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Taking Care of Business
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Old December 6th, 2009, 08:17 AM   #1
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Turnhere.com - Seriously?!

Received this email this morning - Please tell me no one seriously considers a ridiculous offer like this? (FYI their "standard fee" is $100-$250max for a finished commercial)

"Dear Filmmaker:

I知 writing to tell you about our recent Free Video Giveaway Program. This program was to end on December 31st and limited to our active filmmakers but it has been such a hit that we致e extended it into 2010. Therefore, we wanted to give you the opportunity to take advantage of it too.

And because TurnHere likes to make things easy, the concept is simple:

1. As a participant you can offer one video profile (similar to our 60-second small business interview profile) with no upfront cost to small businesses in your area. Note: Once you致e passed our QA and delivered your 1st project, you値l be eligible to offer and produce as many free videos as you want (and be ready to receive other assignments from TurnHere)

2. You値l send interested businesses to an online order form and have them put your name in the referral field so we know which filmmaker to book for the project. Once we confirm the order we値l call you to let you know that the business is ready for the shoot. You take it from there and schedule the shoot directly with the business, then produce the video.

3. We値l handle the usual post-delivery process and you値l be paid the standard production fee.

If you are interested in learning more, please reply to this email and I値l send you an invitation to our orientation webinar. This webinar is the first mandatory step to take advantage of our program (and get other TurnHere assignments). I値l provide several dates for your convenience.

We look forward to making great videos with you!

Thank You,

Lisa

P.S. If you do not wish to receive future correspondence from TurnHere, please reply to this email with the subject line, 徹pt Out

--------------
Lisa Perry
Filmmaker Recruiter"
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Old December 6th, 2009, 09:38 AM   #2
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So, to be clear - YOU send YOUR prospects to THEIR online application so that THEY can pay YOU a pittance?!?!?

Sign me up! I was hoping to go bankrupt this year!! <tongue planted FIRMLY in cheek>
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Old December 6th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #3
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That's sounds great to me, where do I sign! :) Okay seriously, do you reckon there is anyone dumb enough to sign up?
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Old December 6th, 2009, 10:48 AM   #4
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Why not play along and tell us what else they say?

Andrew
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Old December 6th, 2009, 03:28 PM   #5
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This is pretty good.

Come join the free film giveaway. You too can work for nothing and allow others to profit from your efforts.

I know this has always been there, but the internet allows these types to do it on a mass scale and not have to personally interact with anybody. It is a slippery slope if you ask me.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 03:43 PM   #6
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Not quite

Let me see - "turn"; "here": - no, these are definitely NOT the 2 words which sprang unbidden to mind when I read this.
:-)
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Old December 6th, 2009, 04:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
Come join the free film giveaway. You too can work for nothing and allow others to profit from your efforts.
Which is (interestingly) pretty much the content of every "job" listing on Craigslist in my market as well...
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Old December 6th, 2009, 06:10 PM   #8
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Turn here has been around for a while... interestingly, I too got the same e-mail, which implies they've been doing this for a while.. news to me...

Sounds to me like they are trying to generate some "local" interest, which isn't as bad a marketing plan as it sounds - we're talking 60 second online "yellow page" type spots, not big commercial productions, so I suppose if one could generate ENOUGH interest to shoot/cookie-cutter edit a stack of these it might add up...

They aren't the first video marketing aggregator with a "new" idea (anyone remember SAGAS? There's another outfit that does video resumes for "executives"...). These operations have a business plan, an idea, and some startup money, along with some in house samples, and they are hoping to "franchise" the concept by paying sub-contractors peanuts to shoot locally. Problem is these "great ideas" don't scale/promote as expected, and all the "promise" turns to tumbleweeds.

Probably better off to write one's own business plan and keep the whole proceeds though, if you're good enough. I've seen this in the wedding photo and video biz (where the model supposedly works - I've heard a few still shooters very happy with just shooting and turning over the memory cards). BUT... for what they charge, I'd rather drop my rates & keep the whole thing than take thier "shoot only" or "shoot and edit" prices (roughly 1/4 or less of what they charge when booking the customer).

Here's the rub of ANY "offer" like this - if they don't deliver actual JOBS that pay, and in my experience they don't either in the short OR long run, you'll turn a lovely cool shade of blue sitting by the phone holding your breath...

These ideas might have worked in a booming economy, but one must make their own "magic" in an economy that's gone "BOOM"...
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Old December 7th, 2009, 07:50 AM   #9
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The money would be ok if all you had to do was film and mail the raw footage to them. Capture, edit and upload. lol. I'm sure they get ppl who are just starting out who need experience... Too bad it could have been nice to fill down time you inevitably have as a freelancer.

I used to do this type of work for a guy with a local tv show. For $500 we'd produce an ad for them. What made it worth my while was the volume, we'd shoot 10 of these for a week.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #10
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There is a company in my town doing this right now. CGI out of New York or somewhere over there. The city of Red Deer paid them 60k for a website "template" a video box in the middle of a bunch of ads that when you click them opens a new video box on a new page. Then they get business to pay $7500 for a 1 min commercial. They are looking for people to shoot them locally and are paying us $200 to shoot them. I said no to them. The worst part about this is local production companies had already gone to the city pitching the exact same thing for a lot less and were turned down because they didn't have a working website template. The funny thing is the city just spend a million bucks on a shop local campaign. Go figure.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #11
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I've been working for TurnHere for a while and they are legit and pay promptly. While I've had reduced hours at my day job this past year and have struggled to support my family, TurnHere work has been most welcome.

The work has mostly been Yellow Pages ads, they take 90 minutes to shoot and a couple hours to edit, then upload results and get paid. Not a bad deal once you get into the rhythm. There is a template to follow and it works. No script, no fancy graphics, just good clean shoot/edit/deliver.

Check them out if you need some extra income

Jeff
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Old December 8th, 2009, 04:33 PM   #12
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So you're doing 5 hours of work for $100?
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Old December 8th, 2009, 07:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper View Post
So you're doing 5 hours of work for $100?
Thanks Ethan! More to the point.

My understanding is that the most Turnhere pays for a finished commercial is $250 (or free - LOL). So let's assume that you have $5000 tied up in gear (camera, sticks, lights, mic(s), computer, software, etc.). Though $10K would probably be more reasonable. In order to make back your investment on GEAR ALONE you have to shoot 20 (to 40) jobs.

The $250 per job doesn't begin to compensate you for your time, liability insurance (in case someone trips over your stinger and breaks an ankle or your light starts a fire), health insurance, fuel costs, vehicle maintenance (oil changes), equipment insurance, internet costs to FTP footage, equipment repair, wear and tear, etc. You would need to shoot at least another 20 jobs just to offset the above "costs of doing business."

This is NOT a sustainable "business model" and you are only empowering others to devalue your work when you sell your talent at this rate.
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Last edited by Rick L. Allen; December 8th, 2009 at 09:51 PM.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #14
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Why don't you guys just make a counter offer of what you feel it should pay for that amount of work? It's got to be better than a simple "no" (or silence) to TurnHere.

They may even start to see things your way.

Andrew
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Old December 8th, 2009, 09:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Smith View Post
Why don't you guys just make a counter offer of what you feel it should pay for that amount of work? ...They may even start to see things your way.
Actually I quoted them my half day rate the last time I talked with one of their reps on the phone. They were most definitely NOT interested. Turnhere also used to qualify it's "shooters" based on demo reels or sample footage. Now they want you to work for free then they will, at their discretion, send you more low/no paying jobs. What a deal!!!

"If you work for free that's what your work is worth - nothing."
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