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Who owns the raw footage?

If you came here for the short answer, the production company you work with owns the footage. Thanks, have a good day.

Oh, you want to know why and how it works? Oh, great! Keep reading.

I can’t speak for every production company out there, but when you work with Izo Creative we begin by writing a Scope of Work/Creative Brief that outlines exactly what we’re creating and at the end that film (or films) is yours. The footage in the final cut is licensed to you perpetually and you may do with it as you please. Some production companies out there will change price depending on usage, but at Izo we grant you unlimited usage on any platforms you choose. It’s yours, plain and simple.

But what about the raw footage?

I know, that’s why you’re here.

Raw footage includes everything we shot to create your film and belongs to the production company. That doesn’t mean you can’t get the rights to that footage. If we make a specific agreement (usually done at the outset of a project) to pass on the copyright to you, you may have the right to use the raw footage as well, but this usually comes with a cost.

Why do I have to pay for raw footage?

This is a good question, and understandable. You paid to have it made, right? Let’s dive into it.

1. What you paid for

When we wrote our Creative Brief, we outlined what we were making, a final product. These were like the blueprints for a house. When we’re done building you get a house, not all the unused raw materials and plans that went into construction. It’s the same thing when you work with us on a creative project

2. Our costs

Delivery of raw footage is costly for us too. Say we shot our project in Redcode Raw format in 8K, but you need it to be transcoded and compressed into a different format so you can work with it. If we shot 600GB of footage, that’s hours of computing time just to get you a workable format. Then we need to purchase a hard drive, move the footage to it and deliver to you. A person needs to do all this and while it seems easy, the time adds up

3. The footage is part of how we’re paid

Does that make sense? Think of the raw footage as part of the project cost. The footage is valuable because we use it to market ourselves, sell it as stock footage, and ensure future work. If you want the rights, that’s okay, but as we’re giving you something of great value, the price needs to reflect that.