In terms of the production costs, artists are one of the most costly items in the production budget. It is essential that everyone is aware of this.
Under normal circumstances, an approved production estimate breaks down artists fees. These fees are for shoot only and exclude any usage fees.
In most cases the airing of the commercial generates regular payment of usage rights/buyouts to the artists. The conditions are defined in broadcast contracts. Special attention is to be given when separate media-buying companies, next to the Communication agency, are involved. The Production company has to be fully and in details briefed on the broadcast schedule, length of the usage and its territory to be able to negotiate the appropriate deal and contract with the artists on Communication agency’s behalf.
The broadcast rights/buyouts of artists are defined and agreed with the Advertiser and Communication agency prior the start of the production and these fees (costs) will be integrated in the final production offer.
Anyone involved in the casting process and engaging artists must be familiar with the definitions used to establish the level of appearance of the talent: title actors, second roles and supporting-actors (or their local equivalents).It is crucial that one defines very accurately in which category the artist belongs prior to the start of the project. Once defined, changing the statute of the artist can be a highly difficult, expensive and delicate affair. Example: the statute of a bit-part (featured extra) and a supporting actor (extra).
The buyouts have to be negotiated per artist -on an individual basis- directly with the agent of the artist. In Belgium negotiations commonly follow the guidelines of the ABAM-BVMA* (Association Belge Agences Mannequin/Belgische Vereniging van Model Agentschappen vzw)
It recommends artist buyouts fees for Belgium and other countries. The usage fee is calculated based on a percentage of the artist of the buy. As these are recommended rates only, final amounts depend on individual negotiations.
It is recommended to request the usage brief as soon as possible to allow the Production company to negotiate. In case of adaptations and/or newly re-negotiated fees costs will considerably increase.
* Broadcasting rights tariffs/rates can be found on the website www.abambvma.be
Engaging child actors (younger than 16 years of age) requires special consideration.
The role and responsibilities of all artists are to be defined. All materials, information or directions given to the artists are confidential and it is the responsibility of a casting director to make sure artists are aware of the confidential nature of the production.
The Production Company needs to be informed of the media plan so that the broadcast frequency and number of broadcasts of the commercial are known.
The Production company’s invoices for talent buyouts of the artists (including the renewal of buyouts) will have to be paid by the Communication agency before the first broadcasting of the commercial.
The artist cannot accuse the Production company for any violation of the broadcasting agreements caused by the Communication agency, the Advertiser or any third party. Any possible renewals of the broadcasting agreements have to be negotiated by the Production company.
In case the buyout specs need to be renegotiated or extended, the Communication agency and/or the Advertiser has to inform the Production company and allow enough time; at least one month before the expiration of the existing broadcast agreements.