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Nancy Scott August 20th, 2003 11:16 AM

"Back-end" Agreement
I'm producing a no-budget short film and will be getting standard releases from the actors, who are donating their time. Someone has asked for a "back-end" agreement that covers money to be paid to an actor IF the film becomes commercial and makes a "profit." The chance of this are slim to nil, but the actor wants it covered.

Does anyone have any experience with these so-called "back end agreements?" What percentage might we be talking about? I've looked around the net but haven't come up with any proforma agreements that address this. In fact, nobody seems to address it at all! I'm not eager to hire an entertainment lawyer if I can avoid that, but I also don't want to lose my actor :-)

Thanks for your thoughts and ideas.

Keith Loh August 20th, 2003 12:04 PM

It's more commonly called "deferred". Check with your local chapter of SAG.

Nancy Scott August 20th, 2003 03:20 PM

Thanks, Keith. I checked out the SAG website and at least got a broad explanation of their parameters for an "experimental film" (shot for less than $75,000 in the U.S., with distribution primarily to the Film Festival circuit). That particular SAG contract itself would be far more complex than I'm looking for, but at least I have some idea what percentages SAG considers appropriate for deferred compensation.. namely 3.6 to 4.5% of distributor's gross receipts for principal performers... a dilemma in which I'd like to find myself. :-)

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