[by Gail Mooney]
The “business” of video production encompasses a lot of things – one being good paperwork. From the initial estimate on a job, through the final invoice along with obtaining the necessary releases – good paperwork is essential for a profitable business.
I keep a database of past SOWs (Statement of Work) to use as references. While every job is different, I use these archived SOWs as a starting point. Another great starting point when putting together an estimate is to use the estimating form online at the AICP (American Independent Commercial Producers) website.
In addition to estimating the costs of crew, equipment, location needs, pre-production and post-production, I include clearly payment and licensing terms as well as a schedule of workflow and completion dates.
Terms – Here is where I state rights and “usage” of the finished product – where will it be used and for how long. I also clearly spell out payment terms, cancellations and provide an accurate description of exactly what I’m going to deliver.
- 5 minute web video.
- One day shoot on location at………….includes 2 interviews and b-roll.
- Post production – edit will include x amount of still images, voiceover narrative track and music. Logos and graphics to be provided by client.
- Payment – one third upon signed SOW (Statement of Work) – one third after shoot –balance due upon delivery of final product.
- Cancellation terms and change fees.
- One rough cut and final cut included. Additional changes are billed hourly at $………
- Licensing and usage terms. Web usage for 2 years. No Broadcast rights.
- Schedule – This is extremely important in video production – a schedule where the client signs off on each phase of the project. This is critical so if the client delays things on their end – it’s clearly understood that the rest of the schedule gets extended in terms of deadline dates. Otherwise if your client’s boss has an unexpected out of town trip come up and you need to wait for his/her approval – you won’t be left with half the time you need on your end to deliver the final product.
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