Need the help of those who are versed in graphic design/commercial art business.

Discussion in 'Community' started by krossfyter, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. krossfyter macrumors 601


    Jan 13, 2002
    secret city
    Or anyone that feels they can offer their advice.
    (may be a little long so I warn you all)

    Okay…. Back in 2002 I completed a poster for this local independent movie. The people a part of making the film sought out an artist to do the poster… after searching for some time they found me out… through other folks. I did their poster better then they expected…. A person who is behind the creation of the film told me it help them raise 5 thousand dollars…. Not that it did it alone… but that person told me that everyone who saw the poster started to become more enthused about the film so they plopped down some cash to help out the making of the film… these people are big time spenders.

    I spent a lot of hours on that poster… though I stopped tracking the hours after awhile because… they never binded me to a contract.

    I figured… hell I’ll just ask them for some cash… maybe 300 and be done with it.

    After finding out they they are now selling the poster… making profit on it and me not seeing one cent … and this being 2005 … im a little perturbed as you can understand… okay my bad… no contract… fine.

    Now… the people at the helm of the film are trying to make a deal with me… trying to give me my due compensation.
    ive talked to some folks who know more about business then I do and they told me that basically if I don’t have a contract that that looks bad for them and that I shouldn’t sell myself short…. Like I always do. That my service… in terms of art and design is very rare around these parts and there really isn’t anyone that can touch me within probably a 300 mile radius…. Whatever. …. They told me I should ask for 4 thousand…. 1 thousand up front (payments can be worked out) and the 3 thousand is differed…and this differed 3k is dependent on the movie doing well…. Meaning they get a distributor and they sell the movie more then what it cost them to make it…. Profit etc. (specifics of this aren’t ironed out)…. Point is…. Im shooting damn high on this one and I think its fair for me…. I know they will come down… but that’s fine.

    After I met with the guy dropping the cash he told me he wanted some time to think about it… he was floored with what I laid on him… understandably…. This guy tried every trick in the book to minimize my service… minimize my art… minimize the fact that im talking too much money.

    I stayed grounded and told him… im willing to work out with you all on payments for that 1k.

    the 3k is immaterial to you all because if you all don’t do well you don’t have to pay me that… if you all do good then its no problem because they can afford it.

    So he asked for time to think about it or something… calls me back the next day and says he wants to talk again… that he has done some research.

    Okay so now im in the position of having to back up my side….

    This is where I need help….

    Am I in the right… am I okay? Or am I in the wrong?
    If im in the right…. Can you all provide me with some info to back up my position?

    Thanks for any help you all are able to provide.

    Understand that in now way am I trying to be an a hole about all this to them… I just have a history of people ripping me off because im not business savvy like they are… and some folks who care about me want me to stick my ground and ask for what I deserve from now on.

    Otherwise I could just ask for 300 (like I said) and be done with it.

  2. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I say at least go for the 1K. I've been in the ad biz for years and you should get at least that. If they give you more, then great. And yes-business people are a**holes about this all the time.
  3. krossfyter thread starter macrumors 601


    Jan 13, 2002
    secret city
    thanks man.

    i do feel i deserve at least 1k.

    besides that... how can i back up my position because i know he is going to throw some stuff he dugg up on rates in terms of poster art done for movies or what not?

    any documentaion i can throw at him?
  4. Cybernanga macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2004
    Essex, United Kingdom
    Stick to your guns. Don't let him negotiate you downwards, (at least not much)

    I'm the same way with selling myself short and asking too little for the stuff I do, but I'm trying hard to change.
  5. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    I would forfeit the 1K and go for artist's copyright on the poster, meaning you own the creative rights to the poster, and can use exclusively for promotion of your artwork skills. It's your portfolio and your body of work.

    Of course, you should be compensated for your work, but if there was no contract or written work order, you're really out of luck.
  6. krossfyter thread starter macrumors 601


    Jan 13, 2002
    secret city
    since there is no contract (at the moment)... they have no legal right to pay me correct?

    how can i do it to where i keep the copy right of the work and recieve componsation also?
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Unfortunately, because you don't have an agreement, you've painted yourself into a corner and by coming out fighting without a leg to stand on... too many metaphors for one sentence. I think you know where I'm going with this.

    If you do artwork for a client and they pay you, then it's theirs to do with what they will. Do you think the designer/art director who sketched up the Shuffle ads gets a penny or 2 from every Shuffle sold?

    You've picked a fight without knowing exactly where you stand. Don't give the impression you are difficult to deal with or naively full of hubris. Word-of-mouth can make or break a career... and whatever comes out of this, it sounds to me that you'll never get work from these guys again.

    Always, but always, have a written agreement before starting work on a project.
  8. krossfyter thread starter macrumors 601


    Jan 13, 2002
    secret city
    alright thanks blue velvet.

    i'll suck this one up and move on. just wanted to know the business side of the matter and how much wieght i have in my position.

    i have no problem not getting work from these folks again. too many people working with them have had bigger issues then mine.

    im working with other folks .. and the relationship is great.

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