Oct 20, 2008

Those Crazy Indie Filmmakers

This e-mail is from a senior producer at a well known ad agency. (I have never worked with her before)

Hi- I'm helping produce a indie film. It's a funny short film about a sperm donor. We shot 2 weekends ago but our outdoor shoot day was rained out. We're re-shooting it this Saturday and are looking for help as our script supervisor isn't avail now. We're all working for $25/day plus movie credit. Are you interested? We will be shooting at a park from 8am-5pm. Please let me know. Thank you.

I'm curious to know who was willing to work for $25/day. (if I did the math right that would be a whole $2.80/hour)

Ohhh wait, don't forget you get a movie credit too!

Update: Someone e-mailed me and said this post was a bit snotty. Yup, and it's probably because I'm tired of these kind of offers. Why professional people (a SENIOR PRODUCER) would think it's OK to ask someone to work for $25/a day is beyond me. What other industry works this way????


Anonymous said...

I agree with you. Who the heck cares about getting a Scripty credit on a short film that nobody, and I mean nobody will ever see? They need to get pay up if they want people with REAL credits to work for them.

Nathan said...

That reminds me of the early 80's when music videos started to be the rage. "Hey, you'll get to hang out with the band!" "It'll be fun!"

Uh, hanging out with the band usually translated into being treated like shit by the people you were promoting for half your day-rate and "fun" translated into working for 22 hours because the "dumb as rocks" first-time director with a "vision" didn't have a clue what he was doing.

Disclaimer: After years of turning down every call for a music video, I did take a job on a Stones video. And yes, hanging out on a rooftop with Keith Richards was uber-cool even if I couldn't understand a single word he said.

Kim Huston said...

I don't know of another industry that works this way, and it's been a constantly fight between my boyfriend and I. He gets really angry when I'm overworked for crappy pay. More than me even.

But the problem is that people WILL take that position. Be it because they're just starting out and have to take cheap jobs to get some experience, or because they don't know it's too low.

You just have to hope at a certain point these producers realize they'll get what they pay for.

Michael Taylor said...

I'm not sure there are any other industries quite like ours, so the rules -- such as they are -- tend to be very different.

If you were interested in expanding your client base by doing a favor for someone willing (and in a postion) to return that favor in the form of a real job down the road, then doing such a job might make sense.

It's only a nine hour day, after all -- nothing like the horrendously long and painful days we've all done on set. True, the shoot would doubtless run longer than that, but if you had nothing else going on, and hadn't worked in a while, I can understand why someone would accept this offer.

But without some assurance that you'd at least be in the mix for future commercials this agency would produce -- forget it.

I've done a few freebies that paid off, and many that didn't. It's a crapshoot every time. At this point, I just say no...

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm finally reading your blog again! Capstone pays its child models $25 per day, if that puts it in any perspective.Good grief!!