A note from Nimia Legal — “Approval of the essential terms of a video production project is always good practice. It is even better to do this in writing through a video production contract. A written contract will help you get paid on time and allow them to bend the legal muscles if things go wrong. Now you can download all the old PDF video production files to the web, but they`re often hard to customize and format – especially if you`re working up to a deadline. Your client will take you into town if you don`t say so. Tell yourself that you offer a maximum of two revisions, so they get three designs. After the third project or the final design, there is no going back – there is no extra work that you will deposit in the video. At this point, you wash your hands and tell them that you don`t find guilt in the video. I firmly believe that everyone will reach an agreement with the best of intentions. Once, we had a project for which we should all make a video. We met several times, we checked creatively, signed a contract and got a deposit.
Everything was fine. Death – what will happen to the agreement if one of you dies?! Go to work faster with Bonsai – and get paid: make a video production contract that I`ll also do behind the scenes a video on CudaSign (Now SignNow) that works really well to send documents and get digital signatures. The music you receive from “free” pages is precisely this: it is free because it is limited. I use free music all the time because I have customers who just don`t have the space to find and conceded a good quality track that costs as much as their video because they want to deposit a few dollars of advertising. So we`re going to get rid of the public domain or music without any allocation available. The reality is that these are areas that you probably miss because they are not fun; they don`t have the sizzle, pop and glamour that recording a video has. There are countless tutorials on YouTube about how to make a video or how to become a filmmaker. You can literally go to school at Google and YouTube University and learn how to make a movie and be a good filmmaker without ever losing a penny in film school – but to really grow up, you have to learn how to negotiate budgets. The good news, says our contact, is that it is now 3 (three!) The videos needed – but it took them a month or a month to find out everything. Our client assumed it was a simple change and a swap, but from our point of view, it was a whole new project. Our contract covered what was going to happen in that situation and we started the process of paying for what was rightly due to us on the basis of the work we had already done.
It took us a long time to get paid. Meanwhile, the company laid off 15% of its staff and guessed this, our contact was one of them. So we had to start the whole process of tracking our money again and talking to new people. It was a disaster. Even the 3 videos allegedly promised in a “month” disappeared and were dusty. Another reason why we had to be paid for the work already done. I once had a client who asked for a shot of the main character in a hospital – long after we signed ink and there was no hospital in the original story. My budget would not include that either. I found a workaround with Stock Footage, and it was finally launched after watching the first cut, but the lesson was learned: scripts must be signed before production begins.
If your customer doesn`t express his hopes and dreams at an early stage, he will hate your final product and you will probably never serve it again. In order to save fees for your lawyer reading and a redlining contract, you should first read it yourself. Mark whatever you want to check with your lawyer – remember, you probably know more about the creative world and video production than your lawyer does, so this will hoove both of you.