Jump to content


Photo

Is it S...L...O...W... out there, work-wise?


  • Please log in to reply
202 replies to this topic

Poll: Workometer Poll (117 member(s) have cast votes)

How busy working are you?

  1. I'm working more than usual. (23 votes [19.66%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.66%

  2. About the same as I usually do this time of year. (18 votes [15.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.38%

  3. Definitely slower than usual. (37 votes [31.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.62%

  4. It's dead. I'm catching-up on yard and house work. (39 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 February 2009 - 12:56 PM

Seems slow to me, usually I have a feature lined-up to shoot by March every year.

I've been on three interviews this year so far and have seen top ASC members waiting outside the door when I come out of the interview, which is a bit unnerving. I talk to some of my DP friends over email and find out that we're all interviewing for the same projects, which hasn't happened before.

The other odd thing is that out of four projects I've read for, three said they'd be shooting in Vancouver, the other in Rhode Island.
  • 0

#2 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11934 posts
  • Other

Posted 28 February 2009 - 01:16 PM

I move in somewhat less exalted circles than Mr Mullen, but yeah, it's slow. I spoke to a few freelance colleagues at the Broadcast Video Expo in London last week, and they confirmed my impression that there's not much going on. My last few jobs have been corporate.

On the upside, exhibitors said that capital expenditure trends had been good in January and February was shaping up to be even better. I wonder if everyone's re-equipping with lower cost gear, or something.

P
  • 0

#3 Michael Belanger

Michael Belanger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Long Beach, CA

Posted 28 February 2009 - 01:31 PM

More than 100 major films — those with budgets over $75 million — were shot in Los Angeles in 2007 and only 22 were filmed last year. Three major films are scheduled this year.


That's an excerpt from an AP article a couple of days ago about LA possibly hiring a "film czar" to help bring production back into town.

Edited by Michael Belanger, 28 February 2009 - 01:31 PM.

  • 0

#4 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 28 February 2009 - 01:32 PM

I think we can blame the SAG contract dispute first .... we all saw it coming with the ramp up of production in the first half of 2008. Studios stockpiled product as they always do when a potential strike is telegraphed so blatantly. A strike of threat of one only works when corporation don't see it coming. This stockpile always gives corporate America the breathing room to wait it out, waiting for "labor" to cave when financial necessities force them to take concessions.

However, because of the MASSIVE loophole provided by AFTRA, studios are now going to shoot their projects under AFTRA contracts which forces productions to use electronic image acquisition over film. DP's, brush off your HD skills because if you want to work, you're going to need them.


We can also attribute some of the slow-down to the overall economy, but primarily, we've all seen a drop in production due to the WGA and SAG contract issues. IATSE is always the one without any real leverage as we, who are off-camera, are the most expendable. If there isn't cheaper labor to be found in "flyover" states and overseas (and Canada), then there is always a steady supply of aspiring "filmmakers" who are willing to work for less than the going rate that is necessary to sustain a viable life. We can thank the long running anti-worker Republican policies enacted by Nixon, Reagan and two Bushes for this. Their efforts to enrich the wealthy at the cost of society overall is coming to a head. The rich can and will retreat behind their gated walled-off communities as the rest of the world burns.
  • 0

#5 David Rakoczy

David Rakoczy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1579 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • USA

Posted 28 February 2009 - 03:01 PM

Hey, there are plenty of limousine liberal democrats who live behind golden gates as well... and as far as the Union being weak and without leverage.. I was there when they 'shook down' a friend of mine for $140,000 USD!... stating "look, New York wants their money!".. Ya, it is only the evil Republicans who abuse people... sure!

Look, if you want to make it go do it! Blaming other people or circumstances is self defeating. My company grew 34% last year.. which was a terrible year overall.. and I have made 25% of that as of Feb 15th.. I am looking at the best year yet!

Those who take chances and risk deserve their reward. Free Market is what this country was built on. Now, take a look at what is happening here in the USA... even among wildlife! Animals that were formerly self-sufficient are now showing signs of understanding what is happening in Washington D.C.. ... as they have apparently learned to just sit and wait for the government to step in and provide for their care and sustenance.

unknown.jpg
  • 0

#6 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 28 February 2009 - 03:45 PM

However, because of the MASSIVE loophole provided by AFTRA, studios are now going to shoot their projects under AFTRA contracts which forces productions to use electronic image acquisition over film. DP's, brush off your HD skills because if you want to work, you're going to need them.


Wait, huh?
  • 0

#7 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 28 February 2009 - 03:48 PM

The other odd thing is that out of four projects I've read for, three said they'd be shooting in Vancouver,



As the Canadian dollar comes back down, Hollywood shoots re-appear in Canada again. I'm not sure what a "film czar" is going to do? Force California film workers to accept payment in Canadian dollars? Plus CA has no tax incentives at all to shoot in the state, where as BC and Ont have lots.

On the bright side American department heads can work in Canada, Canadians can't just go to LA and work as a DOP. Not really fair is it?

R,
  • 0

#8 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 28 February 2009 - 03:51 PM

Those who take chances and risk deserve their reward. Free Market is what this country was built on.


Hey aren't you from Canada? Those are not Canadian ideals buddy!!!

Those who take chances deserve to give their money in taxes to those who don't want to take chances, sheesh, you've been away from Canada for too long. :lol:

R,
  • 0

#9 David Rakoczy

David Rakoczy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1579 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • USA

Posted 28 February 2009 - 03:56 PM

Richard, I have never been to Canada... Cleveland is the closest I have gotten... someday I would like to 'visit'.

I appreciate your POV!
  • 0

#10 Tim Tyler

Tim Tyler

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Olympia, WA (US)

Posted 28 February 2009 - 04:01 PM

Things are certainly quiet in Seattle, but that is typical of this time of year here.

If it doesn't pick up by April, people here will start worrying.
  • 0

#11 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 28 February 2009 - 04:06 PM

Richard, I have never been to Canada... Cleveland is the closest I have gotten... someday I would like to 'visit'.

I appreciate your POV!


Nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there :P

Hell, Cleveland's not much better. You can even pick up Canadian radio from across the lake with all of those pesky accents, & units of measure.

You know, I never thought of this. Richard, why don't you put in a couple of "eh's" every now and then in your posts? Even if you don't use "eh's" personally, you probalby know people who do. Even at best, you probably sound like a cross between your "friend" Sarah Palin and someone from Fargo :lol:

Edited by Karl Borowski, 28 February 2009 - 04:08 PM.

  • 0

#12 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 28 February 2009 - 04:24 PM

Richard, I have never been to Canada... Cleveland is the closest I have gotten... someday I would like to 'visit'.

I appreciate your POV!


Sorry I must have been thinking of a different Canadian guy on this forum that re-located to FL.


you probalby know people who do. Even at best, you probably sound like a cross between your "friend" Sarah Palin and someone from Fargo :lol:


Actually I've always wondered if the people in the Dakota's really sound like that?

Errr, sorry the Canadian way....I always did wonder eh if those people down der in South Dakoota really speak like that there eh?

R,
  • 0

#13 Kieran Scannell

Kieran Scannell
  • Sustaining Members
  • 339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Netherlands/Ireland

Posted 28 February 2009 - 04:46 PM

This is the first time in 5 years that i don't know what I'm doing (work wise) next month.
It certainly is a worry I must admit.

I have a history in documentaries but slided towards commercials and the corporate world ( more money! ) and the phone
just kept ringing. It is ominously silent now. Complacency on my part I guess.

I shot a Docu-drama in a prison last month (my last job!) and realized how much I'd missed the run and gun aspect of documentary
film making. I was lighting a prison cell when the director quietly told me we had 30 min till the next setup.

I'm trying now to rekindle old contacts and maybe generate new work but you know if David Mullen is finding it slow that must be a
bad omen for the rest of us.

Kieran.
  • 0

#14 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 28 February 2009 - 04:49 PM

if David Mullen is finding it slow that must be a
bad omen for the rest of us.

Kieran.


Not really...David commands $10, 000.00/day!! What do you expect? :blink:

R,
  • 0

#15 David Rakoczy

David Rakoczy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1579 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • USA

Posted 28 February 2009 - 04:51 PM

I'm trying now to rekindle old contacts and maybe generate new work but you know if David Mullen is finding it slow that must be a
bad omen for the rest of us.

Kieran.


With all due respect to David Mullen, Mr. Mullen has nothing to do with me! His career has absolutely zero affect on mine! I could very well make far more money than him this year.. or the next... and so could You!

(I) affect (my) career... as you do yours.
  • 0

#16 Kieran Scannell

Kieran Scannell
  • Sustaining Members
  • 339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Netherlands/Ireland

Posted 28 February 2009 - 05:00 PM

With all due respect to David Mullen, Mr. Mullen has nothing to do with me! His career has absolutely zero affect on mine!

(I) affect (my) career... as you do yours.


Absolutely! In fact our careers couldn't be further apart, which is why my tongue was firmly in my cheek when I wrote it.

Kieran.
  • 0

#17 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 February 2009 - 05:26 PM

As the Canadian dollar comes back down, Hollywood shoots re-appear in Canada again. I'm not sure what a "film czar" is going to do? Force California film workers to accept payment in Canadian dollars? Plus CA has no tax incentives at all to shoot in the state, where as BC and Ont have lots.

On the bright side American department heads can work in Canada, Canadians can't just go to LA and work as a DOP. Not really fair is it?

R,


I was told that there was pressure to hire a Canadian DP when possible.

I see Canadian DP's working down here now & then. It's all IATSE anyway, the only issue is whether they are local or out of town. I see Canadian DP's and production designers working on U.S. movies so it must be possible to get a work permit. Our production designer on "Jennifer's Body" was Canadian, from Toronto, but he did a movie in NYC before that.
  • 0

#18 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 28 February 2009 - 05:38 PM

Wait, huh?



http://www.contactmu.....r sag_1095674

TV PILOTS PRODUCERS CHOOSE AFTRA OVER SAG

Although primetime scripted television shows have generally been produced under contracts with the Screen Actors Guild rather than the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, that situation is likely to change in the near future, the Hollywood Reporter indicated today (Friday). The trade publication reported that in order to insure against a possible SAG strike, at least 50 of the 70 or so broadcast pilots for the winter season are being produced under AFTRA jurisdiction. A side effect has been a boost for digital production, since AFTRA productions cannot be shot on film. THR observed that the television production units of Sony and 20th Century Fox are shooting all their pilots this year under AFTRA agreements. Meanwhile, entertainment attorney Jonathan Handel blamed the Membership First faction of SAG for the current situation. "MF held out for the best deal imaginable," he wrote on his blog, "in the process ignoring the fact that negotiation is about obtaining the best deal achievable." But Nikki Finke, who runs the Deadline Hollywood Today blog and has strongly supported Membership First, lashed out at the union's moderate faction, who now control the board. "Going into a real negotiation with employers, experienced union leaders know that claiming from the outset to be 'moderate' is a strategic error that gets members less than zero," she wrote.

20/02/2009



Look for more articles that affect EVERYONE at http://www.facebook....id=118637395645
  • 0

#19 Gus Sacks

Gus Sacks
  • Sustaining Members
  • 287 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 28 February 2009 - 08:15 PM

Not that my POV would be very helpful, but yes, it's slow. Coming out of winter, with the economy being what it is, and production shrinking in the city in general - it seems pretty dead. I have got jobs lined up for March, and I'm pretty happy about it. But I know a lot of people far more experienced than I who don't.
  • 0

#20 David Rakoczy

David Rakoczy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1579 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • USA

Posted 28 February 2009 - 08:20 PM

Look for more articles that affect EVERYONE at............



Won't affect me... even as I load another Mag of 100t! :lol:

..and commanding $10k a day and GETTING $10k a day are two different stories! Believe me.. very few Pictures are paying their DP $50k - $70k per week... and right now.. if you get ONE day a month at $10k.. count your blessings!.. and I'm talking about 'Hollywood'.
  • 0


Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Opal

The Slider

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

CineLab

Tai Audio

CineTape