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Topic: Hiring players....... what am I looking at contractually?

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  1. #1
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    Hiring players....... what am I looking at contractually?

    I know some of you regularly do this but I'm usually dealing with my samples n' stuff. But for this film I want to hire a few players.

    My question is in regards to a film I'm doing. It's an 'all in' deal for a flick in the few mil range -- Question is: What do I need to do as far as hiring players (meaning just a few, not an orchestra... I'm talking session guys playing on some stuff). Meaning, what's the paperwork I need to do.


    Also........


    What if I ask a guy to ad-lib a section. What are the repercussions there? I know Mike Green (I think I have your name right?) asked a guy to do that for his TV theme. For film do I just pay the guy his rate and that's it, or are there other things these people are entitled to? (in each situation),


    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Hiring players....... what am I looking at contractually?

    If it's that complicated to you why bother posting at all?


    The question is in regards to "rights" and what "paperwork" a composer needs to take care of when hiring session players........... and perhaps the obstacles (if any) of having any of those players ad-lib their part. And whether "those" players are entitled to any sort of compensation/rights other than their fee in that case.

    Clearer?

    If you know the answer, Argitoth, I'm all ears......... otherwise.

    It's late and I just got back from traveling... please excuse me for not making perfect sense.

  3. #3

    Re: Hiring players....... what am I looking at contractually?

    http://www.promusic47.org/

    you are going to work on contract, yes?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Hiring players....... what am I looking at contractually?

    Basically, all you need to do is pay the guys their rate for the session. A session is a session, no ownership is earned by virtue of that (I'd be a rich man if it were different, haha).

    If you want to make sure no one screws with you, have them sign a simple work-for-hire contract stating that they've been paid in full for the session.

    Improvising is not going to be an issue. Jazz players improvise on albums all the time, and no royalty/rights are involved in that.

    If you're dealing with union players, then you'll probably want to take a little trip to your attorney's office, and make sure you're doing everything right. I have never had any problem with players coming back on me and causing problems, but I rarely bring anyone in that I don't know.

  5. #5

    Wink Re: Hiring players....... what am I looking at contractually?

    Bruce is dead-on accurate. Here's the legal phrasing that's at the bottom line of talent sheets that I have players sign (the talent sheet includes the players full name, address, phone, instrument, and SSN). Many major companies, labels, etc. use this exact language:

    "By signing the above, I agree that I am operating as an independent contractor, and nothing will create any association, partnership, or joint venture between (put your legal company name here). and myself, and that no employer-employee relationship exists between (put your legal company name here) and myself. Further, I agree that the work I perform is to be considered a "work for hire" for the purpose of the United States Copyright law, 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et. seq. and that, accordingly, (put your legal company name here) is the owner of all copyright and performance rights in this musical work."

    Hope this helps.

    John

  6. #6
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    Re: Hiring players....... what am I looking at contractually?

    Make sure you draw the line between improvisation and what could be construed as actual composition. Blur Blur Blur.

  7. #7
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    Re: Hiring players....... what am I looking at contractually?

    Thanks a bunch guys very helpful! Seems I could pretty well cover my azz with that talent sheet and an invoice + using guys I know. ;-)


    JDK -- thanks for taking the time to post that. Very helpful!

    Thanks all....

  8. #8
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    Re: Hiring players....... what am I looking at contractually?

    BTW --- my second post is responding to a post that was deleted. FYI

  9. #9

    Re: Hiring players....... what am I looking at contractually?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske
    Depending on the circumstances, the above might not hold up with the IRS if you're audited. You might want to have your independent contractors invoice you for their services to help establish the fact that they're independent.

    Lee Blaske

    The above quote is "IRS approved" and tested. It's used by numerous record labels, theme parks, and what have you. Thought you should know.

    John

  10. #10

    Cool Re: Hiring players....... what am I looking at contractually?

    In essence, if you hire someone and direct him as to where to show up, what time to show, when to leave, how you want the part played, etc., and you have total control over approval of his performance, then that person is considered an employee in the eyes of the IRS. You are then technically required to withhold taxes (FICA, fed and state) and issue a W2 form at the end of the year.

    You might get away with treating a musician as an independant contractor responsible for his own taxes, etc., but if the IRS comes knocking on your door, be prepared to open your wallet wide.

    However, if that person is a corporation or has a tax ID # (many musicians and artist fall into this category) he will be considered an independent contractor not subject to these rules.


    I've been through this a few times and having the IRS tell you that you've been incorrectly classifying employess is about as much fun as a double hernia - and a hell of a lot more expensive. Play it on the safe side and sleep better.
    Rich

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