Registering Editing Work

Posted by Jeff Green 
Registering Editing Work
February 09, 2015 12:28PM
Wondering if anyone here knows of a way/place to register the creative work one does as an editor, in a similar way to screenwriters being able to register their work at WGA to prove that, as of a certain date, they were the sole writer of that piece of work.

Say you created a documentary film out of a pile of footage a client handed you with no script or guidelines whatsoever as to what the film should be. You sort through a mountain of footage, conceive a through line, and craft a great film. Then, after you send the finished piece, and the FCP project file, to the client -- they start tinkering around and making little changes. That's their right. They own the film.

But what happens when they decide to give themselves co-editing credit after changing only 5-10% of the film? That's why I'm wondering if there's a place where editors can register their work to show that as of a given date, the edited version they created was in fact created solely by that editor.  So in the future, no one else can credibly claim that they are entitled to a credit for work they didn't do.

I ask not as a matter of copyright ownership. The client clearly owns the copyright. It's more about proper credit in the eyes of the film industry. 
Re: Registering Editing Work
February 09, 2015 05:33PM
Sorry man I don't think there really is a mechanism like you describe. You could probably submit the transcript of the doc to the DGA... and force them to give you a writing credit. And just be a pain in the ass until they relent.

But this probably should go into your contract next time would be the appropriate protection next time around.
Re: Registering Editing Work
February 10, 2015 11:09AM
Sorry...there's no way to do that. As for your wouldn't come into play if it was a thing. Because you were hired to do a task...edit a film. You did that. And then you handed your cut to the producer director...and they are making their small changes, and if they cut it themselves...the get and deserve co-editing credit. Hopefully they list themselves AFTER you, as you did the bulk of the work. Even if it's 5-10%...if the changes they make change the scenes, change the story...enhance it (or make it worse, which happen)...has an impact, then credit is due.

In the broadcast TV world...editors are given a script and footage...sometimes not even a script, just a general direction...or just the footage (in the case of some reality shows). And we do a cut. Turn it in...and then the director gets a set of notes...the producer or show runner...the network. They give notes and you change the cut to reflect the notes. This is normal.

In feature film much the same happens. Editor takes a crack, and then the director comes in for their pass, then the producer, then the studio.

This is the way things are done. You, the editor, don't get complete control unless you are the producer...unless this is your film.

Listen to THE EDIT BAY Podcast on iTunes
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login



Web Hosting by HermosawaveHermosawave Internet

Recycle computers and electronics