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Credit Where Credit Is Due

(Originally published at Motionographer)

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?

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