Can You Show Video Samples That Are Not Yours?

Can you show samples that are not yours? Here’s a brief correspondence I had with someone I’ll call Acme Video.

Acme Video wrote:

From: Acme Video
To: Hal Landen
Subject: Need Video(s) for Website

Hey Hal, my name is Acme Video out of ___________. I’m new to video producing, but I have purchased and began reading your “Professional Video Producer- Home Study Course.” I have recently begun constructing the website for my company, but I have no footage or photo’s to display. Where can I get a few videos to temporarily display on my website?

Acme Video

From: Hal Landen
To: Acme Video
Subject: Re: Need Video(s) for Website

Hi Acme,

Before you build the website you should produce a couple or more free promotional videos for non-profits in your area. This will benefit you in several ways: You’ll have real videos to show others, people will talk about their videos and get your name around, you will become more confident in your producing skills.

These are all worthy goals that will help you, especially if knock yourself out to produce very effective videos that actually help the non-profits.

If you don’t have videos to show, it’s a bad idea to show videos you have not produced. Don’t try to cut corners. That would only slow your business growth.

I know this isn’t what you wanted to hear, but I honestly think this will help you more than showing videos you did not produce. Another bonus is that when you produce a free video, you get very clever at doing a good job quickly.

Best Wishes,

Hal Landen
(401) 253-2800


From: Acme Video
To: Hal Landen
Subject: Re: Re: Need Video(s) for Website

Thanks! I appreciate the honesty very much! I now have clarity and understanding on the best thing to do for my company. Thank you Hal.



That is a question every producer faces at some point. It’s a small world and if you are ever caught showing someone else’s work as your own, you’re sure to pay for that mistake for a long time. And besides, it’s bad karma.

There are some circumstances where showing someone else’s work is legitimate – when you are representing them as someone who freelances for you. And then only when you clearly credit them for the work and have their permission.

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