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Old October 6th, 2004, 08:12 PM   #1
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Ridiculous Job Offers / Demands!!

Why is it that people have the audacity to make posts such as the one below. This was not from this board. I don't think it has members that are this naive and rediculous. I've seen many other rediculous demands for crew and equipment. Is it the pathetic attempt to feel like a studio head? Unbelievable folks!

Any comments on why people can make such demands for little or no compensation? Why do so many use the "it will be a great addition to your reel" line? I think the applicant can make that decision for themselves.


"A local production company is seeking a on point producer for a music video. This is a low budget production, there is pay but it will not be substantial. We are seeking a TRUE professional, someone who knows their stuff. This will be a 2-3 day shoot, all go go go. It will be worth your reel."

"I'm sorry but we REALLY do not have the time for newbies so the non experienced need not apply ( but if you have other skills..grip, gafter, etc we may be interested in using you, more than likely unpaid)"
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Old October 7th, 2004, 02:59 PM   #2
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Responding is what matters.

If you look at craigslist.org (esp. losangeles.craigslist.org) you will see dozens of these. There are gigs offering $50/day if for a DP with a DVX100 and equipment... There are ones that offer credit and meals. Or just credit.

People can post whatever they want.
The question is, do they really get *experienced* professionals agreeing to work for the credit?

I think the only way to find out, is to post one of those ads :)

Also, it's a fact that there are many people in LA who are trying ot get their foot in the door and are ready to work for free. And many low-cost productions willing to exploit this side of the market.

If I wanted to get into this industry I would be willing to invest 6 months to an year with no/low pay - so that I create my contacts, reel, gain experience and establish reputation.

Better start saving money...


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Old October 7th, 2004, 06:51 PM   #3
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I hear you Andre. I'm mostly annoyed by the ones that just demand top notch crew and sometimes with gear like the example above and have a low or no budget. And then, and then...tell you it will be a great addition to your reel. That's their opinion mostly because it's their project. I certainly don't have any problem with people being up front with the terms no matter how difficult they may be because I have and would work for deferred pay on a project that I believed in. When it's free or deferred you're going to have to take what you can get and if that's an experienced crew then you just scored. If not, then too bad.
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Old October 7th, 2004, 08:50 PM   #4
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I might make a post like this in the future, but it'll be a little different. . .I certainly wouldn't ask for "top notch" anything, 'cause it's highly unlikely I'd get it. I would, however, ask for some kind of visual demonstration of talent (something the gaffer/PA/Actor did) that shows their skill level and what they're capable of. Why? Everyone's a newbie at some point, but on these no budget productions (a lot of members on here produce/direct/create/are involved in), for me at least, there comes a point when having someone with zero knowledge or experience is less beneficial than doing everything myself, on set. If I have to sit there and physically take you through, for instance, putting a tota light or fresnel on a baby stand, and then attaching something to the barn doors with clothespins (or C47s. . .I think), I might as well do it myself, because I can't do anything else with that time if I'm paying attention to you, now can I? On the other hand, if I set up an audio mixer, tell you how to fiddle with it, tell you how to read the meter, and have you monitor it, and listen to the headphones for anomalies, I guess that's different, and very useful. I thought I had a point here, but apparently not.

I think at the very least everyone using what is essentially free labor should offer a meal (once every six hours at least. . .I think that's some rule of some organization) and gas money reimbursement or a flat fee, and a copy, and credit.

I think the reel thing is what you make of it. If you have talent, creativity, blah blah, and they have gear that allows you to do good work, then you can probably make some good stuff happen while you're being exploited.

Does any of this make any sense?

Craigslist was referred to in one of the posts above. Wanna see some exploitation? Check this out:

http://newyork.craigslist.org/cwg/

Most of the links on here should be pretty unappealing.
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Old October 7th, 2004, 11:13 PM   #5
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Meh, I don't have any problem working for free, and likewise don't mind asking people to work for free, or when they ask me.

In fact, I worked on one project for free where they asked us politely to chip in a few bucks for food if we could.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 12:40 PM   #6
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I think that in his original post, James was refering to the "tone" of the posting which is a bit demanding. The truth is that a lot of out there have done our share of free work and will continue to do so in-between the paying jobs. I personally discovered that some of the stuff I took part in for no money was more rewarding ( spiritually ) than the commercial projects.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 01:02 PM   #7
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Ahhhhhh, I gotcha. Yes, I agree they do come off pretty poorly.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 01:36 PM   #8
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There is a company here in New England, I won't mention that there name is Interlock Media, out of the same respect they have for people in this field.

They are ALWAYS posting for non-compansating positions which have unreasonable demands such as no pay, but 40 hours a week, etc. Most of there job listings end with the following...

Salary: None
Hours: individual project-basis (30-40 hours each) OR part-time/full-time (preferred)
Qualifications: The Editor must have formal training/experience on Avid Media Composer. Candidates should also be comfortable with the technical aspects of post-production equipment as some trouble-shooting will be required. Intensive critique on the artistic approaches to documentary cutting will be given. Applicants also must have excellent communication skills, a desire to learn, and a pro-active attitude.

I once sent a spoof resume to him which included the job responsability of "received a weekly paycheck". He wrote back to me a few times to explain why I had no understanding of charity. He then refused to tell me how much money he gets from the company. I even offered to do the work for half his salary, so that he could feel more charitable. He did not like the idea :)
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Old October 8th, 2004, 02:05 PM   #9
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Ray Lane, you are my hero!

Seriously, though. Working for free? There are certain people I would do it for, but they're people I know, and trust, and think I would enjoy working with. Other than that, not so much. I would still feed anyone that did anything for me. It's just wrong, otherwise, in my opinion. And I certainly don't think you can make demands about skill/talent requirements if you're not offering any money.

You know, you guys always talk about how, regarding buying used, or off eBay, that "you get what you pay for". Shouldn't the same thing apply the labor/freelance market?
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Old October 8th, 2004, 09:07 PM   #10
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Thanks Rafal. That's it. Believe it or not, I'm not in this industry for the money. It just so happens that a person can make a great living at it if work is steady. I absolutely love what I do as I think a majority of the people on this board do. I wish I was as rich as Bill Gates and then I would help out as many independents as I could for free or deferral, with proceeds going to an indie fund, because I just love producing. But the reality is that I have gear and other bills to pay for. I think anyone would want and try to find the best people to work on their project, free or not. What's the point in making something if it's crap. But, they don't have to be so obnoxious and demanding to get that.

Good job Ray. Putting him on the spot showed you his true colors. Those kinds of people are what give this industry a bad name.
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Old October 11th, 2004, 11:23 PM   #11
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The Messiah

"As a producer myself , its extremly helpful to have a videographer like myself for shoots ie music videos , commercials , tv shows-- behind the scenes kinda stuff. Producers and directors --gotta upcoming shoot?--gimme a buzz- Robbert xxx.xxx.xxxx.
youll dig the results!"
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Old October 13th, 2004, 02:38 PM   #12
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There's a great thing about the recent democratization of filmmaking brought on by the availability of tools and technology. Anyone can make a film now.

The problem is -- ANYONE can make a film now.

I've recently turned down several feature film offers as cinematographer in Austin, Texas after initial discussions with the producer/directors. Their listing always goes something like this:

---------------------------------------
Seeking experienced D.P.
$1000 + deferred pay for three to five weeks of work
Shooting on Pani AG-DVX100
etc.
---------------------------------------

Then I read an uninspired script written by a first-time director with all manner of big plans and no clue about how his project will play in the market.

What are they thinking? I recently volunteered my time on a 4-day short film and scored $1200 in rentals. Why would I waste my time on a feature being shot on the crappiest 3-chip DV camera out there? Who is ever going to see my work then? At least that short film has the potential for some festival play and, at the very least, I get some imagery to add to my on-line portfolio.

Now, if a feature could offer me one or more of the following, I would seriously consider it:

o upfront fee that wasn't insulting
o 16mm or better aquisition
o a sharp script that would sell/rent well even without a distribution deal (perhaps horror/thriller with foreign market possibilities)
o at least one other person above-the-line who has some experience besides myself
o a discerning director who knew how to capitalize on my art and craft and chose me to bring their vision to life

I always find it amusing when a complete newbie tries this. But, generally, I've found that such calls attract talent and crew similar to the producer/director's demonstrated level of talent. If they have never shot a film before, they get the committment of rank amateurs. If a director can demonstrate proficiency in the craft, then he/she may expect the committment of similarly experienced persons.

Having written the above, I recently posted a short film call on local Austin, Texas boards. An excerpt follows:

---------------------------------

Project: "Death & Redemption" - 13 pages
Prod. Comp.: Lensville - http://lensville.com
Director: Michael Morlan - http://michael-morlan.net
Shoot Dates: January 8,9,15,16 of 2005
Format: Mini-DV with possible upgrade to HDV/HD
Exposure: Festival, Internet delivery (Atom Films, etc.),
DVD magazine/distribution

My name is Michael Morlan. I am a local cinematographer and director of animated and live narrative shorts. To learn more about me and my past work, visit http://michael-morlan.net.

I am seeking non-paid personnel for my short film "Death & Redemption".

Experience is required for some positions. Craft services and DVD copy of finished film will be provided. You may expect training before the shoot, thorough pre-production, team-building on the set, and an opportunity to succeed in this very challenging craft. This will be an efficient and tightly run set with a focused and considerate crew.

---------------------------------

Now, the reason I can post such a call and get the committment of thirty dedicated amateur, semi-pro, and professional personnel is because, over the past year, I have volunteered my services as a D.P. to many projects, building my reel and forging relationships in the community. Having seen my past work, these people trust me to produce a good product that they can be proud of and that will enhance their resumes and reels.

Secondly, I expose every aspect of my upcoming project to the scrutiny of would-be volunteers. My script and samples of my past work are readily available for review and consideration.

Ultimately, this cross-fertilization in the Austin indie scene is entirely about building a resume and, hopefully, a career.

I, personally, try to lace my crew with a mix of experienced and newbie personnel. I enjoy the opportunity to capitalize on my barter relationships with fellow enthusiasts and professionals as well as empowering new folk to learn something new and contribute to something larger than themselves. For instance, my 2nd A.C. on the above project was a P.A. on a previous gig that I drew into my camera crew to cart stuff around and set up the video village. She did such a great job -- hard work, attention to detail, and enthusiasm -- that I felt I could take the time to train her up. She gets to excel in an area that she's passionate about and I get a dedicated member of my camera crew.
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 07:22 PM   #13
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Most Rediculous Post of the day

Sounds like a p.a., shooter, UPM, G&E and PR officer all rolled into one. But for that kind of money, it might be well worth it.

_____________________________________

"Position: Production Assistant

Xxxxxx Xxxxx, a xxxxxx based marketing agency is looking for a local Production Assistant to assist with a promotional event for a daytime television show on a major television network. This event will take place at The Perimeter Mall in Xxxxxxx on Tuesday Nov. 30th.

Job Description

The Production Assistant position is vital to the seamless execution of each event and will assist the Tour Manager with all aspects of the production process. The PA will be required to help with the set-up and break down of the event and additional duties will consist of filming, general grip duties, interacting with event spectators, distributing promotional collateral, and assisting with data collection.

This is only a one day job that will last approximately 8-10 hours.

Ideal candidates will meet all the requirements listed below.

Compensation: $125.00

Prior production assistant experience
Roll-up your sleeves attitude
Prior promotional experience preferred but not required
Team player
Ability to lift over 25 lbs


Please, only serious candidates need apply. In order to be considered for this position, please submit a resume, cover letter and picture to xxxxxx@xxxxxx.xxx. Due to the number of resumes submitted we cannot respond to everyone therefore we will only be contacting those applicants who we feel meet the needs of the position."
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 08:28 PM   #14
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I wonder why they want a picture???
Beautiful people only need apply?
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 09:20 PM   #15
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Whoo hoo!

I recognize that ad, it's for a gig in Houston. I even might've applied except for the handing out promotional materials and all that--I hate being a perky monkey for large crowds of people. All the other stuff is okay.

I was reading on Craigslist that there was a guy, in NYC, offering his services, as a DP/operator, with DVX100, and light kit, for a full day, for $300, and he had 12 years experience! I asked him why he was so low, given the gear and the skill level, and he said it was 'cause the market over there is so saturated with DVXs and XL1s's and whatnot, and people offering their services for even lower, that if he doesn't go that low he can't compete.
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