Directors’ Minimum Terms

 

SDGI Director Contracts Minimum Terms


Differences – Theatric

 

1. Parties
 
  • Contracting party, name of properly incorporated company, company number, address and if applicable person responsible for dealing with the Director.

 

2. Development
 
  • If Director is to be working on development there must be a development deal/separate development agreement for non-exclusive services with a right, or a right of first negotiation, to be engaged to direct if the film is made

  • Period and extent of services should have a cut off time (not be forever and unlimited)

  • Fee to be no less than the minimum set from time to time by the Guild for these service

 

3. Engagement
 
  • Period of engagement/schedule to be stated

  • Period of exclusivity: not before start of official pre-production and not after Director’s cut

  • Period of non-exclusivity: not before payment terms are to apply and not after picture lock

  • Pay or play when anyone else becomes pay or play

  • Pay and play if writer/director who has brought the project to the production company

  • Five or six day week to be stated

 

4. Renumeration

 

  • If remuneration is agreed before the budget is prepared/locked, and is agreed on the basis of a specified budget amount, a percentage increase to be specified if the budget increases beyond notified levels

  • Copy of final budget or budget top sheet when locked/financing closed to be provided to the Director

  • Payment schedule not worse than instalments of 10/10/60/10/10%. 10% on commencement of pre-production, 10% on completion of pre-production, 60% by weekly instalments or in agreed instalments over the scheduled period of principal photography, 10% on delivery of the director’s cut, 10% on picture lock

  • Retainer for Director holding him/herself available, if applicable/priority of availability required in advance

  • Security or escrow arrangements where applicable/possible

  • If any amounts are to be deferred this must be a first position deferment before any other deferments or if this is impossible pro-rata with other deferments. It must not in any event be worse than a pro rata portion of the fee which is fair and which is proportionate with producer’s and others’ deferments relative to their fees. A compensatory increase in net profits to be paid to the Director for any deferments agreed by him/her

  • Net profits must be net profits not producer’s profits and must not have any deductions made. Calculation, definition and payment must be favoured nations with all other participants in profits, including financiers, actors and the producer/production company

  • Accounting and audit rights with payment of audit costs if 5% underpayments made

  • Collection agent (for film revenues/net profits) to pay and account direct to the Director and a copy of the collection agreement or of the relevant parts of it to be provided to the Director

  • Any box office bonuses where applicable/agreed

  • Rental and lending rights payments and secondary rights and other payments collected by the Guild and/or any other collecting societies to be payable to the Director (and not the entitlement of the production company or any other entities)

  • Pension payments to be made to the Guild

 

5. Credit
 

On Screen

 

  • If the Director substantially directs the principal photography of the film the credit entitlement applies

  • Form of credit to be stated: “director” or “directed by”

  • Possessory credit (“A…film” ) when appropriate

  • Where written and directed by the Director, credit to be “written and directed by” unless the Director otherwise requests

  • Position, size of type (height, width and thickness), relative to title/other credits; must be favoured nations with all credits

  • Obligation to require third parties to accord credit and obligation to remedy any failure on a prospective basis

  • Right of Director to not be accorded credit on screen (or in paid ads)

 

Paid Ads

 

  • Same credit(s), position, size etc. as above relative to title and other credits

  • Paid ads exclusions not to apply where anyone else is accorded credit except for award and nomination ads where only the person awarded or nominated is accorded credit and special ads where only that person is mentioned

  • Obligation to require third parties to accord credit and obligation to remedy any failure on a prospective basis

 

6. Expenses
 
  • Transport and expenses to be paid where the Director is required to render services more than 30 miles from his/her residence

  • Accommodation where overnight stay is required

  • Per diem

  • Transport, accommodation and per diems to be at least favoured nations with all others (including the individual producer and HODs) with the possible exception only of principal cast

  • In any case where expenses are not paid in advance to the Director/paid direct by the Company expenses claims (accompanied by receipts) which are submitted by the Director to be settled by the Company promptly

  • Exclusive ground transport/car and driver/rental car during prep/shoot/post

  • Office/assistant/secretarial facilities

 

7. Approvals/Consultation
 
  • Transport and expenses to be paid where the Director is required to render services more than 30 miles from his/her residence

  • Accommodation where overnight stay is required

  • Per diem

  • Transport, accommodation and per diems to be at least favoured nations with all others (including the individual producer and HODs) with the possible exception only of principal cast

  • In any case where expenses are not paid in advance to the Director/paid direct by the Company expenses claims (accompanied by receipts) which are submitted by the Director to be settled by the Company promptly

  • Exclusive ground transport/car and driver/rental car during prep/shoot/post

  • Office/assistant/secretarial facilities

 

8. Cutting Rights
 
  • Director to have the right to view all rushes

  • Director to have the right to prepare at least the director’s cut and two prior cuts (before the director’s cut, to get to the director’s cut)

  • In the normal course, these will be supervised by the Director but the Director to have the right to at least be consulted on later cuts and sound post production/grading/transfer

  • If there are previews, Director to have the right to be present

  • Depending on budget Director to have the right to previews

  • Director to have the right to prepare or be consulted on post delivery cuts if the production company/top company has these rights

 

9. Suspension and Termination
 
  • No suspension without written notice of a suspension

  • Right to terminate without legal cause (i.e. if the Director is not “pay and play”)  to be on the basis that the Director is to be paid all the contractual remuneration and profit share

  • Incapacity and default terms to be reasonable in the circumstances for suspension and termination and to be on the basis that the Director is paid up to the date of the suspension/termination and to the percentage of profits relative to the accrued remuneration and all accrued expenses

  • Right to top up insurance if necessary

  • Force majeure suspension and termination only if all others suspended

  • Re-instatement following force majeure suspension or abandonment if filming is resumed

 

10. Expenses for Promotion
 
  • Transport/accommodation/per diem to be at least favoured nations with individual producer and writer

 

11. Premieres
 
  • Invitations (plus guest) to celebrity Irish/UK and US premieres and in any co-production territories if held

  • Reasonable efforts to have distributors pay transportation accommodation and expenses and these to be at least favoured nations with individual producer and writer

 

12. DVD / Showreel / Print
 
  • At least one DVD to be provided to Director for personal use when commercially available

  • Director to be entitled to include extracts of the film on the Director’s show reel

  • Director to be provided on request with a print/copy of the Film, for the purposes of private viewing and showing to potential employers

 

13. Insurance
 
  • On E&O and other insurances as an additional insured

 

14. Sequels, Remakes and Spin-offs
 
  • Right of first negotiation to direct sequels remakes and spin offs.

 

 

SDGI Director Contracts Minimum Terms Differences – Television

 

  • Payment to be in addition to the remuneration in 3 below.

 

 1. Development

 

  • Period of engagement/ schedule of prep, photography and post to be stated, number of weeks specified for each with specific start date.

  • Five or six day week.

 

 2. Engagement
 
  • Weekly rate payable weekly in arrears on a specific day or by instalments if applicable – same as theatrical

  • Residual payments or payments based on receipts for additional uses.

  • Net profits must be net profits not producer’s profits and must not have any deductions made. Calculation, definition and payment must be favoured nations with all other participants in profits, including financiers, actors and the producer/production company. If the calculation is made on producer’s profits the percentage must be at least 200% perhaps 300% of the percentage which it would be of net profits and must be the revenues paid to the producer and have no deductions made by the producer.

 

3. Renumeration
 
  • Director to have the right to view rushes.

  • Director to have the right to prepare the directors cut/assembly.

 

 

These draft Minimum Terms are prepared by the Screen Director’s Guild of Ireland Limited as suggested minimum terms to form the basis of negotiations on behalf of members, with production companies. Members are encouraged to obtain the best terms they can in all cases and should not be restricted in their negotiations to the minimum terms proposed by Screen Director’s Guild of Ireland Limited as the minimum terms. Neither are the proposed minimum terms, even when agreed with producers, intended to be anything more than minimums and are not a substitute for obtaining independent legal advice in all cases and it is strongly recommended that legal advice be sought in entering into contracts.