Contract for trade of goods
Im Dustin. A new CC user and new freelance videographer. Im currently doing a job where I'm trading a large chunk of gear (mark III, lens, tripod,.... goodies) in exchange for producing an EPK for a singer songwriter (shooting, directing editing). Not a large production thing. But my knowledge of contracts is fuzzy at best. Any suggestions for outlining what the value of the gear entitles my client to regarding the amount of work for me before we are even. Want to get this stuff in writing before I continue.
DO you have an estimate of the hours you're going to have to put in for shooting and editing yet? Hours times your rate is your final price, more or less. Now get the average sales price for each gear component and add 'em up. In comparison, are you high, low, or about right?
It's good you want it in writing first. There are plenty of archived threads here on that score for you to review.
In your case, defining the deliverables has to include how many re-edits they get before you need to charge additional. My customary response to my clients would be two: one freebie after seeing the rough cut, and one minor one after that. The theory being that we should have been in agreement on most everything before the edit happened, so changes would normally be minor tweaks like a name change or slight change in a font color, something like that. If I did something "experimental" at the last minute and they turn out not to love it, or if some situation behind the scenes came up after post began, requiring someone's segment to be cut or revamped, those are also understandable changes. If mistakes are caught then, it depends on who made them: if I spelled some name wrong, I eat that cost to fix it. If they supplied me with a wrongly-spelled name which I faithfully reproduced, that's on them.
What some bad clients try to do is make your payment conditional on a completion of the work plus the approval of someone outside your editor/client relationship. "We'll pay you when I get paid", or, "Bob somebody-or-other has to sign off on it first." Then all of a sudden, Bob is slow to approve or wants changes and Bob was never in any of your meetings. Bob in this case may even be a fictional construct of the client.
You avoid getting "Bobbed" by staging payment in multiple phases, often three is the magic number: A deposit of one third the total expected price, a progress payment of a third paid at the point of screening the first cut of the edit, and the rest after seeing the revised edit or on delivery. And a smart producer makes sure those first two payments cover all the expenses at least, and definitely cover all the people you contracted with - the general eats after his men do. This keeps you on the right side of all your contractors and suppliers.
Since you're trading gear for work, and apparently getting the gear in advance of the work, it's a little different. So that's why I say, measure the retail value of the gear versus the expected total you would have charged at your day rate or hourly rate. If the gear is significantly more than the calculated cash value of the project, figure how much more that is, and again use your day/hour rate to convert the extra money back into hours you're willing to add to the project, for an additional shoot or edit.
It is amazing yet comforting that everything revolves around really knowing and living by a well-established and accurate day rate.
What? You don't have one? Again, mine the archives of this particular forum for a book's worth of discussion about it.
[Dustin Wise] "I'm trading a large chunk of gear (mark III, lens, tripod,.... goodies) in exchange for producing an EPK for a singer songwriter (shooting, directing editing). "
I don't understand. Normally I exchange my gear and time to operate it for money, and that's what I get in return: money. Sometimes, I exchange my gear and time to operate for food. And that's what I get: Food.
I make the decision based on the creative merits. I can't imagine making an EPK for a TOp 40 artists on a trade, but I would (and have) trade for a local person whose music I like, and I would expect food during the shoot, and maybe a free pass to a show, and maybe some beers afterwards. I would hope to leverage all that social capital to find other artists and creative people to help me when I want to produce a vanity project, like a short film, or read a script.
Or are you talking about a deferred compensation scenario, where Dustin exchanges gear and time to operate for some future payment "once the musician gets money to pay you." This particular arrangement would need a bona fide legal contract by real lawyer, in the event the musician gets a picked-up, you are on the books for real and with actual legal teeth.
Are you saying you're exchanging for the "privilege" of producing this particular musician's EPK, because their music is so good that you're either (a) awestruck or (b) sure it will lead to actual paying gigs, or free food, or (c) some social capital for your own vanity projects?
my understanding (I think the same as Mark's) is that Dustin is trading his expertise and time, in return for capital equipment (Camera, lens etc) which the musicians would supply to Dustin to do the job, then leave with him.
Yes, I once did a trade-out like this: since I didn't have the gear I needed, but they wanted my voice-over narration, I traded my voice-overs on someone's DVD project for ownership of the USB mic we used on the job. Fun gig. His deal is a little bigger.
[Juris Eksts] "expertise and time, in return for capital equipment "
(Sorry to add any confusion.)