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In present-day name-driven market place, ensuring a photo or film deal involving a celebrity has turned out to be an important step towards the acquisition of the celebrity’s photo or filming. As such, whether one is an agent, a lawyer, a producer or a sale executive, attaining a photo or a filming deal involving a star is probably among the most critical negotiations. According to Tulchin (1998), this is probably. However, once he or she accepts to take the particular role, then a delicate as well as an intricate balancing act commences. In view of this therefore, this particular paper intends to provide an assessment involving an image making negotiation process involving a famous Australian musician.

According to Tulchin (1998), the primary point in the negotiation other than the issue of money is normally, the star’s availability. Coordinating their availability is important though many times a significantly complex balancing act. In majority cases, Tulchin (1998) argues that the star’s representatives will more often than not want the availability date to be locked down. In my case, however, it was not that complicated as we contacted the musician’s agents who surprisingly heeded quickly to our request. Assured of the star’s availability, we set a determined date in advance such that there was a time for not only pre-production but financing and flexibility in any case production is late.

Even though, Tulchin (1998) highlights that the pre-existing commitments are often an issue especially where a star’s previous commitment to another project taking precedent to ours, this was not the case. Since the star’s deal and our deal were the key components in as far as getting studios, distributors as well as the project financiers to commit themselves to the production, all the parties expected the outcome to significantly weigh on whether the particular project will go on or not. Nonetheless, the star deal was made after an agreement on how the star’s pictures will be marketed, publicized as well as promoted bearing the fact that there are normally restrictions placed on the usage of celebrities’ images.

Once a deal has been accomplished, the next step is often the refining of ideas and the preparation for a shoot. The preparation for a shoot is usually by creating a shoot planner document that covers the various logistics of the talent facility requirements, transport, equipments, permits and timings and costs. In this case, the agreement was that should the location be more than 60 miles away from the star’s residence, then a per diem of $ 65,000 including a first-class transportation paid. Other than these, there were additional perks that were negotiated including publicity expenses.

The next process is the execution of the project whereby the shooting process begins. This begins with a pre-production process that entails generally rehearsals including wardrobe fittings, photo recording tests, make-up tests, hairdressing tests, publicity stills and may more. According to Leslie (2011), often there are issues of the celebrity’s agents wanting to resist the pre-production stage for free. However, in our case; we had no issues as everything was cleared in the negotiation process.

Once this is done, the process now moves on to real production where the process of carrying out principal photography starts. These normally include the photographer taking various photo shoots including trick shots, stunts and publicity stills. Other than photography, there is the making of interviews with the star. Once the process of production is completed, then the following stage is usually the post-production stage. As highlighted by Tulchin (1998), the post production process entails activities including the recording of sound tracks, looping, dubbing, additional publicity and finally the promotional services (Tulchin, 1998). The major issues with the production process are normally issues dealing with how much time the post-production process is taking. For instance, if a star is paid $ 200,000 for four weeks of principal photography, then questions regarding whether this amount integrated rehearsal and the pre-production or whether an extra amount should be paid. In our case, we did not face such issues probably due to the fact that thorough negotiations were made and a well-defined deal struck before the initiation of the project with the star.


Figure 1: An illustration of caption editing

Figure1: An illustration of one of the finished artworks from the images

In any independent image negotiation process, the scrappy nature with regards to lower budget and the apparently unrelenting mechanic relating to negotiations can, if not appropriately coordinated, lead to a production that does not make sense not only financially but also artistically. However, in the case of our star, the feedback was excellent with the star and the deal fitting into the arrangements. According to Leslie (2011), this is often a challenge and only few producers when dealing with many projects of this kind involving celebrities. On the other hand, the continuous consultations made between us and the stars’ management was essential in as far as avoiding many pitfalls or roadblocks that are prominent with many projects of a kind involving celebrities or stars.

Generally, this particular project has been an eye opener in as far as dealing with celebrity regarding their rights over their images. The experiences gained have undoubtedly been helpful in as far as going through the give-and-take process of negotiation towards the closing up of a deal. Of significant importance has also been the recognition of the various restrictions the agents put on the usage of the various footages as well as other pictures of the star, a factor that significantly highlights the complexity of having to deal with stars on matters relating to their images.


From the above, it is evidently clear that landing a celebrity has turned out to be more significant than it has ever been over the past several years. As highlighted above, this is probably due to the celebrity’s commitment with all the accompanying hype, promotional and the global market value that sets the production process in motion. However, as the paper highlights, there are various set guidelines that ought to be useful in terms of the inexorable give-and-take evident with negotiation processes involving any celebrity.


Leslie, L, 2011, Celebrity in the 21st Century: A Reference Handbook of Contemporary world issues, ABC-CLIO

Tulchin, H, 1998, Smooth Negotiating: Making the Star Deal

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