Get contracts: Director Agreement
This introduction provides further information as to the main clauses included in a director’s service contract such as the director’s role and responsibilities in developing the film and who owns what rights in the film once created.
When to use this Agreement
This is an agreement whereby one party (the “Company”) engages the services of a director to direct the production of a film (whether for television or cinema).
What are the key terms of this agreement?
In return for the payment and expenses, the director agrees to provide his services during the agreed production period and in accordance with the production schedule. The director’s services include normal directors’ duties, developing the film material, assisting the producer, assisting in selection of artists and other necessary personnel, liaising with Financier and Completion Guarantor, supervising laboratories and special effects houses, ensuring adequate cover shots to safeguard production and participating in publicity and interviews.
The director assigns to the Company all copyright, performers’ property rights, rental rights and other rights and consents relating to the film and waives his/her moral rights. The Company has complete control over the way in which the film is produced, marketed, distributed and otherwise exploited . However, there is no obligation on the Company to produce the film . The Company has the right to use the film for merchandising and publishing and to make a documentary about the making of the film and to include behind-the-scenes footage and out-takes. The Company agrees to credit the director on screen and in adverts.
The director makes various warranties (promises) including some relating to his/her good health and agrees to avoid participating in any hazardous activities during the production period: The director agrees to submit to medical examinations as required by the Company so that the Company can take out adequate medical insurance.
The director is under an obligation of secrecy with respect to financial and other information relating to the film. The director also promises not to bring the Company, himself/herself of the film into disrepute.
The director gives the company and indemnity against costs incurred by the Company as a result of the director’s breach or non-performance of any undertaking, warranty or obligation. This indemnity is uncapped and so the director could be liable for an unknown and potentially unlimited amount of money. The director has the right to make a director’s cut of the film to show to an audience selected by the Company.
How to complete the agreement:
- Director’s warranties and obligations – the director needs to pay particular attention to the detail of this clause to ensure that he/she is able to give the warranties.
- The parties should agree and insert a governing law and jurisdiction clause. For example, “This agreement shall be governed by English law and the parties hereby submit to the [non-] exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts”. If the jurisdiction of the English courts is exclusive, it means all cases relating to this agreement must be heard by the English courts. Depending upon the circumstances, the parties may wish jurisdiction to be non-exclusive.
- Each party should sign and date two copies of the agreement so that each party can keep one original (if one party is a company, make sure it is a director who signs).
Read carefully through all the clauses – if there is anything which you do not understand, consult us.