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How to use your previous work if you're setting up a company

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  • How to use your previous work if you're setting up a company

    Hello people,

    New to the forum and have recently been thinking of setting up a company to work under as a Producer for future short and corporate work. Now the dilemma I currently have is how far can I use previous work in my companies showreel if various people have also been involved in the work?

    Pretty much all projects included have been shot, directed, and edited by myself, with a few projects having others take a role (e.g. two shorts where someone else filmed but I produced/directed/edited).

    I want to set this company up soon as I have big plans, currently getting another film going, but don't want to be an asshole if using material isn't 'right'.

    I've also noticed a lot of prod co. websites will put in previous client lists. Is this acceptable to do with my new production company when the work I'll be using in my showreel is what I've done either as myself freelancing (for big companies/charities) or with a group of random filmmakers (no set company)? I wonder if there could be backlash as the companies haven't technically worked with my company, they've worked with me as me, if that makes sense?

    All advice welcome, I'm not new to film/video making but definitely new to the idea of setting up a company.

  • #2
    If the people involved in the prior projects did not sign a waiver of interest or a release then you can not use the footage. If you used it and there were no releases then you would owe money to those involved and depending on the success of your new company and the perceived impact those previous projects had on your new company's success it could be a lot of money you would owe. If they signed contracts and got paid (crew) or releases (talent) then you are good to go.