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David Willis

has any DP actually ever gotten deferred pay?

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I am a writer/director preparing to shoot an ultra low budget feature.

 

I was going to offer the DP a deferred salary or a % of the film (just like the investors get).

 

I was wondering -- has anyone every seen any back end this way? I only know of two films that have paid out like this: "Swingers" and "Tadpole."

 

Is this because I just don't hear about it, or is it because DPs don't see any money from these deals? (So many low budget indies fail, so I can see how they never get into profit).

 

Anyway, thanks for sharing any experience you have with it. I want to offer something to my DP, but I don't want to insult them if DPs consider it a joke.

 

Thanks in advance.

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No, not here.

 

But as a DP you take your chances -- you're not doing these kinds of projects for the money, you're doing it for the reel/connections/learning experience.

 

Just be honest and realistic with your DP's if you want them to respect you. Don't try to snowball them (not suggesting that you are). And whatever you do, don't say "we're trying to put together a core group of people for future projects..." ;)

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. And whatever you do, don't say "we're trying to put together a core group of people for future projects..." ;)

 

But, actually, I would LOVE to find a core group of people for future projects. Like Clint Eastwood and his band of regulars.

 

But I never promise people anything I can't deliver. Plus, I wouldn't want to make such a promise till AFTER I've worked with someone.

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And whatever you do, don't say "we're trying to put together a core group of people for future projects..." ;)

 

David, I'm sure your intentions are honorable, but any DP who's worked in low budget land considers that promise a cliche'. It's OK to say it, just expect a knowing smile from any experienced DP who hears it.

 

That said...my first low budget feature actually did pay me a flat back-end fee. (I had received very little during production) And this Director/Producer made me part of his core group for 2 future projects. My experience is very very unusual. I was lucky enough to work with a very talented and loyal first Director. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. :D

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