Filmmaking, in many ways, is an unpredictable venture. Productions change and evolve as they face problems and barriers. Utilizing film crew contracts is a way to protect yourself as a crew member or as a production company from any repercussions of the ever changing film production process. In this article, we’ll be taking a look specifically at the components of a videography contract and break it down for you to use in your upcoming gigs and projects.
What is a Videography Contract?
Definition of a videography contract
Contracts can be long winded. Before we break down in detail the content of a videography contract, let’s define it generally to understand its value.
VIDEOGRAPHY CONTRACT DEFINITION
What is a videography contract?
A videography contract, often called a deal memo, is a service contract between a videographer and an employer. The contract outlines terms and details of the job that range from dates of engagements, fees and rates, travel, booking procedures, crew requirements, insurance, etc.
Key information in a videography contract:
- Rates and compensation
- Duration of work
- Terms of service
Why you need a videography contract
A videographer client contract is designed to protect both the videographer and the client. No matter which side you’re on, a videography contract is necessary to protect yourself from default, ensure proper financial compensation for work, and to outline the parameters of the job.
Download our free videography contract template below to get a better understanding of the terms laid out in a contract and to use in your own productions.
Free Videography Contract Template PDF Download
Click to view and download the entire Videography Contract Template PDF below.
Contracts can be overwhelming upon a first glance. Let’s take a look at and breakdown the most essential aspects of a videographer client contract for better understanding.
Cameraman Contract Breakdown
One of the most important details laid out in a videography client contract is the quantity and means of compensation. This is where the videographer clarifies their rates and fees whether they be daily, weekly, or by project.
This key information will ensure that the videographer is paid fully upon the rate that was agreed upon prior to the production. This will also entail noting the rate of pay in specific cases such as overtime, re-shoots, down days, prep days, etc.
Videographer Agreement Breakdown
In addition to stating the rate of pay, it is important for a videographer client contract to define an agreed upon workday. This means defining the maximum duration of work time in a day. Typically, these work days are restricted to 12-hour days exclusive of meal breaks. This is meant to protect the videographer from long work days that exceed an agreed upon duration.
Videography Services Agreement
As the lead on video for a project, a videographer will often include in a contract the crew requirements to accomplish the necessary project. This is dependent on the scale of the project. Larger projects can require video assistants, additional grips, etc.
It is important to include the necessary crew requirements of the project before production because this will inevitably increase the cost for the employer. Having the additional contracted roles listed in the contract will ensure that both the employer and videographer are on the same page.
Videographer’s Contract Breakdown
If the production requires the videographer to travel, the employer may provide airfare and compensate for any travel costs. Upon arrival, the videographer may also receive a per diem of an agreed amount for travel, scout, prep and shoot days.
It’s important to include this in the initial contract to ensure that the videographer does not get stuck with paying travel fees they did not expect.
Simple Videography Contract Breakdown
This section of the videography client contract outlines how time cards will be presented for the videographer’s fees. This section also outlines the time frame that fees are due by the producer upon receipt of a timecard or invoice (typically 10 days). The agreed upon payment method between the employer and the videographer is also stated here.
Cameraman Contract Credits
While it may seem like a small detail, having in writing within a videography client contract that you will be appropriately credited as the director of photography for a project is important. Here, the videographer will be able to state how they want to be credited as well as where.
This can be especially important for videographers working on building their reel and gaining exposure.
Videographer Client Contract
This section of the videographer client contract ensures that the videographer has access to the finished project in a master format at no cost as soon as it is made available to the producer.
This allows the videographer to use the project on their own reel with the permission of the agency, production company, or client.
Mastering the Crew Deal Memo
Videographers are only one of many roles on a film set that may receive a service contract or deal memo. If you are a producer or filmmaker wanting to learn the ins and outs of the crew deal memo, check out our next article in which we breakdown the clauses of our very own crew deal memo template.