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Should You Work for Deferred Payment or Back End Points?

An Indie Film Hustle Tribe member recently asked me

“Should You Work for Deferred Payment or Back End Points?”

Believe it or not, I get this question A LOT! So I decided to dedicate a podcast episode to the question. There are times I would say yes definitely work for deferred payment or back endpoints.

I heard a story of a screenwriter that was asked to do a rush job, write an entire screenplay in two weeks over Christmas vacation. He really didn’t want to do it but the agent said he could get him paid and get him back endpoints. The screenwriter took the gig, the producer loved the script and the movie went on to gross $500,000,000 worldwide. He took home over $20 million. Not bad.

So yes there is a time to make that deal but alas there are times you should never work for deferred. Take a listen to when to and when not to work for deferred payments or back endpoints.

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3 Comments

  1. HitcocksBodyDouble on March 29, 2016 at 8:44 am

    you could have just said ‘no’, it would have saved everyone a lot of time



    • IndieFilmHustle on March 29, 2016 at 8:55 am

      Just want to explain the reasons why but there are sometimes to say yes.



  2. Terence Jay on May 15, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    All you said was to repeat “It may happen you’ll get paid, but I’ve never heard of it”. So, if you’ve never heard of it, how do you know? My own film budget relies on deferred payments, though everyone on set will receive a nominal, but equal, per diem. I’ll also make it my Priority to ensure that the first profits go to the deferred payments.
    I’d do that because I’d like to repeat the formula, with the same people, if they haven’t moved up the ladder.
    Back-end points, however, is another thing entirely. ‘Monkey Points’. You will never see them unless you’re a first-dollar gross participant or have a cast-iron contract.
    I’ve heard this story of the two-week script that generated $20 mill for the writer on a back-end deal, but never heard details. It’s a myth.
    Nothing wrong with accepting a deferred deal. Don’t expect to get paid and if you do, thank the integrity of the Producer and consider it a bonus.