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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old February 13th, 2012, 02:45 PM   #1
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2nd Shooter Contract UK

Hi,

I am a part time wedding videographer. After a long search I have found a shooter with similar camera experience to me and would like to work with me. He does not currently shoot weddings so I want to tie him into a contract where he can only shoot weddings with. Can this be done and what is the best way to approach it? Do I need to start a company and make him an employee or are there other ways?

Thanks
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Old February 13th, 2012, 04:00 PM   #2
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Re: 2nd Shooter Contract UK

I don't think you can lock him up exclusively. If you have let's say 30 weddings booked, you can lock him up for those 30 gigs. You can't legally prevent him from shooting with other studios unless he signs a non-compete. However, the non-compete clause is up for debate. Some lawyers argue that you can't enforce a non-compete as you are basically limiting the person's livelihood and unless you guarantee work for the remaining 22 gigs (assuming you have 1 wedding per week), the judge would just throw it out.

my 2 cents
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Old February 13th, 2012, 05:38 PM   #3
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Re: 2nd Shooter Contract UK

I assume you mean that you only want him to do weddings that you give him and not run around and freelance shoot for other videographers???

If it were me, I would then want a guaranteed retainer unless you could assure me of a wedding every weekend!! Seriously, I would just use him on a casual basis and as and when you need him....if he does do a wedding with someone else is that bad???? It's way cheaper for your business to just hire a casual shooter anyway..My lady shoots for me only as and when I need her..if I'm doing both prep shoots then I use her services at $30 an hour here BUT only for around 4 hours ...she does the bridal prep while I do the guys, then she assists on 2nd cam at the Church and leaves after the ceremony. I really don't need a helper at the reception so why pay for one??
As an employee you are committing yourself to a fixed pay rate for your shooter whether you have work for him or not!! Probably not a wise thing to do unless you are overbooked for the next 3 years!!

Chris
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Old February 13th, 2012, 06:00 PM   #4
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Re: 2nd Shooter Contract UK

What I assume you mean is, if you show him all your tricks you don't want him passing them around?

It depends on how much work you can give him to keep him occupied, your relationship and how much you pay him.

Otherwise you can't stop him from working elsewhere, might even scare him off if you try to control him.

If you do all the editing just see what develops on the job by working a couple with him, but make sure his pay rate is confirmed.

Cheers.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 04:12 AM   #5
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Re: 2nd Shooter Contract UK

Tariq as the others already said that's just not the way the world works for freelance camera work. Unless you are offering full time employment any kind of 'no compete' agreement isn't going to fly.

I am happy take freelance camera work when we don't have anything booked as it's good for experience & networking but would never work for someone who tried to impose any such conditions. However one thing that you don't do as a hired hand is to pass round your business card to the wedding guests likewise any inquiries for bookings should be referred to your boss for the day.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 07:27 AM   #6
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Re: 2nd Shooter Contract UK

If you're worried about him using your footage to promote his business, just make sure you take all cards/tapes at the end of the day.

I employ someone on a regular basis as a shooter and editor.
He edits from home so I have no idea what he does with the footage in his own time but we have an understanding that he can't use the footage to promote himself publicly and as soon as he starts to advertise and therefore becomes a competitor I can no longer employ him.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 05:02 PM   #7
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Re: 2nd Shooter Contract UK

Bear in mind that any freelance wedding videographer can quite easily be heading towards his (or hers) own business doing weddings. If you check the posts here you will find that the most commonly given advice for "newbies" is work as an assistant for a videographer and learn the ropes. If your proposed assistant/second shooter IS think of working on his own he/she is going to do it anyway whether they work for you or not! I personally think trying to lock someone into a contract is a total waste of time unless you are making so much money that you can afford to paid them as a full time employee!!

My 2nd shooter has a normal job and helps me out on the occasional Saturday but I don't really care if she decides to become a full time shooter and if she wants to use the footage she has shot at my weddings I really cannot see the big deal here?

Take advantage of your 2nd shooter to assist at your weddings and rather concentrate on doing a good job rather than worrying if your assistant is stealing clients!!

Chris
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Old February 15th, 2012, 08:13 PM   #8
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Re: 2nd Shooter Contract UK

Thanks for all your comments. I think what you have all said makes sense.
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