Interacting with clients is always a bit tricky when you work as a freelancer. This is especially the case with video editing when the client might struggle to understand all the hard work and effort that went into the final product. Many clients struggle with comprehending unexpected fees, deadlines, and other aspects of their working relationship. If you’re a serious freelancer, writing a contract will help with all the above problems! But how do you write a video editing contract, and what needs to be included?
In this article we'll cover:
- What is a Video Editing Contract?
- Using Our Powerful Video Editing Contract Template
- Components of the Video Editing Contract
- Types of Video Editing Contracts
- Tips for a Winning Video Editing Contract Template
- Effective Ways to Use a Video Editing Contract
- Key Takeaways
Let's dive in!
What is a Video Editing Contract?
To put it simply, a contract is a clear outline of each party's expectations of their working relationship. It entails what to do, who will do it, how much, and what happens if something unexpected occurs.
Its most important to clarify everything for you and your client to avoid uncertainties and future disputes. This explains the duties of the video editor and the client, including the type of work, obligations, duration of work, remuneration, right to materials, and many other aspects.
Benefits of Using the Video Editing Contract
If you want to make a video editor contract, you might be overwhelmed by the idea of starting from scratch and writing it yourself.
Don’t worry! There’s an easier way! Using an online contract template (such as the ones we have at Bonsai) can make things quicker, simpler, and safer overall.
1. It Makes Sure Everyone Is on the Same Page
Using a (high-quality) template means all areas will be carefully considered, and the language used will be clear and detailed.
In the case of Bonsai, all our templates have been thoroughly reviewed by lawyers, ensuring nothing is left out.
2. No Need to Start From Scratch Every Time
Templates are great for saving time because they let you fill out a simple form, rather than writing the whole agreement from scratch. They streamline your process, especially if you have many clients that need specialized agreements.
Using Bonsai, you can even change things like logos, section arrangements, typography, and anything else you need.
3. Ensures Your Rights and Obligations Are Clear
This is the most important function of a contract — it protects both your and your client’s rights and clearly outlines both of your obligations.
Most importantly, this means you can both focus on the more important things: producing great work together.
4. Gives Your Clients Confidence in Your Services
When clients see a clean, high-quality contract, they will see you as a more professional, reliable freelancer. On the other hand, a poorly edited, homemade contract can have the opposite effect.
Using a great template ensures things look as professional as possible because they’re made by, well, professionals!
5. Helps Maintain Uniformity in Your Contracts
One of the biggest strengths of a template is how easy they are to edit between clients. This means you can set up your basic information, and then change parts as needed for each client project in an easy, streamlined way.
Bonsai even lets you save your existing templates and edit them later, making this process even easier.
Using Our Powerful Video Editing Contract Template
Get started with our video editing contract template to make your work with clients clear and hassle-free. Wondering how it all works? Let's see how it can simplify your contracts, make your agreements with clients efficient, and, of course, more professional!
New Client Onboarding
Onboarding a new client is often overwhelming, especially if you are just starting as a freelancer. However, with our video editing contract template, you can set precise expectations for the work scope, payment, project timeline, and other aspects of your business relationship with a client. This simplifies the client onboarding process, as you can easily establish clear responsibilities and expectations.
Protecting Both Parties' Interests
The template contains all the relevant clauses that protect your and the client's interests to ensure no one gets exploited. It also covers the provisions of confidentiality and indemnification, which ensures the interests of both parties.
Establishing Clear Project Deliverables
The template helps you establish crystal clear clarity on the work that must be done. Whether you are expected to add voice-over or graphics to a video or assemble raw footage into a final film - everything is clearly outlined to set precise parameters for the finished product.
Handling Large and Complex Projects
You might sometimes be required to work on large, complex projects that typically demand detailed and more tailored terms. The template includes all necessary clauses related to project duration, payment, due dates, important milestones, and anything else that needs to be added. This structured approach helps you stay on track and ensures you get rightfully paid at each stage of the project.
Ensuring Payment and Compensation Clarity
As a freelancer, your financial stability depends on timely and correct payments. This is where a ready-to-use template with transparent payment terms can help you protect from delayed or missed payments, ensuring you are duly paid for your hard work. Our video editing contract template can be your go-to tool that clearly states the payment terms, including the total fee, referred payment methods, and schedule for seamless experience delivering your video editing services.
Managing Revisions and Feedback
The video editing contract template helps you clarify the number of revisions included and charges for any applicable additional revisions based on your client's feedback. Once you and your client are on the same page regarding these aspects, you get more confidence in yourself, knowing that you are not endlessly revising without receiving fair compensation for it.
Download our free Video Editing Contract Template now!
Components of the Video Editing Contract
A standard video editing contract comprises several important things that form the fundamentals of your business relationship with your client. Let's dive deep into each of these for a clear understanding!
The first detail your video editing contract should contain is the parties involved. For instance, it should include the full names of both entities (you and your client), e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and signatures. Ensure that you include the name of the business, the business representative, and their position,
Project Description and Scope
In your video editing contract, include exactly how much work you will do for the amount listed in the contract. Try and be very precise with this so your client does not wiggle room in the future. In this case, the objective is to ensure that no such circumstances arise where you may be forced to offer your services without pay.
Defining success for the project is equally important, along with a clear description of the point at which your job is done. Mention things you won't do, especially if you find your client getting confused when it comes to the scope. For instance, you may not be willing to source music for their video, and in that case, this should be clearly outlined in the contract.
Deliverables and Specifications
The deliverables and specifications section of your video editing contract should mention exactly what your client will receive upon project completion. The main objective here is to paint a clear picture of the final product you will deliver to the client. For instance, you will specify if you will work on short promotional videos for social media platforms or 20-30-minute detail videos with voice-over and graphics.
Remember to be clear on the format, resolution, or any other technical details that are important to define the scope of your work. Try to be as specific as possible in this section as it sets professionals between you and your clients.
Payment Terms and Schedule
This section of your video editing contract should lay out all of your prices and how they're applied, along with the schedule for the same. Name each "item" of work, making sure to clearly define its scope.
For example, instead of saying "rough editing — $80", you should specify "rough editing of up to 2 hours of footage — $80". You should also explain how extra modifications or necessary work can be requested by the client and any fees associated with it.
List your rules on things like expenses (such as for travel or specialized software), late fees, and any other necessary charges your client may face. Make sure that you list when payment is due and what happens if it's late (such as late fees). Finally, include your payment information, preferred payment method, and payment due date.
Revision Policy and Limits
Describe how many revisions your client is allowed to ask for and what charges are incurred for each revision beyond this amount. Be clear on the scope of these revisions. For instance, you may not allow a client to ask for a complete redo of the project as a revision but will allow small tweaks.
Moreover, make sure to state the point at which the project is considered complete and the amount of time the client has to accept this work. For better clarity, describe the process if a client rejects your work and how this will be resolved. This should also include any info about payment in the case of rejected work or if a client takes too long to accept the project.
Deadlines and Milestones
Your contract should specify the duration of the work and the deadlines. Provide details of how much extra time might be needed as well as fees that may incur if the project needs more time for completion.
Some contracts are indefinite — going for as long as needed until the project is done. Others have strict end dates that terminate the agreement on a set day. So, make sure to be clear on that part.
Intellectual Property Rights
Typically, the client would expect to own the intellectual property of the project once it is done and, therefore, should have the freedom to use it as desired. In most cases, the contract will state that this happens after receipt of the last payment, safeguarding you from receiving missed or late payments. However, you may also wish to keep the right to use your work in a portfolio or on your website, so long as you aren't earning any money from it.
This clause should explain how the information will be marked as confidential and which information is automatically considered as such. This information should also be mentioned in the contract on what happens to the information after completion of the contract (e.g. the freelancer must destroy all confidential documents).
In addition, the client may request that you sign a non-disclosure, intellectual property, not to compete, or data privacy agreement.
Types of Video Editing Contracts
The type of contract that you develop as a freelancer can determine how your working experience with a client is for a given project. Every contract type is customized for certain needs and scenarios, ensuring that each party involved understands the expectations and the deliverables. Let's explore some common types of video editing contracts:
Freelance Video Editing Agreement
This one is a go-to for independent freelance video editors. This type of agreement typically includes the scope of work, deliverables, deadlines, payment, and rights. In simple words, it is suitable for projects involving one-on-one cooperation between an editor and a client - two parties involved in the agreement. We also have a videographer contract template to get you going!
Corporate Video Production Contract
Tailored for projects on behalf of corporate businesses, this contract has been designed to cater to corporate video production's special needs like branding rules, confidentiality terms, and schedule deliveries in detail. This is important to ensure that the end product corresponds with the corporate image and goals.
When it comes to events, attention to detail is one of the topmost priorities. Among other things, this includes aspects related to coverage hours, specific moments to capture, and the format of the final deliverable, e.g. the highlight reel or full-length video. It is essential in planning for such personal and significant events and in managing specific expectations for the final video.
Music Video Production Agreement
This contract is specifically used in the creation of music videos involving a mixture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Such areas as concept, shooting scenes, music and video rights, and the process of post-production are provided in detail. This agreement makes sure that there is an effective transformation of the artist's vision into a visually appealing music video.
Bonsai has over 500+ free templates (want an animation contract template? We got you!) that can help you scale your business in no time.
Effective Ways to Use a Video Editing Contract
Understanding how to effectively use a video editing contract needs clarity on each element to ensure you and your client are on the same page. Here's how you can achieve this:
Setting Clear Expectations
Setting clear expectations is one of the main goals of creating a video editing contract, which makes both you and your client understand what's going to be done and how your legally binding liability and rights develop.
You would have to describe what the final video should appear like, its duration, the style and format, and what the client wants to achieve with it. A good working relationship depends upon how clear you and your client are on these expectations.
Drafting the Contract
Be sure to include your actions, mode of work, and input you will require from your client. This is your time to put everything out there so that the responsibilities and rights will be clear for future use.
Inclusion of Scope and Deliverables
List out exactly what you are going to deliver at the end of the project. This could be editing a video, which might include any extra elements like graphics or any special effects. It tells the client the quality of video they can expect to get when they are done working on the project.
Compensation and Payment Terms
You should be specific about your charges, payment terms, and your preferred method of payment. This should also be stated upfront, and nothing should be hidden for the sake of financial clarity.
Timeline and Deadlines
This part is all about setting out a schedule for the project. Outline when you will start working, when you hit important milestones, and when the project gets delivered. This helps you stay organized and also lets the client know when they can expect the final deliverable.
Download our Video Editing Contract Template now to simplify your video editing projects and guarantee clarity in your client collaborations.
Tips for a Winning Video Editing Contract Template
A video editing contract acts as a legal framework for open communication, mutual respect, and a vision of what needs to be achieved. Here are some tips to help you ensure an effective one as a freelancer:
Define Clear Objectives and Goals
Always have the final product in your mind. See whether your agreement begins with an articulation of what the project intends to accomplish. Do you need a product demo, a brand commercial, or a short story explainer? Ensure that you try to set these objectives at the beginning to ensure that your and your client's thoughts are aligned, and it becomes easy to navigate as the project moves on.
Include a Comprehensive Revision Policy
Revisions are part and parcel of video editing, but when there is no clarity, it may turn out to be something to grumble about. Your contract should contain a very specific revision policy that describes how many revisions are provided for under your agreement.
Address Intellectual Property and Usage Rights
Provide clarity on how intellectual property rights are handled for a given project. Will the client get full rights to the edited video, or are there limitations on the usage? Be clear about these terms to avoid any legal grey areas down the line to protect your creative rights and set boundaries on how your work can be used.
Having a video editing contract helps both you and your client, protecting your rights and clearly outlining exactly what's expected of you during your working relationship. Ultimately, this will mean a better final product, too.
Remember to make sure you include:
- Both the client's and editor's contact information
- Any financial clauses
- A time frame clause
- A dispute resolution clause
- The scope of work
- Information about IP rights
- Any renegotiation clauses necessary
- Who your single point of contact is
- Confidentiality clauses
- Revisions and acceptance of finished product clause.
And remember, instead of creating your own video editing contract from scratch, you could make your life a whole lot easier with Bonsai's free template! With a fully customizable template that's been vetted by lawyers, you'll not only be saving yourself time when you work with Bonsai but also saving money.
Sign up for Bonsai today for free and bring your video editing contracts to the next level!
How many Revisions should be Allowed in a Video Editing Contract?
Typically, you can allow 1-2 revisions and outline the same in your video editing contract.
Can I Use a Video Editing Contract Template for Different Clients?
It depends - if there is no requirement to change the terms, you can go with the same video editing contract template for different clients. Ideally, it is advised to customize the contract according to the client you're working with since the expectations and responsibilities might differ.
Is a Digital Signature on a Video Editing Contract Legally Binding?
Yes, it is. Once you've agreed on terms with your client, you should send your video editing contract immediately. No work should be done until it's signed. Otherwise, you risk doing work without getting paid for it.