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Ever felt an intense desire to just rage quit from your video editing job because your employer or freelance client is not being professional? Well, if it offers some comfort, there is nothing unique in this. Such scenarios are the norm for all the video editors out there. Many freelancers have had to contend with a nasty client who shifts goal posts at a whim and expect you to modify the entire project.

Video editing is a tough industry to be in. Not only does it require talent and creativity, but also a great deal of skill and initial investment to start you off; and this is what clients do not understand. All the technicalities overwhelm them which lead to problems and this can jeopardize your contracts and even your career. That did not sound too pleasant understandably. It is a convergence of creativity, a lot of technical skills, talent, and super perfect communication skills. You have to be able to visualize the end product of what is editing and perfectly sculpt raw data to a final selling film or video. You also need to have the initial investment to start off, lots of patience and hoard of problem-solving skills to fix an issue that arise from the video editing before your client approves the project. Most clients do not understand what it takes to make a good video. They are mostly overwhelmed by the technical aspects of the whole process which lead to problems which can threaten your contract and profession.

There are, however, several business practices you should adopt to avoid having client problems and experience smooth-going contracts and careers. Video editing is on the rise and you should be doing what you need to beat your competition. Contracts are an accepted business practice by the professional video editing community and have proven to be highly influential on how agreements operate. Signing a contract ends so many of your problems with clients that you can peacefully just edit videos and give it your best. Bonsai is here to help you create a smashing contract draft that does it for you.

Here is our short guide to what clauses any video editing contract should include. The most important part is to include clauses about work duties. Clients can get pretty confused in all the editing stuff so it is always better to finalize those before starting work so the clients' mind is clarified. Financial clauses are equally important as well. There are several financial problems that you can face such as late or no payments, payment schedules, taxation issues etc. Make sure that the contract explicitly contains information regarding these issues so you can work without any worries of financial mishaps. Policies should be a part of any contract. You need to work these out carefully as they can have an impact on how things go if your client does something wrong. These should lay down the lines of action to be adopted if something weird happens. For example, you should inform the client of what happens when due payments are delayed or when sudden changes or cancellations are made in the project. Bonsai has loads of samples and templates for you to choose from. With our expert help, you can completely revolutionize your work routine.

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1. Work for Hire Agreement

This is the most important clause to include in any contract. It is hard for clients to really grasp with the editing stuff you will be undertaking to make his video a reality. With a work for hire, the client steps into your shoes and becomes the author of the video editing for copyright purposes. All of the aspects of copyright ownership including recognition and control are taken over by the client. You should ensure these vital issues are captured in the editing contract to prevent future conflict. A well-drafted contract should capture certain duties relating to your editing payment coverage, and other benefits you will be entitled to. Confirm you both agree on patent and other benefits which may be involved. You will be also required to consider any extra work outside of the video editing, extra hours done and any other effort you exert outside the scope of the current editing contract.

2. Financial Clauses

This clause is equally important in the video editing contract. It outlines compensation charges or payments, suitable payment modes, payment plan, and your intervals for getting paid. You need to decide what suits your unique needs best and capture it in the editing contract. You can decide to divide this clause two ways, one showing how much you get, the other defining list and method of collection.

The video editing contract should describe duration after which payments can be considered to be late, situations under which you can claim interest for late payments, and when the client is allowed not to pay (for example, if you submit unfinished or substandard work after revising several times). It will also clarify situations which part of the payment is allowed if you and client agree not to finish the project and get paid for work which has been done at that point.

This clause shows clients’ role, if any, your own travel expenses, food, and accommodation. Contracts covering detailed plans can specify hours you will work, set client revenue hopes and keep his budgets within his plan.

It should also indicate that the client will pay all related levies and that you should not be regarded as an employee during the course of the contract. .You should be able to retain your identity as a freelancer which reduces your liability on tax issues. Make sure the contract captures money issues clearly so that you are left to work without worrying about payment.

For more information regarding clauses of the contract, take a look at this link.

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3. Contracts Time Frames Clause

This clause will show the duration for which the contract will last. Some ways to describe contract time frame can be described are fixed, indefinite and project. Permanent contracts stay a fixed period, for instance, few months to one year from the starting date, and has a choice to renew when the contract continue beyond the original agreement. As long as the clause allows for renewal, fixed contracts are flexible for you and the client since they don’t limit your specific project.

Project contracts last until the client has approved all project submitted work. Some project-oriented contracts don’t state an end date. Others set a deadline at which all work must be submitted or accepted.

Indefinite contracts do have a precise end date. They can show that the video editing contract remains effective until you decide to end it.

It’s also good to have a different clause showing the conditions under which you and the client can stop or terminate the contract earlier than set completion date.

4. Cancellations of a Contract

It can happen that for unforeseen circumstances, your relationship with the client cannot continue. The contract should carefully outline what happens when things go awfully wrong. Payment schedules should be outlined in this clause. You need to feel secure knowing you will be all right if you fall sick or get an emergency in the course of work. It describes the parties’ rights to incomplete work. Usually, the client retains copyright to any submitted, paid-for work, and you retain copyright to unpaid work.

If payment issues are not spelled out in other clauses, this section further summaries how much and when the client is required to make the payment for the partially completed work you may have done at the time of cancellation. It also elaborates what the amount of money you are entitled to for partially completed work and what the client can do for work that did not meet his agreed standards.

5. Dispute Resolution Clause

The clause defines how disputes arising from the editing contract relationship are to determined and resolved. It essentially explains the rules governing the agreement, usually the laws of the area you and client reside in. It also outlines the actions and timeframes under which you and your client should notify each other of any legal action and the disputes to be heard. It will also state how any dispute would be resolved whether mediation, adjudication or mediation. It usually for the best interest of all parties if they keep the matters out of court. This clause can also show any rights relinquished by the parties, like jury trial who pays legal expenses and in many instances, the losing party pays the winner’s lawyers’ fees.

6. Scope of Work

The scope of work is an official contract paper that stipulates all the criteria of a contract between you and the client. A bad project for any freelancer is always the result of incompatible expectations and insufficient communication between both parties especially on the amount of work.

The clause helps in the smooth operation of the video editing contract where you both avoid uncertainties and circumstances leading to disagreements.

This clause shows a summary of the exact work areas to be done under settings of the contract. It must simply say all of the results and outcomes for which you are is responsible and leave no room for ignorant interpretation. It should also summarize the work which you are not responsible for as a video editor.

It can additionally state the client cannot increase more work to the present or later projects’ scope without adding payment. A well-defined clause prevents clients form adding more work without paying for it. It will protect you from being asked to perform roles you are not qualified to do. It describes your main duties and includes clear language showing that the client can request additional work which he will pay for. Any additional work must be well captured in the video editing contract since it expands the original work you had agreed on. This should happen subject to the parties’ mutual agreement.

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7. Intellectual Property Rights

This clause defines each party’s lawful ownership of the work created using the terms of the video editing contract. Contracts for freelance worker mostly work for hire, under which clients get copyright and own all official, paid work. Freelance contracts normally allow editors to retain non-profitable rights to finished work. You can only be allowed to use the work in your collection or sample book. You can’t earn a dime from work, and you can’t complain because you got paid. This is not always applicable because the client may want to keep the work as his original creation. How you both agree should be indicated in the editing contract. You will spend ages preparing the tools, planning angles and lighting, transporting equipment, editing, and burning DVDs, and eventually creating an unforgettable video. It is important to know who, in the end, will have copyright rights to your work.

8. Renegotiation Clause

If it becomes apparent that the project will need more time than originally planned and agreed upon, this clause allows you to renegotiate the scope of the project instead of working for free.

9. Single Point of Contact

This clause will save you the agony of working with several people in the course of the project. Any criticism views and feedback on revisions should come from one point. The more people, the more variety of ideas, and the more conflicts you will encounter. It can be exasperating, to say the least. The clause also limits communication with a lot of people about the work enhancing the confidentiality clause. You won’t need to spend time and effort trying to please more than one person.

If you need to communicate with anybody else in the absence of the one listed in the contract the clause should include other alternatives to ensure work continues in the absence of the main contact person. Means of communicating including phone numbers, email addresses (for both you and the client) or any other medium should also be included here.

10. Confidentiality Clause

Confidentially clause will limit the parties’ consent to use information obtained as a result of the business relationship. It outlines the type of material that should remain secret and the period for which privacy must be kept. Classified information can differ extensively in the clauses often include all type of material, media, disks, emails, printed documents and right of entry codes. They could also include clear restrictions on discussing the contract details with the press media, buyer competitors, freelancer associates and third parties unless with a client’s written consent.

Other clients require you to sign different contracts on disclosure of delicate material for some time after the end of the current contract. Confidentiality clauses do not substitute or replace non-disclosure deals which cover diverse eventualities; you should be aware of them too. Video editing contracts will mostly involve valuable information between you and the client. This clause protects both parties from issues arising from how the information is exchanged in the course of the business transaction and beyond. This is very important to both you and the client to prevent sharing the contents of the editing contracts with third parties infringing on the rights of the other.

11. Revisions and Acceptance of Finished Product Clause

This clause shows the number of corrections the client can ask for under the existing payment schedule, the time-frame for reviews to ensure no conflicts on these matters. Some contracts indicate the number of revisions the client can request, and can also describe an excessive reworking fee for each revision above the ones on the video editing contract.

It describes the process the client accepts submitted and re-worked video. It can include an allowance, such that a job is deemed to be accepted when no revisions are requested after a duration which is specified. It also explains when a client will be allowed to reject submitted work. Such will happen when you don’t meet follow the given instructions, non-compliance with set deadlines, inability to deliver the results as given by the client and compromising on quality. It will also show steps client can take after deciding you will not deliver satisfactory results. This decision, however, must be seen to have been made in good faith. A client can, therefore, take actions like, paying part of the fees or to withhold the whole amount.

Conclusion

It is important that you and your client are on the same wavelength in terms of what is necessary to complete the project. These details captured in a video editing contract that you should both agree on. This contract acts as a guideline for who is accountable for all aspects of the project. Every freelancer-client relationship has risks for both parties, and it may not prevent terrible things from taking place. Nevertheless, you can significantly reduce the most severe risks related to freelancing including nonpayment and lawful action by negotiating and signing a formal, written contract for every project you undertake. They offer you a strong position if the worst occurs, enhance your credibility as a professional and reassure the clients you are the best choice for the job. Contracts are intimidating but very necessary and the best means to avoid differences. You can be free of any stress with a contract and just let your mind soar in creating the best videos that you can make.

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