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Music & Film - Film Directors Contract

How to bring your vision to life

The director of any film is the most influential individual in shaping the final cinematic production. By interpreting the script, it is the director that will use his artistic acumen in transforming the screen writer’s vision into a wondrous spectacle. In higher budget productions a director usually works closely with a producer – the two collaborate as a team whereby one forms the creative side of the production, whilst the other forms the financial and administrative side.

In the UK and Europe the director of a film usually owns all of or part of the copyright in the film. If they do not own all of the copyright, copyright ownership is typically shared with the producer, who may be an individual or an individual representing a production company.

It is important for a film director’s contract to reflect these ownership rights whilst simultaneously ensuring that the agreement deals with the conditions applicable to the director’s appointment – accordingly we draft our director’s agreements taking care to conform with professionally accepted industry standards.

When considering the aspects that are to be included in a director’s contract, we would encourage our clients to think about the following:

  • The details of the project, including the name, length and target market
  • The budget for the project
  • The pre-disclosed elements of the project and confidentiality
  • The necessary crew and resources
  • Proposed time frame
  • Remuneration
  • Economic rights and moral rights
  • The Deal Memorandum (Where appropriate)
  • The contract stages (Pre-production, production, post-production, distribution)
  • Health and safety
  • Director and producer obligations
  • Termination

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