Hi all, Will be doing my first "big" freelance editing gig and its time to start stepping into the real world and getting contracts involved. Was wondering if anyone had a link to any sample contracts. Basically i will be putting together a 22 minute episode of a reality program to be aired on a local station. If I agree to do the job if the pay is good and he doesnt think I'm going to do this for free, i obviously want a contract in place, and am wondering what are some set in stone clauses I should be placing int he contract.
hmm... to be honest when I first read this post I thought, " well, good luck to you... cause this all depends on what you are really ' doing ' and how its going to be broadcast or 'delivered' to an audience etc...
But then later on I thought...well, why not share my stupid experience with this in a simple way ... it might help you.
Basically, what I DID when I needed to know about a potential " editing project " I got into doing... is I called a friend of mine who is a producer and has had tons of experience doing tv commercials and industrials but no experience making movies.
all of those " delivery" avenues , and products are different.. and theres a lot of stuff involved with copyrights and so on... which in the long run end up being a part of your contract with your client.
On your level of doing things you might simply be looking at a contract that says you get ' paid' for x amount of work. You can do that on a bar napkin and it has as much influence in court ( if your client screws you out of your time and skills etc by refusing to pay you ... even if based on some subjective opinion of the product you give ).. as a full blown contract made out by lawyers and big time producers.
Disney and MGM and all those guys have contract problems every week.. with directors, producers, distributers , etc.
So to make things " simple" for YOU ... is really a matter of writing down what the deal is between you and client, having it witnessed, and then praying you don't have a problem later on... based on trust etc.
In other words, there is no such thing as a contract that does anything more for you than your promise and the promise of your client... and then you need to make sure you don't screw up with infringing on copyrights in your shots and stuff like that... deliver product they cant use cause you screwed up using some shots that can't be used.
There are film schools in the US etc who probably have some basic info about this stuff you can look into.
If you are into bigger fish to fry, talk to a producer who already has dealt with the contracts needed.
do NOT ask me personally what you need...or you are already in the soup.... knee deep in the bisque... looking for real help with this...cause I am a total idiot and what I tell you wont mean much to the judge when you get down to some law suit....
a simple answer to your question is probably ... look for a better place to ask that question.. ask some producers who actually DO that stuff.
Videomaker magazine has long published a giant pack of sample contracts and other stuff. I've never needed it, but many who have used it said they found it immensely valuable. Check their website, I beleive they have a digital download available.
FYI - Videomaker is more of a consumer/prosumer resource, but they still publish a lot of useful stuff for video producers at any experience or level of production.
If you are just the editor they should have a a work for hire contract made up for you. It would sate that all material and edit projects are the property of ____________ corporation and you are work for hire. It should state that you will get paid $_____.__ for each edited episode. You can make up a contract but I would like to think they would have one made up for you already. For the small freelance projects I do I don't need to sign a contract but I used to at the old place I worked at. I was paid $20.00. The contract also stated no freelance work on the side was allowed. It was fair since they paid me a decent amount of money.