I was once the Head of Music at a low budget film studio making a deal for a shitty film, on a crappy budget with a minor composer. He and his lawyer tried to haggle over every minor boilerplate aspect of the deal, including the rate paid on theoretical sheet music. They demanded an extra penny per copy.
THIS FILM WAS NEVER GOING TO HAVE SHEET MUSIC.
And if it did, they would be lucky to sell bupkis. And the difference of getting an extra penny would have meant an extra $250 for every 25,000 copies of that hypothetical, non-existent sheet music.
They got very emotional about letting go of this and dozens of other insignificant issues because they were obsessed with not missing out on a million-to-one long shot fluke or because they didn’t want to be “taken advantage of” or being “disrespected.”
Eventually, I had too many other things to focus on and wasn’t going to waste our company’s lawyer’s time and fees in trying to reinvent our standard deal.
I finally said, “Enough. Addressing your fears and emotions and irrational hypotheticals on this stupid deal just isn’t worth it. Take it or leave it.”
They took it. (And the film grossed a few thousand dollars, the composer has only scored one other film in the 30+ years since then… and there was never any sheet music).
OTHER HYPOTHETICAL SMALL STUFF NOT TO SWEAT
Personally, I believe there are so many small things that get obsessed over emotionally or on principle and not because they really have any real financial or business meaning.
For me, they lack PERSPECTIVE.
FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, ON A MINOR PROJECT WHAT ARE SOME OF THE DEAL “SMALL STUFF” NOT WORTH SWEATING OVER?