By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be kicking back in a lounge chair, cracking open a beer, and sipping the suds with a cool ocean breeze kissing my face. I’m on a long-awaited vacation right now, trying to recover from the late night commercial shoot that shifted my sleep schedule on Thursday.
If you’re on set right now reading this, I’m sorry you can’t enjoy this summertime sun with me, but I hope you have a similarly cool beverage waiting for you at wrap for the day.
For now — it may not get you drunk — but feel free to drink up the insight and knowledge of the readers of this site in the form of the best comments of the week.
This Week’s Comments
Here are this week’s comments in no particular order
1. Joshua Porter on Warning: Sign that Deal Memo at Your Own Risk
I worked last week on a MTV production as a camera op and before I knew it I was on set without a deal memo. The producer originally asked for a resume and demo reel then said he would get back with me.
Then I get a call from office wanting to send paperwork. I told them I didn’t know rates or anything yet. She said, “Oh, Tom didn’t tell you?”
Another day goes and I’m 20 minutes early for crew call still with no deal memo. So, without causing problems on set for the one day I was shooting I decided to keep quite.
Well sad to say the rate was pretty low for a camera op.
2. j. m. on Warning: Sign that Deal Memo at Your Own Risk
One thing I learned on a recent freebie shoot is that super low budget productions just want to get everything for as cheap as they can, not necessarily for free. If they say the position is unpaid this might not technically be the case.
Meaning the crew had some leeway to negotiate their own price, as long as it was within the production’s means.
I only found out on the last day of shooting – I had been taking what the production offered me – gas/bridge toll reimbursement, where as other folks had counter offered and negotiated small day rates of $30 – $50 per day. So I learned that day that one has to be a bit of a haggler.
3. Phillip Jackson on Warning: Sign that Deal Memo at Your Own Risk
This is one of those things that the farther/longer into filmmaking you go the more important it is to keep up with this. I remember freshman year, I’d sign whatever they put in front of me, now, I’m much more aware of what should and shouldn’t be there.
As a rental house owner of most of the digital cinema cameras on the market; I wouldn’t be so hasty to tar them all with the “check often” brush.
Certainly the Red One (and MX) with its threaded mount needs to be checked often. However the Alexa has a shimmed mount like a film camera and in 9 months now of heavy use it hasn’t shifted at all.
We still check the Alexa at every prep, though. Gotta be sure!
5. Pascal Depuhl on Escaping the Freelance Life to Enjoy Your Vacation
It’s true that we need vacations (probably more so than someone not working freelance), since we don’t work 9-5 with the weekends away from work.
One suggestion I would like to make in regards to when you plan your vacation is to look at the time historically that you’re not busy, instead of planning to go when you’re usually swamped. (Of course it never fails that as soon as you book the airline tickets the calls for work start rolling in …)
It’s Because of You…
Thank you for growing this community and for checking in to see what’s new at The Black and Blue.
I’m happy to announce that this month has seen another record-setting amount of people visit the site. I’m confident this will continue to go up because of the passion that permeates throughout The Black and Blue, emanating from you, the reader.
So, once again, thank you! And I promise there are even better things to come in the near future.
Hint: Starting tomorrow…