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 Contracts and other legal stuff. 
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:49 pm
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Post Contracts and other legal stuff.
So opportunities are starting to crop up where people are asking me to do timelapse shots for them. One was for an independent film and I'm in talks with another person about doing a shot for a local TV network for use in one of their show's intros. I need to be prepared with some sort of contract so I can retain the rights to my stuff and grant others permission to use it. I'm hoping some of you have experience with this? For the time being I'm doing everything for free but as far as rights go I think it would be the same as if I were getting paid. If there's some sort of generic contract out there for this kind of thing I'd like to find it.

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Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:06 pm
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
http://www.amazon.com/Graphic-Artists-G ... 013&sr=8-1

Although this book is geared toward graphic artists it does apply fairly well to other professions. It tells of the different kinds of contracts that there are, has templates of those contracts, and has really good information about it. As far as pricing is concerned, I don't think it amounts to much for video even though it has pricing for several different applications of design. The book does have useful "plug in the numbers" formulas that should help you figure out what to charge. Generally 10-15% is the profit margin you need to give yourself.

Yea, one other thing, this booklet is good if you need details on copyright issues. That's one of the things that are important to include in a contract, is how the client is allowed to use your content. Because even though it is for them to use, it is still very much your work, your copyrighted material.

Aside from the book, a cheating way to do it is to call the closest production house and see what they charge.


Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:18 pm
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
Thanks, I really don't care about how much to charge, since I'm doing every thing for free at this point. I'll keep looking for contract stuff and keep that book in mind.

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Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:23 am
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
I use a slightly modified contract that I got from ASMP when I was a member. I've been using it for 15 years now, and never been a hassle.

I can e-mail it or post it here if you'd like to see what it looks like. Basically it can say whatever you and the client agree to, but the 'Terms and Conditions' section needs to be water tight so you don't open yourself up to any problems.

Even if you're doing it for free, I still think you ought to be using a contract to indemnify yourself.

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Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:35 pm
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
Yeah, I would like to see it if you don't mind. I definitely don't want to be handing over the rights to anyone, free or otherwise.

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Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:52 pm
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
Michael Slade
56789 S. 1234 W.
Anytown, NY 09876
801-254-6648

INVOICE

Date: May 7, 2008

Client:

Ernie and Bert
Sesame Street
NY, NY 10017



Assignment Description:

Studio photography of adjustable trackbars and rear axle bracket for:

Client XYZ

Usage rights terminate at the sale or transfer of ownership of any portion, in whole, or in part, of XYZ Manufacturing to any other entity, that these photographs are used in conjunction in marketing or promoting individual products. (again, this is negotiable...)

Usage Specifications:

Two-year, unlimited, non-exclusive, in-house usage. (this can be whatever you and the client negotiate…I’m typically a bit of a push-over and like to give a good bargain for the buck.

Creative Fee:

Shooting – 10 images @ $XXX.00 each.
Includes post production $XXXX.00


Total: $XXXX.00

(you can break this down anyway that you want…there has been a shift away from ‘day rates’ to ‘project rates’…I am using a ‘per-shot’ fee, so that this client has a firm idea of what to expect before they even call me. This is a long-term repeat client, and this type of arrangement may not be best for all situations…)







TERMS AND CONDITIONS

1. “Images” means all viewable renditions furnished by Photographer hereunder, whether captured or stored in photographic, magnetic, optical or any other medium whatsoever.

2. All Images and rights therein, including copyright, remain the sole and exclusive property of Photographer. Unless otherwise provided herein, any grant of rights is limited to one (1) year from the date hereof and to the territory of the United States.

3. Client may make or permit any alterations, including but not limited to additions, subtractions or adaptations in respect of the Images alone or with any other material, subject to the provisions as stated in [4] below.

4. Client will indemnify and defend Photographer against all claims, liability, damages, costs, and expenses, including reasonable legal fees and expenses, arising out of any use of any Images for which no release was furnished by Photographer, or any Images which are altered by Client. Unless furnished, no release exists. Photographer’s liability for all claims shall not exceed in any event the total amount paid under this invoice.

5. Client assumes full risk of loss or damage to or arising from materials furnished by client hereunder and warrants that said materials are adequately insured against such loss, damage, or liability. Client shall indemnify Photographer against all claims, liability, damages and expenses incurred by Photographer in connection with any claim arising out of use of said material hereunder.

6. Client may not assign or transfer this agreement or any rights granted hereunder. This agreement binds and inures to the benefit of Photographer, Client, Client’s principals, employees, agents and affiliates, and their respective heirs, legal representatives, successors and assigns. Client and its principals, employees, agents and affiliates are jointly and severally liable for the performance of all payments and other obligations hereunder. No amendment or waiver of any terms is binding unless set forth in writing and signed by the parties. However, the invoice may reflect, and Client is bound by, oral authorizations for fees or expenses which could not be confirmed in writing because of insufficient time. This agreement incorporates by reference Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, and the Copyright Act of 1976, as amended.

7. Client hereby expressly consents to the jurisdiction of the Federal courts with respect to claims by Photographer under the Copyright Act of 1976, as amended.

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Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:38 pm
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
Good thread. I think we will eventually need a "Business" sub-forum here.


Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:04 am
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
Yeah, it's good to share this information. I also have a good long and short model release, and a good long and short property release if anyone is curious.

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Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:17 pm
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
I thought that I would revive this thread.

I've been asked by an ad agency to do a custom shoot that will require renting a medium format camera to provide them with really high resolution RAW image sequence (8,000 x 4,000). I'm trying to put a cost estimate together but honestly there are lots of unknowns since I haven't used this type of system before and am not sure if I'll need to rent another lens, purchase some additional software for RAW conversions, or something. I read above that a 15% compensation is typical. But this isn't at all a typical project and has some time constraints that put pressure on me but probably give me some leverage to negotiate. Any suggestions on what type of compensation cushion to include? I'm trying to avoid putting myself at risk of having to make good and not making any money on the whole thing if I fail to estimate all the costs accurately...

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Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:47 pm
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
I assume the medium format camera will be the largest part of your cost (the rental cost of the Mamiya camera here was like $250 a day when it was available).

If I were you I would do a test shoot/test post process for a few days with medium format camera before coming up with an estimate to ensure that there isn't some piece missing or a technical showstopper in their somewhere that may require you to rent longer or increase your costs.

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Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:02 pm
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
Delrious- I think you locked in on my main concern at the moment. Yes, the camera is going to be a big chunk ($2,100/wk [no lens, etc. included in that rental]). My biggest concern is that when planning the budget that I'll make a miss a critical part of the work flow or need to switch cameras, etc. since not familiar with the work flow. The ad agency suggested incorporating testing into the budget to help guide camera selection. But I'm really thinking that a test budget and contract might be nice to help inform the main budget/contract. Putting a test budget into the main contract creates a lot of "what ifs" when trying to predict the path the project is going to take. Or am I to eat the cost now and then add in to the main budget later?

I'm a newbie with the business side of things so appreciate the tips. I can feel the ad agency out more...

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Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:37 pm
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
When in doubt, always ask for more money.

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Canon 5D Mark II, 24mm f1.4, 16-35mm f2.8, 24-105mm f4, Sony EX1R, CamBLOCK Motion Control, KesslerCrane, CineSlider and some cold beer.


Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:16 pm
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
Hey guys, I'm moving this over to the Business sub-forum, so it'll be easy to find for new members.

!c


Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:41 am
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
I read about this link http://www.graphicartistsguild.org/resources/contract-monitor/ in the book "Graphic Artists Guild Handbook Pricing & Ethical Guidelines". As a total neophyte, I found the book incredibly helpful. The link/book provide very relevant content but some is probably a bit off for people selling video content. The link covers:

1) Negotiate that contract
2) Letter of agreement (example http://www.graphicartistsguild.org/typeroom/assets/uploads/loa.pdf)
3) Contract glossary
4) Submit a contract

The book covers even more legal contracts. If you're just selling existing content then you can probably come up with something pretty simple. More complexity will be required when developing something for a big project where you create novel footage.

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Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:37 pm
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
More information-

Check out Business information on the The American Society of Media Photographers website http://www.asmp.org/strictlybusiness/video-library/. They even have training movies you can check out concerning contracts, etc..

Also, if you're really getting into making making an independent movie then I've heard this book is good- The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers. Sections are probably relevant to even people dealing with selling a video or two.

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Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:03 am
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
I came across this link that defines all the standard terms in typical contracts so that you can understand what they do and do not allow. If you don't already have a reference explaining this then I would print off a copy or at least bookmark the website.

http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2010/02/05/ad-agency-guide-to-photography-usage-terms/

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Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:55 am
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
Thanks for posting this Kurt, good stuff.


Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:18 am
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Post Re: Contracts and other legal stuff.
I came across this interesting link concerning how to identify a bad contract. Might be the most valuable link yet...

http://asmp.org/tutorials/bad-contract.html

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Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:38 am
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