Professional Standards for Production Support

Producers of film, photo, and video content engage PSN and its Partners to help make productions beyond their borders. PSN helps producers determine the viability of shooting any given project overseas – seeking to put its global resources into play for a successful shoot.

To deliver optimal creative results that remain within available budget parameters, PSN relies on client producer input. Our suggestions based on local knowledge are only as good as the project information we are provided from conception to wrap.

PSN outlines the following professional guidelines 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 a project.

The project producer should be empowered to make decisions, voice concerns, and approve changes during production in a timely manner. The PSN partner is a team player responsible for making requested changes promptly - always ensuring that the project producer can make informed decisions with the benefit of local cost and creative considerations.

2. Project Assessment

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 as proposed and engage PSN partners best positioned to carry it out.

Producer input on the following considerations is most helpful:

Creative
• Is the script approved?
• Is an agency/client brief, animatic, and/or mood board available?
• Who is the director?
• Is a director’s treatment available?

Timings
• What is the project calendar?
• When will the project be awarded?
• What is the air date?
• Are the timings flexible?

Talent
• What are the talent buyouts?
• Are celebrities mentioned in the script signed up to the project?
• Are there other VIP considerations?

Travel
• How far is the client prepared to travel to execute the project?
• What travel limitations may be imposed by celebrities?

Bid
• What is the target budget for local production service and talent?
• Is talent to be budgeted separately from local production?
• Is the producer bidding with other service providers to shoot overseas?
o If so, in which countries?
o Is there an interest in receiving a second bid from PSN in said country(ies)?

PSN partner budgets are calculated in good faith on the information received. Estimated costs are subject to timely revision in parallel with changes to creative criteria / final technical needs.

3. Confidentiality

PSN partners customarily comply with non-disclosure agreements (NDA) from the beginning 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 and production plan receiving producer approval – should clearly establish the rights and responsibilities of each party.

Each PSN partner is directly responsible for preparing bids, executing local production support, and invoicing 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. It is, therefore, understood that the requirement of an audit on a cost-plus project should be made known to the PSN Partner in advance in order for it to form 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 is 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. 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.