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    #31
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    100% agreed. The producer who sells the job (many of you in most cases), it's their job to set and manage expectations and to build the value case for what they provide. If you are taking jobs for only "what the client wants to pay", you are not a good salesperson or
    or producer. You're an order taker and probably not a very successful one. I won't go down the rabbit hole of discussing how to be a good salesperson but I've been one, or a sales manager or store manager, team leader, educator, writer most of my adult life. Successfully
    selling takes building instant rapport, establishing credibility and delving quickly and deeply into what the client's actual needs are. It's not ALWAYS to cheap out. Most of that is a "lack of knowledge smokescreen" by your client.

    Most of the clients who hire many of us are clueless about what production is, how it works, why they should hire production company or OMB A over B, etc. so they default to hiring "whoever is cheapest".
    Every potential client is an opportunity to educate them and make your case why they wouldn't be making a good business decision by NOT hiring you. I like working with clients who actually know at least a little about production.
    Then they KNOW why they need to pay for a sound mixer, hair & makeup, a PA, a gaffer when I tell them we need this person/position. I am truly always looking out for my client's best interest and almost all of the time
    when we hire these positions we don't have on staff, there is little to no markup in that position's rate in my budget proposal. Because I'm not hiring a sound mixer to make more money, I'm hiring them so as to decrease the chances of the shoot failing because of audio problems/issues.
    I don't hire sound mixers for a single camera/single subject interview. But two/three talent or more, wireless, managing a lot of audio things happening, heck yes, the client is hiring a sound mixer, why would I want to compromise my ability to do my job well as producer/director/DP just
    because I have a lot of audio gear and actually can do a pretty good job of location sound mixing?

    I don't buy into the race to the bottom. Most of those kinds of clients who expect a OMB to do 3-4 people's position's well for a fraction of the money, those are the clients I am trying to NOT work with anymore. There are no winners in the race to the bottom.
    If you want to succeed in this or any other business, you must be in control of the situations you are hired for. This gets into that collaborator issue. If you want to be a camera monkey who is soley hired for their camera and lighting,
    you're never going to compete with the other camera monkeys in the race to the bottom. It's a losing race. I pretty much only like to work with collaborators as clients. If someone wants a commodity hire, I usually refer them to
    other people I know who work that way because why do I want to compete with the bottom feeders of our business? What's the point?
    A huge part of the problem is that even the good clients, or the used-to-be-good clients, is that those that know what is needed, they are no longer "in-charge", or more correctly in-charge of the money. It's all come down to "how cheaply can we do it?". Several years ago, with one of my clients, I started to see hard crew call times with much less lead time, being set, whereas in the past, we were told when we needed to be ready to roll and we would back-time from there. They started trying to eliminate overtime, at the expense of shortening the front of the day(i.e: lessoning set-up time and pad for "just-in-case" occurrences), instead of trying to be more efficient and get us done sooner, on the back-end. And on the flip-side of the same coin, I hated just as badly when they would want us in way earlier than we needed to be and keep us longer, just to "get their 10 hours out of us", when we could have accomplished what we needed to do in six or seven hours.


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    #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    Why would we eat $800.00 because the client was cheap and short sighted? Would you have?
    I can't really follow exactly what happened with your shoot. No I would not eaten the $800 prompter fee, but I like to think I wouldn't have allowed circumstances to reach the point where that was even a possibility.
    Last edited by Doug Jensen; 03-01-2021 at 04:04 PM.


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    #33
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
    I can't really follow exactly what happened with your shoot. No I would not eaten the $800 prompter fee, but I like to think I wouldn't have allowed circumstances to reach the point where that was even a possibility.
    I don't want to put words in Dan's mouth, but I believe it went something like this:

    The shoot was out of state and Dan hired a local company to shoot it. Up front, the client refused to pay the fee that the local production company would have charged for a prompter. But on the day of the shoot, the actual talent wanted prompter. And I'm presuming that because of Dan's client saying up-front that they would not pay for a prompter that a) the local production company did not have a prompter there or b) would not pull it out and use it if they had it there for "free". So the only choice's I see for Dan, at that point are a) eat $800 to provide a prompter that they said they already said they would not pay for or b) tell the client this is what they chose, agreed to and paid for.

    It's one thing if you own the gear and can "take one for the team" for the bigger picture, but losing $800 out of your profit to provide a rental item that you don't have, because of a clients penny-pinching and failure to understand the consequences, especially in today's environment of ever shrinking budgets is a tough one.


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    #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    100% agreed. The producer who sells the job (many of you in most cases), it's their job to set and manage expectations and to build the value case for what they provide. If you are taking jobs for only "what the client wants to pay", you are not a good salesperson or
    or producer. You're an order taker and probably not a very successful one. I won't go down the rabbit hole of discussing how to be a good salesperson but I've been one, or a sales manager or store manager, team leader, educator, writer most of my adult life. Successfully
    selling takes building instant rapport, establishing credibility and delving quickly and deeply into what the client's actual needs are. It's not ALWAYS to cheap out. Most of that is a "lack of knowledge smokescreen" by your client.

    Most of the clients who hire many of us are clueless about what production is, how it works, why they should hire production company or OMB A over B, etc. so they default to hiring "whoever is cheapest".
    Every potential client is an opportunity to educate them and make your case why they wouldn't be making a good business decision by NOT hiring you. I like working with clients who actually know at least a little about production.
    Then they KNOW why they need to pay for a sound mixer, hair & makeup, a PA, a gaffer when I tell them we need this person/position. I am truly always looking out for my client's best interest and almost all of the time
    when we hire these positions we don't have on staff, there is little to no markup in that position's rate in my budget proposal. Because I'm not hiring a sound mixer to make more money, I'm hiring them so as to decrease the chances of the shoot failing because of audio problems/issues.
    I don't hire sound mixers for a single camera/single subject interview. But two/three talent or more, wireless, managing a lot of audio things happening, heck yes, the client is hiring a sound mixer, why would I want to compromise my ability to do my job well as producer/director/DP just
    because I have a lot of audio gear and actually can do a pretty good job of location sound mixing?

    I don't buy into the race to the bottom. Most of those kinds of clients who expect a OMB to do 3-4 people's position's well for a fraction of the money, those are the clients I am trying to NOT work with anymore. There are no winners in the race to the bottom.
    If you want to succeed in this or any other business, you must be in control of the situations you are hired for. This gets into that collaborator issue. If you want to be a camera monkey who is soley hired for their camera and lighting,
    you're never going to compete with the other camera monkeys in the race to the bottom. It's a losing race. I pretty much only like to work with collaborators as clients. If someone wants a commodity hire, I usually refer them to
    other people I know who work that way because why do I want to compete with the bottom feeders of our business? What's the point?
    I guess this condescending post was directed toward my post. All I can say in response is that you are preaching to the choir, if directing this toward me. And you are frankly assuming waaaaaay too much about the way I work (or how others work in general) and the type of clients and projects I choose to collaborate with.

    If I take your other post in this thread as an example - about your recent client not listening to your "successful selling" them on a prompter for the talent out of town that was requesting it - wouldn't you say even "good" clients sometimes cheap out - or simply don't have the budgets they once did? Judging from your quoted post above - you would then stop working with this client?

    It's easy to simply say things here - and certainly easy (for those who's moral consciousness is tied directly to their pocket book) to just work with clients with big pockets - no matter how repulsive or offensive their business or bottom-line is. It's perhaps a bit harder to stand with principle and maybe do repeat business for the little guy with a lesser budget. At the end of the day, each client's return on their investment is what keeps them coming back.


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    #35
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markfpv View Post
    I guess this condescending post was directed toward my post. All I can say in response is that you are preaching to the choir, if directing this toward me. And you are frankly assuming waaaaaay too much about the way I work (or how others work in general) and the type of clients and projects I choose to collaborate with.

    If I take your other post in this thread as an example - about your recent client not listening to your "successful selling" them on a prompter for the talent out of town that was requesting it - wouldn't you say even "good" clients sometimes cheap out - or simply don't have the budgets they once did? Judging from your quoted post above - you would then stop working with this client?

    It's easy to simply say things here - and certainly easy (for those who's moral consciousness is tied directly to their pocket book) to just work with clients with big pockets - no matter how repulsive or offensive their business or bottom-line is. It's perhaps a bit harder to stand with principle and maybe do repeat business for the little guy with a lesser budget. At the end of the day, each client's return on their investment is what keeps them coming back.
    Uh, no, not directed at you Mark. I made my post based off of recent feedback, especially since the Pandemic began from colleagues and collaborators who I know and work with
    in the LA market. A lot of them whinge about how "Budgets are just getting lower and lower, boo hoo." My response to them is that that sounds like order taking, not being hired
    for your skills, expertise, passion, authenticity and reputation. Selling your services on cost or gear owned is a losing proposition was my point.

    It's a choice to engage and collaborate with clients, some make that choice, some don't. Not judging order takers,
    just don't want to be one and all indications of our business are that people who operate their business that way generally end up being undersold
    by someone willing to do it cheaper. It's been the same way in this business since the digital revolution in the late 90s. Selling on price is a dead end.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    I don't want to put words in Dan's mouth, but I believe it went something like this:

    The shoot was out of state and Dan hired a local company to shoot it. Up front, the client refused to pay the fee that the local production company would have charged for a prompter. But on the day of the shoot, the actual talent wanted prompter. And I'm presuming that because of Dan's client saying up-front that they would not pay for a prompter that a) the local production company did not have a prompter there or b) would not pull it out and use it if they had it there for "free". So the only choice's I see for Dan, at that point are a) eat $800 to provide a prompter that they said they already said they would not pay for or b) tell the client this is what they chose, agreed to and paid for.

    It's one thing if you own the gear and can "take one for the team" for the bigger picture, but losing $800 out of your profit to provide a rental item that you don't have, because of a clients penny-pinching and failure to understand the consequences, especially in today's environment of ever shrinking budgets is a tough one.
    Under those circumstances, where the client ignored my advice and was too cheap to to the shoot right, I wouldn't have spent a dime to streamline the shoot.
    Last edited by Doug Jensen; 03-03-2021 at 02:33 AM.


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