Template deferred contract?

  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    Can any point me in the direction of a good deferred contract for a feature film?

    I've had a good look through the Equity site but can't seem to find anything...

    • 19th Jun 2008
    • 5205
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  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    That's because Equity don't support the concept of Deferred Payment.

    The reason is that in just about every case the contract is not worth the paper it's printed on.

    In most cases it is easy to 'sell' the 'profit' to a distributor thus relieving the initial production company of its contractual obligations.

    That way it is easy to negate any 'deferred payment' to anyone.

    I doubt that if you accept a deferred payment contract that you'll get paid anything other than your up front payment or expenses.

    Fact of life I'm afraid.

    Sorry to come back with such a downer but it is so important that this message is braodcast.

    • 17th Jun 2008
    • 1
  • User Deleted

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    Just to add to Alen's comments.

    Deferred payment is not allowed under the national minimum wage act 1998. Equity recommend that under no circumstances should Equity members agreed to a deferred payment contract.

    If you would like any more help and advice about deferred payment contracts please contact Tim Gale at the London Equity office. Tim is a very helpful man who works for Equity and is very familiar with employment law and film contracts. You can find his telephone number in your Equity diary and his e-mail address and telephone number are also on the Equity website.

    Cheers

    TRACEY

    • 17th Jun 2008
    • 2
  • User Deleted

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    Whoops sorry I spelt your name wrong Alan. :-) must have been talking to quickly for my dictation package.

    Dyslexia rules ko

    • 17th Jun 2008
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  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    No problem, Tracey. I've been called worse....

    • 18th Jun 2008
    • 4
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I did a "deferred payment" job once. sometime around September 2006. They also promised travel expenses as it involved me travelling to Birmingham. To this date I have not received any payment or expenses or even a copy of the DVD. The only correspondence I have had from these Wang-Kerrs was a circular email demanding that everybody stop harrassing the director as she had more important things on her plate. Personally I have chalked it down to experience, "deferred payment" effectively means no payment. My advice is don't waste your time or your talents with scum like that

    • 18th Jun 2008
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  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    Well, I may be sticking my head above the parapet here, but I was looking for the contract because I'm involved in producing a film and wanted to make sure that the actors are secure in the knowledge that we will do the right thing by them.

    To prevent the usual onslaught:

    There's no financial backing- we have a camera and a mic and that's it.

    No one at all gets paid.

    We're using local actors to reduce any travel expenses.

    If the film gets any kind of distribution we will give the actors their dues- hence the need for a contract.

    Or main aim is to be doing good work, rather that sitting around waiting for an opportunity.

    I appreciate that some people may feel, as I'm an Equity member, that I'm doing something wrong- however I will also be acting in the film, so would only ask others to do what I'm happy with. I'd much prefer to be involved in this project where I can ensure other actors are treated with respect, than do yet another student film/lo budget etc where a deferred payment does indeed mean nothing at all.

    Someone has very kindly supplied me with a template now- thanks!

    • 18th Jun 2008
    • 6
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    The only grumble I have with Deferred contract work, Sally, is that it is the difference between 'Net' and 'Gross' and then 'Producer's 'Net' and 'Income Gross'. Whichever you choose there will always be difficulty working out who is due what at the end or even when the 'end' is supposed to be.

    Since the previous postings have mainly said it all maybe it would be better to say to cast, crew and all involved that the film will not make a profit. But if it does each will get a share of it.

    Take their names, addresses and leave it at that. A Deferred Contract will still be illegal, as Tracey says, under Employment Law. So it will be unenforceable anyway.

    • 18th Jun 2008
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  • Sally Beaumont

    Actor

    Hmm, that's interesting.

    It's a difficult one, because I want to make sure the actors are secure in our good intentions, and a contract seems like the sensible thing to do. I'm not sure I'd take a producer's word, although I'm 100% honest about it!

    I suppose the best thing is to be upfront with everyone about the low possibility of getting distribution, but that we intend to share any profits.

    • 18th Jun 2008
    • 8
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I think the main problem is there are a lot of new and naive actors who are not totally clear about "deferred" payment (i was one of them) and a lot of producers know this so they are vague about it or they will advertise the job as "paid". Like you said, the best thing you can do is be totally upfront and honest about your intentions and make it clear that the possibility of payment is unlikely.

    • 19th Jun 2008
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  • User Deleted

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    I say "well done" Sally, for getting off the proverbial and doing something. You might want to consider just giving all this information in the casting notice, and re-iterating it in any contact with potential cast, and do it in writing too. Then you probably don;t need to provide a contract. If all film makers were upfront about what's involved, there probably wouldn't be so many bad stories about actors being fleeced. Ditto if there were more 'educated' new actors.

    • 19th Jun 2008
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