Credit Where Credit Is Due

When we see something great here at Motionographer HQ, we really like to know who’s behind it. We want to know who it was made by. And we like to find more of that person’s work, and delve deeper into what they do. This post is a bit of housekeeping for us, but we think it’s an important point that we’d like to see become an official policy for everyone in this field.

It’s pretty simple. When you post work on your site – include credits. That means that each and every person’s name and their role involved in the production of a particular piece should be listed along with the work. This should also include a link to each person’s personal URL so that other people can find them.

Ideally, our entire industry and the individuals in it would adopt this as a standard practice. We do try to ask studios for full credit lists on pieces that we post in the main column here, and we applaud all the companies that include them on their sites. And we think everyone should do it.

If everyone did, when you saw a particular piece on a company site, you could also find out who art directed it and who composed the music. And when you saw the same spot on a freelance 3D artist’s site, you could check that she did rigging and modeling on it. I know this might get a bit political when agencies, studios, and individual artists are all involved, each trying to get recognition for their part of the process.And some folks may not always want to acknowledge their partners at all. But, it would be great if we could all agree that we’ll all include each other on a comprehensive and all-inclusive list. We think the fair thing is to be transparent and attribute everyone involved so that there aren’t any mistakes, omissions or illusions. This is also to prevent anyone from claiming more credit than they’re due or trying to create the appearance that they are the sole entity responsible for a piece of work. We all know that most pieces of work in Motion Design and Animation involve lots of people and it’s nice to be able to see who they are and how many folks worked on a given project.

So, please agencies, studios and PR folks, send us complete and correct lists of credits for the spots you submit. They should probably include all the agency credits (which you’ve checked and gotten approval on), your own studio’s credits – including each individual artist (staff and freelance) who worked on the spot and also anyone else who worked on music, sound design, matte painting, rotoscoping, etc. And please, staff artists, individuals, freelancers and students – include credits with your own work on your own site as well. Those should also include everyone involved, and you should clearly state your role in each piece you present. Don’t post work that is not yours or pass off finished boards or comps as your own if you were only involved in one part of the process.

I’ve been doing this on my own site and with PSST! for years. It’s pretty simple to credit every one involved and it really creates good will. Being generous with proper recognition and with links is really the least we can do.

Thoughts?

43 Comments

andrewfallon

Totally agree. The only thought/concern I have with it is when you have to credit someone for their role when in reality they didn’t do the work that encompassed that role. This obviously gets muddier in the design/concept/direction area with agencies, rather than technical execution since they’ll rarely want to claim credit there. Politics.

Bran Dougherty-Johnson

Andrew: My main point is that everyone should be credited. Sometimes those credits may not 100% accurate. But better than none, right?

BenM08

I agree that credit should be given when necessary, the only thing negative of this is for some of our industries most experienced people who have reels of shots they’ve worked on in the past 2 years in major films, you;d be asking for a full credit list per shot which could get a bit redundant when there’s more credits than there is visuals on the reel to look at. Where as it makes more sense to just specifically say what it is you worked on in the shot and let the other 5-60 people who worked on the shot do the same on their reel. Im not trying to sound negative because I know I’d want credit on a shot I worked on, perhaps if there was a happy median where links had to be posted to a full credit list or something of that nature. I just don’t feel reels need a 3 minute rolling credits.

Bran Dougherty-Johnson

Ben: I am thinking more of the work on someone’s site, not necessarily making a scrolling credit list per shot. That would get a little tedious! But everyone has infinite room to publish this on their own websites, somewhere.

ikaria

Love the idea, but there are a couple other sticky issues. 1. You worked on a large film production and don’t know anyone outside of your department. 2. The company where you worked has a very different interpretation of the credits ex.includes the names of all the ‘suits’ at the very top or misnames your role because it has to ‘fit’ in their esoteric standards.

Bran Dougherty-Johnson

Ikaria:
1. I don’t think you need to know everyone who worked on a project with you. Oftentimes the work is process is so compartmentalized, that many of the people involved may never meet or talk, ever. That doesn’t excuse the producers of the job from recording and distributing a full and accurate credit list to everyone along with a finished piece for a portfolio. RIght? It shouldn’t necessarily be an artist’s job to find out everyone involved. But they should ask for a full list if they want to present the work on their own site.
2. Your job role and / or title on a project should be a reflection of your input on it and should be negotiated before, during or after the production. I think including everyone is the fair way to do it. Even the suits.

Eric B

I agree with Ikaria on this one. It’s sad that the artists involved with the work often times are not credited, and the sr. art directors and creative directors tend to get the love. While I’d love to see a full credit list the reality is that only a select few would know the full roster of individuals, let alone what those individuals actually contributed to the project. I agree that more transparency overall though, would be a welcomed addition.

Bran Dougherty-Johnson

Eric: Exactly. One thing that often happens is that only a principal at certain companies will be credited with all the work on a job. Obviously this is sin of omission. We try not to be complicit with it here by asking for full credit lists.

If you’d love to see a full credit list, the best thing to do is start using one on your own work as much as possible. None of us needs to settle for reality. ;)

federimanu

Phenomenal Initiative!! The motion graphics industry needs to be educated on all fronts. Producers and recruiters must know what to look for on reels and artists should be ethical in what they put in their reel. My VFX colleagues have never had an issue with this because their reels represent their work. For example a rigging expert wont include a finished shot, He/She will use a playblast showcasing controllers and such. A lighting expert or compositor will breakdown the passes. You get the picture. I realize in Motion graphics things get a little messier since there are more generalist but there are no excuses to not have a proper reel breakdown ON SCREEN or available for download.

Also one thing that bothers me is when someone has like a 10% contribution on the shot and they end up including the entire shot…I dont know what the right formula is but personally I dont include anything that is not 90% mine. another thing is too, I see a lot of people working on one shot and including the whole finished spot in their reel. I think that’s unethical. In Short:

a) Reel breakdowns on Screen or downloadable
b) Include just your shots.
Always credit colleagues

looking forward to cleaner reels :) Hey here is a question. If members of company leave the company and start a new one and use work done at the previous one to promote their new business, is this ethical ? and legal ?

Bran Dougherty-Johnson

I sort of disagree about showing finished shots, but I don’t do a lot of VFX-type work and may be missing some of the point. Why shouldn’t an artist have a right to show the final piece of work he labored on? As long as their description of their own role is accurate, it shouldn’t be an issue.

I think the issue of using work is a much larger one, but it’s sort of relevant. It’s usually a little dubious ethically, and probably not legal according to your contract, but that depends on the specific legal language …

Accurate and complete credit lists might solve some of that issue though, if they are widely implemented.

federimanu

I think of it this way: As a freelancer, you are your own company and brand. You are selling your expertise, creativity and work. Your reel is a showcase of you work, its the product you are selling. If you are showcasing a finished piece, in which, say, you did the modeling only, it might be misleading to show lighting and texture work, especially if you are not comfortable in those areas. The final product of the labor of a collective is the company’s reel that is paying for you. Not yours. The company put those people and resources together. Your individual contribution is what you are selling as a freelancer. That’s one point of view and I dont intend to convince anyone with it. I think its great to get as many opinions as possible as long as they lead to a better environment in our industry.

xpez2000

Its easy to see the flawed logic if you apply the rationale to another scenario.

Think about it this way. If you were a car designer and you labored for a year on ONLY the bumper, don’t you deserve a picture of the finished car with your bumper that you designed? What if you just designed the trim? the grill? or just some door handles? Shouldnt you get to show the CAR PROJECT that you worked on. If said designer tries to tell everyone they designed the whole car, well that’s an ethical issue for that designer to figure out. It’s unethical to censor someone’s involvement on a project by limiting what they can show afterwards. That’s basically assuming that everyone is dishonest or might be and you need to prevent that possibility. If you can’t trust the people on your team why did you hire them to begin with.

federimanu

Your metaphor is inaccurate and your logic is faulty,

1) A car designer wont labor on only a bumper.
2) The making of an automobile is a different process, its a process of designing and manufacturing a tangible asset.
3) If said designer tries to tell everyone they designed the whole car, well that’s an ethical issue for that designer to figure out – That’s flat out PLAGIARISM. And in all other areas of creativity is pursued by the law. Music, Literature, etc. so be careful with your understanding of ethics.
4) It’s unethical to censor someone’s involvement on a project by limiting what they can show afterward – You are wrong again. A movie studio, client or ad agency is hiring you to do WORK FOR HIRE. They have all the right to protect their intellectual property and regulate credit. However most creative industries have figured out ways to be fair to the artists.
5) That’s basically assuming that everyone is dishonest or might be and you need to prevent that possibility. – I have no idea how you arrived at this.

In conclusion you should familiarize your self with the structure of the industry and read your contracts before you begin work with a client. WORK FOR HIRE, read about it. Have you ever seen the credits at the end of the movie ? long ? yes, but people fought for years to credit everyone for THEIR VERY specific contributions.

Our industry will benefit from proper credits and standardized measures.

xpez2000

Your metaphor is inaccurate and your logic is faulty,

WRONG…..

1) A car designer wont labor on only a bumper.
You are assuming you know the credit list of every car ever made?hmmm?
It’s safe to say you are not in touch with every automobile design company human resources department, so this comment is based on hearsay.

2) The making of an automobile is a different process, its a process of designing and manufacturing a tangible asset.

Whether or not you can touch something makes no difference when there are armies of people developing a virtual screen or a product and for this debate about credit & reels, the tangibility of an “asset” is IRRELEVANT.

3) If said designer tries to tell everyone they designed the whole car, well that’s an ethical issue for that designer to figure out – That’s flat out PLAGIARISM. And in all other areas of creativity is pursued by the law. Music, Literature, etc. so be careful with your understanding of ethics.

Thanks for your definition of “plagiarism”…nobody is arguing about that. My comment is exaggerated to make a point. I can say ” I designed this or designed that “, whether it is plagiarism or not. FINAL REEL WORK shouldn’t be withheld from the participants because of fear I MIGHT be dishonest and engage in plagiarism. Limiting shots to just the sections that someone worked on is just flat out wrong!

4) It’s unethical to censor someone’s involvement on a project by limiting what they can show afterward – You are wrong again. A movie studio, client or ad agency is hiring you to do WORK FOR HIRE. They have all the right to protect their intellectual property and regulate credit. However most creative industries have figured out ways to be fair to the artists.

No need to argue this because you basically summed it up for me at the end.

“However most creative industries have figured out ways to be fair to the artists.” Correct!!! This debate is about fairness, allowing people to show the final result of what they worked on is FAIR and ETHICAL!

5) That’s basically assuming that everyone is dishonest or might be and you need to prevent that possibility. – I have no idea how you arrived at this.

What else is the reason for placing limits on what people can have for their reel, if they can’t have the final piece, when they worked on the project?

—-In conclusion you should familiarize your self with the structure of the industry and read your contracts before you begin work with a client. WORK FOR HIRE, read about it.

I never sign a contract that specifically states that I am not allowed to use work on my reel. In a Work for hire agreement, yes they own the work…OK no one is arguing any of this….so what’s your point???? Everyone signs work for hire agreements, but it’s understood they will get a final complete reel piece with bug on it. We are discussing your comments of limiting what exactly on the given reel piece. Your first comments stated that it should be limited.

—Have you ever seen the credits at the end of the movie ? long ? yes, but people fought for years to credit everyone for THEIR VERY specific contributions.

This is a bit off topic, it has nothing to do with reels, don’t you think?

–Our industry will benefit from proper credits and standardized measures.

Sounds great, again, I was originally responding to your comments about limiting what people should be allowed to have on their reels from a given company. This isn’t a point of contention.

In conclusion, thanks for all of irrelevant extraneous information to fluff up your argument.

erock

I do agree that for those of us in the industry we need to be doing the credit list thing, I do it on my own website. I’ve definitely been seeing credits more and more on other peoples sites.

However, from personal experience this has only been great to see when I’m casually browsing the internet and checking out other peoples sites to see who’s working on what. I have to say that for the last two years I have been on countless interviews for various freelance and staff jobs. Never once did the person interviewing me ever bother to read my descriptions on my site, or even acknowledge that they read any of my credit info when reviewing my work right in front of me. Half of the time they don’t even know what they are even looking at and are asking me “where did you do this?” or “what was this for?” when all that info is right in front of their face.

I think the whole point of doing the credit list thing is so companies and potential employers can accurately gauge where someones skill level and skill set are at. It is very disheartening. “federimanu” said it right:
“Producers and recruiters must know what to look for on reels”

carlosflorez

Agree 100%. I’m a believer that everyone who work to a project should be properly credited for their specific contribution to the project. I make sure I write a full credit list of everyone’s contribution at the end of each project on my website. It is Fair and transparent. It would be a great habit for our industry.
Carlos Florez

oeuf

This is definitely something we need more of. I’m all for ‘credit where credit is due’, however I’ve noticed a huge discrepancy when it comes to companies crediting who did what (a different discussion all together). And then to have different people interpret what they think their roles were on their personal sites and then the companies site? It then becomes more of a he said, she said type of thing. I’d hate to be the pessimist, but until we have the stricter guidelines for who did what, and how, credit lists will only make upset those who where undercredited and inflate the egos of those who were overcredited.

kmfix

What I think is fair.. Studios, credit everyone. Freelancers, shot breakdowns of what they did.

andrewfallon

@bran: Definitely better than none. I’ve pushed for proper credits at the company I work for and the next version of our site will include them. It’s the right first step, but it just sucks for some of us who do more than we get credit for. Either way, needs to be done. No different than movies in my opinion and even those don’t credit everyone but at least they do it every time (have credits, that is).

monovich

Full credit for everyone on a project is great If a producer rounds up and send me the full credits I’ll post them or if I’m running the project and know who all of the contributors are.

On the flip side, if I do something as simple as boards, I might just say “I made these boards for this company/studio” and leave it at that. Sometimes I don’t have time to chase down everyone in the project’s orbit, and if I *accurately* portray MY involvement then my conscience is clear.

kainvictus

Everyone makes it sound so easy to do breakdowns. Taking source material from a company is already a taboo subject. At structured companies it is not even possible. As a compositor if I want break downs I have to some how get my script linked and working at home or render out specific passes while at work- this is hardly ever the case.

The truth of the matter, is people should have a shot break down on their site – either download, listed, or via request. The only ethical problem is putting work on you reel that is either a) not yours, or b) hardly worked on by you.

Generalist really need to be specific with their roles on a project. Their work on a project is too easily assumed.

Thankfully as a compositor it is a lot easier to see my role on a shot than as a 3D artist. With that said, it really pisses me off when people claim other peoples hard work.

DO NOT PUT STUFF ON YOUR REEL THAT YOU HARDLY WORKED ON, OR IF YOU DO BE SPECIFIC.

carlosvk

I agree with the article and I also see the problem of having a long list of names in your brake down. I was thinking about this lately as how to best credit all responsible people and not being boringly long and also include all these people you don’t really know. Even working in the same company you may not know a lot of artist involved.

I think the best way is to credit the key artist responsible for your shot/edit on your site and add a link to the company’s site where you can find the full extent of people involved, or IMDB for example. This, of course, is a collaborative effort.

At the end of the day, if you are being interviewed for a job you probably will be asked exactly what and how you did the stuff you claim on your reel.

I think people that claim work that is not theirs, go down very quickly and with a lot of noise.

mrpeter

What is your advice as far as client contribution goes. Lets say, when working freelance for a studio that has its own hierarchy (CD, AD, Designer, etc), and you do a job for a network that has their own hierarchy (AD’s, CD’s). Would you include the clients individual names, or just some them up as ‘Client: NBC’, for example….?

Bran Dougherty-Johnson

I would recommend including everyone involved in the PRODUCTION of the job itself. I don’t think we would need to include all of the Client’s personnel – unless they were integral to the making of the piece.

gugy

I think studios should give the credit to all folks that worked on the projects.
As for freelancers, I only give the credit to the studio I worked.
Truth the matter, some projects have so many people working and others are so old that I will never remember all names.

PeanutButter

The biggest sinners when it comes to not giving credits, aside from the actual companies, are people who barely did any work on a project, but post the spot on their sites or edit them into their reels. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone’s reel and thought to myself, that guy DEFINITELY DIDN’T work on that project, aside from some minor compositing, and there it is, and he won’t even specify that he did the compositing on a major 3D commercial. This happens with a LOT of motion graphics artists who have no knowledge of Maya, yet include all this amazing work on their sites and reels and the word ‘compositing’ is nowhere to be found.

pj

I agree about the artists themselves specifying what they did. I have been on both sides of this fence, and admittedly and prob selfishly took liberties on my role on projects when i was younger and a freelancer.

That said, I feel like its more important for artists to credit what they do then the company to list them. By listing each artist, do the companies have to list exactly how well they did it? or whether they even finished the job? And what benefit is it to the company? As long as the freelancer got paid and was well taken care of in a timely manner, it seems to me its free advertising for other companies to go after your talent you have fostered into your team through a lot of effort and invested time and from a PR perspective essentially putting the burden on the company and not on the freelancer who should be their own pr person by nature.

Bran Dougherty-Johnson

I completely disagree, PJ. But I have never been a studio owner. I think that it’s completely unfair NOT to credit people who worked on jobs. It’d be better to implement a system for all parties that credits everyone than to let each person use their own judgement on who they think they should list. That’s my point. Take the guesswork out of the equation. Forget for a moment the idea of studios vs. freelance artists. What I would like to see is a simple and complete list of everyone involved, no matter what their employment status is. So staff artists might actually get their names on the sites of the places they work too. Wouldn’t that be better than a single line, crediting a spot to a company?

pj

well to me it is definitely an all or nothing equation but as always there is some grey area. Lets say my studio books a job, we hire 4 freelancers we have never used to execute, and half way thru we realize they are not at all at the skill level their reels suggest because they didnt give themselves proper credit. We have to bring in an entirely new team. But then, the freelancers use the motion tests in their reel as completed work they have done. Do we a) credit them as having worked on the job even though their work was unusable, b) not credit them but credit the second team that went into making the final approved piece, c) credit no one, or d) credit everyone and have it not be a proportional truth to what and most importantly who did what in this case? you see my dilemna? Freelancers will do whatever they want no matter what, and should def credit the studio they worked for, but i think its at the company who produced the works discretion on how to credit is my feeling.

Bran Dougherty-Johnson

I definitely see the dilemma. I think part of their contract with your studio should outline the role they get on a project, AND that your studio should be the one handing out a list of credits at the end of the job, since you produced it. And everyone should use that same list of credits when presenting the work on their own sites. That’s what I’m advocating for. Firing people halfway through if they don’t cut the mustard – that’s totally your call. But, yeah maybe they shouldn’t be using that stuff on their reel. My 2¢.

pj

I think what you are proposing is a good idea loosely and knowing you to be a good and talented dude it comes from a good place. I think if the studios create detailed and accurate credit with artwork and quicktimes then perhaps the freelancers should link directly to the companies project page from their own site to cross reference the credit list? this kind of doubles as a true representation of where the work came from and the credit accurately markered. Then there is no worry about misrepresentation on either side? Or if its a film or a film project like psst or 120 then they link directly to the projects site.

I get graphic cohesion of having all the work you worked on branded on your site but then you are suggesting you are a company with someone elses work which I learned the hard way is wrong. Then there are pitches, which we all know possibly some of the best motion design work are the boards not picked. what to do with those? credit the company? not credit? I do agree its not a company vs. freelance thing cuz it makes it a bit of a war but it takes a significant amount of work on both sides, and currently the studios side has a considerable amount more to think about on a daily basis then the freelance side which is prob why some of the credits come in a little fragmented at times.

vitja

In the motion business, a PITCH, can be loosely defined as the act of doing significant free work (strategy, ideation or actual design) to win a proposal process for the representation of a client or a product. Through this process free ideas and designs are given and collected with total disregard for the concept artists. if during a pitch the concepts achieved are confidential, where is the authorship of the concept artist or the designer? What is HE credited for? It feels to me that CDs are reaching a superstar statuo, that the only relevant thing to be read on a projects credits is their name, however the concept artist or designer who actually.. ACTUALLY came with th idea to suit a concept will NEVER be credited for it… nor will he get to show his concepts because agencies and th clients (the usual big big names) retain the rights for these ideas. Did you ever seen a bad coca cola campaign? or.. Nike ? or Sony ? of course not! they keep on a drawer concepts from previous pitches, grab them when they want, rework them, take it to another agency and have it done. It has happened with th sony bravia comercial with th bunnies. Who ever cared about th japonese guy who saw his idea plaviated? nobody! Credits are good! Pitches should be rethaught. Agencies should grow some nerve to protect their talents and concepts from big fishes with th big logos and the regular low-payed designer or concept artist SHOULD PRESERVE HIS RIGHTS ON THE CONTRACT THAT HE WAS SO EAGER TO SIGN WHEN HE GOT INTO THAT DREAM AGENCY OR POST HOUSE. GET INFORMED. EVERYBODY ELSE IN THE BUSINESS IS MAKING BIG MONEY.

hoeveler

I’m having a hard enough time just getting a copy of my work on Quicktime. I was recently told by a company I freelanced for to go rip it off a DVD because the copy they have isn’t color corrected. And another well-known company doesn’t seem to be in much of a hurry to return my calls. And I’m not even asking for credit. Good luck.

gugy

Sorry if I sound like a downer but,
I have been in this business for almost 17 years. My experience tells me that our industry will never do the things most of you guys wish here.
That also comes down to many issues discussed earlier like freelance payment, lack of overtime, etc.
Our industry is just lame on these respects. We never got together to create a strong partnership between companies and artists. In the end everything was all over the place and it has been like that for many years.

As our industry becomes more mainstream, I think this will just get worse.

Sorry for being pessimistic, but I have been complaining like you in my earlier years and nothing really changed. Actually got worse.
Of course there is always hope, but I am not waiting for it.
My 2 cents.

hoeveler

I agree with gugy. And a lot of this is our own damn fault. Everyone was in such a scramble to get ahead in the early years (late 90′s) of what we know today as motion graphics, that no one bothered to unionize or organize, and this is the result. Our rights, as artists, got steamrolled in the process. It’s not too late, but I don’t think anyone is going to prevent the recent art school grad from accepting $200 a day to do in one week what it would have taken a month at $20K to do only a few years ago.

I WILL say, though, that I am often pleasantly surprised when credit is given. Radium, for example, was very gracious in crediting me for the Pepsi Throwback spot that I animated as a freelancer there, even though there was nothing preventing them from omitting me and including just the full-time staff who worked on it as well. Ironically, that spot has now appeared on at least two other companies’ websites as examples of work, as producers from Radium moved on to other shops, which is an interesting phenomenon in its own right.

Bran Dougherty-Johnson

Man you guys ARE bumming me out. Every time you take a job, you can negotiate what you want. You never have to accept the boilerplate terms that are offered. You can ask for proper credit, and to use the piece in your portfolio. That shouldn’t be the exception, it should be the rule. And I think we should all reciprocate by doing the same thing on our own sites. Ask producers for final pieces, and ask them for a full list of credits. Make it common practice.

hoeveler

A thousand times yes, man! I am writing a contract that is simply a legally binding document for copy and credit. Nothing more, nothing less. I’ll send you a copy.

sarin

I agree. Motionographers need to become more social :D

pj

I was knocking this idea at first, but what it does raise as a very valid point is that it is important as freelancer or employer to agree to a contract under specific terms. As a freelancer I used to submit my rate card with the written expectations hours wise, it could also be a place to get sign off from a client as to what your role is specfically so there is no question. Paper trails never ever hurt as that guy from prologue perfectly demonstrated.

TheDirtSyndicate

hmm… shot breakdowns are pretty much impossible without the source files, and from my experience most studios dont allow you to take everything when you’re a freelancer.
also, im really bad with names…
besides, i dunno about you guys, but i dont have time to go through all my shit and credit everyone… im usually working.
ha!
and when im not working, im doing personal projects.
is that me being lazy?

JurajMolcak

It happend just few months ago I was so WOW by watching great vfx stuff with the credits pointing only on 2 artists. Lately I discovered there were also paid mattepainters and modellers since I know one of those uncredited artists. The thing is, they all agreed with this shadowed production because they simply needed the job. And there are numerous artist hungry for a job on high end production with hope of gianing their skills so they will likely accept such a conditions. And believe me, with this kind of vfx shots, those 2 credited guys will get a hell lot more project than the real 2 members team, so they will have more money to paid another shadowed artists and this machinery is simply unstopable because this industry is full of hidden talents. Yes, you can easily get lost in the credits for big movie with 200 names but when you see something like this in a small production with 5 – 10 names, it is just a BIG LIE and I pay no respect to it.

JeffTheDragon

For a feature film, having 5 minutes of scrolling credits for everyone who breathed on the project is acceptable, and it is someone’s job to keep track of it. Inevitibly, people are even left out of those credits, and they become upset because many were included, but a couple were accidentally left out; happens all the time.

I would absolutely love to give perfect credit to everyone involved in every project I work on, but as a freelancer, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everyone who may or may not have had something to do with the delivery of any given project. Sure, if I am as responsible as possible, I could usually get 99% of the credits right. But, inevitibly, people would accidentally be left out…other departments I wasn’t aware of, maybe someone who came in for a day after my booking was over, someone who believes they did more or less work that you credit them for on your site… The list of possible issues is endless if this sort of impossible standard becomes the “right way” to do things.

There must be some middle ground. Because if the only professional way to credit our portfolio projects is to have perfect, full credits on everything, we’ll all look bad, because we’re all going to fuck it up.

beirne

There is a reason its called “commercial art”. Its all about selling something, whether its a new car, a movie ticket, or a soft drink. Its about business. “Work for hire”. Its about craft and craftspeople. Account managers. Matte painters. Directors. And this business involves dealing with client expectations, deadlines, changes, great ideas watered down, and small ideas made large. And getting paid after all that , so we can do it again. In the end, a credit has value because it will potentially get you more work than someone else. A graffitti artist selling a custom plastic figurine adds their tag-logo to it. He doesnt credit the craftperson in China that actually modeled the figure. Did Shepard Fairey credit the photographer of the Obama poster? No. Because it was all about Shepard Fairey.

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