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Old June 28th, 2020, 05:44 PM   #1
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Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these cases?

When making a feature film, if all the money is coming out of your own pocket, do you normally tell the cast and crew that, or do you make it sound like you have external funding, in order to give a less personal impression on everyone, if that makes sense?
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Old June 29th, 2020, 12:05 AM   #2
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Re: Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these case

In bigger budget productions, the minions have no need to know this kind of things, but in low budget productions where they get asked to work cheap, they deserve to know why. I'm doing a low budget one now which normally I would not do. I'm very conscious every invoice I produce is coming from his own money. I try to save him money where I can, yet he insists on wasting it on things that don't matter. I'm concerned that at some point it dries up. If he shared his finances a little more I could help, but of course he tries to talk about 'the company'. As I am buying considerable amounts of stuff then adding to the invoice, I worry the well will run dry.

Pretending to have investors is pointless if they don't believe you, and you won't be able to function properly if you start to lie. People are good at spotting bluster, and lies. Remember that you do not pick up on these traits, or things like subtle comment or sarcasm. Be honest and if they know it's your own money they will, if decent people, be more understanding about spending it.
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Old June 29th, 2020, 11:38 AM   #3
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Re: Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these case

Oh okay. Thanks, I can tell them that it's mine then, I just thought it might look less professional.
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Old June 29th, 2020, 01:56 PM   #4
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Re: Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these case

Remember the old adage, "actions speak louder than words". I've worked on professional sets for many years, at times professional in name only. If a set is poorly run it won't matter how big the budget is people will know and they won't respect it. They may put up with it for the pay check but they won't respect it. I still work the occasional freebie or low paying gig which I'll do as favour to someone I know and respect or I think the project itself has merit in some way or another. If they're well run I'll respect them as much as, if not more than the paying ones. Why? Because I can see how the filmmaker has worked so hard him/herself to make it good even without any money.
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Old June 29th, 2020, 02:48 PM   #5
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Re: Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these case

Yeah I can relate to that for sure. In fact the sets I have worked on, the cheaper and volunteer ones, were actually more professional than the more costly ones sometimes.
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Old June 30th, 2020, 12:25 AM   #6
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Re: Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these case

This is your problem actually. You've not been on enough pro productions to understand the differences. Bigger budgets mean compartmentalism. This is perceived as unfriendly, or uninterested by newcomers. A stranger on set gets ignored, nobody seems to chat outside their specialism and people do their job, then go. If you suddenly need a spark, they will not be just standing there waiting. On amateur productions everyone is there all the time for the 'experience'. Do not confuse this with a lack of professionalism or a demonstration of it. If you work with amateurs, like a film club, that's fine, but do not take enthusiasm as a replacement for professional skills, behaviour or attitude.
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Old June 30th, 2020, 01:45 AM   #7
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Re: Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these case

Oh okay, but I should want professional skills over enthusiam, is that right? And I've worked on a couple of sets, where I would say there was compartmentalism to a degree.
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Old June 30th, 2020, 11:15 AM   #8
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Re: Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these case

The snag Ryan, is you want everything, for nothing. If you want good people who work appropriately and without continual guidance, then you have to pay them.
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Old June 30th, 2020, 04:16 PM   #9
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Re: Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these case

Oh okay, but aren't I paying them though?
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Old July 1st, 2020, 12:38 PM   #10
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Re: Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these case

I don't know? If they have contracts, Country specific tax and insurance, then pay is fixed and professionally managed. If they get beer money, they've probably sussed its your money?
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Old July 1st, 2020, 06:25 PM   #11
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Re: Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these case

1. Professional skillful trade people will not work for free or beer money.
2. Paying an amateur pro money won't make them a pro.

To your original question. Most pros including myself like getting paid up front when working for individuals because the risk of being stiffed is significantly higher than an reputable company or institution. So it would make little difference the source of your money.

My impression of you from your messages here, you are often evasive and not up front. Intentionally neglecting to reveal details in order to present a more favorable image of yourself. It usually becomes quickly apparent when someone inflating themselves. Most anyone with a clue will be able to size up the situation and smell your bs.

Like mentioned before credible pros want to be fairly compensated and will not want to work on a poorly conceived amateur project.
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Old July 1st, 2020, 10:57 PM   #12
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Re: Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these case

Oh okay sure. Sorry, I will try to watch out for withholding details.

So when you say paid up front, do you mean all of it upfront? Because there was one time, I payed one of the people quite a bit up front, but then they took off with the money after, and didn't come back, so of course I don't want that to happen again. How much up front should I pay then?
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Old July 2nd, 2020, 05:20 AM   #13
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Re: Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these case

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Originally Posted by Ryan Elder View Post
Oh okay sure. Sorry, I will try to watch out for withholding details.
I mean that more about here. But never hurts to be straight forward with how you conduct yourself everywhere.

Quote:
So when you say paid up front, do you mean all of it upfront? Because there was one time, I payed one of the people quite a bit up front, but then they took off with the money after, and didn't come back, so of course I don't want that to happen again. How much up front should I pay then?
Sorry to hear that yeah either party of the transaction can swindle. I like to do two things to protect myself. First I get something in writing agreeing to the work expected and the compensation. Since I only do event work an email suffices. Second when work wraps for the day I pay them or when I receive whatever I paid for ie video or audio etc.
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Old July 2nd, 2020, 08:01 AM   #14
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Re: Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these case

Oh okay thanks. Yeah we signed a contract and all, but that person did not care about the contract, it seems.

Well how much percent of the money up front though, should a professional expect to be paid? I can pay at the end of each day, if that's good too.
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Old July 2nd, 2020, 09:55 AM   #15
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Re: Do filmmakers tell the cast and crew where the money is coming from in these case

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Originally Posted by Ryan Elder View Post
Oh okay thanks. Yeah we signed a contract and all, but that person did not care about the contract, it seems.

Well how much percent of the money up front though, should a professional expect to be paid? I can pay at the end of each day, if that's good too.
It's a case by case basis based on how well you know the person. But what you'll learn is someone takes your money and runs or you do work for someone and they don't pay you there's not a lot that you can do. In the US you can try to take them to small claims court but it's a very time consuming process that seldom worth it unless its a large sum of money.

This is why in the long run it's just easier to use a reputable professional even if you have to pay more to avoid any of these types of problems.
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