Our first note about Coronavirus and its potential effects on productions was published when the virus was only in China. The situation has deteriorated, of course, and the disease has spread to many other countries. Our advice is that when contracting a production you should seek the agreement of the agency you are contracting with as per the attached Coronavirus addendum. That is an agreement to meet your costs on a relocation of a shoot to another location or a postponement or cancellation of a production as a result of Coronavirus as follows:
In the case of a relocation of a production to a new location or a postponement, for the agency to pay you the additional costs of the relocation or postponement.
In the case of a cancellation, that the agency will pay you cancellation costs on the basis set out in the force majeure clause (18) of the contract Part 2.
We strongly recommend you use this document because:
It ensures the agency, and through them the client, has a clear view of its potential liabilities before committing to a production.
Without it, there is a substantial risk of your not being able to recover your relocation or postponement or cancellation costs.
Your insurance won’t cover this.
This addendum covers the issues of relocation, postponement or cancellation of the production because where you are shooting has become, in the view of WHO and the Foreign Office or similar authority a place they advise not travelling to/not travelling to unless essential to travel there. It can’t cover every possible Coronavirus consequence e.g. that your director has been to an infected area and is banned from travelling to the shoot location. Please call us about such situations and we will help you resolve them.
We have discussed this addendum with the IPA. They understand the purpose of it but cannot endorse it because some of their members are unable to agree to it without the agreement of their client. We understand that- the point of the document is that the agency should ask their client, so their client can decide whether to authorise their agency to enter into the agreement. That is the client’s choice but if the client declines to give that authority and the agency therefore declines to enter into the agreement, you cannot contract to produce the commercial because to do so would risk you not being able to recover any of the costs of relocating, postponing or cancelling as a result of the Coronavirus.
If you are already contracted, please call for advice. Also please seek our advice if you are having to work on a different contract, e.g. with an overseas agency or are working direct-to-client.