working with lawyers at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 28th, 2005, 10:49 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 190
working with lawyers

Ok, the bride is a lawyer. In response to my three page contract she submitted a 7 page addendum to the contract. Erf.

After a little back and forth we have whittled it down to a restatement of what we plan on doing anyway. At first there was quite a bit of language that alarmed me such as "required shots" and such. Once she was educated on the process we got rid of most of that objectional language. It is still, however, a very intimidating document.

How do you folks feel about this sort of thing? Have you run into it and how did you handle it? Live action events are a tough thing to supply gaurantees with so what is a lad to do?

Mike
Mike Cook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2005, 11:14 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Nevada City, California
Posts: 499
I don't do weddings, but 5o% of my work is for lawyers. Although I have never encountered a contract that was as extensive as yours, I do find them to be a little more critical and cynical than most clients. I have used their revised contracts as a template for other projects. They do cross their T and dot their I's. On the plus side, once you meet them in the field, most seem to be smart, articulate and work well with a professionals.

Or they just sue your ass! (insert favorite smiley here)
Glenn Davidson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2005, 11:22 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Healdsburg, California
Posts: 1,138
Include clauses that release you from liability in the occurrence of situations beyond your control - ie: weather conditions such as rain or high wind if outdoors, significantly less than workable lighting conditions if indoors, shooting restrictions of the facility such as camera placement or timeframes when shooting is not permitted for certain sacred rituals, inhibiting performance of third-party vendors, ie: frustrating back-of-the-head shots when the photographer continously obstructs your lens as they vie for 'that perfect angle, or situations when DJ's or sound people provide sub-par audio capture and voice amplification where it could adversley affect your audio content.

Finally, and experienced most often - erratic and disruptive behavior of attendants and guests (usually small children left unattended running in and out of frame during those special moments where good video is so important -and of course any number of adult guests after partying and drinking for several hours - who choose to find the most crucial of moments to stand in front of the lens and assault the camera with the most imbecillic level of antics and mumblings. This can make for a great outtake reel, but is very difficult to fold into a nice, smooth romantic wedding video.

Others might add a few more - but you will then need to compile it all down to clear, concise 'legalese'. But in the end, you really need to make sure that you are not bound and liable for certain situations that are simply beyond your control.

You can adopt a shooting and production style that can help you anticipate such problems in a few cases, but again, you shouldn't be legally bound by things that you need magic to overcome.
-Jon
__________________
"Are we to go on record, sir, with our assertion that the 'pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers' are, in point of fact', magically delicious?"
- Walter Hollarhan before the House Subcommittee on Integrity in Advertising - May, 1974
Jonathan Jones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 29th, 2005, 02:38 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Elk Grove CA
Posts: 6,838
Lawyers--

Are you separating shooting duties, from subsequent editing and production duties ? You may get in a situation where you just don't want to work on the other side.

I'm curious if any one else considers an escape clause that can be exercised.. by either party should it become apparent that there is no way of satifying the client....

By the way, this comes from an attorney...

Chris Barcellos.
Chris Barcellos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 29th, 2005, 03:14 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
lol, u know whats funny i was iun teh EXACT same situation..

sure enough she didnt need to make all those 7 pages worth of changes but the fact that she wanted to go over it and add and remove things aggravated me...

at the end of the day the contract ended up remaining as is, however the idea of someone going around and changing a bulletproof contract (for me) annoyed me, coz to be honest with u, its not negotiable.. i mena sure the packages are, but the production values arent..

as for shots, i would steer clear of anyone demanding certain shots if they intend not to offer a guide for you.
Ive done Afghan and Maco weddings with specific shots required during the reception (henna ceremony etc) and i ALWAYS demand that for specifics like this, i need to know at least 10 minutes in advance by somoene close to the bridal party so i can be there to shoot. This is in writing.

Apart from that if theyre going to be THAT pedantic, i dont bother with them, Ive been doing this long enough to be selective with my clients however i dont need somsone telling me how to do my job when 100% of my clients have been happy so far.. AND they get a contract throughout the whole process to boot.

If it aint broke, dont fix it..
Peter Jefferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 29th, 2005, 12:15 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 275
when i run into picky clients, i just don't bother. if a prospective client ever sends me a 7 page addendum (!!) to my contract, i would probably turn down the gig.

it's not worth the headache. i can always book the date with a couple that's easier to work with.
A.J. Briones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 29th, 2005, 04:20 PM   #7
Supports LPFM Radio
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northern California USA
Posts: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cook
Have you run into it and how did you handle it? Live action events are a tough thing to supply gaurantees with so what is a lad to do?
I've been handed similar contracts, but not for weddings. One thing you might want to consider is that the lawyer is more of an expert in these things than you are. So you might want to tell the client you'll need to raise your bid for the project to cover the costs of having a lawyer go over the contract+rider (and perhaps buy E&O insurance <g>) to make sure you understand what you're getting into.

Or just pass on the job. Boy, if the pre-nup is that stressful, just imagine what may happen when you deliver...

Jim
Jim Feeley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 29th, 2005, 05:52 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Denver, Colorado USA
Posts: 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cook
Ok, the bride is a lawyer...
Snipping the rest because I don't need to read any further.

Walk. Simply "walk" away from this one. Not because she's a lawyer - because she slapped a counter-contract on you. Your contract and handling of prior clients should stand on its own.

Simply tell her, "My attorney has advised me not to negotiate the terms in my contract and that we both should reconsider this arrangement". She'll understand.
Rick Steele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 29th, 2005, 06:17 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Posts: 2,614
Pass on the job and send condolences to the groom. I would not risk it.

Mike
__________________
Chapter one, line one. The BH.
Mike Teutsch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 29th, 2005, 07:36 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
"One thing you might want to consider is that the lawyer is more of an expert in these things than you are. "

It dependson what context your refering to here.. expert as within the contract structure, or expert as in the video itself?
Im assuming ur refering to the contract, however ive had quite afew potential lawyer wedding clients whove tried to pull the fast one so now the contract is NOT negotiable.
As far as im concerned my contract was written in lamens terms by me, however it was passed onto a QC (Queens Council.. the highest "lawyer" status in the country.. lucky hes an uncle of my best mate... he woulda cost me 7grand an hour...) anyways.. the point im making is that just coz theyre lawyers, doesnt make them know and understand what we do and how we do it..

if they dont know (which is prolly 99% of clients), they will automatically assume the worst and include these amendments.. if however you cover your ass within the contract yourself, they really arent left with much ammo...

apart from the "personal taste" where they try to add things in for free (like raw material) as they believe they own it.. there really shouldnt be a need to add or change anything

Last edited by Peter Jefferson; December 29th, 2005 at 08:39 PM.
Peter Jefferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 29th, 2005, 08:12 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Elk Grove CA
Posts: 6,838
Great Line for a movie--

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
"As far as im concerned my contract was written in lamens terms by me, however it was passed onto a QC (Queens Council.. the highest "lawyer" statrus in the country.. lucky hes an uncle of my best mate... he woulda cost me 7grand an hour...) anyways.. the point im making is that jsut coz theyre lwyers, doesnt make them know and understand what we do and how we do it..

Sounds like good line for a movie. In my legal experience, whether it is a three page contract or a 20 page contract, it is only as good as the two people backing it up..... You can make a judgment on who you are dealing with long before you get the contract out... I have to do that with clients every day....

Chris Barcellos
Chris Barcellos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 29th, 2005, 08:27 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Voorhees, NJ
Posts: 82
I would suggest that in the future you simply state that you would be happy to have your attorney review their changes but that, sadly, you will need to add your attorneys fees to the bill.

In addition for this type of client I would suggest a SIZEABLE retainer.

That should simplify the process greatly.

Just a thought.
Kim Kinser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 30th, 2005, 05:06 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
"I would suggest that in the future you simply state that you would be happy to have your attorney review their changes but that, sadly, you will need to add your attorneys fees to the bill."

heheheheh good call.. ;)
Peter Jefferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 30th, 2005, 07:52 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
Posts: 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch
Pass on the job and send condolences to the groom.

Mike
I couldn't help but thinking the same thing. I wonder what kind of pre-nup that poor guy had to sign...
Reid Bailey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 30th, 2005, 08:11 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Posts: 2,614
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reid Bailey
I couldn't help but thinking the same thing. I wonder what kind of pre-nup that poor guy had to sign...
I was just thinking that no matter what your profession, doctor, lawyer, or whatever, you should be able to put it aside long enough to get married.

I think this job would be problematic and I would pass or get a real good lawyer myself.

Mike
__________________
Chapter one, line one. The BH.
Mike Teutsch is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:07 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network