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Thread: Where do you draw the line?

  1. #1

    Default Where do you draw the line?

    So I recently shot a music vid. The singer's a nice guy, very generous, makes good music and was happy to do this. Vid is here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAPBZo76JqY

    However, he and I had major creative differences. Specifically, I wanted to do something quite sharp and more narrative-driven whereas he wanted a vid with a touch of the 60s and loads of fades, long hair, floral dress etc... As he was the singer and a very nice guy (and I was eating the lunch he paid for) I thought I'd give him what he wants although I retained a second cut I want to use for my website.

    But where do you draw the line if you believe you have a significantly better idea? Do you argue, yell, make faces etc...? Do you push desperately hard for what you want or do you just point out what you believe is right and let the talent (who is ultimately paying for stuff) do what they want.

    How do you manage it?
    "80% of success is turning up" - Woody Allen

  2. #2

    Default

    This is a very good point to bring up. I think a lot depends on the circumstances. Points like are you being paid to do it, what agreements were made before you did the shoot, how did you get the gig, were are you in the hierarchy of the project and what level are you in your career etc.

    I'm now talking generally and not about this particular situation. I am of the opinion that, usually, the client came to me so must have seen my work and like it. I am "the expert" so should know what I'm talking about. Do I believe I can produce a good result if we go down the clients path, if not may be I should drop it.

    The BIG caveat on this is he's paying so may be he's right and what do I know I'm just a sweaty camera man who should do as he's told.

    At the end of the day you have to balance what your heart tells you with what your head tells you.

    I did a job recently and thought it was ok but the client didn't like the colour grading because one advertising board wasn't the right shade of blue even though everything else looks fine. I thought ok I'm prepared to put in the extra work as the client had paid a good price. I ended up spending a lot more time on it than I really should have done but I wanted to keep the client happy. We sometimes have to compromise at this stage but when I'm at the level of Ridley Scott I'll tell the client to like it or lump it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default

    There is no "line".

    Every situation is different and you have to see the whole scenario. Everyone has their own way of dealing with it.

    Start with the premise that the person paying the piper choses the tune. However... If he's selected you as a director, then he should accept that you know what you're doing and this needs to be nailed down before you start. The question is "Are you being employed as a technician or as a creative?" If you're employed as a technician then he decides the look, the shots, everything, it's your job to deliver what he has in his mind. If you're a part of the creative team, then he should accept what you come up with.

    The only time when I would (and in fact have) said "no" is when it's going to mentally do my head in! If he wants out of focus, skewed, unsharp overblown footage... Fine. Just increase my fee and take my name out of the credits please.

    Don't shout, swear, stamp your feet or throw a hissy fit. Be polite. If you're that upset, walk away. I've done it on a few occasions and, providing you keep your dignity, it will not affect your reputation. Shouting and being a prima-donna will get you a bad name.

    if you're not getting paid, then you have to decide if it's worth taking a load of crap and flak for nothing. You will never get a job on the basis of a freebie. Never. So either you do it for the experience or because he's a mate.

  4. #4

    Default

    isn't the customer always right ??! thats what we are always told ....of course we know often, that's a load of bollocks ! but on the other hand whos to say that you are right and he is wrong ?

    can we see your edit of the vid and then decide
    'No longer are the pleasures of Home Movie Making limited to those with ample funds. Now the man and woman of moderate means can join the sport'..... Kodak catalogue 1933

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rembrandt Rob View Post
    There is no "line".

    Every situation is different and you have to see the whole scenario. Everyone has their own way of dealing with it.

    Start with the premise that the person paying the piper choses the tune. However... If he's selected you as a director, then he should accept that you know what you're doing and this needs to be nailed down before you start. The question is "Are you being employed as a technician or as a creative?" If you're employed as a technician then he decides the look, the shots, everything, it's your job to deliver what he has in his mind. If you're a part of the creative team, then he should accept what you come up with.

    The only time when I would (and in fact have) said "no" is when it's going to mentally do my head in! If he wants out of focus, skewed, unsharp overblown footage... Fine. Just increase my fee and take my name out of the credits please.

    Don't shout, swear, stamp your feet or throw a hissy fit. Be polite. If you're that upset, walk away. I've done it on a few occasions and, providing you keep your dignity, it will not affect your reputation. Shouting and being a prima-donna will get you a bad name.

    if you're not getting paid, then you have to decide if it's worth taking a load of crap and flak for nothing. You will never get a job on the basis of a freebie. Never. So either you do it for the experience or because he's a mate.
    He's a nice guy, I like his music, he's a generous guy and I ended up being the technician, not the creative although I had to play with a few bits and pieces. I'd have preferred to do it my way but c'est la vie.

    I'm learning a lot about client management and taking a tougher line. My next project is funded, uber-commercial and I think I have a shot at making money. Nearly completed the marketing element and will start soon.

    And as a note, I'll upload both cuts to my website so you can all tell me my own version was terrible!
    "80% of success is turning up" - Woody Allen

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default

    Since this was posted in user videos ...

    I thought the sound was great

    Nice vocals

    My favourite shot was when you superimposed two shots of the girl dancing

    My only negative comment would be "get a haircut!"

  7. #7

    Default

    No answer to your question but the guitar strumming was slightly out of sync with the audio at 02:08.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gorillaonabike View Post
    H


    And as a note, I'll upload both cuts to my website so you can all tell me my own version was terrible!
    Link please.
    'No longer are the pleasures of Home Movie Making limited to those with ample funds. Now the man and woman of moderate means can join the sport'..... Kodak catalogue 1933

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Personally I thought the 60s look matches the song and his hair (which he clearly borrowed from Carole King). Don't knock the hair Zam, you know you're only jealous
    However the girl was all wrong. It really needs a hippy look, waif-like, girls with flowing locks and a flowing dress for that sort of dancing. It wasn't helped by the fact that the video was stretcjhed horizontally so she appeared rather podgy. Don't het me wrong, she's not unattractive, just wrong for this video. The stretched video also made the guitar look totally wrong - it looked like he was playing something using the scale length of Fender Precision bass.
    However, I'm not saying a different treatment wouldn't work better than a 60s treatment - so like the others, I await a link.
    Tim

  10. #10

    Default

    Ah - I didn't touch the A/R rather she is a little on the muscular side and I much prefer that to waif-like in general. I do agree that for this style it needs a long, flowing dress, hair that can compete with the singer etc...

    And she was provided by the singer...

    Also, will add a link at the weekend to the idea I wanted to go with. It's only an initial rough cut but should give you an idea of my direction. Also, will add another music vid I edited because it's cheesy and just because I can... but the two together will give you a better idea of the type of style I like.
    Last edited by gorillaonabike; 10-17-2013 at 03:24 PM.
    "80% of success is turning up" - Woody Allen

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