For those who freelance in the field of video production, a videography contract can prove to be invaluable when dealing with clients. Providing professional services in the creative arts is serious business, so it must be treated that way. Being properly protected on paper is the best way to ensure you’re covered, from getting paid and beyond.
A videographer contract is basically a formal services agreement and bounds legally the producer and the client; even though some people may find it intimidating, most will appreciate the professionalism as well as the protection that it provides for them, whether they’re hiring you for filming footage in the field or creating animation on a computer in an office.
One simply can’t convey the importance of a formal document for any video project that you are taking on as a professional and a contract should even be implemented for ‘casual’ work. If this offends friends and family, emphasize that a having a legal coverage will only improve the experience for everyone; a legally binding agreement usually lets everybody involved rest a little easier and in some cases could even inspire the artist to do even better work.
Considering all this – below is a quick list containing some of the main points that artists and producers should put into a standard video production agreement.
Points for Your Videography Contract
A Start and Completion Date/Exit Time
This information is absolutely mandatory in your agreement. You must clearly state the amount of time you intend to spend on a project. If not, you never know when you’ll finally be finished, especially with an irrational client that cannot be pleased.
This is where you specify precisely what you’ll be doing for the client. Every contract should clearly state what you, the artist, will ultimately provide to the client. Then they’ll know exactly what to expect in the end. Giving them your guarantee in writing.
This is perhaps the most important part of any agreement. Even if you have a set price list for all your services, you still want to enter the exact amounts and total in the contract. Also, be sure to put the prices on the same page as the ‘signature’ section.
Beyond the basics, if there are any special stipulations, write them somewhere in the contract. When things are clearly stated, there’ll be no confusion for you or the client. This way, the project will go as smoothly as possible.
Signing the contract by both parties is the last step. But before you sign, double check to make sure your document contains every little detail. Keep in mind that a good agreement contains considerations for all parties. This only makes sense, since it is supposed to be a “deal” that you’re both making.
Remember, these are simply some of the points that should always be addressed. There are of course many other considerations and clauses that could be included. That’s why it’s smart to use a video production contract template. In doing so, you’ll have a lot more control over the creative process. Plus you’ll feel much better about every project you undertake, and so will your clients!
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where having a contract actually made a difference?