Let's hire. . .
Posted 04 September 2008 - 11:31 PM
I swear, if I hear this one more time from a producer's mouth, I'm going into accounting. I mean, seriously, where do these people get off? Not only do they want to exploit students who will work for free, but to put them into major jobs with real equipment, much of which can be quite dangerous even for the experienced, for long hours, with no compensation (copy credit). I mean the nerve. It's honestly is enough to make me want to crawl through the phone and . . .
Now I'm all for students on sets, and hell, I wish I had been on more professional sets on my life, paid or unpaid. I still do unpaid shoots when I like the person I'm working with, or the project, or have nothing else to do. I haven't a problem with that. But even suggesting to shoot a feature, of ANY budget with a student volunteer crew boils my blood. What brilliant person thinks that making a student a gaffer is a great idea? How about I get a student to be the fight choreographer? Let me allow a student to rig my camera off of a car mount. . . I mean, yes, throw them on the set for some PA work, but for the love of god, understand that you'll save yourself a lot of headaches, and possibly some lawsuits, with a nice professional crew who aren't going to blow power to a location, hang a light wrong which can fall and kill someone, or rig the camera so it kaplunks when the car stops. . .
ok, rant over.
Posted 05 September 2008 - 12:03 AM
seriously, though. i highly agree. I would probably trust maybe 6 students out of the 100 in my class to work in any capacity on a set, let alone a Key. Even as a student who would love that kind of job, that sounds ridiculous and irresponsible.
Posted 05 September 2008 - 12:05 AM
Posted 05 September 2008 - 01:34 AM
Here in New Mexico, with all the movies coming in, there is always that "Yesterday I was a bartender, today I am a prop person" or whatever, story. But it happens here and there and most people in the department have enough experience to cover until the new one gets trained. And usually, the keys come from LA or NY anyway, so everyone learns. Nothing wrong with that. But, to hire an entire student crew for a low budget picture ? . . Yikes.
Adrian, I will assume you know what you are doing, and of course you would want to keep working with these people if it is in your best interest, but how far can too far go ? . . Like you say, what's gonna happen when someone gets hurt and the blaming game begins, etc. If it were me, I would be gone by now. In fact I have done it many times, walking away from a stupid production.
I will never claim to be the most experienced cameraman there is, but at least I would want to work with keys at least at my own level. "OK kids, today we learn how to start the genny and fire up this 10K. It's OK, my uncle walked me through it last night over the phone"
Who said (some) producers were sleazy?
Will work for credit only, master!
Edited by Saul Rodgar, 05 September 2008 - 01:37 AM.
Posted 05 September 2008 - 04:18 AM
there is a big struggle to stop this. all the cinematographers here unite to stop this and fight back.
the good news is that change begin.
Posted 05 September 2008 - 06:06 AM
Do I sound facetious?
I'm, actually, giving it some legitimate thought. A crew of 100 students on a 30 day shoot could create enough money to pay for my whole production. A little profit from the food and drinks could keep me in Stoli for a while.
Posted 05 September 2008 - 07:03 AM
a lot of the pros i know smoke on set:(
i think students has to work on sets but as 3/4 assistants and gain work exp. so they will learn the craft and become pros
Posted 05 September 2008 - 08:25 AM
Posted 05 September 2008 - 01:53 PM
That said, there obviously are times when going with a student crew is a great idea. A student film being the obvious example. But anything that needs to be done on zero-budget with a high tolerance for quality variations is often best tasked to a pack of eager college kids (viral videos and aspiring actor demo reels spring to mind). So be sure to emphasize that there's a time and a place for student crews, but this ain't it.
And the other thing to bear in mind, at least here in L.A., the students are wise to this and don't work for free any more anyway, so the producers who try it just slow down their production by three weeks as they wait for answers and wonder why the three calls they've gotten were all from people who've never been on a set before but would love to learn.
Posted 05 September 2008 - 02:02 PM
It is one thing if no one is getting paid. It is another thing entirely if some people are getting paid but the production is trying to cut corners by having people work for them for free.
As much as some people hate the union, this is exactly the reason why it was created in the first place, to prevent worker exploitation and get people fair pay and fight unfair hiring, employment practices and maintain a qualified workpool contingent upon safe labor conditions.
Posted 07 September 2008 - 09:08 AM
Unless it is an indy film where the whole crew/cast is working for free, I wouldn't work on it, even if I were getting paid out of principle.
"Indie film", is there really such an animal anymore? Hasn't every studio, formed a indie film company with a different name so they can cry poverty in the crew adverts and say no budget, no pay (except for the above the line jobs)?
Posted 09 September 2008 - 05:55 PM
Posted 09 September 2008 - 06:03 PM
But, of course, you're right, students; though everyone really, to succeed, must admit first to themselves their own limitations, and then later, let anyone hiring them know what they can and can't do. Problem is, of course, that such honesty is always hard to come by, and I always feel that in this industry often those who best "sell" themselves are best rewarded. I try to sell myself, but I abhor saying I can do something which I know I can't. A fine example of this was recently when a producer I work with a good deal asked what I thought about shooting the f900. I've never used it; told him, lost the job to someone who did know how to use it, of course, but felt better 'bout myself later on.
Posted 09 September 2008 - 06:21 PM
The right answer is "Oh, that old thing....." ;-)
... a producer I work with a good deal asked what I thought about shooting the f900. I've never used it; told him, ....
Posted 09 September 2008 - 06:27 PM
Hopefully in a few more years It'll be rentable for a song! Then i won't have to pass on jobs with it/ or it's sister cameras (e.g. well I never shot with a F23, but I know it's quite similar to the F900!, or, Well I havn't really used a 535 before, but I know the BL series pretty well).
To me, and to get off topic, but hell, i started the rant in the first place, the F900 always reminded me a bit of a Betacam on Steroids.
Posted 09 September 2008 - 06:30 PM
That's precisely what it is. ;-)
... the F900 always reminded me a bit of a Betacam on Steroids.
Posted 09 September 2008 - 06:35 PM
Posted 10 September 2008 - 12:09 PM
I know. It's just a good way to get sued. I mean, I seriously am all for students on sets. I love bringing freshmen from my university onto whatever I can. I love having them just around and asking questions which I can answer, or at least try to, and I even love having them working with grips. But in a key position. . .c'mon, it's just not right.
I agree Adrian. My short was basically no-budget but my Key still had a film degree. To bring a freshman as key is ridiculous...especially for a film with a working budget.
Posted 11 September 2008 - 10:54 PM
I always feel that in this industry often those who best "sell" themselves are best rewarded. I try to sell myself, but I abhor saying I can do something which I know I can't. A fine example of this was recently when a producer I work with a good deal asked what I thought about shooting the f900. I've never used it; told him, lost the job to someone who did know how to use it, of course, but felt better 'bout myself later on.
I know how that type of situation goes. I fairly recently was taking to a producer about possibly working on a low-budget project with them as a camera op. They wanted to know if I had used a Sony V1U (a tiny, pro-sumer style camera). They were dead set on having someone who had used that model camera. It meant nothing to them that I have used tons of other Sony, Panasonic, JVC MiniDV cameras & pro-sumer HD cameras, not to mention the professional BetaSp, Pro HD cameras, etc. My reel and credits weren't a concern for them either! LOL
Edited by Michele Peterson, 11 September 2008 - 10:55 PM.