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Old February 20th, 2003, 05:38 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Liverpool, UK
Posts: 24
Contracts for Corporate Work

I was wondering if any of you could offer any advice when dealing with corporate clients. Specificaly with contracts.

Currently, we deal with private individuals (ie. Wedding Productions) and operate a policy of one third cost deposit, and then two thirds cost settled two weeks prior to the shoot. That seems to work fine for us.

However, we have little knowledge of how we should deal with a corporate client. Obviously, a corporate project (i.e. Training Film) is a lot more complicated with things like briefs, pitches, storyboard meetings and budget considerations.

Can anyone offer any real world advice regarding their own experiences in this environment? How do you charge for your time with projects that involve lengthy pre-production? What are the pitfalls? Can you recommend any books on this subject?

We would greatly appreciate any input.

Thanks in advance...
James Graham
Zebra DV (under construction)
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Old February 20th, 2003, 09:05 PM   #2
Major Player
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 607
Most Corporate clients will want to pay you net 30 or more. That means you don't get paid for at least 30 days after you submit the invoice. (which is AFTER you finish the work) Most of my clients are more flexible now but just starting out you will have problems getting them to sway. I usually get 20% up front, 50% at beta review (after filming and rough outline edit) and 30% upon final delivery. It really varies depending on what kind of project it is and how complicated it is too.

I can pretty much guarantee you will NOT get paid BEFORE you shoot and even suggesting it will probabaly get the door slammed in your face and have you black-balled in the corporate business. I don't know how weddings pull it off, I guess people are just stupid like that but I would NEVER pay someone 100% BEFORE they actually did the job. (you are just begging to get robbed)

As for fees, I figure out how much time it is going to take, what it's going to cost me, how much I want to make, and add a little profit and protection margin. I might have several projects going on at once so I usually have to make my schedules work first and then decide on the timeline.
You might find a book on business management or something but the only way to really figure it out is by doing it.
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Old February 20th, 2003, 10:24 PM   #3
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Actually, in the wedding biz it's pretty common to get paid in full by the date of the event. I agree, not in corporate. You are more likely to get bentover by a B/G that a corporation large or small. I've done both and really prefer the wedding work. I do however have a couple of really great corp accounts that I love shooting for and 1 reason is they pay fast!
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