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Negotiating Representation


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I've recently been approached by a major production company with decades of credits about adding me to their roster (oh holy day) and little ole me is suddenly finding himself looking down the barrel of negotiating some form of contract with said company. It's my first time going to bat on this scale, and I'm finding myself wondering key things like...

 

Should I expect it to be a freelance-only arrangement? Should I expect a guarantee? Should I push for a guarantee if it isn't offered?

 

Should I use the DGA rate card as a starting place for setting my expectations of compensation? (The company does national commercials primarily)

 

What are important negotiating points that I am not thinking about, beyond compensation and guarantees?

 

Should I expect an exclusive arrangement? Should I ask for one (and more money) if they don't offer it?

 

What length of contract should I be expecting? One year?

 

Any online/print resources I should consult to help prep myself for the negotiation?

 

I'm sure I'll have many more questions, but answers to those above will help me get my head around where I should be thinking when I begin the negotiations.

 

Thanks for any pro tips!

Edited by Johan Grimm
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  • 2 years later...

Best thing to do is secure an entertainment lawyer.  When a distributor decided to pick up my feature film I read through the giant contract and made several notes of what I wanted to negotiate.  I sent the contract and my notes to my lawyer and he drafted another version of the contract with my notes and his.  I sent that draft to the distributor and we hashed out the terms.  I believe it is a favorable agreement for the both of us.  The process took a few weeks, but the key thing is that the distributor was willing to work with me.

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