SERVICES TO AICP MEMBERS
AICP represents, exclusively, the interests of independent companies that specialize in the production and post production of commercials and other forms of marketing messaging in the motion image. The association, with national offices in New York and Los Angeles as well as regional chapters across the country, serves as a strong collective voice for this $5 billion-plus industry. Founded in 1972, AICP assists its members by: disseminating information; representing production and post production companies within the advertising community in business circles, in labor negotiations and dealing with employment issues, and before governmental officials; developing industry standards and tools; providing professional development; and marketing production and post production via events and awards shows.
AICP members account for 85 percent of all domestic commercials aired nationally on all media platforms. AICP members are commercial production and post production companies (General Members) and knowledgeable, reliable suppliers (Associate Members) that the industry depends on for state of the art equipment; information; and services focused on production and post production needs.
AICP’s mission is to provide value and service to its membership. It does so by:
• creating and making available resources and information designed to help them more efficiently run their businesses
• provide representation to affect change in areas where new or existing laws or practice may hinder their ability to operate
• forming a collective voice when legally able to operate as such
• working as an education hub to train individulas entering or advancing in the business
• Hold forums to discover and explore new technologies and better understand products and services available for their operations
• Market the value of the industry by showcasing state of the art achivements
The Association is constantly seeking ways to help its members work more effectively and efficiently. These are only a fraction of the services AICP provides, which save member companies money and make membership in AICP economically sound.
Below is an overview of services that AICP provides for its members. For more details about these services, please continue scrolling. Please note: some of this information is available exclusively to AICP members, and you will be asked to enter your company name and member ID. If you do not have that number, please contact David Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Production Guidelines and Best Business Practices for live action production, digital production and post production
• Position Papers and Production Advocacy
• Legal advice and negotiation of Advertising Agency Contracts (“Legal Initiative”)
• Development of model documents and forms
• Grievances Review Board to address issues between members and clients
• Full-time staff advisor to provide guidance on business affairs issues
• Business Affairs roundtables and bootcamp series (see Education and Events)
• Disseminating information through bulletins, memos, the AICP website and bi- monthly newsletter
• Represent the interests of members in various media outlets, including trade and consumer publications.
• Participate in industry conferences and seminars to further educate clients and agencies about AICP members companies and their contribution to the process.
Discounts and Preferred Rates
• Discounts on hotels, airfare, software and various production vendors
• Preferred rates for foreign currency transactions
• Preferred rates for health insurance
Education and Events
• Town Halls
• Production Seminars
• Owners Summits
• Annual Membership meeting
• World Producers Summit at Cannes
• Community Building
• Associate Member events
• Member roundtables on Employment, Business Affairs and Post Production issues
• Business Affairs and Post Production Bootcamp series
• AICP Awards: AICP Show; AICP Next Awards; AICP Post Awards
• Negotiation of labor agreements with the DGA, IATSE, and Teamsters
• Full-time staff advisors to provide guidance on union agreements, and non-union employment issues for union and non-union member companies
• Labor roundtables (see Education and Events)
Equity & Inclusion
• Best Practices for Engagement
• Demographic Reporting
• Diversity Certification Participants
• Double the Line
• Mentoring Program
• Talent Resources
• Diversity Certification Programs
• Commercial Directors Diversity Program (CDDP)
• Negotiation of labor agreements (See Employment Issues)
• Legal Initiative for Advertising Agency Contracts (See Business Affairs)
• Production advocate with local governments
• Member Survey
• State and Local Incentive Programs
• Assistance with Visa Advisory Opinions
• Full-time staff advisor to provide guidance on legislative issues
• Guidelines for post production.
• Position papers and post production advocacy.
• Full-time staff advisor to provide guidance on post production and digital issues
• Post Production roundtables and bootcamp series (see Education and Events)
• A mark of standing in the community.
Production Guidelines and Best PracticesPosition Papers
The AICP Guidelines are a staple for any production or post production company conducting business with an advertiser or advertising agency. The guidelines, which are updated as production evolves, were developed as a set of industry standards to foster responsible business practices between the production company and the advertiser/advertising agency. Business practices covered include, bidding, creative contribution, overages, payment, sequential liability, foreign production, cancellation & postponement, weather days, production insurance, indemnity, limitation of liability, copyright clearances, tax incentives, labor laws, publicity and grievances. See Resources section of AICP.com to obtain a copy of the Bidding, Live Action, Digital Production, Post Production, Green, or other guidelines.
AICP often reviews and comments on advertiser/advertising agency guidelines, specifications, and contracts. The goal is to identify problematic language in these documents and bring them to the attention of all AICP members. AICP periodically issues whitepapers addressing the most common areas of contention such as ‘costs below the line’ and ‘cost-plus not to exceed’. Go to the Resources section of AICP.com to view all AICP position papers.
Production & Post Production Advocacy
AICP advocates on behalf of its members in response to advertiser and agency initiatives, such as preferred vendor programs and objectionable guidelines. AICP also represents the interests of production companies when working with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) on matters such as state tax incentives and best bidding practices.
The Legal Initiative is a program launched by the association to address non-compensation related agency production contract terms. The goal of this program is to encourage agencies to adopt uniform language changes to selected sections of their production agreements (i.e. provisions not involving price, including production fees, costs and payment terms) by providing legal representation through attorney(s) engaged by the AICP for direct contract negotiations with the agency on behalf of a member. This program is fully funded by AICP General Member dues. For more information on the Legal Initiative go to the Resources section of AICP.com.
*The AICP Legal Initiative is a service provided for General Members Only
Documents and Forms
Over the years AICP has developed forms and tools to assist its members in their day-to- day business activities. These standard contracts, riders, forms and releases include live action work-for-hire, digital production, and licensing agreements; digital statement of work; non- disclosure agreements; foreign production service agreement; equipment rental agreement; and location and talent releases. These forms and other documents are available online under the Resources section of the AICP website.
On occasion, a member company may find itself with an unresolved dispute with an advertising agency or other business. The AICP Grievance Review Board investigates complaints by members of violations of the AICP National Guidelines or other unfair or unethical business practices. To file a grievance click here, and select Grievance Review Process.
Business Affairs Roundtables and Bootcamp Series – See ‘Education and Events’
AICP has a full-time business affairs advisor on staff to assist members with an array of business affairs issues including agency contracts, advertiser guidelines, cost consultant requirements, wrap-up and production insurance, the legal initiative, foreign currency exchange, and more.
The AICP website provides a wealth of information, forms, and links to help members in their day-to-day business. Sensitive material is posted in password-protected areas of the website. Each member company has a unique member number with which to log-in. Member numbers also may be accessed via email from the site.
Through a series of regular bulletins—Business Affairs, Production Update, News & Events, Employer Issues, and Legislative Action; and our newsletter Spotted and bi-monthly Happenings of upcoming events —the AICP keeps its members up to date on issues of importance in production and post production, as well as on new and ongoing benefits to AICP membership.
The AICP coordinates committees on a national and local level to address a variety of industry issues. We welcome member involvement on all committees. To suggest a project or area of investigation, or to request an invitation to join an existing committee, call your local Chapter President.
AICP works to arrange discounts and preferred rates from national companies providing business services such as hotels, airfare, and software. In addition, many AICP Associate Members offer discounts on their services to their AICP colleagues, which is a mutually beneficial relationship between our General and Associate members.
Foreign Currency Transactions
AICP has established partnerships with various foreign currency providers and negotiated preferred rates for AICP members. For more details, or to enroll, contact Denise Gilmartin, VP, Business Affairs at email@example.com or (323) 798-9744
AICP General Members are eligible (though not required) to obtain freelance participation in the Producers’ Health Benefits Plan (PHBP) and may be eligible for PHBP staff coverage. This plan offers health insurance benefits at a very competitive rate. For more details on what is available in your state, or to enroll, contact Sean Cooley, Executive Director at PHBP at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 647-PHBP.
Regional Town Halls
Local chapters sponsor membership meetings that range from social get-togethers, to informational meetings/town halls, to familiarity tours, which allow you to mingle with other professionals in the industry.
AICP also hosts informational meetings, specifically targeted to member-company Business Managers and Producers to support them in their day-to-day activities and to alert them to developments which may affect their business. Topics have included:
• Cyber Security
• Talent Payment
• Virtual Reality
• Insurance Issues
• Foreign Production Issues
• Cameras and Technology
The AICP's highly successful Production Training Seminar was created to advance industry standards and develop consistency of production skills. This in-depth series of classes offers a detailed examination of the production process, and the role of the production staff. This course is taught by well-known commercial production professionals.
The AICP helps educate and train the next generation of production professionals by assisting chapters in mounting the AICP Commercial Production Training Seminar, a program to enrich the experience and knowledge of future supervisors and producers.
On an as needed basis, AICP may call for an Owners Summit. The purpose for these meetings is to discuss important developments in the advertising industry or to make owners/principals of General Member companies aware of an issue or issues that may greatly affect how they do business.
These annual meetings held by each chapter provide members with an overview of the Association, as well as serving as a platform for Board elections and nominations. Please contact your local chapter for more details.
World Producers Summit at Cannes
Held annually during the Cannes Lions, the mission of the World Producers Summit is to create a central global community of motion image producers of marketing messages to address areas of mutual concern for the purposes of elevating the efficiency and effectiveness of the production business.
Throughout the year, AICP holds events to bring together the membership and foster a sense of community and offer opportunites for outreach and networking.
• Women’s Forum. Held quarterly, these events are presented by local chapters, and focus on issues relevant to women in the industry.
• AICP Foundation. The AICP Foundation supports diversity and education in the advertising and production industries. Various events are held throughout the year in support of the Foundation, whose beneficiaries include the Streetlights and Made in New York PA programs.
• Gobble Gobble Give. Started in Los Angeles, and now in New York and other Chapters, this annual Thanksgiving Food & Goods drive collects items for Gobble Gobble Give and other organizations.
• E-waste drive. Launched by the AICP West Board, this event collects and disposes of e-waste
Associate Member events
Pre-Cinco de Mayo party & Oktoberfest. Held annually in Los Angeles and New York, these events are presented in conjuction with PLASA, the equipment rental association. They offer an opportunity for members to mingle.
AICP provides opportunities to discuss issues with fellow members and receive insight on AICP positions on current issues. In an effort to facilitate information-sharing and communication of best practices within the AICP Membership, AICP launched an expanded initiative to host a series of roundtable discussions on labor, business affairs, and post production issues. The small group format of roundtables offers an opportunity to meet and discuss issues and questions in an informal setting and allow for interaction and discussion with peers.
The AICP Show: The Art & Technique of the American Commercial, is one of the most highly regarded advertising awards programs in the business. The Show places an emphasis on the skill and expertise of the production crafts. The AICP Show has gained international acclaim and is an excellent ambassador for the American production industry. The AICP Show and The AICP Next Awards are preserved in The Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film’s state of the art archives for future generations to study, and are available for use or exhibition by the museum’s curators. All individual works and each year’s shows in their entirety can be viewed exclusively at www.aicpawards.com, the AICP Awards Archive website.
The AICP Next Awards recognize outstanding work and the creative forces behind it but are much more than an Awards competition – Next is a platform for thought leadership and analysis. Honoring work across 12 categories, the winners of the Integrated Campaign and Most Next categories will present case studies exploring the creative and strategic thinking behind each winning piece. Winners will also be announced in seven other categories as well as the winner of the Most Next Award.
AICP Post Awards
The AICP Post Awards (formally known as the AICE Awards) accepts entries in 26 categories, which honor the excellence and skill of the editor, and nine craft categories, which recognize artists in the disciplines of audio mixing, sound design, color grading, graphic design, visual effects and original music composition. AICP Post Awards are presented to individual editors, colorists, VFX artists, graphic designers, composers, audio mixers and sound designers. AICP Post Awards winners can be found here.
AICP Week is a celebration of creativity and thought leadership. The Week is anchored by the Premieres of The AICP Next Awards and the AICP Show: The Art and Technique of the American Commercial, the latter culminating with the most anticipated celebration in the industry: The gala at the Museum of Modern Art. Additionally, in each year, various educational seminars and events highlighting the state of marketing in the motion image are staged.
Business Affairs and Post Production Bootcamp Series
Held during AICP Week in New York, these three-session workshops are designed to give professionals from every corner of the industry tangible insights which can be implemented immediately. At the Post Production Boot Camp, guests will take a deep dive into some of the issues and trends facing post production today. The Business Affairs Boot Camp provides an intensive overview of the complex issues impacting the business of production. To view some of the past Bootcamp Series events please visit the AICP website: (https://www.aicp.com/news-roundup/video-archive/aicp-conferences/)
Union Agreements*Non-Union Labor
While it is not a requirement of AICP membership to be a signatory to any union agreement, about one half of AICP members are signatory to the Directors Guild of America (DGA), and/or IATSE, and the Teamsters. The AICP negotiates these commercials agreements with the DGA, union locals affiliated with IATSE, and the Teamsters, on behalf of these members. These collective bargaining agreements often have AICP Members only privileges, not available to non-members, and which may provide considerable savings to member production companies and their directors. Please note that membership in the AICP does not require the member to be a signatory to any union contract. AICP General Members may go to the Employment Issues section of AICP.com to view the AICP collective bargaining agreements.
*This membership benefit applies to AICP General Members Only
In addition to union issues, AICP provides guidance on many non-union matters, such as federal and state labor law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and other areas that will help employers more effectively manage their staff and freelance employees.
Labor Roundtables – See ‘Events and Education’Contact
AICP has on staff a full-time labor consultant, available to assist members with questions regarding labor laws, labor agreements, union requirements, and non-union employment issues such as employee vs. independent contractor, timeliness of payment, and exempt employee vs. non-exempt status.
To become a signatory to one of the above collective bargaining agreements or for answers to employment related questions contact email@example.com or (212) 929-3000. See also the AICP website under Employment Issues.
The AICP Equity & Inclusion Committee is the official workgroup driving the association’s commitment to facilitate industry-wide change. The committee is tasked by the AICP National Board of Directors to drive movement in all facets of the industry, to implement strong, diverse goals individually and company-wide across the commercial industry. It exists to push forward a demographic shift that is both real and sustainable and imperative to creating long-term programs and strategies that will facilitate a more equitable and balanced commercial community.
The AICP Equity & Inclusion Committee Subcommittees focus on the following areas:• Best Practices
• Talent Resources and Hiring Practices (including Demographic Reporting and Double the Line)
Best Practices for Engagement
The Best Practices for Engagement are an evolving set of guidelines for agencies and marketers to consult when engaging talent. These guidelines are the product of a series of candid roundtable discussions between AICP member production and post companies and advertising agencies and marketers.
Many agencies and marketers have been requesting that their production and post partners to report on the demographic make-up of the crew and employees working on their projects. AICP identified challenges to collecting this data, including legal issues and protections in place to prevent discrimination. E&I Committee Members, AICP Staff and AICP Legal Counsel worked over the period of a year to find a solution to address these requests and create a demographic reporting methodology in conjunction with the payroll companies that service AICP members. In September 2021 AICP announced a legally vetted, standardized, and effective methodology for reporting employment demographic data that can be shared with advertising agencies and marketers.
Double the Line
The premise is simple: as agencies and marketers reach out to production and post companies regarding corporate policies and requirements to the bidding process to increase diversity, they can support inclusion (and grow opportunity) by doubling a line in the bid. On every commercial production, roles for the project are listed on individual lines in the budget with their associated costs. On every job a production or post partner is bidding, the agency and/or client can consult with the bidding entity regarding potential candidates, costs, and opportunities, will agree to double the role of any single position on the bid. In doing so, they agree to cover the costs to hire a BIPOC candidate to work alongside the identified employee.
Double the Line isn’t a mentorship or training program – rather it provides access for someone who is seasoned in a role (i.e. Line Producer) but has not had the opportunity to work in commercials. By working in tandem, the person in the doubled role will learn the nuances of advertising and gain experience to work on a future for a production. Marketers and agencies have enthusiastically embraced DTL, and AICP maintains a supporters page, found here.
The AICP Mentoring Program is designed to promote the growth and development of our Members and Mentees, through a one-on-one nurturing and mutually stimulating environment. The first cycle officially launched in July 2021 with over 70 mentees. AICP Members signed up to serve as mentors, and represent a cross-section of the industry. The program connects experienced leaders with aspiring talent. The pair will work together to pinpoint and resolve core challenges that can best benefit from the Mentor’s experience.
Regardless of age or tenure, each participant has something of value to offer. This dynamic allows for real-life wisdom and experience to inform the real-life challenges faced by our up-and-coming Mentees. Each Mentor and Mentee commits to a one-hour phone call once a month, for six months. In addition, a series of workshops for Mentees is held over the course of the program cycle. Recognizing that strong networks are the key to strong careers and opportunities, mentorships are a cornerstone of industry-wide change.Talent Resources
Many AICP members – and the industry at large - express a desire to source more diverse talent for their companies. To that end, the E&I compiled a list of resources – accessible to all – for both above and below the line talent, as well as post production. The organizations and staffing services on the list represent individuals with a broad range of experience levels and talents.
Diversity Certification Programs
The AICP seeks to foster and encourage diversity in company ownership and operation within the commercial production industry. In support of this effort, member companies who have obtained Small Business Administration (SBA) or third party certification as a business owned and operated by one or more socially or disadvantaged persons are listed on our website.
Certification allows AICP members to better compete for and win federal contracts. SBA certified programs provide support for growing your company, offering small business workshops and networking events with government contractors. In addition to government work, many advertisers and agencies utilize this list to identify and refer private sector opportunities to AICP members.For more information on the AICP Diversity Program or to view a list of members who have obtained certification please click here.
Commercial Directors Diversity Program (CDDP)
Created during contract talks between the AICP and the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the Commercial Directors Diversity Program (CDDP) reflects the commitment of both organizations to effect change and increase the representation of women and other historically underrepresented groups of people in commercial directing. The CDDP works to pair unsigned directors with production companies. To achieve this goal, CDDP foster awareness and increases directing opportunities through a targeted program of outreach, mentorship and exposure.
Sheila R. Brown, VP, Equity & Inclusion, is a full-time AICP staff member specializing on equity and inclusion on staff to assist members with an array of issues including best practices, addressing agency and marketer initiatives and advising members on E&I issues within their companies.For questions and information regarding equity and inclusion issues, contact Sheila R. Brown, VP, Equity & Inclusion at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 929-3000. See also the AICP website under Initiatives.
Legal Initiative – See ‘Resources’Negotiation of labor agreements – See ‘Employment Issues’
The AICP retains the services of Ellenoff Grossman & Schole as its legal counsel. For legal questions your chapter cannot answer contact Bob Sacks at (212) 370-1300.
Production advocate with local governmentsMember Survey
AICP advocates on its members’ behalf before government agencies and state legislatures to seek film-friendly production guidelines and support financial incentives that allow members to keep their production costs down. Whether it’s a new city policy affecting production, or updates on pending state legislation impacting the industry, the AICP’s voice is consistently heard at City Hall and the State Capitol.
Every year AICP conducts a survey of its member companies to track changes in economic conditions and business practices affecting the commercial production industry. The aggregated results of this survey allow 1) members to benchmark its company’s practices against those of the entire industry, and 2) provides AICP with the latest industry/production data to strengthen AICP’s advocacy efforts before government agencies and the legislature on behalf of its members. Members who complete this survey report that it is an invaluable opportunity to see if their company is operating within the range of general industry practice.
State and Local Incentive Programs
The structure, type, and size of film incentives vary from state to state. Many include tax credits and exemptions, and other incentive packages include cash grants, fee-free locations, or other perks. You may find a synopsis of each state’s incentive on our website. Although these listings are updated often, laws and incentives change. Please visit the links provided under each state listings to confirm the status of its film incentive.
AICP has a full-time external relations advisor on staff to assist members with an array of legislative issues including permits, tax incentives, diversity certification, member survey, and more. For questions regarding legislative issues contact David Gonzalez, Director of External Relations at email@example.com or (323) 798-9744.
AICP is recognized by the Bureau for Citizenship and Immigration Services, now part of the Department of Homeland Security, as a Peer Organization, and can assist member companies applying for work visas for directors or producers from outside the U.S. by providing an Advisory Opinion. This service is free, and not available to non-members. To utilize this service contact David Stewart, Manager of Membership Information and Systems, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212- 929-3000
Guidelines for post productionPosition Papers and Post Production Advocacy
The AICP post production guidelines are a staple for any post production company conducting business with an advertiser or advertising agency. The guidelines, which are updated as post production evolves, were developed as a set of industry standards to foster responsible business practices between the post production company and the advertiser/advertising agency. Go to the Resources section of AICP.com to obtain a copy of the post production guidelines.
AICP often reviews and comments on advertiser/advertising agency guidelines, specifications, and contracts. The goal is to identify problematic language in these documents and bring them to the attention of all AICP members. AICP periodically issues whitepapers addressing the most common areas of contention such as ‘Digital Intermediates’. Go to the Resources section of AICP.com to view all AICP position papers.
AICP advocates on behalf of its members in response to advertiser and agency initiatives, such as preferred vendor programs and objectionable guidelines. AICP also represents the interests of post production companies when working with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) on matters such best bidding practices.
Post production roundtables and Bootcamp Series – See ‘Education and Events’
AICP has a full-time post production advisor on staff to assist members with an array of post production and digital issues. For questions regarding post production issues contact Shannon Muñoz-Flores, Director of West Events and Post Production Issues at email@example.com or (323) 798-9744. See also the AICP website under Resources.
The respect and admiration of the association in the advertising community is such that many agencies check to be sure a production or post production company is an AICP member before awarding a job. A listing in the AICP directory on the AICP website is a mark of a company’s standing in the industry. For our Associate members, a listing is a similar mark of standing that our General members often look for in choosing their suppliers.
The Association is constantly seeking ways to help its members work more effectively and efficiently. These are only a fraction of the services AICP provides, which save member companies money and make membership in AICP economically sound.
For more information, please call (212) 929-3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.