Contracts Every Production Company Needs

Production companies are important in television, film music, performing arts, e-sports and so many related industries. These companies, as well as the artists and creative professionals who provide entertainment services, have business relationships that are quite unique. Therefore, personalized contracts and agreements are necessary to ensure that every player’s promises, obligations and expectations regarding payment terms are clear. Knowing the right language needed for your particular situation requires specialized and personalized attention from an experienced entertainment attorney, but here are some general agreements you may need to run a successful production company:

1. Collaboration Agreement, Operating Agreement, Partnership Agreement, or Other Agreements Involving the Production Company and Financiers and/or Talent.

Music, film and entertainment may be your passion, but protecting your hard work and getting the credit – and money – you deserve is what fuels the fulfillment of the passion. It is important to remember that this is a business, your business, and needs to be operated professionally. As with any business venture, there will be multiple people involved from creation to post-production. You may have friends and family or other investors that have a stake in your success. To protect yourself, you need to have clear agreements in place for any project you and your production company may be involved. Insecurities and attempts to please people and not hurt feelings needs to be left at the door when the business starts. It is imperative to remember that you are a professional and have a duty to yourself to protect your business and to not compromise just to please others or reduce your value.

2. Contracts with Employees and Contractors.   

When you started your business, it may have been a solo affair but as you continue to grow, you will need help, brain power and resources to succeed. Bringing new people on board, either as employees or as independent contractors, involves making decisions that will impact your production company going forward. Employee Agreements and/or Contracts are necessary so issues involving compensation, confidentiality and expectations are clear from day one. 

3. Contracts with Clients.

As a production company, your clients will likely have a grand vision of how they want their entertainment project to turn out. It will be your responsibility to bring that vision to life and navigate it through the process to production. In doing so, you must know what your role, compensation and involvement is to be. You will need to issues know who owns the finished project. You must know what your fee arrangement is going to be – is it a fixed or flat fee? Are you entitled to any profit participation or merchandising fees? Surprisingly, it is common, especially for newer production companies, that these details aren’t included at all or they are written by more experienced companies who will maximize their own benefit over yours.

4. Location Contracts. 

Film and music videos are often filmed in locations offsite of the actual studio. When this happens, it is important to establish the conditions with which your production is allowed to operate on someone else’s property. Working with an authorized representative of the property, you will need to ensure agreement in how and when the property is to be used, the fees and costs associated, who is responsible for damage, whether you are required to have some form of liability protection, among other things.

This blog has only scratched the surface of the issues you will need to consider when establishing and running your production company. To have the most success, to be taken seriously in the industry and make a name as a real player, you must have written, comprehensive agreements to protect yourself and your creation. Using form agreements off of the internet will omit fundamental and essential terms and conditions that can result in costly mistakes. The Anderson Firm specializes and focuses on preventing our clients from being taken advantage of and from not getting the reward of their hard work. We would love to draft and/or review your agreements and make sure you can thrive. Based on your vision and passion and our expertise, we can work together to optimize your position and provide options that will move you to the ultimate goal: success. Call our firm at 404-521-1111 or email us at hello@theandersonfirm.com to get more information about us or to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you.

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The Anderson Firm, LLC

Precious Anderson knows her clients want quick, painless solutions for their small to mid-sized business problems.

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