Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Client wants to write in a penalty if delivery is late › Exactly! I’ve worked with
Exactly! I’ve worked with some people in the non-profit arena, as well as the California State University System, and each time my production agreements/contracts stipulate that failure to delivery ANY element of the agreed production on their part at the specified times will constitute a breach of contract rendering the entire agreement null and void and they will forfeit any monies paid up until that time.
My standard agreements/contracts (not theirs) also stipulate that in the event of a breach of contract, should the client(s) desire, a new contract will be necessary with “some” consideration regarding the previously forfeited monies paid, but will be subject to “substantial” additional costs, fees, charges, etc.
I’d NEVER sign a contract from the client that so stipulates. It it my experience over the past 20 years that 99 percent of late deliveries and failure to produce events are a direct result of client incompetence, infighting, lack of organization or mismanagement of either resources, staff or funds. They’ll (like many of us, unfortunately) find and use EVERY excuse in the book, but the vast majority of these events are due to poor organizational skills on the part of the client or its representatives.
This makes signing of such an agreement totally unacceptable for my operations. Given the cooperation and control over our prouductions we ALWAYS deliver on time, more than is expected AND under budget. Our clients like and appreciate that and this is why we can so stipulate in our agreements/contracts as stated above.
We also have clauses protecting us in the event of acts of God, war, Mother Nature or criminal intent. We define exactly what is to expected, establish a production calendar, and specifically state that any and all services or expenses incurred beyond what is stated are to be paid at the time of their occurence, or such additions will NOT be performed. We further state that extensive additions, travel and other expenses, or a change of the script, direction or definition of the project will constitute the necessity of a NEW agreement, the establishment of a NEW production timeline and render the current agreement/contract null and void.
While it is important to make an attempt to provide confidence to our clients that we will perform as promised, it is equally important for them to realize that WE are a professional service provider with a positive track record and cannot enter into agreements that in any way put us at a disadvantage in the performance of our services, even to the extent that elements of production that could/would put us or our equipment in harm’s way (our decision entirely) will NOT be pursued without significant added expenses for coverage and the hiring of qualified experts to render such events in a safe manner.
IMHO no attorney with experience in video/film production contracts would allow her/his client to sign a document containing such a clause without serious “whereas and wherefores” appended to the final contract.
None of what I say is intended to be legal advice, or to imply that I am qualified to render legal advice, nor am I licensed to practice law in any matter. This is simply to offer some insight into what I have/would done, and anything anyone does is based on their decision and I accept no responsibility or liability directly or indirectly for their use of this information. Sorry, necessary.