On this page you’ll find information about our standard contracts, and our recommended minimum freelance rates for directors and editors working in New Zealand.
We also suggest that:
• Directors, before taking your ideas to producers or broadcasters, register your ideas with the NZ Writers Guild script registration service, see www.nzwritersguild.org.nz.
• Don't work for nothing - those days are over.
• Never start work without at least a clear deal memo or fax that specifies your fee and payment dates. If these are not honoured, stop work and contact SDGNZ.
Keep in touch
If you have any queries about the information on this page, or if you have concerns about your current working conditions, contact the Guild:
Tel. (09) 360 2102
Our other contact details are at the bottom of this page.
We have developed director's contracts for feature film, documentary, short film and television. Please contact the Guild to access these.
The Guild is keen to work with producers to lobby funders to ensure that these rates are achievable through realistic budgets. Producers are welcome to contact the Guild if they have any questions.
For a guide to the rates, please download the following documents:
Click to view our Directors Ratecard 2008-2009
Click to view our Recommended Editors' Rate Card
Please read our note to producers and directors wishing to employ editors
We highly recommend that you seek legal advice before signing up to any contract.
SDGNZ has negotiated a discounted legal service for Guild members with Tim Riley at Hocquard and Associates Dominion Law. You will need to contact the Guild first to receive this service.
While our best efforts have gone into preparing these documents, SDGNZ accepts no liability whatsoever for your use of these contracts. Please seek legal advice before signing any contract.
The SDGNZ Recommended Minimum Rates Card for directors is designed to reinforce the screen director's right to adequate fees, fair contracts and reasonable working conditions. It should be used in conjunction with the SDGNZ standard contracts.
The rates quoted are the RECOMMENDED MINIMUM we consider fair and commensurate. It is still up to the director to negotiate their fees with the producer. Every situation is unique and we strongly recommend that members contact the guild over any queries. Nothing in this document is intended to hamper higher rates being sought after, and paid.
The SDGNZ Recommended Editors' Rate Card is designed as a guide for editors. It has been developed by our editor members.
Please also read the note to producers and directors wishing to employ editors.
Multiple crew roles & the Producer/Director
Increasingly directors are being expected (though rarely asked) to take on the roles of production assistants or even production managers. In some cases this may be acceptable, but in general the SDGNZ, would rather the appropriate crew personnel were hired for these roles. If no other option is available, the director must be compensated for the increased workload.
Information on the rates for a Director fulfilling multiple crew roles is available by downloading our Minimum Rates Card.
We haven't set any minimum profit rates because at present very few directors have any profit share and the research is patchy to say the least. A producer told us recently that in ten documentaries, he has not been asked for a profit-share once, nor has he ever been asked to drop the moral rights waivers.
If you do not ask, you will not receive.