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Old December 3rd, 2007, 09:34 AM   #1
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Your experience with setting boundaries?

Your experiences with setting boundaries with people around your equipment?

I'm finding that having video equipment is a lot like being the kid in the neigborhood, with the pool. Either people want free stuff, or they are suddenly your creative best friend.

Last edited by Kell Smith; December 3rd, 2007 at 02:06 PM.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 01:13 PM   #2
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It's a business.....

....that's what it boils down to for me. I am a natural sceptic, but at the same time easily sucked into this very situation. Ive just started my own production co., and your "kid with the pool" comment rings to me. (and OH are people quick to start talking about "our" equipment and such;put a stop to that RIGHT AWAY)
I was lucky enough to have years of working in this town with live theater (actor and tech) and that introduced me to MANY different people with their own companies. Many are good people with great ideas and intentions, but it takes a good bit more than that to keep yourself alive in ANY industry.

I was/am also one of this crowd, gleaming ideas and all. Ive backed it up with action, and one of the established companies in town has taken me under their wing, even allowing me shared office space and collaboration on some projects. But we each own our own company with different goals. Those without their own life staked in each venture are generally going to be less willing to ensure every precaution is taken, and prime work is done.

Sticking with this first project is a good idea, gives you a chance to see what she works like in person and under the lights, very important. But you're right in hesitating to commit to any more projects together right away. Ive already had to fend off people who have had my equipment offered to them by others. Firm and polite in the fact that i have other time concerns usually works, especially when I am pointed about earning potential behind a project. Just because it sounds neat to me doesnt mean anyone will buy it! :)


D.L. Hughley said last night on Last Laugh. This is a rough quote, cleaned up but the idea works here too......People with something to lose shouldn't hang with people whove got nothing to lose; cause they lose your stuff for you.

But at the same time, no-one can do it all themselves. You've got to have reliable people you can work with and trust. Those who are flakey are generally known in their community (lighting crews, sound techs actors) to be flakey. and those who are trust-worthy have earned their rep through professional actions, even when faced with un-professional situations. Those people you hunt like prey and convince them of your own worth, cause they can save your but!

Last, if you trust your own reactions to people, go with them. You may just have personalities that dont always mix, (and thats just FINE if your both professional) but I'll take someone who works well with everyone over a prima-donna everytime.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 01:57 PM   #3
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Sorry, I needed to edit that post to lose some of the personal information.
I'll take that advice to heart. I really need to discern where my time needs to be spent in respect to where my business is going and not get wrapped up in too many other things.

You know, even my best friend has been respectful. I've been doing a project for her, a travel dvd for free. But she never expects anything, we've been working on it for some time, and she is always respectful of my time. (Probably because she's the one who gets to me B*** about people who aren't). Even when I shot her band for free, for the practice, they pooled and paid me - peanuts, but it's the gesture that mattered.

But she's the exception. I am finding that I have to guard myself, a lot, and set boundaries. I'm also learning I have to be careful about putting myself out there and extending offers to people.

Hey I love your tagline 'jack of all trades that pay squat." Story of my life!!!!! lol
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 05:39 PM   #4
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I think it's not always about pay but what you benefit from doing it. It could be a learning experience on their dime. They pay for the cost of doing it but not for the services, meaning the tapes, props, etc. and you are just building your reel at other people's expense.

Also you are establishing relationships. If you do a good job, you could make a name for yourself.

Ultimately though I think the more you film, the better you will get. You need that and should desire being called into projects. Unless you have a paying gig lined up or something better to do, I say why not? If you can't do them, just say you can't or have a busy schedule, no big deal. But I would consider it a blessing in disguise because they are paying for your education, reel, giving you subjects to practice on, you can expirement at their expense, etc.

I wish more people came to me for projects personally.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 06:21 PM   #5
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I totally agree Anthony. Just because there's no money doesnt mean its not valuable way to spend your time. I work with some of the students at the local college who are doing their senior film projects. I get allot out of it, both in what to do and what NOT to do.

I commented on a projects earning potential because one of the things I run into is someone who thinks Im a publishing house. Seriously. Some people think that because i can film something, it gets automatic air play on networks and release to DVD.

I think it also depends on the town your in. Here there are about 12 production houses, 2 million$+ studios, the rest on par with me. There is a viscous tendancy towards "I work with XXX, not ZZZ" Same happens in the theater community, many of whom cross over into vid/film productions. It's a real careful balance to be able to work with anyone, and not burn any bridges
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 07:09 PM   #6
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Yes I agree too guys.
Actually there was quite a bit more to the original post - edited to take specific information out that I wasn't comfortable posting. The idea had more to do with people not really wanting to collaborate as to, underneath, use you for their own ends and own projects, or be pushy with it, and where you draw boundaries and lines in that respect.

I'm going to need to be clear on what my boundaries are in the future. In my personal life, I have very stringent guidelines about what I'll put up with. I wouldn't allow someone to steamroll me, nor would I take someone I didn't know very well and trust them until they had earned that trust over time.

Yet I did here. Chances are as time goes on I will encounter many dynamic individuals who will want to dictate to me how something should be done, or not listen to my ideas, and I will have to deal with them. I will also run across people or friends who will want work done for free and I will have to be clear on when that's okay, and when it crosses the line. I will encounter people who want to play at my house cuz I'm the kid with the pool (the cool video stuff) and will have to be cautious about allowing myself to be used in that respect. Not that i wouldn't ever do that. But it is important to keep your eyes open to know when your lines are being crossed.

If you don't know your boundaries, you can't set them. If you don't set them, you can't blame people for crossing them.

Last edited by Kell Smith; December 4th, 2007 at 12:06 AM.
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