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Deferred Payment Contract


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#1 Michael B McGee

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 11:29 AM

well i tried searching for this and had no luck. i'm in the middle of pre-production on a project and i mentioned to the producer that we need to setup a "deferred payment contract" since she won't be paying me or my crew. she said she'll speak to her lawyer and get back to me. well, we shoot next sunday and i wanna make sure my crew and myself get paid if this project makes a profit. so, the question is: does anyone know of a general deferred payment contract? should i have googled it before posting or does one even exist? also, let me know about your deferred payment jobs and how that worked out for you and your crew.

thanks,
Mike
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 12:27 PM

Mike,
I've never gotten paid from a Deferred job, primarily because they never made money. Now this may not be 100% true in all cases, but I feel pretty comfortable saying that you shouldn't expect to get paid from it.
That being said, you can draft up a general agreement form which lists the following:

Your name and Address, producers/productions name address, production dates, job you're hired for, and the specifics of when you'll be paid (e.g.paid in full your day rate, which you'd list once the production has made back x% of the full budget and before crew below you, yet after actors/directors producers and "immediate expenses.")
You could get this signed/witnesses and it should hold up pretty well to scrutiny. How I would word it-- and note I AM NOT A LAWYER NOR HAVE AND LEGAL TRAINING--- would be such

I,______________________________, with a business address or perminate residence at _______________________________ hereafter ___________(JOB TITLE)__________ do agree to work on the production ______(production name)_______ hereafter THE PRODUCTION from the dates of _______, till ______ for deferred payment. This agreement is entered into with _____(producer's name)____ with business and or residency address at_________________, hereafter PRODUCER, who hereby agrees that they are qualified and have authority to enter into such agreement on behalf of THE PRODUCTION.
The (JOB TITLE) does hereby acknowledge, and THE PRODUCER affirms their acceptance that no payments will be made until the following criteria have been met:
(negotiate here with producer for terms)

with the exception of Force Majure, failure to meet with payment by THE PRODUCER to (JOB TITLE) within (X days) once the following criteria have been met and or exceeded will result in:
1) Interest upon the unpaid balance assessed at 10% per day for every Business Day with passes between the date due and date recieved.
2) If no payments are received within (X Days) the (JOB TITLE) will begin legal action againts THE PRODUCER/THE PRODUCTION for unpaid balances and court/legal fees.
(you'll probably have to negotiate here as well )

This agreement is entered into upon the execution of the signature of both (JOB TITLE) and THE PRODUCER and shall be in effect until all balances are fulfilled and (JOB TITLE) has furnished THE PRODUCER with a receipt.

SIGNED:

_________________________
(JOB TITLE)
PRINT NAME:
_________________________

Date:
_________________________


SIGNED:

_________________________
(PRODUCER)
PRINT NAME:
_________________________

Date:
_________________________


Witnessed:

_________________________
(AFFILIATION)
PRINT NAME:
_________________________
CONTACT INFORMATION:
________________________
________________________
________________________
________________________

Date:
_________________________



That's something like I'd whip up. Again I stress I HAVE NO LEGAL TRAINING WHATSOEVER, but essentially what you need is an agreement with conditions as well as repercussions when not fulfilled. While a witness is not normally necessary they can be useful to have if things ever go awry.
Again, I stress that you'll have to negotiate with the producer a bit on the conditions of payment.. so be flexible, and fair, but make sure you don't get dicked over. Have each member of your crew also enter into a similar agreement unless you are paying them yourself (e.g. you get a lump sum from the producer for you and crew in which they should enter into agreement with you and you with the production on their behalf).

Hope this helps.

Oh. Also. I use a "services agreement" for a lot of my jobs. If you'd like I can send you a template of that which perhaps you could remodel a bit to fit in with deferred payment. feel free to drop me an e mail-- adrian (at) adriansierkowski (dot) com
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#3 Serge Teulon

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 05:41 AM

Like Adrian I've never, ever, received payment from a deferred job. I don't know what that says about he films I've worked on........

However, there are always those unexpected stories of indies that have made loads of money.....one that springs to mind here in the UK is "London to Brighton".

If I'd worked on that film and hadn't signed a deferred agreement I would've been really pissed....
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#4 Jim Keller

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:35 PM

When negotiating your deferred payment, make sure it's based on gross profits or set to trigger upon sale or distribution, not based on net profits. If you are working without pay, you are investing in the project, and your repayment must be of the same priority as those who wrote a check to get the film made. I've yet to meet anyone who got paid on a net profits deal, including some who worked on films that we would term "blockbusters."
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#5 Michael B McGee

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:36 PM

great. thanks for your help guys. i'll let you know if i ever get paid.
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#6 Josh Bass

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 04:22 AM

Here's another thing to watch out for:

There's a story about a local filmmaker who sold his film/got distribution/whatever. The important thing is that his guy made $400,000 off his movie, on which all crew had signed deferred pay contracts. But this guy just. . .didn't pay them. Period. So watch out for that kind of stuff.
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#7 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 11:34 AM

well i tried searching for this and had no luck. i'm in the middle of pre-production on a project and i mentioned to the producer that we need to setup a "deferred payment contract" since she won't be paying me or my crew. she said she'll speak to her lawyer and get back to me. well, we shoot next sunday and i wanna make sure my crew and myself get paid if this project makes a profit. so, the question is: does anyone know of a general deferred payment contract? should i have googled it before posting or does one even exist? also, let me know about your deferred payment jobs and how that worked out for you and your crew.

thanks,
Mike


Not to sound pessimistic but the reality is that 9 out of 10 productions will "cook" the books and will never show a profit even if there is one. Go into the job with the outlook that you will never get paid and you won't be disappointed. If you do get paid, great! Most likely though, in the end it's not likely. I hope I'm wrong on this one. :)

Best,
Greg
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Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam

The Slider

Technodolly