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Partnership

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Chuck Obernesser
Partnership
on Apr 19, 2008 at 12:16:22 pm

Hey folks;
I just would like your opinion on how we want to charge clients for work that we do. With me being the video guy and my business partner being the graphic designer we want to bill and charge the same. What we are tired of is getting a job done and not being paid for months on end. I am in better shape for payments then my partner but we do find ourselves in a situation quite often. And we are trying to put an end to this. What we want to do is when the client has agreed on the production and graphic design idea's and concept we want to split the money into 3'rds. A third as start up cost. A third for after the shoot and a third for the final product. Now if that sound good to other's my next question is, if they show up to pick up all the tapes and designs and they say we don't have the money on us can do I have the right to not give them the tapes etc.? Or is that bad business? This is all assuming that they were told and have sign an agreement that they pay us at the end of the job.

Thanks

Chuck
Obernesser Productions
http://www.obernesserproductions.com


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walter biscardi
Re: Partnership
on Apr 19, 2008 at 12:22:27 pm

[Chuck Obernesser] "What we want to do is when the client has agreed on the production and graphic design idea's and concept we want to split the money into 3'rds. A third as start up cost. A third for after the shoot and a third for the final product."

Easier to just do 1/2 up front, 1/2 at the completion.


[Chuck Obernesser] "if they show up to pick up all the tapes and designs and they say we don't have the money on us can do I have the right to not give them the tapes etc.?"

Absolutely this is your right. It's better if you spell this out before you start production right in your contract. I have a line in my contract something like "All materials, including media and final masters, will not be released by Biscardi Creative Media until final payment has been received."

Put it in writing and there's no argument. In fact, I verbally go over this at the time the contract is signed.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!
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Greg Ball
Re: Partnership
on Apr 19, 2008 at 3:43:00 pm

I often go one step further. I make sure that all of my out of pocket costs are covered as well. Sometimes that means a 70% deposit up front (if I have lots of out of pocket costs). Absolutely have a contract and state that no tapes or media will be released to the client until final payment is received.


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Brendan Coots
Re: Partnership
on Apr 19, 2008 at 5:18:37 pm

This is my method as well - 50/50 deposit schedule and a rock-solid contract clearly stating that nothing will be released to the client until final payment is made.

This will not ensure you don't get burned, however, unless you stick to this rule firmly, even when it seems like it might damage your relationship with the client. Many times clients will beg and plead, telling you they desperately need the materials on Monday, but accounting only cuts checks on Wednesday, and promise up and down that you'll get your check. In my experience, accounting is the firewall many companies use to avoid paying on time. They can simply blame delays on some faceless accountant and throw their hands in the air. We've gone along with this many times to preserve the relationship, only to have our payment delayed up to 8 weeks. It's ridiculous.

The best way to avoid payment problems is to HAVE A CONTRACT that is clear about the terms, DISCUSS the terms with the client in person so they can't pretend they didn't know, and finally, CALL them a week or two before the project is scheduled to wrap to remind them the payment will be due so they can get the invoice into accounting in time. Unfortunately, client relations often feels like running a kindergarten classroom...

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Chuck Obernesser
Re: Partnership
on Apr 19, 2008 at 8:35:58 pm

Thanks so much! I feel better about getting that taken care of now! Just a follow up is there anything else important that I would need to add besides full payment due at the end of the job? Should there be anything in case they up the date to finish the project?

Thanks again!

Chuck
Obernesser Productions
http://www.obernesserproductions.com


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walter biscardi
Re: Partnership
on Apr 20, 2008 at 3:24:16 am

[Chuck Obernesser] "Should there be anything in case they up the date to finish the project?"

That's just standard operating procedure. Deadlines slip back and move forward all the time. You just have to roll with it.

The only thing I have in my editing contracts is an estimate of the amount of hours I expect to use for editing. If we go over those hours due to changes by the client, then we charge an hourly rate for all extra hours.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!
Read my Blog!
View Walter Biscardi's profile on LinkedIn


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Timothy J. Allen
Re: Partnership
on Apr 20, 2008 at 3:48:04 am

My contracts usually have verbage that says something to the effect of "the finished master is expected to be delivered X days of receipt of all video footage and source material". This bases the completion date on when we get the material to build the program, rather than just an arbitrary date. This is a buffer that alleviates some for me if the client pushes the deadline forward without providing source material (such as b-roll, graphics of company logos, etc.) earlier. Since most projects have a specific calendar due date, it says, for instance "All video, audio and graphic source materials are to be delivered to (us) by close of business on XX/XX/XXXX in order to meet a deliverable date of XX/XX/XXXX for the completed master."

We also have a "rush request" clause adding a percentage to the final tab if it means I have to pay overtime. That clause occasionally (dare I say "often"?) gets waived for good (paying on time) customers.



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Nick Griffin
Re: Partnership
on Apr 20, 2008 at 8:15:53 pm

I'm afraid that much of this discussion leaves the impression that the 1/3rd or 1/2 rule is the only way to go. Sure that makes sense for one time, transient, walk-in, 'don't know them from Adam' clients. But I doubt I'm the only one here with on-going client relationships wherein standard net 30 terms are used.

Regular, credit-worthy businesses must be treated like that. We, like any other vendor send them invoices on a regular basis and they pay them. I'm not going to ask someone who gives me business on an on-going basis for a 1/3rd up front deposit.

Isn't standard billing done by many others as well??


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walter biscardi
Re: Partnership
on Apr 20, 2008 at 11:29:03 pm

[Nick Griffin] "Isn't standard billing done by many others as well??"

I use net 15/30 for Post Jobs only. For anything to do with Field Production, I get 1/2 up front so I can pay the crew immediately. They really appreciate that and I'm not floating any of my own money until I get paid.

No client has ever had an issue with this and it's all handled as part of the standard contract.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!
Read my Blog!
View Walter Biscardi's profile on LinkedIn


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Chuck Obernesser
Re: Partnership
on Apr 21, 2008 at 2:20:20 pm

Thanks everyone. This has helped me. Nick makes a very valid point and I feel that I'm more like that. But since this is a partnership I need to talk with the partner so everything is handled the same. Thanks for all the help and guidance. I wouldn't be as far as I am without ALL of your help and advise!

Thanks so much

Chuck
Obernesser Productions
http://www.obernesserproductions.com


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Steve Wargo
Re: Partnership
on Apr 22, 2008 at 3:29:49 am

[Nick Griffin] "Isn't standard billing done by many others as well??"

The larger companies that we work with are billed once or twice a month. If we didn't do that, we would lose them.

A friend of mine is a real stickler for getting paid on the spot and he wonders why companies don't come back. Larger companies have accounting departments and certain procedures are to be followed. They understand that they might have to bend with a new vendor but after that, they expect you to respect their policies.





Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Steve Wargo
Except...
on Apr 22, 2008 at 3:33:17 am

On larger projects where we have a large cash outlay up front, we usually get a payment to cover our out of pocket.




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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jon agnew
Re: Partnership
on Apr 21, 2008 at 5:29:41 pm

Just a funny story regarding the ownership of tapes before payment has been rendered...

I was on a shoot with a nightmare producer who was under the mistaken impression that he didn't need to let the crew eat lunch...or dinner...nothing. We, the crew, called our company and informed our boss that we would be charging hefty meal penalties...our boss calls Nightmare Producer, who becomes indignant and threatens to fire us on the spot without pay. My boss calls me and said, "I don't care what you have to do. DO NOT him have those tapes. You have my permission to use force, if necessary." HAHA!

Never came to that, but it was nice to have permission. LOL.



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grinner hester
Re: Partnership
on Apr 25, 2008 at 12:45:37 pm

I am only 38 but I have still yet to see any partnership work out over time.
There is a lot of value in being under one roof to feed one another while maintaining the motivation of being a sole proprietor. Freedoms not only allow that freedom feeling, the lack of what we see as security is quite motivating. Feel like a partner aint pullin his weight and you'll eith let up to in order to not work more than he or boot him and start over. This is what I have seen, anyway.



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