Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Specialty Topics › Legal Issues › I have a sponsor what paper work or contract do we need?
January 2, 2013 at 4:27 PM #53098
I put together 5 motorcycle travel videos, part as a hobby and part to see what might become of this interest in travel and the love of riding motorcycles. I posted them on YouTube and since have done a small amount of promotion.
Last week a travel lodge contacted me, they liked what I was producing and asked if I wanted to head up there for the weekend and shoot.
I called them today and spoke with the owner. He offerd to host me and my wife for 3 nights use their motorycles and shoot some rides around their resort.
I told him I am very new to this and would send him a quick email with some info (I can usually B.S. my way around things but I am totally in the dark about this since it's new and happened so fast)
In the email I recapped our conversation and mentioned that for their accomidations I will feature them in my show, I mentioned that we had talked about 3 days. I also mentioned that I could get at minimum 1 episode but possibly as many as 3.
The terms as we sort of discussed were I get to stay at the resort in exchange for me featuring them in some episodes.
What paper work should I have and what is the best way to discuss details in the future?
A bit more info:
There will be no interviews, just shots of the property.
I will have others in the film most likly walking beside me or riding their motorcycles.
Is there any other contracts I should have people sign?
January 3, 2013 at 12:04 PM #205498
Sounds like you're in for a fun three days. Draw up a contract, for a start. It doesn't have to be fancy but it should state exactly what you're going to do for the resort and exactly what the resort will do for you and your wife. The purpose of this document is to make sure that you and the resort are in complete agreement about the arrangements so there's no likelihood of a "you told me you'd do such and such" confrontation down the line. You sign a copy and the resort manager signs a copy. Now you both know what you're getting for your time and effort and, perhaps most importantly, what you're not getting.
If you're going to have people from the resort in your finished piece, be sure to get permission slips from all those you interview or specifically tape — e.g., those riding or walking along with you. You don't need releases from people who are just walking by, but if you're doing interviews with fellow bikers, for example, you should have a release. Videomaker has published talent release forms and you should be able to find them here on the site.
Good luck; have fun at the resort.
January 3, 2013 at 12:34 PM #205499
Thanks, I have been looking on here as well as google putting a few things together. I am excited for the future but also realizing that there is quite a bit of paper work in order to keep yourself protected.
January 3, 2013 at 5:33 PM #205503
Eric, it's not only for your protection but, equally importantly, a contract is for communication. When you sit down with a client and discuss the contract you're both coming to an understanding of what will and what won't happen. There's nothing worse than coming to the end of a shoot and discovering that the client thought you were going to be shooting one thing and you've shot something entirely different.
I'd be sure to find out exactly what your resort owner wants foregrounded in your shooting. You don't want to discover, on you way home from a grand holiday, that you didn't shoot the pool because it was empty and full of leaves and the client loved the leaf-filled pool more than any other feature on the property.
I'd also spell out very carefully that inclusion in an episode of your show means: how much time will be allocated to the client and what, precisely, does he want featured. Remember: he's giving you the equivalent of several hundred dollars; he's sure to have expectations regarding his investment. Find out what they are.
January 3, 2013 at 7:49 PM #205507
I looked through the videomaker docs and see there are a bunch of documents I have not idea what they mean. Is there a book or website I can go to to learn what should be spelled out. As well as what all these forms mean?
Everything you mentioned is super important to think about and you are right I want to make sure that we both leave happy.
January 4, 2013 at 10:19 AM #205526relikParticipant
Just to expand on what Jack has said (which is all excellent advice), the forms you really need signed are at minimum:
A location release – this is permission to shoot on the property. Even though you have a contract (or will have a contract) with the owner to the effect you are trading "promotional considerations" for accomodations, you still want to get a release for the location.
General release/talent release – this is permission to use footage that you shot of people. It goes under a number of names (not sure what they call it on the site here), but essentially if you pointed a camera at someone and pushed the red button, you need to get them to sign. If they say no, you CANNOT use the footage. When you look at the release, be sure to get one (or edit the boilerplate) to exclude "consideration" "remuneration", etc. or anything that may be seen to imply people are getting paid (unless you are paying them, of course).
I would add that one very big consideration is liability. I am sure you are an experienced rider, but don't presume that anyone else is, especially if you don't have a history with them. Doing candid shots in public places is very different than shooting on someone's property where you have a contract. You incur a certain liability if something goes wrong, gets broken, etc. even if it's one of the resort staff goofing around on their own bike. You may not be at fault, but that will not necessarilly prevent you from being a party to a legal action.
Production liability insurance is expensive (potentially more than the weekend you're planning) and generally is higher if it involves anything other than pointing a camera at actors on a closed set. Motorcycles are seen as frightfully high-risk by most production insurers (more than cars but slightly less than guns). It's probably not an option for you, so consider shots and activities that minimize your risk or risk to the sponsors property, personnel, and guests.
I know this may sound discouraging and perhaps a bit paranoid, but all it really means is applying common sense to what you are doing. Most likely it won't change anything in the way you work or what you want to do, but when you create a business relationship around your hobby, it can paint a target on you. It's just smart to know going in, and be aware.
Hope that helps.
January 4, 2013 at 12:53 PM #205530
Relik is right on about liability. One relatively easy way to deal with this is to have a "hold harmless" clause in your contract, a statement that says 1) your client realizes that working around motorcycles is potentially dangerous, and 2) that you will be held harmless for any accident or damage that might occur during your shooting.
You can probably get away with putting together a contract yourself put if it were I, I'd have an attorney look it over before using it. Our company has been super careful about this and, thank goodness, we've never had a contract dispute that would test our contract. If we ever do, though, I know that our attorney feels comfortable about defending the contract we use.
This all may sound a little complicated now, but if you continue doing work like this you'll be all ready to go for your next job. Good luck.
January 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM #205531
Thanks guys, the tips are SUPER helpful! I am really excited about the future but also know that there is a great deal of responsability.
Could either of you point me to a google search where I could read over some basic contracts that would help me understand better terms and conditions apply to the job that I am doing.
what i should expect from them during the filming and what they should expect from me in the filming.
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