Monday, November 24, 2008


Almost everyone knows an advance is essential to the production of a job. Sometimes there there is a client or a higher up (insert CFO here) who doesn't quite understand the necessity behind this. If it's a client that doesn't understand the importance of an advance it's a bit easier, because then the agency can front the advance check for the project.

I'm assuming that most understand what an advance is but for definition sake here you go: pay someone a monetary amount before a final date/billing invoice. The advance is normally 50-75% of the production expenses. This is essential to the photographer or producer working on the project in order for them to pay for anything immediate needed and even pay the crew on the day of. This way it's not all out of pocket for the photographer/producer.

When an advance is not paid prior to the start of the job most people have clauses written in their estimates that detail a markup will be charged or a percentage of costs per dollar amount will be charged. If you don't have this written in, you probably should. And if you're the person purchasing/negotiating for the project, keep an eye out for these clauses and make your client aware so there are no snags after you get the go ahead.

Advances are an unwritten and understood rule that we assume everyone knows about and most certainly should understand as part of the production process. However there are the few people that don't agree and if all the explaining in the world doesn't change their mind, you should make sure you're protected in some manner.
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