A deal memo template is an important document between two entities. The film industry typically uses this document, and it’s drafted by producers. This document is one part of an employment agreement. Therefore, it’s considered a type of binding agreement as well. That’s why it’s important to keep the deal memo legible and make sure that it defines all of the terms and conditions of the agreement clearly.

Deal Memo Templates

Deal memo template basics

Every deal memo template must contain areas which feature all of the basic information which are part of the deal between the two agreeing entities. Whether it’s a crew deal memo or any other type of memo, make sure that it’s concise, clear, and to the point. The memo layout should contain a clear outline of each aspect using simple language.

Creating a template is an efficient way to ensure that the information and the outline will be easily understood. You can even download a template from here then customize it according to the needs of your own agreement. Then add the logo of your production company, modify the colors, and change the fonts too if necessary.

Crew Deal Memos

What is the importance of a deal memo template?

In the film industry, a deal memo is a type of written document which serves as an agreement between the movie’s production staff and the crew. It’s similar to a business memo template where everyone who’s part of the agreement should affix their signatures. This confirms the terms written on the document. After signing, everyone involved should follow everything that’s written on the deal memo template.

It’s best to create a template with a simple format so that all of the signatories can see the content clearly. Any projects involved in creating a series or a film must have this document for the purposes of confidentiality and security. When creating your crew deal memo, include as many terms and conditions as you need. This ensures the security of your investments.

Basic information which should be in your deal memo template

A deal memo template is a type of employment agreement which indicates all of the information about the contract. Although the memo layout may differ from one company or project to another, each deal memo should contain basic information to make it comprehensive and official. Such information includes:

  • The name of the employer
    It should be very clear who the employer is in agreement. You should see the name of the production company, the producer/s, the corporate address of the company, the contact details, and even the social security number. All of this information will ensure that you’re dealing with a legit company which isn’t afraid to share all of their professional information in case you’d like to do a background check.
  • The employee’s name and other information
    Of course, the document should contain your name, your job title, and a list of the responsibilities you’re assigned to perform. This makes everything clearer for both the employer and the employee.
  • Salary details
    From the deal memo, you should know exactly how much salary you receive. Also, it should specify the terms of your salary like whether you will receive hourly, daily or weekly payments. Such details are extremely important since we all want to know about our compensation.
  • Overtime details
    The document should state the exact period of time when you will work for the project. Beyond that, there should be information about any overtime details. The memo should indicate the compensation to expect if you extend longer than the allotted time. This is important, especially if you want to make sure that you will always get paid no matter how long the project extends.
  • Travel details if applicable
    Most of the time, you may have to travel to a different location throughout the course of the project. If you need to fly to a different location, the production company should provide you with round-trip tickets to and from the shooting destination. You should receive these tickets prior to your departure so you can prepare for the trip.
    Part of the travel details is your hotel accommodations in the different locations. Make sure that you will stay in reasonable, clean, and private rooms where you can rest at the end of each production day.
  • Equipment and other expendables
    This information should be part of the deal memo for equipment suppliers. For instance, if a producer rents an entire equipment package from you, how will he pay you for it? Are you renting out your own equipment or is the equipment coming from a bigger rental company? Will the payment go into your account or into the account of your main company? If there are any damages or loss, will insurance cover the equipment?
    There are many things to consider when dealing with equipment for filming. The bottom line is that you need to make sure that everything is clearly stated in the document and you’ve covered all of the possible issues and scenarios.
  • Employment terms
    The document should contain all information about the terms of employment. It should specify the start date and the completion date of the film project. Also, you should know whether you’re hired for the whole duration of the project or if you only need to report weekly, daily or hourly. What happens if there are any cancellations or postponements? Where will that leave you?
    All this information is essential, especially if you have turned other work away to join the project. Ideally, you should receive compensation in the event there are any delays. As long as you’re working with the production company for the project you signed on for, you should get the compensation you deserve.
  • Deferred salary
    This is an interesting concept you should know about before you agree to it. As much as possible, this type of salary shouldn’t be part of the agreement. After all, do you think that you’ll get paid after you’ve completed the project and the production company has already sold it? No. You won’t.
    You need to make sure that you receive compensation in a timely manner. Ideally, you should receive your payment after each week of shooting. Beyond that, the chances of receiving compensation become slimmer. Settle on the agreement only if you’ll get paid up front.
    But if you do agree to a deferred salary deal, negotiate the terms well. Don’t agree to the rate you should have received if they pay you earlier. Instead, you should receive at least twice or three times more than your normal salary rate if the production company will make you wait for a long time.
    Also, the terms should indicate that you must get paid the same time as everyone else who agreed with the deferred salary deal. Don’t agree to deals where professionals and investors receive compensation first. If the production company asks everyone to wait, then everyone should receive compensation together too.
    You can even include a statement in the agreement which indicates that everything you produce (music, soundtracks, recordings, and more) are all your copyrighted property until you’ve received the full compensation you’ve agreed upon. This will keep you protected. It also ensures that you get what you deserve before you release your intellectual property.

Memo Layouts

When to use a deal memo template?

A deal memo is a document made by two agreeing entities involved in creating movies, films or television series. It’s essential in the entertainment or movie industry as it serves as a form of negotiation for everyone involved in the project. Creating a deal memo template is easier when you know more about the circumstances which require it. You need this document for:

  • Actors
    When an actor has agreed to play a role in a movie, he should sign this type of document. The deal usually comes in the form of a deal memo which includes the actor’s personal and professional details.
  • Cast members
    When you’re casting people for a film, the film directors need to sign the document for the cast members. They can only affix their signatures to agree to the deal after you’ve created a deal memo template. Make sure to design the document well so that everyone understands it.
  • Content
    The law states that anyone is rightfully entitled to his own original content. A deal memo considers all of the important aspects of the project as mentioned in the content. To keep your content secure and copyrighted, come up with this template for everyone to sign.
  • Crew
    For any film project, you may need to hire an entire crew to accomplish it from start to finish. Before officially signing them on to your project, use a memo to inform them of all the details of your project. This document will serve as a formal agreement which makes them part of your movie production.
  • For deals between an employee and the company
    When you hire an employee in your company, or you assign a specific task to him, you should provide an official deal memo for him to sign. Again, include all of the relevant information in the document and make sure that your employee understands everything before he signs it.
  • General
    You can also use the deal memo template for making other kinds of deals apart from those in the movie industry. It’s always important to have everything in writing, to protect everyone involved.
TemplateLab March 13th, 2019