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Film Producer Agreements

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 1/31/2011

Here is a look at the most important film producer agreement forms.

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    The film producer's job is really to be the main orchestrator of a film project, often focusing much more on the business and planning rather than the creative role of the director. As part of this process, the film producer uses a number of legal and business forms to ensure the efficiency of the production, the reduction of the E&O insurance costs, and the path through the active production phases all the way through distribution. Here is a look at some of the more standard film producer agreements that are used to make the right assurances for your film.

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    Film Producer Agreement Forms

    The most primary form for an active freelancing producer that you are going to want is a film producer agreement form. This form assures the producer the proper return for their services. What this will do is outline specifically what the producer is meant to do in the production overall or that they will serve "producer" functions that are to be decided in the production. You will also outline the payment to be received by the producer, the credits that they will receive, and what they will receive if there are different distribution agreements or reworking of this original property. Agreements about the role of the producer in sequels or projects based on this original concept from this work.

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    Location Agreement Form

    A location agreement form is going to be one of the most important film producer agreements that is used because it will outline the use of a location that is employed in production. Locations are often difficult to come by and use, so a location agreement will outline the expectations of both parties in the agreement. This is to specifically say what the location will be used for, how long it will be in use, what changes if any that will be made, and how much the producer will pay for use of the location. The location agreement will then be used for insurance purposes and so that the location owner is aware of the requirements ahead of time.

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    Life Rights

    If the project is employing characters or events that took place in the real world you are going to want to get "life rights" from any individuals that are being portrayed. This is not a hard rule for every situation, but instead something that is going to help to lower your E&O insurance because it will lower your chance of a lawsuit. Life rights are going to be different in different situations, which means that you will pay much more for them if they are a main character and less if they are just a minor one.

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    Actor Release Form

    An actor release form is the most standard of all film producer agreements because it is needed for all actors in your narrative film. This should be easy to acquire as actors who have already agreed to be in your film want their appearance seen, so this should just be signed when they first join the project. A more nondescript photo release form should be signed when possible for all people that appear in a documentary film. Like with life rights, getting more people to sign a photo release form is going to lower your overall chance of being sued.