Wednesday, March 31, 2010


If you have been contracted to do a specific job, under a specific title, then do not also attempt to perform work within another person’s role.
The reason why is quite simple.
In my case, as a Head of Department on a Feature Film, it is my duty to make sure that my department is well managed and adhering to a great number of rules and regulations. I have signed a legally binding contract which states this.
I also have to make sure I ‘come up with the goods’ as I have that duty for the project – not only the project but also for myself as an artist.
It is my name up there in the credits and if somebody unqualified and not within my department attempts to perform my jobs then it reflects not only on the quality and continuity of the film but also on the department and my own work.
I know that sometimes you just want to help out as much as you can and this is very admirable – but all you are doing is substituting your own work for someone else’s which will inevitably just make waves.
You are risking your own career in doing this as this is viewed as stepping on other peoples toes.
The reason we sign agreements at the beginning of a project is to confirm our positions and adhere to them, just stick to your own stuff and don’t ever agree to perform someone else’s work – there is just too much riding on it for you to screw it up.


The most important thing I have learned about this Industry is that you need to have a clear and detailed agreement signed prior to performing any work.
This agreement has to cover every conceivable outcome and is used to protect you and your work. I have had many horrible situations happen to me along my journey to which I had no ability to respond to or refute. The reason was because I did not have signed agreements in place.
Whether you are performing work for free, exchange or cold hard cash you need to outline the details agreed to and have it signed by the person in charge.
How many times have you performed work on a project and not been compensated in the way you had been promised in the beginning?
Having a standard agreement including all of your terms and forms of compensation will safeguard you against the ‘users’ out there – of which, there are many!
So, you may be thinking, “Won’t that mean that I might not get the work?”
Well, the way I see it is that anyone who is not willing to sign a simple agreement outlining the situation with no hidden clauses, has something to hide and is going to do the wrong thing by you. So… do you really want that to happen?
I have a detailed standard contract which I present to all potential productions – no signature = no services provided! If you would like to discuss this contract then please get in touch.