John Branca Harvard Interview and What to Look for in a Contract

John Branca Harvard Interview and What to Look for in a Contract

As an entertainer, you have probably been working for a long time to make a name for yourself in the entertainment industry. It’s not an easy career path, but some entertainers are lucky enough to receive a contract that can make them feel like they have really made it. Before potentially signing your life away, it’s important to have an attorney ensure that it is fair. It’s also helpful to look for the following three things.

  1.  Worthwhile Length of the Contract

A worthwhile length of a contract refers to the physical length of the typed pages for the purpose of this discussion. Although a longer contract is not always necessarily better, a contract that is two pages or less may not include every provision that it should. Be wary about signing super short and super long contracts, as novel-length ones can have tons of strict provisions that can make the deal not worth your time.

  1. Front-End Pay

Some agencies will try to hide back-end pay into the contract, which means that the entertainer will not be paid until the project is completed. This is good for an agency, as they won’t have to worry about paying a person that gets fired from the job or if the project falls through completely. It’s less helpful for an entertainer that has bills to pay and wants to make sure they get compensated in a timely manner.

If a contract you are presented contains back-end pay, you or your entertainment lawyers should attempt to negotiate for front-end pay.

  1. Appropriate Term of Agreement

If a contract is only valid for a very short term or a potentially excruciatingly long term, it might not be that great of a contract. Before singing a very long-term contact with a television show or record company, make sure that the duration of the contract seems appropriate for the compensation you are set to receive.

An experienced entertainment lawyer will usually have a good idea of what a person in your position should be earning for a contract of a certain length, so they can help you decide if a contract’s terms are right for you.

Pause Before Signing

It can be near impossible to wait and think for a bit before singing a contract, but it’s always a good idea to pause and take some time to look it over. An entertainment lawyer can take a more in-depth look and give you advice about whether it’s a decent contract for you to ultimately sign.


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