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Music Video Freelance Opportunity!


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#101 Guest_Sao_Bento_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 05:41 AM

the unfortunate reality of music videos

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As if having to deal with people in the music business wasn't bad enough.

#102 Guest_fishface_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 06:41 AM

I would have to agree with Sermon - to a degree. I know that when I was talking to a drector that works for a major production company, he was in the process of chasing down a music video that was budgeted for $15K. That is for everything.

But...

A production company already has insurance that they can throw this under. One million dollars of production insurance (which I believe includes any injury/liability) is a safe amount to have. It sounds ridiculous, but that is about what you need to cover your ass if you are about to rent a 5 ton lighting truck, a high-end film or HD camera, rent a stage with a sych wall, and hire contractors to work on the shoot, etc. This costs you about $2,500 -$3,000 for a 3 month period, or about $5,000 per year.

If you have a high profile, you can probably get the stage to cut you a deal. But you are still gonna have to pay to have the stage painted blue (or green, if you are shooting film) and then have it painted back to white. If the stage is really really nice, they will let you paint it yourself, but don't get your hopes up. So then you are stuck paying the stage to do this, and they generally use a couple of guys and mark this up a bit. I would budget at least $600 for that. Probably more like a cool grand, depending on the size of the stage.

If the stage cuts you a huge deal, you could get it for less than grand just to rent the damn thing along with a day of pre-light. This is rather unlikely unless you know them.

Then, you have to rent enough lights to light the hell out of the sych wall. If that Varicam has to gain up at all, you will get video grain and one shit-ass key. You can beg for what you need for the two days and probably spend $750.

I'm guessing that you won't be able to light it yourself, so you need to hire at least one guy for the pre-light and the shoot/wrap day. Most music videos don't use union help, but to get a guy who can take care of this shit while you are directing the next day, you probably need to shell out at least $300 per day. Times two days=$600. This guy you hire will end up hating you after the shoot for whipping him like a dog, so you shouldn't make this one of your friends.

Then you have to pay for the electricity. Hopefully the stage has house power available, but they may not. A Generator truck per day is at least $400. They may throw in the prelight day for free. Wouldn't count on that. You also pay for fuel charges and they will probably insist that you have someone who is capable driving and operating the generator. That ain't free. But, lets pretend that the stage will let you use house power, and it only costs you $300 for both days(which isn't too realistic).

Then you have to rent a camera. Lets pretend that you can direct and shoot and gaff this job, so you don't need anymore help. The camera alone is $1,200 per day. That is probably without lens, which is about $60 for a decent zoom. Then you need a deck to get the footage into your computer. Probably $300. Fluid head is about $40 per day. Sticks are about $35. If you are going to do any tracking shots - which your employer wants if he requesting the iPod spot, you need a dolly ($250 per day) and track ($40 per track x2 =$80).

Then you need to budget at leat $150 for tape stock. That is pushing it.

Then you have to talk about talent. Is the artist the only one is this thing, or do you have to pay others to be in it. If there are a lot of people, you are gonna need coordinators as well. Then there is craft service ($250) tables and chairs ($150) a truck to get all this stuff ($60 x 2= $120).

I could go on and on and on, but nobody wants that. You are already at:

$2500 insurance
$ 750 light truck
$ 750 stage
$ 600 paint
$ 300 electricity
$1200 camera
$ 300 deck
$ 60 lens
$ 40 fluid head
$ 250 dolly
$ 80 track
$ 150 tape stock
$ 250 craft service
$ 150 tables and chairs etc etc
$ 150 lunch
$ 600 2 days grip/electric
$ 40 phone costs
$ 150 expendables
$ 250 stage manager

= $ 8,570 in production costs (and I'm sure I forogt some stuff)

And that is a best case senario. Odds are, you already spent the $10k, and you haven't even spent the two weeks doing the post yet.

I don't want to sap the enthusiasim that some have on this board, but I must say that there is a strong possibility that you could take a loss on this project. And that is with calling in some favors.

So even if things work really well, you are killing yourself doing pre-production meetings, other random client related bullshit, and then the grueling one day shoot - which you gaff/DP/Direct/Produce/PA. Then you track/key/mograph/composite, and all for well less than $1500 for 2-3 weeks of your attention.

Did I mention they want to rip-off a rip-off?

In the end, you just did another rip which you can't put on your reel and earned $500/week. sounds pretty great. Where do I sign up? Is Starbucks hiring?

I don't hate the guy for asking, but I'm already too old for that. It's capitalism, and he can pay what he likes - or is able too - but you have to realize who you are asking. I mean, if he had spent all of 20 minutes looking at posts here, he might expect to get a little shit for asking some of the most talented designers in the world to work for almost nothing. Hell, I would expect it.

Post Houses seem to take a loss on all music video work, and only do it because it is cool and makes them look cool to potential clients, and the get to court young talented directors. I think post for music videos is a lot of favors and losing money. Someone tell me if I'm wrong.


P.S. Nextseason is awesome.

#103 Guest_pixelthief_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 09:06 AM

And there are few post costs in there. Even if you've got your own editing rig, complete with monitoring gear/scopes. Even if you've got every piece of software you need. You'll still likely need:

HD Deck, cabling, etc=$1000/day
Variable Framerate Converter for deck?=$500 /day
HD Capture Card=$200/day
Digibeta for output=$125/day
AJA Card for output=$125/day
Digibeta Tape Stock=$100

That's another cool 2k, and I'm sure there is more to heap on. And no one got paid.

Also, I think Fishface was pretty gentle in his assesment of lighting costs. I'd double his estimate. Lighting a key properly is no joke.

Edited by pixelthief, 10 December 2005 - 09:08 AM.


#104 Guest_Scorch_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 12:18 PM

Hi-8 Cam $10
Cameraman $60
Motion Graphics Artist $30
DVD-Burn $0.30
Lunch $4
The look on the directors face when he realises that he's got a very weak copy of a copy of a not very good idea, vomited up into a 4 minute badly edited monstrosity that MTV won't play....... priceless


Let me know if I've missed anything out here

#105 Guest_fredcamino_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 12:22 PM

don't hate tha playa hate tha game baby baaaaaaybuuyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

#106 Guest_noneone1156_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 02:49 PM

Man do you have to shoot with the Vericam I know plenty of people using the new Sony Hvr-z1u and the new Jvc HD cam and the results are amazing you can pull a great key I myself have used the xl2 and gotten great results but yes tweaking takes a lil more extra time but hey you get to save a bunch too on the cost to you. In my opnion if there is a will there is a way.

here is my 1cent hey I am cheap what can i say.

Edited by noneone1156, 10 December 2005 - 02:50 PM.


#107 Guest_milksac_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 02:51 PM

High Expectations + Low Budget = Painful experience

I think a lot of veterens here have been through this before and having experienced it first hand they have no desire to do it all over again. I'm not sure why the clients with the lowest budgets are the most difficult to work with, but it's an unfortunate fact in the industry.

The level of pain and suffering a client inflicts on the talented individuals actually doing the work is inversley proportionate to the budget.

They walk in the door with $5k and act like they are spending $500k. No doubt they will punish you for each and every minute you work on the project. They will change the entire creative direction of the work after days of hard work, complain about rendering time, make major revisions to the piece at the eleventh hour because the guy from marketing just now got a look at it and bitch because 500 copies on DVD isn't included in the $5k budget.

Sure do a good deed, do them a favor by taking on their low budget job. A deed that won't go unpunished.

#108 Guest_Sao_Bento_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 04:27 PM

Lighting a key properly is no joke.

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We were talking about this at work yesterday. Pay a makeup artist (or Ted Danson) to paint them black (except for key pieces of clothing/jewlery) and shoot it against a white psych. That'll save you the money for painting and some of the money/pain of lighting and keying.

#109 Guest_noneone1156_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 04:29 PM

Damn never looked at it that way, but once in a while you do get good clients am i correct?

High Expectations + Low Budget = Painful experience

I think a lot of veterens here have been through this before and having experienced it first hand they have no desire to do it all over again.  I'm not sure why the clients with the lowest budgets are the most difficult to work with, but it's an unfortunate fact in the industry.

The level of pain and suffering a client inflicts on the talented individuals actually doing the work is inversley proportionate to the budget.

They walk in the door with $5k and act like they are spending $500k.  No doubt they will punish you for each and every minute you work on the project.  They will change the entire creative direction of the work after days of hard work, complain about rendering time, make major revisions to the piece at the eleventh hour because the guy from marketing just now got a look at it and bitch because 500 copies on DVD isn't included in the $5k budget.

Sure do a good deed, do them a favor by taking on their low budget job.  A deed that won't go unpunished.

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#110 Guest_noneone1156_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 04:33 PM

Yea I would agree, but those people are usually people who don't know shit about lighting. pardon me but sometimes people just assume if they can't do it no one can why is that ?

We were talking about this at work yesterday. Pay a makeup artist (or Ted Danson) to paint them black (except for key pieces of clothing/jewlery) and shoot it against a white psych. That'll save you the money for painting and some of the money/pain of lighting and keying.

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#111 Guest_fishface_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 06:49 PM

well, noneone - you seem to really want to make it work. I can admire that. You should take the job. Let us know how it turns out when you actualize the costs. If you make a liveable wage at the end, I will be surprised.

You could lose the Varicam and not get the smooth look of fake slo-motion. You could rent a new HDV cam and try to use that. You could ditch the stage and craft service and lighting, shoot it in an hour outside using only the sun and reflectors you rented for $60. The sych wall could be 2 canvas tarps you painted green that hang from your garage. You could use a non-crystal synch playback device (which i didn't include in my earlier post. $475 for DAT, plus $90 for speakers/stands/amp) and slipe and slide everything in post.

the money saving posibilities are endless. The problem is, you have an actual client with professional expectations. You are being compared to a :30 spot that they spent $500K on. You are making a 4 minute piece for one fiftieth of that. Does the client have expectations that match his budget?

I'm just saying that it might not be worth all of your time and effort, cause if it is a rip-off, who are you gonna show it to? And if you didn't make great money, what is the point? If you want to make music videos, why not find a band you like and call in your favors for them? That way you can work with someone you like and respect, and maybe actually do something creative.


I will leave you with something I took from http://www.lifehacker.com :

"Say ‘no’ as often as you say ‘yes’. I quoted Michael Porter in my ALA article and I’ll do so again here: “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” Realize that every project you say ‘yes’ to inevitably locks up time that may or may not be better spent elsewhere in terms of project revenue, portfolio depth, and overall work satisfaction. It’s a game of opportunity cost, so be sure you’re choosing those projects that maximize a) the talent you offer clients and B) what you take home at the end of the day."

#112 Guest_parallax_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 07:07 PM

Fishface is totally on point here, as a matter of fact that is almost EXACTLY what 10K will buy you, up to the dollar-cent. And indeed calling favours, doing things on the cheap, paying off 2 PA's with a starbucks coupons. Of course, this will get you high production values, using pro people. The 10-15k projects are exactly the projects we too are making a loss at.

If you want to pay anything less, you sacrifice in quality. Sure, this thing could be made for 5k, but don't expect miracles, unless you can get crew and equipment for next to nothing, wich i highly doubt, else he wouldn't have posted this job on mograph.net

Be sure you know what you buy when you have a 5k budget, and be sure what you can expect when you take on this project. This being a post only video, with some key work, and the graphics being rather grainy, you can cut back on the equipment, but for all other videos sporting anything even remotely similar to a high-production video with visible on screen talent:

All of Fishface's rules apply, unless you are a big name director with your own production company, in wich case you wouldn't need this job unless it was a fantastic innovative concept Gondry couldn't come up with.

Wich obviously is not the case.

#113 Guest_Tread_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 07:08 PM

"Say ‘no’ as often as you say ‘yes’. I quoted Michael Porter in my ALA article and I’ll do so again here: “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” Realize that every project you say ‘yes’ to inevitably locks up time that may or may not be better spent elsewhere in terms of project revenue, portfolio depth, and overall work satisfaction. It’s a game of opportunity cost, so be sure you’re choosing those projects that maximize a) the talent you offer clients and B) what you take home at the end of the day."

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This is excellent advice, thanks for posting that.

#114 Guest_parallax_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 07:11 PM

Man do you have to shoot with the Vericam I know plenty of people using the new Sony Hvr-z1u and the new Jvc HD cam and the results are amazing you can pull a great key I myself have used the xl2 and gotten great results but yes tweaking takes a lil more extra time but hey you get to save a bunch too on the cost to you. In my opnion if there is a will there is a way.

here is my 1cent hey I am cheap what can i say.

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HDV is a joke, that's why it cost next to nothing. I can do better GOP compression with my Casio fx-82.
Do you know what a DP with his own Varicam costs? I'm talking 2.5k a day and up. But, as said earlier, the Ipod resemblance buys you some headroom.

#115 Guest_Sao_Bento_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 08:17 PM

This is excellent advice, thanks for posting that.

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Yep, and you have to figure that if you do anything that's remotely similar to the ipod spots, you're probably not going to want to put it on your reel. So at the end of the day, you've put a lot of time and hard work into something you probably wouldn't want your name associated with (AKA nothing).

#116 Guest_noneone1156_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 08:53 PM

Well I guess you put it in words you can adapt to, but most likely I am sure there are people here like said earlier that are in need of the money, as for it goes for exact quality I didn’t see anything from the client stating that, shooting hdv was an alternative that I would have offered. I would have loved to take it but currently I don't have the time or day for this. I have over worked this year and reached my goal for the rest of the remaining year or at least what’s left of it. I am in no way trying to act like a smart ass and if it’s coming out that way I apologize. The only reason I defended the client is due to the fact how people reacted to his post with sarcasm and childish remarks in my book that is not professional. I can give a list of plenty of places I can get the vericam for way cheaper but those prices would be exclusive for me and I would assume anyone that’s been in the industry would be able to get the same rates if not less this is called Contacts and if you have never heard of a thing like this obviously you have not worked long enough. Speaking of the industry like I stated earlier you should have made friends by now that actually own the equipment unless you’re a totally new to the industry that’s understandable and I hear you. As for the client do you think he will ever have anything good to say to anyone he knows about mograph.net? I doubt it who knows his label might get big in a few months or so and he might have a great budget. The only thing I am saying is if you don’t like the offer you shouldn’t reply with sarcasm or insult the client I am sure if he doesn’t get any replies he will understand something is wrong in what he is asking for, or you can let the person know kindly that budget is not enough or the idea is not original but to scare him away is just bad for business.

And for all the creative and artistic people on the board I have nothing against you guys you deserve every bit of respect and I respect you all and I understand its not easy what you do and you have worked hard to get to where you are at, so please do not be offended by what i have said.


well, noneone - you seem to really want to make it work. I can admire that. You should take the job. Let us know how it turns out when you actualize the costs. If you make a liveable wage at the end, I will be surprised.

You could lose the Varicam and not get the smooth look of fake slo-motion. You could rent a new HDV cam and try to use that. You could ditch the stage and craft service and lighting, shoot it in an hour outside using only the sun and reflectors you rented for $60. The sych wall could be 2 canvas tarps you painted green that hang from your garage. You could use a non-crystal synch playback device (which i didn't include in my earlier post. $475 for DAT, plus $90 for speakers/stands/amp) and slipe and slide everything in post.

the money saving posibilities are endless. The problem is, you have an actual client with professional expectations. You are being compared to a :30 spot that they spent $500K on. You are making a 4 minute piece for one fiftieth of that. Does the client have expectations that match his budget?

I'm just saying that it might not be worth all of your time and effort, cause if it is a rip-off, who are you gonna show it to? And if you didn't make great money, what is the point? If you want to make music videos, why not find a band you like and call in your favors for them? That way you can work with someone you like and respect, and maybe actually do something creative.
I will leave you with something I took from http://www.lifehacker.com :

"Say ‘no’ as often as you say ‘yes’. I quoted Michael Porter in my ALA article and I’ll do so again here: “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” Realize that every project you say ‘yes’ to inevitably locks up time that may or may not be better spent elsewhere in terms of project revenue, portfolio depth, and overall work satisfaction. It’s a game of opportunity cost, so be sure you’re choosing those projects that maximize a) the talent you offer clients and B) what you take home at the end of the day."

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#117 Guest_fishface_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 09:27 PM

Hehehe. Yes, you can call in favors. The question is, if you aren't making a lot of money off of this, why would you? If you have a friend that will give away his rental eqipment to you whenever you ask, then god bless you. In the real world, those favors come to an end after a bit once they realize they will never make money off of you. Most rental houses are in the business of renting their materials for actual money, no matter how much they like you. So the question is:

Do you really want to kill yourself for a few weeks, call in a ton of favors and get no portfolio material for this person ?

and if so, then do it.

I'm just trying to sprinkle some reality on youthful ambition. I think I was rather objective about it. If you look at the budget and the creative direction and you are interested, thats great. If you can make it work for you, send out a reel. I don't think I have said or did anything unprofessional regarding this topic. I do, however think that if you are asking someone to steal the look and feel of another spot that already stole that look and feel, then you - as the job poster - are not really all too concerned with ethics or professionalism.

Also, this isn't monster.com. It's nice to know that when people in the industry want some hardcore mograph they post on this site. But you have to pay to play. Once this site is filled with serious professional ass kissing and Craig's List level job postings, I most likely will no longer be a part of it.

#118 Guest_pixelthief_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 09:39 PM

I apologize. The only reason I defended the client is due to the fact how people reacted to his post with sarcasm and childish remarks in my book that is not professional.

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Is this a "professional" site? I don't think so.

As for the client do you think he will ever have anything good to say to anyone he knows about mograph.net?

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Who cares??

if you have never heard of a thing like this obviously you have not worked long enough.

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Uh-huh. Ever hear of punctuation? Your posts give me headaches.

Also, this isn't monster.com. It's nice to know that when people in the industry want some hardcore mograph they post on this site. But you have to pay to play. Once this site is filled with serious professional ass kissing and Craig's List level job postings, I most likely will no longer be a part of it.

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Seconded.

#119 Guest_noneone1156_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 09:58 PM

I am sorry about that, but for you to go out of your way to point out my mistakes is totally uncalled for, but I will take your advice and next time I will use MS word. I wouldn’t want you to get headaches.

Well I will stop the argument here; my only point was we don't have to take such an aggressive approach.

And Pixel I apologize for your inconvenience.



Is this a "professional" site?  I don't think so. 
Who cares??
Uh-huh.  Ever hear of punctuation?  Your posts give me headaches.
Seconded.

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#120 Guest_nextseason_*

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 10:07 PM

First off I love this thread. Love it to death.

noneone - don't get too offended man. In time you will learn the way it works around here. Pixelthief and I suffer from a rare disorder where our middle fingers are stuck in the up position. ;)




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