Published on: 01 December 2017 in Industry

High profile directors support new creative rights terms for film

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Former Directors UK Film Committee Chairs, Iain Softley and Roger Michell
Former Directors UK Film Committee Chairs, Iain Softley and Roger Michell

High-profile and award-winning feature film directors from the UK have come together in support of Directors UK’s new Creative Rights Minimum Terms for Fiction Feature film.

Leading directors including Amma Asante, Danny Boyle, Gurinder Chadha, Sarah Gavron, Jim Gillespie, Paul Greengrass, Tom Hooper, Mike Leigh, Philippa Lowthorpe, Kevin Macdonald, John Madden, Roger Michell, Tony Palmer, Alan Parker, Lynne Ramsay, Guy Ritchie, Iain Softley, Charles Sturridge, Susanna White, Mat Whitecross, David Yates and more have expressed their support for a list of minimum terms to be added to every film director’s contract to protect the directors’ creative rights.

Directors UK has today launched the new Creative Rights Minimum Terms following extensive consultation with directors themselves and with key industry stakeholders including Pact, the BFI, the British Film Commissioner, BBC Films, Channel Four Films, the Production Guild and the agents’ body the Personal Managers Association. UK film directors and their agents will require these to be incorporated in their contracts for all fiction feature films. 

The new minimum terms were developed to establish reasonable best practice and define a core set of requirements that will allow a director to execute his or her work in the most efficient way, during prep, production and post production. The terms will help directors – particularly those at the beginning of their career – to protect their creative rights, improve their working conditions and prevent the erosion of the director’s role. 

Current Directors UK Film Committee Chair, Susanna White
Current Directors UK Film Committee Chair, Susanna White

Directors UK believes that protecting the creative rights of directors not only enhances the quality of the work but improves the efficiency and cost effectiveness of its creation. 

Iain Softley, former Directors UK Film Chair, and director of Hackers, Inkheart, K-PAX and The Outcast, said: “Reaction to our document has been very positive. There is recognition that the creative rights we are asking for ought to be the least that any director should have, and that protection of these rights will benefit producers, financiers and the quality of the film itself.” 

Susanna White, Chair of the Directors UK Film Committee, and director of Woman Walks Ahead, Our Kind of Traitor and Generation Kill said: “We believe these new terms will help create better industry practices that will create a fairer and equal environment for all directors to progress in the industry, especially those from under-represented groups. The terms will protect and support directors at every level of their careers.”

Max Rumney, Deputy CEO at Pact, said: “Independent Producers recognise the importance of the creative partnership that they have with directors during the course of the production process and welcome the Directors UK Creative Minimum Terms, which set out clear and fair terms and best practice for the engagement of directors.” 

Rose Garnett, Director of BBC Films said: “BBC Films welcome the Directors UK Minimum Creative Rights Terms, which will protect, support and nurture directors, particularly those starting out in their careers.”

Andrew Chowns, CEO of Directors UK said: “Established directors will have become accustomed to more extensive rights than those defined by these terms, but directors who are just starting out are being denied them. These terms set the new standard for producers as well as directors.”

Roger Michell, former Directors UK Film Chair, and director of Notting Hill, Changing Lanes and My Cousin Rachel, said: “It's our view that these quite modest minimum creative terms will lead to better films, better and more efficiently and economically made.”

Initially drawn up by the Directors UK Film Committee, the initiative has been spearheaded by former Directors UK Film Chairs Iain Softley and Roger Michell, along with director Jim Gillespie and Directors UK CEO Andrew Chowns

Film director Jim Gillespie also played a key part in developing the Creative Rights Minimum Terms
Film director Jim Gillespie also played a key part in developing the Creative Rights Minimum Terms


Full List of Directors Supporting the Creative Rights Minimum Terms:

Amma Asante (A United Kingdom, Belle)
Otto Bathurst (Robin Hood (2018), Peaky Blinders, Black Mirror)
John Boorman (The Tailor of Panama, Excalibur, Point Blank)
Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, 127 Hours)
Chanya Button (Burn Burn Burn)
Gurinder Chadha (Bride & Prejudice, Bend It Like Beckham, Viceroy’s House)
Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid and Nancy and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
Sarah Gavron (Suffragette, Brick Lane, This Little Life)
Jim Gillespie (I Know What You Did Last Summer, D-Tox, Venom)
Terry Gilliam (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Twelve Monkeys)
Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Supremacy, Jason Bourne, Captain Phillips)
Piers Haggard (The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu, The Blood on Satan’s Claw, Venom)
Mike Hodges (Flash Gordon, Get Carter, Croupier)
Tom Hooper (The Danish Girl, Les Misérables, The King’s Speech)
Hugh Hudson (Chariots of Fire, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, Revolution)
Menhaj Huda (Kidulthood, Coronation Street, Eastenders)
Mike Leigh (Secrets & Lies, Happy-Go-Lucky, Vera Drake)
Philippa Lowthorpe (Swallows and Amazons, Call the Midwife, Three Girls, The Crown)
Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, State of Play, Touching the Void)
John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Changing Lanes, My Cousin Rachel)
Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Donnie Brasco, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
Tony Palmer (200 Motels, Testimony, Bird on a Wire)
Alan Parker (Fame, Bugsy Malone, Angela’s Ashes, Evita)
Oliver Parker (Dad’s Army, St Trinian’s, The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband)
Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin, Morvern Callar, Ratcatcher)
Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Sherlock Holmes)
Nic Roeg (Walkabout, The Witches, The Man Who Fell to Earth)
Iain Softley (Inkheart, Hackers, K-PAX)
Charles Sturridge (Lassie, Shackleton, Gulliver’s Travels, Longitude)
Susanna White (Nanny McPhee Returns, Our Kind of Traitor and Generation Kill, Boardwalk Empire)
Mat Whitecross (The Road to Guantanamo, Oasis: Supersonic, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Spike Island)
David Yates (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 & 2, The Legend of Tarzan, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them).

Have Your Say

Marc Jobst

Happy to support. Thanks for working so tirelessly on our behalf.

Steve M Kelly

Thank you.

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