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Cancellation/Hold Fees

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Chip Hess
Cancellation/Hold Fees
on Nov 12, 2007 at 10:52:20 pm


How do others handle the concept of being 'on hold'?
And what is the common procedure when a booking gets cancelled? Sometimes at the expense of other possibilities, sometimes not.
I once had a client offer to pay a 'cancellation' fee. Is this normal operating procedure, once a firm booking is established?
Does one charge anything for being 'on hold' and then not actually booked?

What do other folks charge for cancellation, or not being used after being on hold for a day/days?

I realize nothing is set it stone, but the experiences of others in similar situations would certainly be appreciated, thanks!


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JumpCut Ed
Re: Cancellation/Hold Fees
on Nov 13, 2007 at 2:35:14 am

Chip,

I've been freelancing for over 10 years, and there are still those times when we get burned by the "hold'. I have one client who needs to put people on hold months ahead of time. They look at what is coming up and know a big meeting or event is coming up and they don't want to get stuck without editors. There are times, though, that all the work they are thinking will happen, doesn't materialize. So, here's how I handle it...

If I give client A a hold for certain days, and then get a call from Client B for any of those days, I call Client A and ask them to confirm or release. If they take the days (confirm), then they have just bought those days--whether there is work on that day or not. If they release, then I call Client B and take those days.

As far as cancellation, at least 24 hours should be given. I send out a rate-card that includes my cancellation fee. It could be 48 hours or 24--your choice. But the cancellation fee should be equal to one days rate. You can't charge for a hold day that doesn't get used, but there is nothing wrong with calling the client and pushing them to book or release when you have another job calling.

Hope that helps.
Ed


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moodyglasgow
Re: Cancellation/Hold Fees
on Nov 13, 2007 at 5:58:50 pm

What Ed said was right on. At least in commercial post production in LA, what he said is pretty standard.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Cancellation/Hold Fees
on Nov 13, 2007 at 7:16:09 pm

[moodyglasgow] "What Ed said was right on. At least in commercial post production in LA, what he said is pretty standard."

I agree, that is the "L.A model" and that model works well. And, while I'm at it, let me take that one step farther for forum members who may just be starting out or who may be wondering how to better organize their company's production business model.

Even though I might be accused of being somewhat "L.A.-centric," because I do live and work in L.A., let me just say that industry professionals all over the country, and all over the world for that matter, typically try to adhere to many of the "industry standards" of Los Angeles/Hollywood. Though rates may be slightly different depending on locale and market size, for the most part, the L.A./Hollywood production model is the model on which most video/film professionals try to base many of their business practices.

So, its a good idea for people all over to get their hands on The Director's Guild Rate Book, the SAG Rate Book, the Writer's Guild Rate Book, etc., because the guidelines spelled out in those books represent practices that most union and non-union professionals try to follow as much as and whenever possible. Its not because L.A. is so much better than every other place in the world, but rather because the standards are proven and they work well, and because standards help to make any industry function more smoothly if everyone is working from the same page.

So, I guess my point is that, anytime you have questions such as the cancellation/hold fee question, even if you're just a tiny one man operation far from Hollywood, you can't go wrong by referring to the way these issues are handled by industry professionals at the very top of the game.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY™

A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.





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Chip Hess
Re: Cancellation/Hold Fees
on Nov 13, 2007 at 7:55:13 pm

Great feedback guys, thanks!


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Nate Graham
Re: Cancellation/Hold Fees
on Nov 13, 2007 at 11:11:19 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "So, its a good idea for people all over to get their hands on The Director's Guild Rate Book, the SAG Rate Book, the Writer's Guild Rate Book, etc., because the guidelines spelled out in those books represent practices that most union and non-union professionals try to follow as much as and whenever possible."

So, where might one find said rate books?


Nate


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Cancellation/Hold Fees
on Nov 13, 2007 at 11:51:36 pm

[Nate Graham] "So, where might one find said rate books?"

Excellent question! You can contact the appropriate guild or union by phone or via the Internet and purchase the approprite guide directly from them. For example, the Director's Guild Basic Agreement is available at: http://www.dga.org/multimedia/pub_books.php3.

However, a more comprehensive software-based solution that has information from all giulkds and unions is THe Showbix Labor Guide at: http://www.showbizsoftware.com/Showbiz_Labor_Guide_06_07_p/1723.htm.



David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY™

A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.





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Nate Graham
Re: Cancellation/Hold Fees
on Nov 14, 2007 at 1:04:15 am

Awesome! Thanks, I'll check it out.

Nate


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JumpCut Ed
Re: Cancellation/Hold Fees
on Nov 14, 2007 at 4:21:14 am

[David Roth Weiss] " industry professionals all over the country, and all over the world for that matter, typically try to adhere to many of the "industry standards" of Los Angeles/Hollywood."

David, it's good to know that those of us in the heart of the country (Chicago) are applying the industry standard. I'll have to look for those publications.

Ed


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Cancellation/Hold Fees
on Nov 14, 2007 at 6:21:25 am

[JumpCut Ed] "David, it's good to know that those of us in the heart of the country (Chicago) are applying the industry standard."

I once heard of Chicago, its is a nice little town somewhere east of big desert I hear. Has television arrived there yet?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY™

A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.





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JumpCut Ed
Re: Cancellation/Hold Fees
on Nov 15, 2007 at 2:32:30 am

[David Roth Weiss] "Has television arrived there yet?"

Very nice David. Yes, we have television in Chicago, and next year they are talking about introducing a color version. I hope it has the same vibrant colors we are used to seeing in the Technicolor movies.


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Danny Littwin
Re: Cancellation/Hold Fees
on Nov 23, 2007 at 1:12:15 pm

When a client asks me to "hold" a date I do not consider it to be a
firm booking. If I get a job offer for the same time, I call the client
with the "hold" and tell them. At that point it is up to them to cancel
the hold or place a firm booking.

I have never charged anything for a "hold." The understanding is that
the client has the right of first refusal. After placing a "firm" then
the client assumes whatever liabilities are usual under the
circumstances. There are some clients that I do not accept holds from, only firm
bookings with guarantees.

If a client cancels a firm booking in close date proximity to the work
date then a cancellation fee is usual, though not always mandatory. If
a major client of mine cancels a
job, I will assume it is due to circumstance beyond their control and
not request any fees,
knowing that they will call me first for the next couple of shows.
Sometimes they pay me a fee in any case. You have to determine the nature
of each client relationship.

And you have to be firm, professional and as friendly as possible.
Asking clients for money
is tough enough, it is even tougher when no work was done. The trick is
to keep their respect and make them comfortable doing business with
you.

Hope this helps

Danny

Just because it's new does not mean it works... it only increases the odds.


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