This happened to me regularly till not long ago. Imagine the following scenario:
A client hires me for shooting. Everything is agreed on and I’d get a phone call two days before the shoot and the client would ask: Can we have a break in between the shooting because the second interviewee isn’t ready till two hours after the first one is finished. We’ll pay you for your time but we don’t want to pay for the break in between.
Man, I hate those situations. What should you do? Do you just give in, lose money, and set yourself up for this kind of headache in the future? Or do you fight for your rights and put your relationship with the client into danger? What a catch 22. What can you do in order to prevent those situations that can cost you lots of money, or possibly a client?
When I started out making films I didn’t know exactly how to deal with the following situation: A potential client would contact me and ask: “Can you do such and such project for me free of charge and as soon as we have money we will hire you for the next “real” production? With money and budget.” That sounded like a good deal. Especially when you are desperate for jobs.
I did this a few times in the hope of getting those “real” projects but it was funny looking back. I never ever experienced that those clients would come back. Meaning to say those clients never got back to me with those “real” paid projects. Why?
I kept wondering if there was something wrong with me or if I didn’t do a good job. Till I discovered a pattern.
Are you a filmmaker who travels occasionally or even a lot? Do you have to fly around doing video production for your clients or your production company? One of the challenges I face as a DP and filmmaker is that I am dependent on the gear that is available at the distant location that I travel to. Often my preferred gear like camera sliders and cranes aren’t available on the road, or are too expensive to rent for several days of shooting.
Beside all that, I like to use my own gear because I know it in and out. I know what professional results I can expect with it. I don’t want to compromise a project just because I might not have my, undamaged, familiar and high quality gear at the remote location.
What if you could fly around and bring a 3-point interview lighting kit, stands, audio gear, tripod, camera slider, camera crane, reflector, extension cords, and much more, and pack it all up in one suitcase?
You know, a few weeks ago my wife gave me the book “Drop Dead Healthy” by A. J. Jacobs. It’s a super funny read about how to create a healthier life style. He tested all the good and stupid health advice out there and shows what works and what is just bogus.
In his book he quotes a 20 year study that was published in the Journal of The American College of Cardiology that if you sit for more than six hours a day, your life could be shortened up to 5 years.
Man, we are excited when we get a new cool project, right? First we close the deal, get our deposit check and now its time for pre – production.
One of the early steps in Pre is to find the right locations you want to shoot in. Usually you would either do a rough search on the web or send a producer or assistant out in the jungle in order to find the right location.