NEGOTIATING ON TINY BUDGETS
In my opinion, there is great value in doing tiny budgeted projects in the initial building stages of one’s career.
The value is in gaining experience, sharpening skills and fostering relationships.
Those things ARE the prize. Everything else is, at best, a perk.
NEGOTIATING THE PERKS
There is not a lot of blood to be squeezed out of a tiny deal.
The money is going to be low, if at all.
The publishing will be fairly valueless whether you retain it or not.
The ownership is likely to be relatively insignificant whether you do it as a work for hire or as a sync/master license.
LET IT GO
The acceptance of these realities allows for focusing on the primary objectives of doing the job in the first place… experience, practice, relationships.
DON’T NEGOTIATE FOR YOURSELF
As limited as the range of negotiations are on tiny projects, get someone else to do them.
Among the things to start practicing at the beginning of your career is remaining the artist… not the haggler.
Get a lawyer, a paralegal or your brother-in-law-the tax accountant. Get anyone with a modicum of business skills.
THE #1 THING TO NEGOTIATE
What REALLY matters is reaching an agreement of who is paying how much for what and when.
Assuming this is a package;
How much is the package?
What does it cover? For example…
all synth, small ensemble of X number of musician, X number of minutes of music, X number of sessions with an orchestra of X number of players, etc.
When does it get paid? What is the schedule?
DON’T SWEAT THE OTHER STUFF
Once those issues are clearly establish, everything else is relatively unimportant in these tiny deals.
Hopefully, you are going to have tons of deals in your future. These first batch are the baby steps before you eventually run.