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Drafting Contracts

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Markford Astina
Drafting Contracts
on May 15, 2008 at 9:55:21 am

Hi all,

Just wondering what one should consider to include in contracts to avoid/minimize grinding from clients.

Apart from stating your charge per hour and overtime, stating the amount of revisions, creative signoff (who has the last say on creative decisions on client side), what else can we include to 'reign-in' rogue clients or at least make it worth our while catering to their every 'ever-so-changing' whims/disorganization/indecisiveness .

Any sample contracts out there we could see, and perhaps dissect and improve?

Perhaps we can all have a pretty standard contract, so as to get the most out of each project - both for clients and production house.


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Mike Cohen
Re: Drafting Contracts
on May 15, 2008 at 4:01:02 pm

we include a project management fee - 25% of the total. Depending upon the project, this covers work that is not necessarily billable, and can cover some overages, if that is not specified directly.

How detailed the contract needs to be is sometimes dictated by the client. We find larger organizations or committees want a lot of detail, which can be good for you too since you can specify fees for overages, changes, etc.

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Timothy J. Allen
Re: Drafting Contracts
on May 15, 2008 at 8:52:32 pm

For editing jobs that we didn't shoot, one thing we sometimes like to do to save our sanity is specify the deliverable (completed video) date based on a certain number of days after we receive the elements (such as the script, animation, raw footage etc. We also include an example such as "...if all elements are received by 5:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time) on May 30, the video will be delivered to the client by 5:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time) on June 6."

Any delays in getting those pieces results in an understood and agreed upon day-for-day slip of the final product. That puts the responsibility on them for filling any holes in the editing timeline.

There is not much worse then clients expecting you to build animation or find stock footage (for free!) to cover a hole in the timeline at the last minute because they didn't plan well enough to cover the voice overs. If nothing else, it puts the stress back on the producer to get you what you need to build a good product.

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grinner hester
Re: Drafting Contracts
on May 17, 2008 at 3:15:32 pm

I simply charge by the hour.
am always willing to revise on the clock.

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