View Full Version : freelance / contract / commission
April 8th, 2007, 07:01 AM
I am a concept artist / illustrator with MFA degree and nearly 6 years of experience in the industry (films, games, animations, some theatre work). I am working in a pre-vis studio part time and at a game developer off-site, but I am doing freelance near that.
I like freelance jobs, because its always good, when you have the chance to take care about your time, but there are hips of troubles in getting your money. Almost each of us burned in some way...
I just thought its good to start a thread to discuss the problems and practical things in this case, so feel free to add any kind of comments.
April 11th, 2007, 03:33 AM
always use contracts, and always get the client's address and telephone and email as well as the formal name of the client or company, and if you want to be paranoid, actually mail them something like the contract, to make sure that's where they get their mail. require down payments before you start, so you're not at a total loss, and ask for payments in halves or thirds, so you're paid along the way. i always ask for full payment for anything $100 or less, and include in my TOS that bounced checks or late payments are assessed late fees ($20) every month/instance.
and check in about 2 weeks after the invoice if they haven't paid already as a friendly reminder (i usually give the client about a month), and then i call them again at the end of the month if they still haven't paid. also, be sure to include in the TOS a part that says that the client doesn't actually get to exercise their license to use the image or own the rights to the image until FULL PAYMENT has been made.
this way, if they are late a couple months and you are getting worried, you can threaten to sue them for infringement if they don't pay up. but it's not good practice to get nasty with clients.... ahahahahhahahha i don't think i'd have the courage to do what i just said right now... but it sounds good, doesn't it? lol
but i DO do all of the above, except for the nasty infringement part.
May 9th, 2007, 05:22 PM
I do part-time story development work where I do a bit of writing and then bring in an artist. Yeah, I'm the proverbial middle man, stuck in the middle.
What I usually do is negotiate a rate (or if I'm nice, a flat) and then do stages of payment. Now if they don't pay me at stage x for y amount of time. The deal is off and I walk off with what I have never having to give them anything else. No harm, no foul. It's the contract. And if anything happens where they 'said' they tried to get a hold me? I have a very reliable e-mail service, cell phone, phone, etc. where they could've reached me and choose not to.
Please don't try to pressure people into signing a contract similar to mine. I only use it if I feel the client is a little shaky.
Here's what I'VE been doing (again, M-E. This next part is high on the list of IMOP):
a) get a lawyer to look over all of your 'contracts'. I have lawyer on retainer, and it costs me a pretty penny; but it's all worth it because there have been a few times where he did find some problems with the contract.
b) check out where your employer is located. Is he local? Out of country? If they're out of country, this could get difficult to get your money if it comes to that.
c) make sure you get a company check. I don't know about you, but I like that so I know where the $$ is coming from. And in case anything goes wrong, I have a bank address for him.
(AGAIN ALL OF THE ABOVE IS WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING. Just because it works for me does not mean it will work for you. And please keep in mind that the lawyer on retainer and accountant on call is a good chunk of $$)
I'd go on, but it would sound more like a rant than anything else. I believe there is enough here to go off of and form your own battle plan to take over the world. I wish you luck in meeting a decent employer!
May 10th, 2007, 03:07 AM
Never deliver the final piece until you recieve FULL PAYMENT.
Make exceptions ONLY with clients you trust or already have a good working relationship with.
Above all keep it simple.