What is a videography contract?
A videography contract is an agreement between a videographer and the client or company. It's a legal document and one that's going to protect the rights and interests of all parties involved.
Note: Sign up to Bonsai and get started on creating your own video production contract template today.
Who needs a videography contract?
There's more to videography than being an artist. Sometimes, you need to wear your business hat and come to a contractual agreement about the role and responsibilities. Remember, between scripting, storyboarding, filming, and editing, you'll be working closely with your client to deliver their vision and it's important to have a clear view of what that exactly is.
And that's why you and your production company need a solid videography contract template. By making sure that both parties are on the same page when it comes to the goals, objectives, and expectations of a shoot, you can guide a successful working relationship from day one. You can also get ahead on this by creating and sending a video production proposal to your client.
Ultimately, a video production contract template is going to protect your rights as an independent contractor and your production company, as well as the rights of your client. Payment details, the video production project, your videography services, intellectual property ownership, personal delivery, and more will be outlined and detailed throughout this entire agreement.
When can you use a videography contract?
A videography contract is a valuable tool that can be used in various situations to save you from potential headaches and protect your creative work. Below are some scenarios where a videography contract becomes indispensable:
1. Weddings and events
If you're a wedding videographer, who captures the magical moments of a couple's special day or documents a significant event, a wedding videographer contract is a must-have. It outlines the scope of your services, the agreed-upon deliverables, and the payment terms. By using a wedding video contract it, you will leave no room for misunderstandings, and ensure their clients are on the same page as they are.
2. Corporate video productions
When working with businesses to create promotional videos, training materials, or corporate presentations, a videography contract is essential. It defines the project's goals, the specific services you'll provide, and the timeline for completion. This gives your clients confidence in your professionalism and expertise.
3. Creative collaborations
Engaging in artistic collaborations with other creatives, such as musicians, dancers, or visual artists, can lead to incredible projects. However, to protect everyone's interests, a videography contract is vital. It clarifies ownership of intellectual property, distribution rights, and the division of any potential profits.
4. Commercial shoots
For advertisements, product demos, or marketing campaigns, a videography contract is invaluable. It ensures that both you and your client understand the production's parameters, the licensing rights for the footage, and the compensation terms.
5. Social media content creation
With the rise of social media influencers and brands seeking captivating content, a videography contract is becoming increasingly crucial. Whether you're producing YouTube videos, Instagram stories, or TikTok clips, the contract safeguards your work and ensures proper credit and payment.
6. Documentary filmmaking
When working on a documentary project, a videography contract is a non-negotiable. It sets clear expectations regarding filming schedules, access to subjects, and how the final product will be used or distributed.
7. Educational videography services
Creating educational content, whether for online courses or instructional videos, requires a thorough videography contract. It covers aspects like script ownership, revisions, and how the content will be used by the educational institution or platform.
What should be included in a videography contract template?
Before you get into the specifics, you first need to clarify who the contract is between and the nature of the relationship. A professional and legally binding video production contract template will also give your clients confidence that they're dealing with an industry expert.
Scope of work
Next, you need to outline the scope of the production project in as much detail as possible. If you've discussed and agreed upon something as part of the project (either verbally, via email or certified mail), make sure it's in the contract. A is a good idea to use at this point to get as much detail on paper as possible.
And don't be vague. Use numbers and dates when talking about timeframes and deadlines. For example, if you're writing the script in addition to filming the material, clearly mention how many revisions you'll do — otherwise, the scope could be open to interpretation which may lead to conflict.
Requirements & responsibilities
The basis for every good video production contract template is outlining everything involved with the videography services project. You should also clearly name who's responsible for what, and when you'll need things.
For instance, if you're shooting an ad for a local company, you might need supervised access to their property outside of business hours or a high-res copy of their logo for an overlay.
You may even find that your client wants the services of a video editor or videographer, more than a producer. At this stage, you can confirm if they need all your services or you can even change to a video editing contract to ensure both the videographer and client is on the same page.
Next, you'll want to outline the key milestones, dates, and deadlines associated with the video project. Be clear about when something is due, such as the production fee or if you need special access to something.
If your client is late in sending you a logo or if they fail to grant you access to something by a certain time, this could alter your timelines and impact your ability to hit your deadline.
And if you fail to highlight this in your production contract, you could be held to that original deadline without any room to manoeuvre.
Deliverables and deadlines
Here, you'll want to be more specific around the tasks you'll be doing and when they'll be completed by.
How long will the writing take, when should the editing be finished, or if you're renting a space for shooting, what dates do you need to be there? These are all questions you'll want to cover in as much detail as possible.
The best freelance video producers won't lift a finger without having a contract in place. Why? Because before you film a single reel of footage, you need to agree on how much, as well as how and when you'll be paid.
The amount you quote and the method of payment you accept is entirely up to you, but you may wish to put reasonable efforts into structuring a payment schedule. Having your own videography invoice is a good idea to ensure requirements are met every time.
It's good to note that asking for a deposit upfront is acceptable for videographers and video producers. This will safeguard your cash flow, your business and your other provisions.
Ownership of materials and watermarks
Your contract should state that anything you send to the client to review during the project will contain your watermark. You should also highlight that they won't receive a watermark-less version until you've received payment in full. This will protect your intellectual property, clarify what the client owns, and stop them from running off with the finished film without paying you what you're owed.
Even the very best video producers can overbook themselves. A cancellation clause is always a good idea to include for this reason, which will detail who's responsible for finding a replacement video producer and if there's any refunds or fees to be paid. This can also protect a video producer from unreliable clients.
Termination of contract
It's important that both you and the client agree to the termination of the contract. This can be on a specific date or once the final payment is made.
Remember to include any reasons why the contract can end early too, such as a written notice period or due to any broken agreements.
Other factors or clauses to include will be based on the project or the client you work with. Only you will be able to know this, but some other factors to think about are:
- Force majeure
- Intellectual property ownership
- Requesting return receipts
- Liability around weather conditions
How to write a videography contract?
Crafting a comprehensive videography contract is an important step in protecting your rights, ensuring clarity, and fostering a professional working relationship with your clients.
Here's a step-by-step guide to help you create a clear and effective contract:
1. Introduction of the parties involved
Begin the contract with an introduction that clearly identifies the parties involved – you (the video producer or videographer) and your client (individual or company). State your full legal names and addresses for official purposes.
2. Scope of work and project details
Define the scope of the videography services project in detail. Describe the type of video to be produced, its purpose, and any specific requirements discussed with the client. Include information about shooting locations, shooting dates, and estimated timelines for the different project phases.
3. Deliverables and timeline
Outline the specific deliverables you will provide to the client, such as the final edited video, raw footage, or additional materials. Include a timeline with clear milestones and deadlines for each deliverable to keep the project on track.
4. Payment terms
Clearly state the total project cost and the payment structure. Specify the amount of any initial deposit required to commence work and any subsequent payment milestones. Indicate the acceptable payment methods and the timeline for each payment.
5. Copyright and intellectual property
Address ownership and usage rights of the video footage and intellectual property. Specify whether the client will have exclusive rights or if you retain some rights for portfolio purposes or promotional use. Include provisions for crediting you as the video producer.
6. Revision policy
Set forth the number of revisions included in the contract and any additional charges for extra revisions beyond the agreed-upon amount. This ensures that the client knows the limits and potential costs of making changes to the project.
Detail the circumstances under which either party can cancel the contract and the notice period required. Address any fees or refunds related to cancellations and the responsibilities of finding a replacement videographer in case of termination.
8. Liability and force majeure
Include clauses that limit your liability for any unforeseen events or circumstances that may impact the project's completion. Cover force majeure situations, such as natural disasters or emergencies, and how they will be handled.
Emphasize the importance of keeping sensitive project information confidential. If the client shares proprietary information, clarify how it will be handled and protected.
10. Signatures and date
Conclude the contract with a signature line for both parties, along with the date of execution. Make sure both you and the client sign the contract before commencing any work.
What's the benefit of using Bonsai, instead of editing a template yourself?
There are a few key benefits:
- Your contract will be legally approved — all our contracts are vetted by lawyers
- It's faster. We guide you through the process, editing parts of the contract that are relevant to you
- Bonsai contracts require an electronic signature, which can be e-signed as soon as they're finished
- It saves you money. No need to hire a professional to audit your contracts. Bonsai has your back
How to create a videography contract with Bonsai
Below is a 5-step process to create general or wedding videography contracts.
Step 1 - Choose your template
Select our video production or videography contract template or start with a blank template. Add your client name, project name, preferred currency, and then click “CREATE CONTRACT”.
Step 2 - Add your basic info
Next, fill in your basic information. This includes your location (country and state/province), your legal entity (if you operate via an LLC), your production company name, and your client's legal name (company or person). Then click “CONTINUE”.
Step 3 - Add your scope of work
Describe the scope of work in as much detail as possible. You can also attach a separate statement of work file here if you wish. Click “CONTINUE”.
Step 4 - Add your payment info
Determine how and how much your client will pay you for your videography services here. You can choose from a flat fee, milestone payments, or hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly rates.
You can also outline payment terms (net 15 days for invoices, for example), late payment fees, and contract start and end dates here. Click “CONTINUE” and then “CREATE CONTRACT”.
Step 5 - Review & sign your final contract
You can click “SIGN CONTRACT” to e-sign it and make it legally binding before sending it to your client to do likewise. Now you can return to your personalized Freelance Dashboard to track when the contract has been delivered, opened, and signed.
What do you need to do after videography contract has been drafted?
Once you have your contract in place, here's some essential steps to take to deliver on your videography services project:
1. Review and finalize
Take the time to review the contract thoroughly. Check for any inconsistencies, ensure all details are accurate, and verify that the contract reflects the agreed-upon terms discussed with your client.
2. Share the contract with your client
Once you are happy with the contract, share it with your client! Make sure you're available to address any concerns he/she might have.
3. Get his signature
Get your client to sign the contract. You should also sign the contract yourself. You can use an electronic signature service since it's legally valid in regions.
4. Keep a copy
Make sure you keep a copy of your signed contract! You'll need it if anything happens with your project and so you can refer back to it.
5. You're ready to start the project!
You're ready to kick off your video production project. Make sure you meet your commitments, deadlines and deliverables. That's the key for a smooth collaboration!
Videography contract glossary
If you need some clarity around terms being used in the contract, here's a helpful guide:
An alternative dispute resolution method where a neutral third party (arbitrator) makes a binding or non-binding decision outside of court.
An agreement not to disclose or use confidential information obtained during the contract.
Failure to fulfill contractual obligations, potentially leading to contract termination or legal remedies.
Agreement to cover the other party's legal liabilities arising from actions under the contract.
Actions taken to address breaches, including monetary damages, specific performance, or injunctive relief.
A statement about the quality of goods or services provided; may require rectification or refund if not met.
Work Product Ownership
Determines video ownership, often a work-for-hire owned by the client with limited rights retained by the videographer.