Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 34
  1. Collapse Details
    How do I deal with this situation
    #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    130
    Default
    I've been working for this extremely small, independent (and highly incompetent) production company for 9 months. This week, or precisely the past 24 hours have been the most depressing hours of my life not just there but in a while.

    It's a startup that tries to be a production company / NEWS STUDIO which shoots everything from panels, live events, to "calling cards" - and guess what, I'm one of the two editors that has to deal with some of the most terrible footage I've seen. Yet, I do my job, fix s*%t, cut around and make everyone happy. I get paid. Everything is good.

    But just a day ago, my "boss" who really is an editor who has been here before both myself and another guy who have been hired - came back from his "2 week" vacation. Which was the amount of time he gave me and the other editor to work on our respective "projects". Mine was an hour long conversation shot with two cameras....drum roll please....on monopods. But wait, there's more. THE ENTIRE APPROACH...of this place is to shoot on these things. Can you guess whose idea that is? Yep. You got it. THAT GUY. The "BOSS" who actually 'runs' the company is this woman baby boomer who has zero ideas or expertise in filmmaking or anything video production related. Over the past 9 months that I've been there and saw the 'meetings' and heard this guy talk. He plays her like a fiddle.

    We were all - the whole team - were watching this 15 minute piece that was produced - footage of which I shoot for some sections - and at the end of it the usual "Walk towards frame / rack focus" that you so often see in News reports scene came on, which was shot by THAT GUY. And because we shoot on DSLRs, there's no follow focus, there's none of that to assist focus. It goes out of focus and the BOSS woman goes "Why is it blurry" and he goes "Camera defect" and her usual response is always "OH ok" - I look at the other editor - who's also a shooter and just shake my head. This is only an example, and I promise you I'm getting somewhere with it.

    Back to our project. He says he gives us "TWO WEEKS" while he's gone to get everything finished, that means edit the two-camera interview that's an hour long which comprises of out of focus shots, Shaky footage - terrible stuff. And then I have to create a highlight reel as well.

    The moment he leaves, I begin to edit - but the next day the BOSS assigns me to another project that a "correspondent" is editing, she asks me to make it more "alive". She likes what I do, because with the terrible footage I work with, I always turn it into something that competent and interesting (supplementing an interview or panel with "Ken Burns effect" montages, or proper b-roll, etc) And so I spend majority of the week (AFTER THANKSGIVING which was 4 days off from that "imaginary 2 week" deadline) to edit that project all the while I bounce around the office and help others either clean up their edits or fix footage. ALL THIS TIME I never get to work on my own project. And I asked the BOSS herself, "What about my project?" and she responds "Thats ok, I'm not worried about it" - so, you can't argue with the BOSS, then all is good. One one of the days I don't even have a workstation to work on my own project on the day that I CAN.

    A DAY before THAT GUY comes back... is when I work on my project and at that point I have most of it finished, but not the highlight reel.

    Guess what happens when he's back. This guy is raving mad (He is in his mid to late 20's I'd say) and he's losing his s*%t while talking to me "I gave you TWO WEEKS" is what he repeats while I TRY to calmly explain what exactly went down. He keeps going on and on about how he shot and edited a ton of projects with poor gear and poor editing systems and bla blah and how he KNOWS "what cutting around bad footage means". I kept myself cool and levelheaded but this dude got red in the poo pooing face and started opening his mouth at me without knowing the FACTS of the past two weeks he was GONE and without letting me explain what the poo poo happened. Both myself and the other editor were pulled off our projects he assigned by the BOSS herself. And then they make a "production meeting" and wonder why some of the content was not pushed out.

    The amount of miscommunication around that place is staggering. I don't know who I'm supposed to listen to when two people are telling me what to do and then they wonder why things take slow or one thing is not finished.

    So the whole "out of focus" story earlier and above - basically, whenever he is inside the room with the BOSS one on one, I fear that she'll side with him any moment of the day because he knows how to bulls*%t her and manipulate her lack of knowledge about how editing works, how time consuming things are and how BAD GEAR DOES AFFECT HOW LONG OR FAST YOU EDIT when your footage is s*%t and unusable.

    I wrote out a 4 page "Timeline of Events" while it was still fresh in my mind of the past two weeks (really, LESS than that, when you include the Thanksgiving weekend and the 2 days of the next week). I am planning on printing it out and letting them BOTH read it, but I'm hesitant.

    I don't want to lose the job because some egomaniac can manipulate the boss - but at the same time I don't want to work within that environment. And I'm thinking of using that document - to prove what has happened - at the next production meeting which is happening soon. The BOSS actually likes what I do for them, but I fear this guy feels threatened by me for the quality of work I do for them with what I'm given.

    Should I address how he behaved at this meeting and how none of this is my fault due to the clusterpoo poo of miscommunication between everyone. Or should I just concentrate on the timeline of events that resulted in mine and other editor's projects not being finished when he was back.

    I feel like just letting it all out because honestly in the past 24 hours he's been a poo pooing dickhead to me, on the day he was back, and today - which made me feel like total s*%t.

    Anyone been in similar situations? or have any advice?

    Thanks.


    Reply With Quote
     

  2. Collapse Details
    #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    319
    Default
    all the while I bounce around the office and help others either clean up their edits or fix footage
    Don't do that.
    Matt Sorrels


    Reply With Quote
     

  3. Collapse Details
    #3
    Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    8,103
    Default
    Sounds like you are dealing with a sociopath. Straight from the "been there, done that" department, it can be soul-crushing to be in that situation for an extended period of time. When you have what is, essentially, an office bully, you will expend most of your energy trying just to survive.

    There is no reward or fulfillment simply in surviving.

    You have two clear choices.

    One, you can accept that this is a toxic place and, as long as this guy is able to manipulate the boss, it won't get better. So, you bail. Ain't nobody got time fo' dat.

    Two, you can make an attempt at improving your situation, which is challenging and can backfire on you. A direct conversation with the boss, explaining the abusive tantrums and unrealistic expectations, would be one step in that process. Documenting everything that happens with this guy, including time and date and a detailed explaination (keep an electronic journal of everything that happens), will help you explain the situation down the road. He's creating a hostile work environment, which can open the company to lawsuits. Is this fight worth it? A conversation with the boss can come back on you if he's able to play her when she talks to him about it. Honestly, whether it's worth it to expend your energy on survival is your call. I would not recommend it.
    Last edited by Alex H.; 12-12-2014 at 04:32 AM.
    Nobody notices audio... until it's not there.

    Find Me on Instagram


    Reply With Quote
     

  4. Collapse Details
    #4
    Senior Member Mark Williams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Deep South, U.S.
    Posts
    1,169
    Default
    Everyone needs to vent but I would not post it here unless you want to risk the parties in your post reading how you feel. IMO if you can't say it face to face then don't say it at all.
    Regards,

    Mark

    GH5, Panasonic 12-60, 14-45, 45-175, Olympus 60 macro, 75-300, Benro S6 Tripod, Rhino Carbon 24" Slider, and Edius 8.5 WG.
    Video channel: https://vimeo.com/channels/3523
    Stock Video: https://www.pond5.com/artist/mark29#1/2063


    Reply With Quote
     

  5. Collapse Details
    #5
    Senior Member mainstreetprod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    nashville tn
    Posts
    2,116
    Default
    This past Thanksgiving I was thankful for 3 things - good health, good family, and being self employed for the past 30 years.
    A feature film shot on the Sony FS7

    www.Summerof67.com


    Reply With Quote
     

  6. Collapse Details
    #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    480
    Default
    That sounds awful.

    Do you really need the gig? Honestly, if there was other work available in your area, I'd ditch it (respectfully) and look elsewhere. Life is too short and I can feel the stress in your post.

    I also sincerely doubt things will get better. So either you'll learn to just not care, or you'll continue to feel like crap.


    Reply With Quote
     

  7. Collapse Details
    #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    4,677
    Default
    if you're that good at working with bad footage, perhaps you should seek employment elsewhere.

    So long as you are still on good terms with the ACTUAL BOSS, I would make sure you are good with her and only her, and keep it between you guys, and get a letter of recommendation and a LinkedIn review or something because that would be important if you applied elsewhere. Get it stat, too, at least I would think.. hard to ask for it if you're no longer on good terms. But could be tricky asking for it without revealing you are beginning to look elsewhere.

    It's really hard not being in your shoes or right there for the situation so it's always hard to say, but it almost seemed like when angry man was chewing you out to say EVEN LESS and just say "I was reassigned by the boss for the last 2 weeks, so was unable to even work on the reel." --let him vent-- "I understand, but I was reassigned to other projects by the boss, and I have to defer to the chain of command as much as I like and respect you, because the actual boss told me to do something else and I have to respect that."

    But yeah man, good luck. Where you work and who you work with play a major role in our lives. Life is short. I would not work somewhere that made me miserable, stressed, and depressed.


    Reply With Quote
     

  8. Collapse Details
    #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West of the Pecos
    Posts
    2,383
    Default
    msorrels has a good bit of advice.

    Should I address how he behaved at this meeting and how none of this is my fault due to the clusterpoo poo of miscommunication between everyone. Or should I just concentrate on the timeline of events that resulted in mine and other editor's projects not being finished when he was back.

    Neither. This is not a topic for a production meeting. If you want to continue at this job and if you can't work for this person, that's a tough spot. Making a confrontational presentation at a production meeting is a really bad idea. You've been there 9 months. You should be a trusted and valued employee by now. It should be clear even to a modestly competent manager who is who. It may not seem like it, but managers are keenly aware of what is going on. The know who is good, who is bad, who is an ass-kisser etc. Unless your management is completely incompetent, they know what is going on.

    You have several bad choices:

    Leave
    Put up with it and hope your boss goes away ( fat chance)
    Tell management your displeasure working for your boss. That always goes over poorly unless you are valued and respected; you decide.

    Good luck.


    Reply With Quote
     

  9. Collapse Details
    #9
    Looking for a woman ugafan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    the grill
    Posts
    3,566
    Default
    1. I agree with THAT GUY, two weeks is enough time to complete your project. Stop blaming others and making excuses for not finishing on time.
    2. You are partly to blame for the bad footage. The reason is you know THAT GUY'S methods are terrible. By not demanding a tripod for an hour long interview, you are agreeing to participate in his lunacy.
    3. THE BOSS is clueless and is being fed bad information by THAT GUY. So why didn't YOU speak up and tell her the real reason the footage is so bad? How is she supposed to know if no one tells her the truth?

    If it were me, I would talk to her in private and express all your concerns before the next production meeting.


    Reply With Quote
     

  10. Collapse Details
    #10
    Senior Member mainstreetprod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    nashville tn
    Posts
    2,116
    Default
    If you do quit this job, consider freelancing instead of employment. Only one client out of ten will be as big of a headache as this situation, the other nine will be a walk in the park. And freelance pay in my experience is usually several times hourly wage- with many expenses being a tax writeoff.
    A feature film shot on the Sony FS7

    www.Summerof67.com


    Reply With Quote
     

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •