Ethical question (thanks in advance for your patience): I came across a post on I Need An Editor the other day and noticed that someone with whom I had worked for a couple weeks on a previous project had posted a link to their portfolio. This person was on the campaign for about a week and I worked on it for several months. They had completed a couple of very rough stringouts of spots that I then took over after theyd left and took to the finish line, getting through several rounds of internal and client notes. They are ultimately my edits. I clicked through to this persons portfolio and found that these spots are embedded on their site as their work. At first, I laughed it off but the more Ive thought about it, the more frustrated Ive gotten, feeling that its pretty damn unscrupulous. Maybe Im overreacting, but Im not sure how to proceed. Should I ask that they take the spots down? How would you approach this? Thank you so much for any and all feedback.
Temitope Oladayo Olutunmbi: Typical if a person has to pad there reel with work they didnt do then sooner or later theyll get whats coming to em. If the person gets hired and cant produce the work. The client will think twice about hiring or recommending that person.
Leah Breuer: THIS
Dan Perdomo: Everybody pads their resume. Id ask them to take it down, or at the very least specify a lesser role like AE on the posting. If they dont, move on to public shaming.
Monica Fischetti-Palmieri Williams: Not everybody, but I agree with you
Travis Smith-Evans: Unless you want to sue theres not much to be done aside from yelling through the keyboard. Laugh it off and move on. Ive seen people pull from major theatrical releases that they touched (I.e. Assisted on for a day or two). Hence why resumes and reels are bullshit and referrals are king.
Gleb YD: Contact the person privately, depending on the outcome start shaming publically.
Blayne Rabanal: Itâ€™s more pathetic for them. It wonâ€™t cut into the validity of your work. Those people tend to bury themselves eventually.
Leah Breuer: My guess is this person probably doesnâ€™t have enough work of their own to showcase just yet. Iâ€™ve been in that situation, and Iâ€™ve had to use â€˜additional editorâ€™ credits to pad my resume (still do). What I donâ€™t do is use other peopleâ€™s work. If there was a section that was relatively untouched in the piece Iâ€™d use it, or I donâ€™t use anything from that show and just disclose my role. Iâ€™ve also been offered sole editor credit on shows I took over after another editor had been let go. I refused. There are many opportunities for us to take advantage of situations but I firmly believe that that stuff catches up to you.
Monica Fischetti-Palmieri Williams: I will ask to take the spots down. We work hard and nobody else should take credit for.
Jared Tarlow: You canâ€™t really do anything. Just â€œdo youâ€ dude.
Theo Maximilian Goble: Totally unprofessional!Iâ€™d ask them to take it down.
Craig Parkes: Heres the thing about finished spots – nobody works on them alone. I came in to make changes to another editors spots simply because they were unavailable to complete the spot and the client wanted changes. Major banking brand, with biggest sporting franchise in New Zealand.I didnt do the bulk of the cut – but the initial cut was pretty much what was on the storyboard and what the director wanted.My cut had significant differences because the client wanted to excise a whole lot of stuff that was in the script and storyboard and turn the ad from its concept into pretty much a montage of their brand and the team members of the major sporting franchise. (Because of course they did).At the end neither the initial editor or I could honestly take credit for the spots editing entirely. But both of us had to have the skills to sit in the edit, do the work, and keep the client and director happy.Who should have the editing credit for that spot? In my view the other editor deserves the credit as the person first hired on the job – I was there to make changes to their edit. But what was aired was definitely not their edit.The reality of reels is that they cant always show a single persons work – its all a collaboration – they can only show the jobs a person has worked on.Many many jobs have complex stories about who was involved where. Getting offended by people putting up a reel that doesnt perfectly explain their level of involvement seems silly, if only because the ease with which the accussation can be levelled back.If both of you worked on the spot no one is going to be hugely confused if they see the spot on two different peoples reels and you say We both worked on that one. I think if you feel you have to do something its most reasonable to request some note under the spots that accurately credits their involvement (e.g. additional editor). But asking them to take down something they actually worked on, even if you feel the work is mostly not really their work, to me is a bit murky given the collaborative nature of the job in general.
Ang Juzswik: Yeah, did this person build the timeline or something and then you reworked it? They still worked on it! I understand what youâ€™re saying but reels donâ€™t really tell the whole story.
Zachary Harrison: You would be nothing without my AE A-Roll!
William David French Jr: If you did the finished edit, and it nearly all your work, you have the right to ask for this person to remove the link. It also depends on your agreement with your employer.
Tim Doyle: Id consider contacting this person as a professional courtesy.
Brendan Piercey: Take it as a compliment
Matthew Nelson: If their work was garbage and you had to redo it then I can see a case for being upset. If, as you said, they did a couple of tough string outs that were incorporated into the edit then they have a right to claim a part of the final. If only the last editor touching gets reel rights that is a dangerous precedent to make. One that attacks the heart of the collaborative nature of our craft.
Blayne Rabanal: Thatâ€™s how it works in Promo/Trailer. Editor who gets the finish, generally gets the credit. And I might be alone in this, but if all you did was a stringout, itâ€™d be tough to consider that creative. Anyone can do a stringout. Story APs do stringouts, but they donâ€™t take Editor credit.
Matthew Nelson: I think you are stepping out onto some really thin ice saying stringouts are not creative. I know a lot of SPs and EPs who will take great offense at that statement. Iâ€™ve seen their creative work save many a story. No, they donâ€™t get editor credit but …See more
Chris Offutt: Blayne Rabanal I work in promos and often finish other peopleâ€™s work, if I contribute a LOT to the spot, I put both of our names on it, but if I simply did a few notes, I do not add my name. If I recut it entirely and none of the original work is there, I remove the first editors name and put in mine. I think that feels fair.
Blayne Rabanal: Yes, thatâ€™s nice that you do that. But I know for a fact that tons of stuff starts in studio and then gets sent off to vendors for final cut and the original editor is rarely credited. It sucks, but it happens. And itâ€™s really no ones fault. This case is a bit more shitty though, since the editors worked at the same place.
Blayne Rabanal: Matthew Nelson I misspoke. The work done before the edit is certainly important and creative as it begins the story process(though itâ€™s less of a common thing in promos/trailers to need it). But it shouldnâ€™t be considered for an Editors credit. Some other credit maybe, but editing is so much more than a story stringout.
Robyn Migel: Ugh that sucks
Tim Doyle: I dont think public shaming is in order. It could make both parties look bad. In my opinion either keep it professional or leave it alone.
Tobias Zaldua: Something similar happened to me on a feature. Its a no win situation, raising the issue is seen as you causing the problem. If there is a diplomatic route then take it otherwise avoid. Put the spots up on your site and if anyone asks then you can legitimately describe the situation.
Michael Hall: This is why asking for a reel is A) a joke and B) insulting. Its a joke because Ive seen many projects Ive been the editor on on other peoples reels. And insulting because my resume is more representative of my skill and talent level than any reel
Monica Fischetti-Palmieri Williams: People fake their Resume too
Michael Hall: Monica Fischetti-Palmieri Williams they do but its easy to make a call and see if I worked on that show/project. My point is that I have pages of credits and an Emmy a 2 min clip isnt going to tell you if I can edit. If I couldnt I wouldnt have been a working editor for 30 years.
Monica Fischetti-Palmieri Williams: Michael Hall same here, but people still ask for my show reel.
Ryan Ao: they will get caught eventually
Danny Gilder Cooke: Its happened twice to me. First time I let it slide but 2nd time I got in contact privately because I was proud of the edit. They had worked at the very start of the project but I had come in later and started entirely from scratch as it was cleaner to do so. Talking to them it became apparent that they really believed that they had cut the show the way I had even though there was no resemblance whatsoever. They even cited particular edits they had cut in scenes that hadnt existed when theyd finished. It made me realise that they took credit not because of any evil intent but because our brains are really weird and memory is fundamentally imprecise. They did take down the credit but I dont think there was any malicious intent. Just a tricky memory. On the other hand, your bloke sounds like a right old cunt for claiming your credits
Patrick Doyle: Theres only one way to prove its your work: challenge him to an edit-off.
Kyle Koch: If itâ€™s a dance/edit off, Iâ€™ll shoot it! LOL
Patrick Doyle: I think weve got a skit idea brewing here.
Kyle Koch: Patrick Doyle a few years ago my buddy and I were editing at his edit suite. We had the fab idea of a niche service where we would go topless. A couple of hairy chested lads working the edit suite! I think it would really work LOL
Kyle Koch: Of course that was 25+ years ago … it would be a bit different now. Aside from the obvious sexploitation of men, Iâ€™m not sure the hairy back would be considered a positive thing ðŸ˜‰
Kyle Koch: 2 topless old men doing a dance off edit session – PERFECT!
Justin Friedman: Itâ€™s happened to me, someone posted something I had originally cut (with a few small changes) and I just posted my version in the comments….
Kyle Koch: Happened to me too. A guy who helped with sound editing and gfx took credit as an editor. I contacted him to chat about it and he was very defensive. Didnâ€™t end well. I will often share credit with others so it wasnâ€™t a big deal, but when itâ€™s done without checking with the lead editor, itâ€™s really an unprofessional smack upside the head.
Patrick Doyle: I always make a point to annotate my reel with the work Ive done. I normally only include stuff Ive edited, but if I worked on something I didnt edit, Ill make sure to credit who did, and credit myself for the work I did.
Kyle Koch: As it should be.
Theo Maximilian Goble: Yes, nothing wrong putting yourself down as â€˜Additional Editorâ€™.
Roy Williams: I wouldnâ€™t stress too much about it. It wonâ€™t have any negative impact on you.
Nicolas Romolini: Thanks for all the feedback!