I was recently asked by a UK film company to do some photographs "on set" during the filming of a documentary about a famous jazz vocal star in New York.
At this early stage of filming, the project was only partially funded, so I agreed to do the work on 'arts friendly' terms: give them good photos that they can use to raise funds to complete the project and take a small honorarium in the hope of continuing at a better rate if the project is fully funded. For the record, that was $200/day for a day or two of shooting, which entails essentially equal time in post, so it is the equivalent of $100/day.
We all had a good first day. I was interested artistically in the subject, and got some shots that would be good for their purposes and good for my purposes as well. But the discussion of rights for the day's work left us with some amicable disagreement over how to formulate the rights. [I had been called up at the last moment for this, and decided it was personally worth it photographically to do the day's pictures before having this discussion under the circumstances.]
The film company said they wanted the photographs to be treated as a work-for-hire, with them having all rights, exclusive, and in perpetuity. They would give me the right only to sell art prints, and to exhibit and publish in the context of a collection, portfolio, or anthology of my work. They would credit me wherever possible. At the time, they also said that if they were to ever sell copies of the image(s), they would split evenly.
I do not disagree with giving them rights for the intended uses. I know they need some exclusivity and to be able to treat images in practice as though they were properties of the film project, and they should be identifiable as images of the film project, usable for branding and promotion. But I said that I was uncomfortable giving them all rights, including those by implication and default, and letting them give me back just one or two specifically. The charitable price that I gave them does not seem to be enough for someone to ask for all rights as a 'work for hire'. I suggested that I would grant them all the rights they specifically asked for, but would want to retain all the rights given by implication and default.
The proposed contract they sent me ended up being basically a work-for-hire contract with two informally-worded sentences about the few things I was allowed to do with the images. But there was no mention of splitting revenues any more. And there was no indemnification clause, which seemed to leave me liable in some (extremely) unlikely but otherwise open-ended situations. I'd like to come up with a counter-proposal.
Does anyone out there have a contract form or template, or a good idea of such, that they've used in situations like this, so I could use to give these good folks the specific rights they need explicitly while otherwise retaining all default and implied rights for myself?
[PS - I previously posted this in the Pro Talk forum at DP Review, but thought I'd find more professional experience here.]