Brian is correct, you'll most likely not receive any funds in return from the film's backend.
BUT! You never know what explodes in the market.
Legally, I can not be held liable for whether or not this excerpt below from my contract will work for you. It was designed specifically for me by a lawyer specifically for this one project.
That being said, for purposes of education, here's an excerpt from a contract for a feature I did last year:
4. CONTINGENT COMPENSATION:
4.1 Provided the DP faithfully performs all duties and obligations required hereunder, DP
shall receive as contingent compensation (the “Contingent Compensation”):
4.1.1 an amount equal to One Percent (1%) of One Hundred Percent (100%) of
Production Company's Net Profits (as defined below) derived from the exploitation of the Film.
4.2. The term “Gross Receipts” as used herein means the aggregate of the following:
4.2.1 All sums actually received by Production Company in United States Dollars on
account of receipts derived from the sale, distribution, marketing or other exploitation of the Film or
any rights therein, (excluding any sums received or earned by any licensees of the Film or any amounts
received in the form of tax credits/rebates/subsidies or other incentives), after deduction from such
receipts of the full distribution fees or charges payable to the distributor and of all costs, charges,
expenses and other items (including but not limited to the costs of prints, advertising and publicity,
sales representatives, duties, taxes, foreign language versions, insurance, royalties, shipping charges,
agency packaging fees, etc.) which the distributor or any sub-distributors are entitled to deduct or
recoup pursuant to any distribution agreement relating to the Film or which are incurred by Production
Company in connection with, or incident to, the distribution, sale, marketing or other exploitation of
the Film and not otherwise deducted by the distributor from sums payable to Production Company
under any distribution agreement; and,
4.2.2 All sums actually received by Production Company in United States Dollars
directly from any person, firm or corporation (other than sums received from a distributor under the
provisions of any distribution agreement as hereinabove provided) on account of any sale, lease,
license or other disposition of any of Production Company’s rights or interests in or to the Film and
all sums received by Production Company on account of or by reason of any infringement or
interference by a third party of or with the Film or any rights therein, after there is first deducted from
such sums any and all costs, fees or expenses paid or incurred in or in connection with any such sale,
lease, license or other disposition (as such costs are set forth in Section 1(a)) and/or in connection with
deriving any such revenues or effecting such recoveries.
4.3. The term “Net Profits” as used herein shall mean the difference between Gross
Receipts and the sum of the following deductions, on a continuing and cumulative basis:
4.3.1 All revenues received by the Production Company pursuant to Section 4.2
hereinbove, when received by the Production Company, be applied first in payment of the following
126.96.36.199 All ongoing and unpaid operating expenses of the Production Company
and all expenses incurred in connection with the production of the Film;
188.8.131.52 All costs of production of the Film that have not been supplied by the
Members, if any;
184.108.40.206 Such reserves as the Members deem necessary in accordance with good
business practice to cover future Company expenses.
220.127.116.11 All investors in the Film shall recoup their respective capital
contributions plus a One Hundred Percent (100%) return thereon;
18.104.22.168 All deferrals, if any, shall be paid; and
22.214.171.124 Thereafter. Fifty Percent (50%) thereof to all investors in the Film, pro
rata, pari passu in accordance with their respective Percentage Interests in the Production Company,
and, Fifty percent (50%) to Production Company (or its assignee who shall assume such obligations,
out of which amount any net profit participation of third parties above-the-line talent, shall be paid
126.96.36.199 Therefore, the Fifty percent (50%) share set forth herein shall be
deemed Production Company’s Net Profits for purposes of this Agreement.
Take what you will from it. With contracts, however, remember that they're only as good as the people signing it. You can use it in a court of law, but often times it's not worth the money and time for a legal battle.
For low budget films, it's unrealistic to expect any money from the back end. They usually break even with their revenue and the production company has far more expenses left uncovered from post that will prevent any income to reach you. It's the same with the income from distributors to the production company.