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J Montreuil

Is there a site with studio reviews?

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You have to take these things with a grain of salt though. People tend to only seek these things out to post negative experiences.

 

Glassdoor.com is focused more around full time employees, but their information is gathered from multiple sources so it could be another good indicator.

 

Also, it doesn't hurt to run a D&B check on the company in question. Experian has a business offering as well. You can get an idea of a company's cashflow, average payment terms, etc if payment turn-arounds are the primary concern. It's about $150 but worth it.

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I think this could be a really great resource. A friend and I talked about setting something like this up awhile back. Essentially a Rate My Professor but for studios. http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/

 

Of course you have to worry about trolls but I think with very littler moderating it could be done. I would think a section for comments could be useful but a system like how KEH rates equipment could work great and cut down on personal bashing. http://www.keh.com/help.aspx#pe19 (top section)

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i think reviewers just have to leave comments using a social media profile ( facebook/google+/linked in) so you can check up on them and see how reliable they are as a source.

 

otherwise all the reviews are worth nothing. ( because of mentioned troll problem)

 

if you are worried about your privacy don't leave a review. And equally employers should be notified and leave reviews about the people they hire. ( ebay style thing).

 

[edit]: i think this system would overall benefit everyone involved. well the legit people anyway. studio's could avoid terrible workers. And artists can avoid terrible studios.

Edited by vozzz

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well if all your other reviews ( from other studios) are positive, then you have nothing to fear.

 

In the situation where you have to go back to the same studio. Well hopefully a system like this would remove the bad studio's from the market. Since if a studio gets constantly bad reviews its going to have trouble hiring people to work with ( probably will have to pay more and upfront to get artists). And either they will have to adjust their practices or they will be replaced by a studio that works better.

 

A free and fair market relies on the free flow of information, without information studios are left to continue exploiting artists. It might be painful at first, but i think in the long run its the only way to go.

 

And the same goes for artists. I've worked at studios and sometimes they hire artists that are just impossible to work with. They just don't follow directions. They're told to make a low poly background object which will probably be blurred out mostly. And they spend the day making a highly detailed prop... Which not only wasted time, but then bogs down the scene during animation and takes longer to render.

 

obviously you should be able to reply to feedback left on your profile. And notify people of adjustments you have made to remedy the problems brought up.

 

i think someone like vimeo should organize this. Since they already have the infrastructure and most artists/studio's are there already.

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What is the concern, J? Are you just trying to not work with dicks? Try it out, say your booked elsewhere if you dont like it.

 

I dont think such a platform would be good for anybody. It would just be a petri dish of slander.

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i dunno, maybe you're right.

 

then again, it might encourage people to talk when the job is over, and ask each other about what could be done better?

 

bah whatever. with time you learn to tell the dicks apart, its a painful process, but you get better at it with time =)

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as an avowed socialist....

 

We have spoken time and again about bad clients and places that pay 60 days from receiving your invoice. Thankfully these are rare in adworld, but binky is spot-on as ever. Say you're booked the next week and GTFO if you get a bad vibe. After ten years i have a highly evolved sense of bullshit and get the willies almost instantly if the place looks like i won't get paid on time or forced to sacrifice weekends for bollocks corporate films.

not being paid for overtime seems to be the result of labour being cheaper the world over. wish we could change that one. light a bowl of kush and read the first chapter of Das Kapital and get back to me.

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I dont think such a platform would be good for anybody. It would just be a petri dish of slander.

 

I couldnt disagree with this more and think your looking at it the wrong way. Yes there are some trolls out there and yes some people will take advantage, as they do with everything.

 

Knowledge is power and the more information that is out there the more protected and accountable people will be.

 

When I was a student the vast majority of people wouldn't think of signing up for a class without looking up the professor on Rate My Professor. They instantly could find out how hard the class would be, how much homework would be involved, the lenght of the papers, leniency on tardiness etc etc.

 

Comprably, as freelancer it would be wonderful to know if a compnay pays on time, are they net 30 or 60, do you have to use their payroll system, W2 or W9, do they aprove overtime/pay time and a half on weekends and are they trusting, do they let you help shape something or do they just view the freelencers as technicians and limit your responsibilitly.

 

It could also inform us of when we need to be cautius and protect ourselves and get an established contract before we begin work if say someone was notpaid or was paid late. Just recently a friend of mine wont be recieving 4 weeks pay on a booking because the studio has filed for chapter 11. This was in the works long before his booking was confirmed and if this information could have been made available the situation could have been avoided.

 

I dont think it would be an easy system to create but the bottom line is that other industries/communities have similar devices and it is a valubale tool.

 

To think it wouldnt work for our community is absurd.

 

As mentioned above, I believe in giving any studio a first chance, even if I have heard negative things. With more information to help guide are decisions we would be at much less risk when doing so.

Edited by joedonaldson

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To think it wouldnt work for our community is absurd.

 

 

I really don't think so. The only people who post are ones who have something to gripe about. Just look at the example of http://thevfxwatchers.com/

 

The data you are after is already online anyway. It just takes some research and vetting that should be done anyway. There are firms that specialize in telling you a company's average turn-around on payments, etc. I have a quickbooks plugin that does that.

 

Maybe I just don't understand the fear here... Have you really been burned THAT many times?

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I personally have never been burned. That isnt the issue here.

 

The issue is information. Yes the information is out there but so is ALL information via google. And yes we are in the inner circle, and before I go to just about any studio I have a friend or collegue I can contact and get the low down. The point is to have that information available to people that might not be in the inner circle or savy to the industry.

 

I agree VFXwatchers is a shit show but there are plenty of online communties that dont resort to that. I have witnessed it and benefitted from it first hand.

 

You mention fear like there is nothing to lose. Like I said, I have never been burned but for the sake of argument when you look at say a 4 week booking thats $10K+ at stake. If you have a family and people that depend on you thats a lot of loot and I would think that anyone could acknowledge the usefullness of a tool that could help prevent getting burned when that much is at stake.

 

It's like viewing Kelly Blue Book as useless because your not in the market for a car. It might not be of much use to you or me but it could be of use to others and above and beyond that will document peoples experiences and create a record of the goings on in the industry.

 

I will say that I doubt a community like this will ever get started or be successful. It would take a lot of community involvement which unfortunately seems to be on the decline.

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I think if this were done legitimately, there are a few methods in place these days to help weed out trolls and one-off bad experiences. You're always going to have those - nothing to be done about it, but I think a simple comment voting and points system would help make more useful reviews more prominent. Just like with any product or service someone is bound to have a shitty experience or not like the way a shop runs things or whatever, but that doesn't mean that shop is bad. But if a bunch of people have had similar experiences then that starts to speak to bad management, poor work environment, etc.

 

Ultimately I don't know that it's so much about not getting burned (maybe in some cases), but just knowing what you're getting yourself into.

 

R

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