Unfortunately I have no control over the filename. The reason I put the filename in single quotes is to avoid having to escape spaces. Also some of the other filenames in this batch of media have other special characters in them which would also need escaping if I were to put them in double quotes - it's easier overall to put the filenames in single quotes in this instance.
The problem is with the escape sequence used to escape a single quote inside a filename that is encapsulated by single quotes. From the reading I've been doing, it's not enough to use a single backslash, eg.
'/home/kovacs/16-Exclusive McDonald\'s Farmville farm.flv'
but instead you have to actually make two strings, which bash will concatenate if they are right next to each other:
'/home/kovacs/16-Exclusive McDonald'\''s Farmville farm.flv'
The first single quote represents the end of the first part of the filename, then you have your escaped single quote, then another quote to signal the beginning of the second part of the filename. In theory bash should put the whole together into one filename.