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Hold System

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Guest brandj6000

Where does the hold sytem protocol come from?

 

Found this in another topic, but I'm trying to find some sort of official rule for this:

(Also who posted this response? The user was called "I can't draw" but he's unregistered.)

 

"Thought you should know about this. It is called the hold system, and we use it here in LA. Not sure about the rest of the world...

 

If Client A puts you on hold for a job. This is called a first hold. Doesn't always mean you have the job. Doesn't always mean they have the job. It's a hypothetical situation. They may even have other artists on hold as well.

 

So, Client B calls to book you on a job at the same time... There is a protocol for this. You tell Client B that Client A has you on hold. You don't need to tell them who Client A is. It is none of their business. Anyway, tell them that Client A has you on hold and that they can challenge the hold if they want. Client B may decide to challenge if they have a definite job, and will definitely hire you if Client A doesn't. (This is a commitment) Or, they can put you on a second hold. A second hold is exactly the same as a first hold, except if Client A decides not to hire you, you are still on hold for Client B, but are not guaranteed a job with them. (I know people who have been on tripple hold before!)

 

If Client B challenges Client A's hold, then you have to go back to Client A and tell them that they have been formally challenged for your time. You don't need to tell them who, just tell them they're being challenged. Client A then has to make a decision: Do they hire you or let you go? If they let you go, then Client B has a responsibility to hire you. If they don't, you can sue them. Or, the other possibility is that Client A will not want to lose you, even though they don't have the job yet, and will hire you at that point. If the job disappears, they are still obligated to pay you, as you turned down a definite job to work with them and can prove damages in court. I have had this happen before, for a 3 month job, and they ended up having to make up stuff for me to do because of it. Not a very good situation to be in, but you need to get paid for your time.

 

Anyway, I hope that helps. Should be good reading for the newbies..."

 

Okay, the hold system is fine. I pretty much use it as stated above. The problem I have with it is that it assumes you want to work for both Company A and B equally and that your time is worth the same amount to each of them. How do you freelancers juggle holds and also get what you want out of a job creatively?

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Guest Tread

dunno the answer to your question, but good post. Thanks for the info(two weeks until I'm freelancing in NY). News to me.

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Guest the_Monkey

It sounds like a lot of nonsense... I mean, I would *never* sue a client for work I didn't do... whether they promised it or not. In fact, it's unlikely that I would ever sue a client at all (I would just never work for them again). You often go a long time without getting any calls and then everyone calls you at once, that's just the way it is. People often get delayed, and that's just the way it is.

 

What seems to be missing from this method is the awareness that you are dealing with PEOPLE. You don't need a "method" or a flowchart to do business... you just need a telephone and a professional attitude. People like being treated like people and when I've had to switch projects because something didn't start on time, I call up the studio and let them know I have to take another job... and it's cool... everybody's got bills, they'll understand.

 

-m

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Guest nextseason

Yeah, I learned all this my first couple weeks in NYC. It is good info to know for freelancing.

My personal experience with holds is that they almost never come through. Companies use it to cover themselves just in case. But very rarely do I go on hold and actually get booked. The jobs I get booked for are the ones when they book me outright without holds.

 

You hear that companes out there, I'm talkin' to you!!! Just book me and let's get to it!!! No more phone tag and emailing... Sit me down at a machine and let's go... :)

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Guest six

Yeah this has been driving me nuts.

 

I went freelance at the very end of October. I had nothing lined up and I just figured I'd wing it. Luckily I worked after only 2 weeks.

 

The second place I worked at called me after 5pm twice to work nights, and those are the only times I have worked for them. HOWEVER they have had me on first hold for all of December and all of January, yet no work.

 

What sucks about this is that I have to call them everytime some of my more consistant clients want to grab me for a couple days. I really wish the companies would be more respectful then this.

 

We'll see about Feb. I have Two holds til march, but I have learned quickly not to get my hopes up.

 

-six

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Guest fishface

I actually used to produce some lower end commercials, and used to put people on hold all of the time. Its tough for everybody, but the only way to do business when you have tight deadlines. The reason you get put on hold is because they want to hire you to do the job, but the job hasn't actually awarded yet. So the company is hedging its bets a bit - they want their ass covered if they get the job, and they want to have you work with them, but they can't afford to pay everyone if the job is awarded to someone else - which happens a lot.

 

I always had my desired 'crew' that I wanted on every job I produced, so I would try to get them at all costs. The problem is, they are talented and therefore in high demand. Some people don't really have to great of an understanding how much of a chance they have to get certain types of work, and are a bit liberal with their hold. I tried to be as fair as possible about it.

 

If you have confirmed work, all you have to do is call the people that have you on hold. They will either release you from the hold, or hire you for those days. At this point the producer has to size up just how likely they are to get the job, and just how much they need you. I have hired people before the job has awarded on only a few occasions - when I felt that we really needed that person to do the job. If the job did not award, I would have paid them - cause that is how it works. We made a verbal agreement, which in most states is as legally binding as a real contract (meaning, not all that much ;) )

 

There is also a cancellation fee that you could charge if they call off the work, or postpone it without proper notice. Usually 24 hrs. I once had a client postpone a shoot at 8pm, when we were scheduled to shoot at 6:30am the next morning. At this point I asked if they were sure that they wanted to do this, due to our manditory cancelltion policy - which was some insane number around 45% of the total budget for postponement, and 75% for cancellation. Since I was going to have to pay the crew for they day they wasted not earning money on other shoots with clients that had their shit together, we made sure to pass that along to the client. The paid, and so did I.

 

I was more than happy to give them this money. Maybe thats why I don't produce anymore. But I think you will find that if clients like you enough to put you on hold, they willl most likely treat you fairly if they commit to buying your time.

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Guest capitalJ

holds are only there to cover the ass of the producer or HR person trying to hire someone

and they are almost never implemented unless the person is in real trouble or pissed at you for taking another job

then you get the ..."but i thought i had you on hold" speach

 

but every company looks at holds very differently

some people throw holds out there like theres no manana

others really mean it when they give out holds.....and you feel weird when someone does that

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Just experiencing this hold system...... And wondering how would you deal with this if there is other opportunities await?

 

I was put on hold for this month by a design house but until last week I haven't received any reply for the job. I called them and eventually was told that the job fell through.... And this morning, another studio that I haven't had interview with just called me up and asked me if they can put me on hold for next month. I said yes but my question is.....without a signed agreement or contract do I need to consider it as an affirmed job? And because I am having some interviews for other places next week so I am having no idea what to say if I got asked about availability..... Do I not mention about it and keep applying?

Edited by lanhan

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I have a question for everyone . . . This is my first time using the booking and hold systems and I have been booked on a project for two weeks. Today we have been waiting for client feedback and I have not really done any work .. . . just waiting to hear from the company that booked me. Should I be getting paid for this day or no.

 

Thanks

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Holds should be respected by both parties.

 

If you are placed on hold they have first dibs. But they are under no obligation to hire you. It just allows a producer to plan for an upcoming job. But, when I was freelancing I was often hired off of hold.

 

If someone else calls, you go back to the person with the hold and they have 24 hours to book you or release you from your hold.

 

If they book you, you send over a contract that includes duration and rate.

 

After that you get paid for the days you were booked even if you spent the day sitting around with your thumb up your ass. They booked you, they pay you.

 

And legally, you are in no position to sue unless you have a signed contract. But suing is an extreme measure. I've worked as a freelancer for 12 years in New York and I've never had anyone skip out on a booking. Maybe that's because I try to conduct myself very professionally and therefore work for clients who are the same way.

Edited by finegrit

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Maybe that's because I try to conduct myself very professionally and therefore work for clients who are the same way.

 

 

I think this sums it up best. The hold system definitely favors the companies since you can only have one 1st hold but the company can have as many as they want. So the best way to make sure you don't get abused it to have a reputation of honoring your holds and you'll find that companies will respect you more and even be willing to work with you if any conflicts ever arise.

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