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Taking Care of Business
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Old September 5th, 2008, 09:55 AM   #1
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What would you do?

Here is the situation,
about three weeks ago, I "sorta" booked a shoot with a client. I say this because I told him it "wouldn't be a problem." I gave him a VERY good rate that most people would simply laugh at. I have not spoken to the client since this date, despite 3 failed attempts to contact (yesterday and this morning). Yesterday, an opportunity came to me which would occupy my time for the next two days, which could possibly put tomorrows gig in jeapordy. This is not a paid opportunity, but an opportunity for great exposure.

Would you:
A) miss out on the opportunity and hope your client contacts you
B) take the opportunity since you are unable to get in contact with the client
C) other

Thanks for the help everyone!
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Old September 5th, 2008, 10:32 AM   #2
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What's your absolute deadline for letting this other opportunity know if you can do their gig? I guess what I would do is try to postpone giving them an answer til you have to. Meanwhile, you tell the first guy (leave a message, email, etc.) that something else has come up that conflicts with his gig, and since you haven't heard from him, his gig is seeming very uncertain; and that if you don't hear from him before (insert date/time here), you're going to consider his job a no-go and take the other one. You will of course not mention that the other one is unpaid to the first guy.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 10:45 AM   #3
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Just to chime in...Josh's idea sounds like a good one!
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Old September 5th, 2008, 10:54 AM   #4
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Just to add. . .

You may be thinking "But don't I have an obligation to honor my bookings?" Yes, of course! But so does your client. Your time is equally valuable to you as his is to him, and you shouldn't be jerked around.

Also, if you want to be a real hardass (and I'm not this way), you could NOT tell him about the other gig but tell him that you'll charge him whether the shoot happens or not, because one way or the other you can't book anything else that day. Which is kinda true.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 11:09 AM   #5
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what is a "sorta of booked" ??....
i know a "tentative book" which leaves both party's options ...

IMO you gave the person a laughable rate ( meaning you went out of your way ) and they should be going out of their way to let you know if the job is on/off ... if you do not hear from them ( provided no family tragedy took place) bill them one day of 1/2 day rate for not cancelling ... they can't just leave you hanging ....
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Old September 5th, 2008, 11:16 AM   #6
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Yes, that's true, what is a "tentative booking"? Did you book the date as though it were solid, for sure, and just haven't heard from him?

I have a few clients that do something called "putting a hold" on a date, which means they think they will have a gig that day, but it's not super locked down. So I treat it as if it is locked, but if I get another call for that day, I call the first client to make sure that their gig is going to happen without question, and if not, then sometimes I take the other gig.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 12:15 PM   #7
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My business practice is pretty much the same as Josh's. The "courtesy call" to the client with the date "on hold" is a very professional way of saying "if you would like me to continue to hold this date for you, you will incur the cancellation fee (whether a full or half day - your business!) if you end up not needing me".
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Old September 5th, 2008, 05:11 PM   #8
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Since tomorrow's opportunity sounds like it could be a significant one, I would go for it, but not before arranging for the first guy's gig to be covered (a friend, a contact in the industry).
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Old September 6th, 2008, 06:00 PM   #9
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All very good advice. This is the reason why there is NO firm shoot date until a deposit is made....this binds both parties to the gig. If the gig is canceled, the deposit is non-refundable. I usually require at least a 25% deposit on all shoots. I will "hold" a date for a client but they know in advance that onlly upon receipt of the deposit is the "hold" date firm. Best of luck
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Old September 6th, 2008, 06:25 PM   #10
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See, now I've never done deposits. Is this wedding/event thing? Or any client? I work a lot in the "professional" production world in Houston, being hired by a production company who's hired by a client, or an ad agency working for the end client, and I don't think people like me (the freelance crew member) ask for deposits in that case (maybe the production company does). I also work directly with a few clients, doing camerawork and sometimes post, and I've never asked for a deposit on those either.

I'm not saying it doesn't make sense, I just don't think it's always an option, depending on what kind of work you do and who you do it for.
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Old September 6th, 2008, 06:37 PM   #11
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Good Point Josh, thanks. I too work as a freelancer as well as run a small production company. I guess it all has to do with who the client is. The Production companies that hire me ALWAYS make a deposit in order to gurantee the date on my shoot books. Curious, I guess it has to do with geographic differences as well??? I have never had anyone say anything about the deposit request. Interesting stuff, and thanks again.
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Old September 6th, 2008, 06:40 PM   #12
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Maybe I'm too low end, then (i'm rarely the DP---I'm the grip, the teleprompter). Maybe on my next pro shoot I'll ask some other guys.
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Old September 7th, 2008, 08:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
if you don't hear from him before (insert date/time here), you're going to consider his job a no-go and take the other one.
This is what I decided to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
You may be thinking "But don't I have an obligation to honor my bookings?" Yes, of course! But so does your client. Your time is equally valuable to you as his is to him, and you shouldn't be jerked around.
very good way to put things into perspective, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Donatello View Post
IMO you gave the person a laughable rate ( meaning you went out of your way ) and they should be going out of their way to let you know if the job is on/off
that is what I would expect, but some people, well, yeah.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
Yes, that's true, what is a "tentative booking"? Did you book the date as though it were solid, for sure, and just haven't heard from him?
I now know this is the wrong way to do business, but I told the client that I "should be able to do the shoot." The reason I didn't book it as normal was because I knew the client as an aquaintence before, and expected everything to go smoothly. Then my intention was to have a follow up to make everything solid, which apparently did not happen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Stanley View Post
there is NO firm shoot date until a deposit is made....this binds both parties to the gig. If the gig is canceled, the deposit is non-refundable. I usually require at least a 25% deposit on all shoots.
I have edited my policy : ) Thankyou!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
I'm not saying it doesn't make sense, I just don't think it's always an option, depending on what kind of work you do and who you do it for.
I agree. It definitely depends on the client and the type of work. I think what it comes down to is the relationship with the client.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Stanley View Post
I guess it all has to do with who the client is.
there you go, lol...i don't feel like going back to edit.



Thankyou all for your responses, once again the community has come through! Feel free to chime in if anyone wants to continue the discussion.

-JS
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Old September 10th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #14
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So what ended up happening? Did you do the first gig, or the second one? Did everything work out great?
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