  10 October 2012
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