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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


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Old May 12th, 2008, 12:59 PM   #1
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Making sure you get paid after a shoot...

Hi,

I'm fairly new to shooting 'freelance'. I mostly produce commercials, etc. for clients where getting paid isn't an issue as I hold all the cards (so to speak).

I was just hired for a two-day shoot using my Z1U.

The guy told me to invoice him at the end of the shoot and he would cut me a check right there.

Should I keep the tapes I'm shooting until he pays me? Is that common practice?

How do I make sure I get paid for the job?

Thanks,

Jim
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Old May 12th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #2
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I usually draft an agreement that the client and I both sign. It states that the rights to the recording are mine until full payment has been received, after which the client either gets a license for use of the recording, or full rights to the recording, depending on the type of arrangement. That way, the client cannot do anything (legally at least) with the footage until it's paid for. Of course, that only helps if the client NEEDS to have those rights.

I also require that a percentage (25% - 50%) of the total fee is paid before any significant amount of work begins.

- Martin
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Old May 13th, 2008, 08:44 AM   #3
 
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James, to start with I would suggest you always use a contract. No surprises on either side that way.

Our contract states that a 50% payment will be made upon the signing of the contract. Another 30% is due the day prior to principle photography. The final 20% is due upon approval of the final project (which has been watermarked). Upon receipt of the last 20%, only then is the finished product delivered.

Since we have put this payment schedule into practice we have not had any problems collecting.

Good luck!
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Old May 13th, 2008, 01:20 PM   #4
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Sure, having a contract is always the best. But the reality is that a lot of us freelancers do work for producers who we may have never seen before, nor will we see them again. Sometimes I've been paid right at the end of the shoot - that's wonderful. Most times I have had to invoice the company. I try to do my homework and not work for an out of town producer that I can't find any info about, but in the freelance world, sometimes you are going on faith. Just make sure you have all their contact info in case you do need to follow up later. I do work for local producers that I know all the time without a contract. But those guys, I know where they live :>)

Have fun!

Rob
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Old May 13th, 2008, 03:58 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Neidig View Post
But the reality is that a lot of us freelancers do work for producers who we may have never seen before, nor will we see them again.
Understood, Rob, but how does that have any bearing on not getting a contract? Evidently I'm missing something.
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