Employee or Independent Contractor!?
Hello, I’m Jeanine Hall founder of Quant Solutions and today we’re going to discuss Employee or Independent Contractor in the Film Industry. Quant Solutions has its roots in the Film Industry. We’ve had the pleasure of working with many media and production companies. Without fail each company has come to me with a question about whether or not someone is an employee or a contractor. And for my film client, it’s all about control.
Behavioral Control, Financial Control, and Relationship Control.
To dive into these buckets we’re going to look at 3 different positions.
So we’re going to start with behavioral control with the Production Assistant. Now even though a Production Assistant can be hired for just 1 day. Their duration is often mistakenly used as the determining factor in setting them as an Independent Contractor. When actually they’re behavioral control is what determines that these people are employees. That is because the Producer is the one telling the Production Assistant: When to show up, where to show up and how the work is going to get done when they are there. Therefore, they are employees. A good rule to keep in mind for this position if the word assistant is in their title, their behavior determines them as an employee.
Next for the financial position, we’re going to look at the role of the Director of Photography. Now this position people often come with their own equipment. Which means they’ve made a great investment in their own personal business. And are providing a service to you on a temporary basis. They can have multiple projects going on and there they are in control of how their money is spent in a much different way than a Production Assistant. Therefore, they are an independent contractor.
Next, we’re going to look at the role of the editor. Now, this one gets a little tricky, because editors can be treated as employees or independent contractors and the determining factor here is the relationship. Is this particular editor available for multiple jobs can they or do they have to run them by you? Do they use their own equipment just like the Director of Photography, Do they have to show up at your office? If the answer is they have to show up at your office, they use your equipment, and they have to run new projects by you. It means they’re an employee.
If they’re free to take on as much work as they can handle. Use their own studio and equipment to do the editing, and determine their own schedule. Then they’re an independent contractor.
Thank you so much for listening to me today. I know that this issue can get very fuzzy. And if you have any questions, please comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to talking to you again soon, Thank you.
If you’re looking to find out more of the specifics, check out the IRS’s Fact Sheet.