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Payment schedule? Up front pay?

Discussion in 'Newbie Questions' started by Bropecia, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

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    May 1, 2014
    Just to make that clear: With F themselves, of course I don´t write or say that to a potential customer, that was paraphrasing but I think only. I would say in such cases:
    "Dear Sir or Madam,

    I appreciate your interest in asking me to work on your project unfortunately that is not gonna happen because of this and that.."

    However everybody is different and let me tell you: I work also for people with no upfront payment but 1). I am know them very good and 2nd) I know them for years so I have a strong relation to them and can assure they don´t screw me over about not paying me for my service.

    What you do or don´t is up to you guys, of course and I am know speaking of e.g. library music market and placement payment you have to wait for the money to come in. And I am not speaking here of universal, and Sony (they will pay you) but of small indy people who are hiring you guys. And you don´t know anything about of their reputation, even smaller indy devs teams? Sorry, I have seen a couple of times huge crap that people got screwed over and so I am saying: Be a bit careful. What you do of course is of to everyone self. And John G and some others: Asking for and upfront payment has nothing to do with beeing on a financial desperation...it is therefore to cover at least your own costs and worktime you put into something as a security option in case the projects bombs or is cancelled or the client decides something else. For nothing else but that. Having said that: People who I work on a constant base also ask me if I need some of the budget upfront. Yes that are relation which are gold imo. In such cases I often say: Thats fine..lets do the payment after I am done. I know that it is not easy to find reliable people just because people are not (unfortunately) reliable. In a perfect world that would be no question. But it is not.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  2. chrisr

    chrisr Senior Member

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    Sep 6, 2007
    I'm pleased for you Alexander but the OP did imply that he would have to ask for exactly that reason.

    It is interesting to see the number of composers here who plainly do ask/get/expect something upfront. It's not something I was aware of from my own & friends experience.

    To the OP, I guess it would be wise to have a solid answer ready when they come back and ask why they should pay upfront.
     
    AlexanderSchiborr likes this.
  3. AlexanderSchiborr

    AlexanderSchiborr Senior Member

    2,053
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    May 1, 2014
    Ah yes, thats right. I see. I just wanted to say that this is not always the case why people asking for that giving my few thoughts why that is. And before someone gets that wrong: I don´t expect anything. I have no expactation from no one to do so. I simply set my own rules, thats it how I work to prevent problems.
     
    chrisr likes this.
  4. MatFluor

    MatFluor Senior Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Switzerland
    I personally find upfront sums as completely normal.

    Sure, if you know the people well, you go without, but with most jobs I did for video games and small media, I either had milestone payments or an upfront "kill fee" negotiated.

    Such milestones can absolutely be, if you're contracted for a 10 episode run, one-two episodes up front, the rest after completion - it's totally dependent on negotiation. Ir Milestone on delivery, and on the delivery of the sketch or however you work. E.g. I often made two milestones and a kill fee. The Kill fee being a fixed amount or % of the overall fee, and Milestone A, first delivery (sketches or whatever you want to call it) and Milestone B, delivery of the finished music incl. stems if needed. So essentially, one "midterm" and one on completion.

    The reason is not "I need the money", but there because I worked with complete strangers, whom I've never met personally, so that was my insurance, and also the clients' insurance in a way - if either one of us breaches the contract, I fire them or they fire me. The kill fee is paid upfront on the signing of the contract and kept if they breach the contract or similar things. If I fire the client I give it back. And if all goes well, it's deducted from the final bill, simple as that.

    Since you said they are friends, I think you wouldn't wave a kill fee in their faces, that could come off very cocky. But asking for a first "upstart fee" could work - you know, like

    - Upfront fee, 50% of the first episodes fee
    - Rest after completion
    and then go on with full fee after completion, or create a mid-work Milestone, whatever helps you and the client best.

    My two cents from my limited viewpoint ;)
     
    AlexanderSchiborr likes this.
  5. Beluga

    Beluga Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean

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    Jun 6, 2018
    Lol, asking for an upfront payment is not begging. :) come on. We need guarantees, we have invoices to pay. Everything is negotiable. How about no upfront payment and then not getting paid? I take an upfront payment as a sign of good faith. I don’t need it for clients I trust, but any contractor can be in a financial impasse and there is no shame to it, so some time I might still ask for an advance even with trusted clients.
     
    Desire Inspires likes this.
  6. OP
    OP
    Bropecia

    Bropecia guy

    16
    2
    Jul 12, 2018
    Los Angeles
    I feel like I just watched mommy and daddy argue at the dinner table after I told them I got punched at school. It seemed at first like they were talking to me. It took me a long time to realize that they weren’t. In fact I could tell that they had forgotten I was at the table at all, which is great because it meant I didn’t have to eat the Brussel sprouts. Brussel sprouts are so disgusting I thought to myself. Who knew that they would become one of my favorite things as a grown-up! Apparently there are better ways to prepare them than just boiling the crap out of them and removing all the flavor. Like roasting them in the oven for example, and drizzling balsamic vinegar over them when they come out all crispy and delicious. Mmmmm.
     
    chillbot likes this.
  7. Alex Fraser

    Alex Fraser Senior Member

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    Jun 21, 2017
    FWIW, I like to fry them with bacon. Everything tastes better with bacon.
    And you described any thread over a couple of pages long.. ;)
     
  8. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    Nov 13, 2007
    California
    It's -- the internet. You ask for advice on a situation involving money and then you have to decide to whom you want to listen. Or none of it.

    Good luck.
     
  9. I didn't read anything negative here, some great relevant info. Nice to hear how others are working in these situations.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Bropecia

    Bropecia guy

    16
    2
    Jul 12, 2018
    Los Angeles
    Me either, just thought it was a little funny. Definitely helpful. And I know it’s just because mommy and daddy care so much.
     
  11. tmhuud

    tmhuud Brown Belt

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    Nov 19, 2006
    Hollywood
    i wouldn't take any of the advice in this thread (including my own) however I would insist on roasting those Brussel sprouts in the oven AND drizzling balsamic vinegar over them. Mmmmm.
     
  12. Beluga

    Beluga Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean

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    Jun 6, 2018
    You are lucky it’s on topic at least oh wait you just went off topic yourself.
     

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