Professional Standards for Production Support

Producers of film, photo, and video content engage PSN to help make productions at locations and/or with talent coming from beyond their borders. PSN helps producers determine the viability of using these global resources, and how best to put them into play.

To achieve a successful shoot delivering optimal creative results that remain within available budget parameters, PSN outlines the following professional standards for work with its partners around the world.

1. Common objectives

Everyone wants a successful shoot and a happy client. Beyond service with a smile, that means delivering the highest artistic and technical quality within client parameters regarding cost, time, and policy. Client expectations should be realistic, fair, fully disclosed, and contemplated in the production agreement between the producer and PSN partner from the start of the project.

The project producer should be empowered to make decisions, voice concerns, and approve changes during production. The PSN partner is the team player responsible for ensuring that the producer can make informed decisions with the benefit of local knowledge.

2. Budget management

Producers should know their client and the funds available for local support of a project. When requesting shoot support from PSN partners, producers should outline project budget parameters just as they do other shoot specifications. This enables PSN to better assess the viability of a project and engage PSN partners best positioned to carry it out.

PSN partner budgets are calculated in good faith on the information received and subject to change in parallel with creative criteria / final technical needs.

3. Non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs)

PSN partners customarily comply with NDA requests as part of a working agreement. Such NDAs should be reciprocal. Bidding information and local know-how that are provided for a specific project should be kept confidential by those entities soliciting PSN input, and ultimately any entity working on behalf of the buyer.

4. Production Service Agreements

A PSN partner should be contracted in writing, so that there is a clear understanding of what it is providing for the producer’s project. The contract – oftentimes incorporated within the itemized budget receiving producer approval – should clearly establish the rights and responsibilities of each party.

Each PSN partner prepares bids, carries out production support, and invoices the producer (or company) directly for its services.

5. Cost-plus or Fixed bid

The producer of a project understands that production support is generally provided to meet shoot requisites outlined by and subject to the evolving needs of the producer’s creative team. Since they have no direct control over the creative process, PSN partners should be contracted on a cost-plus basis.

If a cost-plus project is to be audited, the costs of such audit, and time frame for final payment, will be reflected and factored into the cost of the production. An audit is only appropriate on cost-plus when it forms an integral part of the initial agreement between the producer and PSN partner.

PSN partners can consider working on a fixed bid basis when creative control is entrusted to them. Under a fixed bid, the PSN partner accepts the risk of the production (with exceptions for items/personnel the producer has elected to provide which are spelled out in the contract, weather risks, and force majeure) so the PSN partner fee remains constant - a fixed amount.

6. Insurance

PSN partners provide for local insurance coverage to meet the demands of international projects. Producers should review the local coverage offered by the PSN partner to ensure it matches their needs. Additional coverage can often be arranged upon request.

7. Payment schedule

PSN partners should receive a significant proportion (up to 90 percent) of the approved budget before the first shoot date. This reflects the fact that most of the budget has to be paid out prior to production, or immediately thereafter, in order to meet all commitments.

The actual payment schedule that is agreed to and guaranteed by each involved party recognizes that timely payment is a contractual term.

8. Cancellation provisions

These should be agreed upon in advance so that, in the event of a cancellation by the producer (which does not result from any default on the part of the production support company), the PSN partner should be paid all the costs it is committed to and fees and mark up that fairly compensate it with respect to work performed, time committed, and other opportunities lost.