Magazine article Screen International

Danny Boyle, Tom Hooper, Lynne Ramsay Back New Contract Terms for Directors (Exclusive)

Magazine article Screen International

Danny Boyle, Tom Hooper, Lynne Ramsay Back New Contract Terms for Directors (Exclusive)

Article excerpt

BFI, BBC Films, Film4, Pact suppot new minimum terms for directors.

Danny Boyle, Lynne Ramsay, Tom Hooper

A bevy of the UK’s most high-profile filmmakers have come together in support of a new set of minimum terms to be inserted into director contracts in a bid to protect their creative rights.

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Directors UK’s new ’Creative Rights Minimum Terms’ for fiction feature films is supported by UK film organisations including BFI, BBC Films, Film4, Pact, the British Film Commission, the Production Guild and agents body the Personal Managers Association.

UK directors and their agents will require the terms to be incorporated in their contracts for all fiction features.

Directors to support the change include Amma Asante, Danny Boyle, Gurinder Chadha, Sarah Gavron, Jim Gillespie, Paul Greengrass, Tom Hooper, Mike Leigh, Philippa Lowthorpe, Kevin Macdonald, John Madden, Roger Michell, Tony Palmer, Alan Parker, Lynne Ramsay, Guy Ritchie, Iain Softley, Charles Sturridge, Susanna White, Mat Whitecross and David Yates.

The new minimum terms were developed ’to establish reasonable best practice and define a core set of requirements that will allow a director to execute his or her work in the most efficient way, during prep, production and post production’.

The terms are designed to help directors - particularly those at the beginning of their career - to protect their creative rights, improve their working conditions and ’prevent the erosion of the directors’ role’.

Woman Walks Ahead and Our Kind of Traitor director Susanna White, chair of Directors UK film committee, said: “We believe these new terms will help create better industry practices that will create a fairer and equal environment for all directors to progress in the industry, especially those from under-represented groups. The terms will protect and support directors at every level of their careers.”

Max Rumney, deputy CEO at Pact, commented: “Independent producers recognise the importance of the creative partnership that they have with directors during the course of the production process and welcome the Directors UK Creative Minimum Terms, which set out clear and fair terms and best practice for the engagement of directors”.

Rose Garnett, director of BBC Films added: “BBC Films welcome the Directors UK Minimum Creative Rights Terms, which will protect, support and nurture directors, particularly those starting out in their careers.”

Meanwhile, Andrew Chowns, CEO of Directors UK, explained: “Established directors will have become accustomed to more extensive rights than those defined by these terms, but directors who are just starting out don’t always get them. These terms set the new standard for producers as well as directors.”

Initially drawn up by the Directors UK Film Committee, the initiative has been spearheaded by former Directors UK film chairs Iain Softley and Roger Michell, along with director Jim Gillespie and Directors UK CEO Andrew Chowns.

Directors UK is the professional association of UK screen directors. It is a membership organisation representing the creative, economic and contractual interests of more than 6,500 members - the majority of working TV and film directors in the UK.

Directors UK Minimum Creative Rights Enabling Clause

Enabling clause to be inserted in to all director contracts:

“The Director shall be treated in accordance with the provisions of the Directors UK Minimum Creative Rights Appendix attached to and incorporated in this contract. …

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