No Guarantees Clause

 

Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property for Filmmakers

 

Lesson Info

No Guarantees Clause

So another clause that you want to include is no guarantees and so I sort of touched on this a little bit but this clause specifically protects you so that you're not guaranteeing a certain standard or a certain look or certain feel or anything super super specific that really stifles the creative process in your contract okay, you want to be careful about doing that because you know you might think ok here's the plan as we go into this you know film you know the plan is we're going to do it in this setting here's the script that we're following here is the plan and then you get in there and things change you know and sometimes things change for a better for the better there's you know, spontaneous things that happened in the creative process and so you want to create room for that in your contract and that's why you want to have a no guarantees clause so let's check this out so this says studio will perform the services in a professional manner using that degree of care and skill ordi...

narily exercise buying consistent with the standards of the profession so you're basically you're the only thing you're guaranteeing is that this will be done in a professional matter that I'm a professional filmmaker and this will be done professionally right? However studio cannot guarantee the outcome of the filming and studios comments about the outcome are expressions of opinion only so what this does is say all right, I'm not guaranteeing what the result will look like and I'm also even if I say hey, I think this is going really great I think this is going to happen I think it's going to look like this I think you're going to love it you can say that all you want throughout the process doesn't matter because in writing you're letting them know that nothing that you say means that you're guaranteeing anything you're just expressing your opinion throughout the process um and so you're making no guarantees other than that you will provide the specific services that you told them you would provide right on dh that would probably be in the first paragraph of the contract is where you talk about all right here's the service that I'm offering you here's what's going to be provided on dh then you're also saying client acknowledges that's you cannot guarantee and any results for the quality of footage as such outcomes are based on subjective factors that cannot be controlled by the studio so you know things like the people that appear in the video and the weather and, you know, lighting and setting and stuff these air not all things that are one hundred percent within your control, so you're just creating a situation where you're not guaranteeing anything in this clause and then you know you're also not guaranteeing like how the event will be filmed or that everyone in the at the event will be included in the final edited footage this is important for things like weddings and other events that you're filming you also reserving the right to edit the footage as you see fit so you're the creator you want to have the right to do the editing as you see fit of course you know you want to make your clients happy but you also need to preserve your creative process right? And then here is the clause that I mentioned about you know, hair and makeup and wardrobe in set design this is making you not responsible for the independent contractors who you've you know organized for your clients to work with so that's the no guarantees clause another clause that you want to include his cancellation if a client books you to work with them you know tio create footage or create a video and then cancels at some point you want to reserve the right to keep the deposit ok, because that disrupts your business you've started to prep for it maybe you've gotten contractors in place and paid them a deposit so this protects your business. The other thing that this does is make requires them to give a certain amount of notice before they can cancel okay? And then that last day of notices when they owe you until ok so let's say you know, it was a thirty day process to create a certain film and they let you know in the fifteen day that they want to cancel, then that lets you know you can keep fifty percent of the total fee that you would have charged them. So this is what that does and so, like, I tell all of my clients you want to be a hard ass in writing, okay? So make sure that you're protecting yourself, being very aggressive about your policies and when what your contract says and then in reality you can be nice about it, you know? So if you feel like all right, well, I don't feel like the client has told me the whole fifty percent even though they cancelled, I'll take twenty five percent and be content, then you can say to them, hey, I'm going to refund seventy percent of your your money and just keep twenty five percent even though my contract says that I have the right to keep fifty percent, ok, you can always be kinder in reality than you are for your contracts, but your contract you want to be a hard ass because that's, what protects you, especially if you have a situation where you have a really problem client, this will really come and save the day on that type of situation, so very, very important so now you understand some of the clauses that you want to include in your client service agreement, and feel free to use any of this language. You can just cut and paste it. There's. A word document, that's included as a bonus, that has these clauses in there. So you can take him and, you know, adapt them to your contract, customize them for your business and use them because they will protect you.

Class Description

It’s one thing to know terms like “copyright infringement” or “intellectual property” – understanding and applying those concepts as a filmmaker can be much more challenging. Join Rachel Rodgers to learn everything you need to know to become your own best advocate.

In this class, you’ll learn when and why you need signed releases. You’ll also learn how to create client service agreements that protect your best interests. Rachel will also help you troubleshoot common copyright infringement issues filmmakers often face. Documentary filmmaker Eric Proux will join the conversation to share his been-there-done-that expertise.

No matter what type of films you make, this class will give you the skills and confidence to both defend and profit from your unique creations.

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