• Disclaimer: Legal advice is not binding, consulting an attorney is always recommended.

could i sue someone who sabotaged an edit?

How does an editor sabotage a shot? :huh: :rolleyes:

Editing a feature takes a long time. And he worked for peanuts. You don't like his work. So fix it. But don't gripe about the guy who did you a solid. You're not in a position to burn bridges, so stay positive, and be thankful of the people who are willing to work with you.
 
So . . . you paid him in advance? Did you know whether or not he would actually do a good job before you agreed to pay, or did you hire him without any sort of due diligence whatsoever? If you didn't do a very good job of screening him you might have a harder time making your case.
 
The director had a rough edit of the movie. Put the movie in proper order, organized the scenes in order. The film looked OK. The editor, who was a friend of the director, was to take this version of the film and do the color and audio corrections. That was really all I wanted from him. He had to add some adr and pretty much clean it up. When he was to leave, I assumed I would still have to fine tune it for the final cut.

I did not do all my due diligence, but I kept on him and he kept explaining that everything is was in order. He was playing the director and I together. Saying I showed him that, and telling him he showed me footage. So, how did he sabotage it? Too much to say, but here are a couple. We had a cool heated conversation in a bath room with a girl in a tub. He went in and altered takes, totally messed with the continuity. The guy was grabbing her left arm in one take, then the the right in the next. Blatant shit.

He would take out the best take and put in the worst. He went back and moved scenes from being in order. It was unbelievable. Like I said, there was a lot more and God knows else what he did with it that I don't know about. And like I said, if he did just shitty work, I would only be disappointed. But if I showed you the take of the movie I gave him, and the take that he gave back. You can see he put more work into making it worse than making it better. And the fact that it is a month behind now and I have to pay again, I'm furious.

He also shot the movie and was paid for that also. After the movie was over we signed a contract saying that he'll do the edit and I would compensate with the lenses. It was actually two. So, since he didn't do his edit/ yet left town with "my" lenses, he figures he got one over on me and the director. And like I said in the beginning, this guy was supposed to be friends with director and completely screwed him over too. Obviously, karma will get him. But, I feel duped and I want my payment back. Now, since my payment was photo lenses which I technically still own. I am seriously contemplating filing charges. It could be considered fraud what he did. Since he took payment and didn't do his job, I feel that is theft.

No? Bait and switch. Taking payment for work not completed. Plus the fact he knew I wouldn't catch it until he was miles away. I'm going to screw him some how.
 
He knows he did it too. I've tried to get him by phone and he won't answer. I just want to press charges against him and let the chips fall where they fall. Since I hold the receipts for these items, I think it could be quite easy. The thing is, I'm not this type of person. But, I'm getting real close.
 
How do you know he's not just a terrible editor, and slunk away before the quality of his work was called into question?

I mean... what reason could this person have (justified or not, in their mind) to deliberately go out their way to sabotage your project? It just doesn't make sense for someone to do that, for no reason.

 
Well if the contract specifically states that he edits it in return for the lenses, and he did in fact edit it (maybe not to your standard) I don't know if you can make a case. Like I said before, contact a legal advisor.

I'm not really versed in US law, but here in the UK it could be kind of tricky getting a case going so you can get your lenses back.

Other than that, only option I can think of... hire a private detective, track him down... then break his knee caps. :P
 

jax_rox

Staff member
Moderator
Any kind of legal recourse against the lenses would be quashed by the specific contract that states 'edit for lenses'.

Not only that, but it would be pretty difficult to prove that this guy just decided he was going to deliberately sabotage a film he shot just becasue he could. On top of that, what's the difference between sabotaging an edit and being a terrible/inexperienced editor? Is it something you could hold up/prove in court? What's the difference between this guy doing it, and getting your 10 year old nephew to do it in iMovie if they end up with the same product? Believing buillsh*t about a person's experience and expertise is a bad business decision, but I would hardly think that it would provide reasonable cause for compensation in a legal sense.

At the moment, all you have is 'I'm annoyed because it's not what I wanted', which isn't going to stand up in court.

I am by no means belittling the hurt you're going through right now, or suggesting that he is in the right, I'm simply trying to pass on what knowledge I do have of the legal system.

As well, you may find certain laws in your state/country that differ somewhat, so don't take everything I say as gospel, if you're seriously considering it - consult an attorney.
 
Well if the contract specifically states that he edits it in return for the lenses, and he did in fact edit it (maybe not to your standard) I don't know if you can make a case. Like I said before, contact a legal advisor.

I'm not really versed in US law, but here in the UK it could be kind of tricky getting a case going so you can get your lenses back.

Other than that, only option I can think of... hire a private detective, track him down... then break his knee caps. :P


I don't know what your talking about. :cool:
 
I would have to show you what can ruin a scene? He would ADD demon sound effects in certain areas and subtle shit that I had to watch a few times to catch. But obvious ones, like instead of leaving the best take in, take it out and install the worst one with the actors fumbling his lines! He had to take the extra time to do that. If he was next to me when I watched it I would have.....:yes:
 
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