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Headhunted on a freebie!


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#1 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 04:18 PM

Hi,

I would appreciate anyone's input on a strange series of events that have recently occurred.

- I apply for a job, and go to interview with the director, who we'll call Guy A.

- It goes well. Halfway through, a friend of the director, who's also directing something, bursts in and also makes nice. I suspect that I'm being headhunted, but in response to the direct question "Do you want me to shoot your production," Guy B says he's fully crewed up.

- I go away and wait to hear about it. That evening, guy B calls me (while I'm out with friends, no less) and despite my reticence to chat spends a long time telling me that Guy A's production is unplanned, unfunded and undeveloped; Guy A's production will apparently be a disaster and I should work for Guy B, who now wants to employ me. This phone call is quite extraordinary, bordering on implying that Guy A is a liar, and even if it's all true I would not expect any professional to make this kind of call.

- Also, Guy B spends much time talking himself and his production up, using every standard term of self-aggrandisement common to the film industry, hinting at future success, feature plans, media exposure for the project, the whole works.

I've since received two emails - one from Guy A offering me the job, and one from Guy B pretty much repeating the phone call.

The complexity here is that Guy A's production is borderline worth doing as a freebie; it's looking like a PD-150 job in a white walled room and I have enough of those. Also, if any of what Guy B says is true, it's a pretty attractive production, but I find his conduct so extraordinary that I'm wary of having anything to do with him.

I'm tempted to tell them both I'm too busy and work up a couple of personal projects. Suggestions?

Phil
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#2 Josh Bass

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 06:56 PM

Oops! Sounds like you've accidentally stumbled into dumbassville(or shire, in your case :-)). I've visited there a few times. I try to avoid it when I can. It's citizens are everywhere though. Good luck.
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#3 Nathan Milford

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 07:05 PM

Do you know anything of both of their reputations?

Not being there, or knowing very little of the extenuating circumstances of these 'meetings,' I'd avoid Guy B like the plague. The lack of professionalism speaks volumes. There are better ways of luring talent away from another project rather than bad-mouthing a colleague. If he had the pull that he suggests and the resources, they should speak for themselves.

If you politely turn down Guy B by saying your attention and talents were first asked for by Guy A and you feel honor-bound to commit to him, you at least look like a winner and a pro. If you turn them both down and state that you're already busy, you could come off as easily out of their league... and that might suite you.

If you wanted to be a poop-disturber you could inform Guy A of Guy B's claims (as a favor to Guy A, who may trust Guy B), and state that you want to avoid this situation totally because of the obvious political crap involved that you have not the time nor desire to deal with.

However, I'm sure there are many more intricacies to the exchanges that we're missing.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 07:16 PM

Hi,

> Do you know anything of both of their reputations?

Nothing whatever, I've never heard of either of them - but that's entirely usual at this level. The thing about "intricacies" is that yes, I'm sure there are loads - but my entire engagement with the situation is based on the one meeting, two emails and a phonecall, and I have no idea what they are. The only side issue is that I know Guy A has cast an actor I know quite well, but that doesn't have a lot of impact on my position. I might give her a call and see what impression she gets.

It's a shame, really, because Guy A is a very pleasant, genuine guy. Unfortunately I get the impression that Guy B is fairly typical of successful directors, so I may have to bite the bullet.

Phil
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 08:00 PM

You can try asking Guy A what he thinks of Guy B's project.

Personally, it seems like bad karma to go for Guy B's project over Guy A's. If Guy B was professional, he's have set up an interview with you, made you an offer, and then you could weigh competing projects.

Since everyone always delays, I'd pick the one that is definitely shooting first; who knows, the second one may delay enough to allow you to do that one as well. But if there's a definite conflict, you probably should go with Guy A although there isn't technically wrong with Guy B just throwing you an offer, just that he's unprofessional about it, and for trashing the other guy's project. Suggests that this guy would not be pleasant to work for (and life's too short to work with jerks unless you have no choice.)

This is where an agent could help ferret out more info on each guy. At this point, the best thing would be to get as many details about each project as you can.

Although my tendency is to go for the person I'll feel more comfortable working for.
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 04:19 AM

Hi,

Thanks folks.

I think it's pretty unlikely the two shows would clash so I could probably do both, but I'm just not sure I want to! But yes, Guy A is clearly priority. I'm just not sure what they're getting so wound up about; there's about 1,001 people in London who could do it better than me, and while it's flattering to be fought over, it worries me that he thinks it's worth it!

Phi;
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#7 John Thomas

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 11:05 AM

I'm just not sure what they're getting so wound up about; there's about 1,001 people in London who could do it better than me
Phi;

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Phil,

You have a unique way of seeing, and your choices will be exclusively yours. While the producers may have other choices in London there is only one Phil Rhodes. Help yourself with a self-assured attitude.

Good luck,

John T.
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#8 Nate Downes

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 09:53 AM

A little ego goes a long way!

8)
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 07:15 AM

Hi,

Well, happily, Guy B has made the decision for me. After a slightly edgy phone call in which I delved as deeply as was polite into what he actually had organised and what was grade A cow's doings, I suggested that spending money renting a Jimmy Jib only to put a PD-170 on it is false economy. We then went through the "who's doing who a favour" dance, after which I firmly informed him that I was doing him a favour by working for nothing, and he hung up on me.

I think that says all that needs to be said on the subject, and it would be a terrible abuse of my position to mention that the guy's name is Leroy Sampoh and he's a student on an MA film production course in London, so I won't. A man well worth avoiding, and an interesting comment on who actually does get to make films in this country.

Phil
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#10 Tim J Durham

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 08:42 AM

Hi,

Well, happily, Guy B has made the decision for me. After a slightly edgy phone call in which I delved as deeply as was polite into what he actually had organised and what was grade A cow's doings, I suggested that spending money renting a Jimmy Jib only to put a PD-170 on it is false economy. We then went through the "who's doing who a favour" dance, after which I firmly informed him that I was doing him a favour by working for nothing, and he hung up on me.

I think that says all that needs to be said on the subject, and it would be a terrible abuse of my position to mention that the guy's name is Leroy Sampoh and he's a student on an MA film production course in London, so I won't. A man well worth avoiding, and an interesting comment on who actually does get to make films in this country.

Phil

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm trying to think of another business where people expect you to work for them for free AND
expect gratitude from YOU....nope, nothing.
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#11 Rik Andino

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 01:15 PM

I'm trying to think of another business where people expect you to work for them for free AND
expect gratitude from YOU....nope, nothing.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The music industry---it is the sleaziest shadiest business in the world...
Hell it beats out drugs by a long mile.
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#12 Michael Morlan

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 04:17 PM

...it would be a terrible abuse of my position to mention that the guy's name is Leroy Sampoh and he's a student on an MA film production course...

Phil

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



ROFLMAO!

Thanks for that Phil.

Late to this thread but;

Any time someone starts talking to me in those overblown terms, I make a hasty exit. It's obvious they lack perspective and that they and anything to which they are attached will suffer for it. Even worse when they have the temerity to insult others so brazenly.

Yuck!!!

Interestingly, I learned this lesson in the music industry when I was a guitarist and audio engineer in my early twenties. I auditioned for one of these guys who, not only promoted his efforts in overly-glowing terms, but was prompting me to offer similar opinions of myself. I could only say, "well, we'll see what I got." As it happened, I didn't join as a guitarist (because my audition completely sucked) but was later asked to tour with them as their engineer (at which I was brilliant.) Near the end of the tour, a couple of the musicians confessed they had been really concerned about my coming on as an engineer after they had heard how brilliant I apparently thought I was as a guitarist. It turns out this self-promoter extraordinaire was blowing huge smoke up their a**es as well. So, he was doing *me* a disservice by making me out to be something I decidely was not and would never have claimed for myself.

These people can hurt you either way.

Run, don't walk, to the nearest exit.
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#13 Sam Javor

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 06:17 PM

Having spent 3 years as a drummer in a regional level band in the Midwest I know that the music industry is nowhere near as sleezy as the film/video industry.

I am assumeing this thread is about this guy
http://www.ukscreen....Casting/0/27008

... ya got to love it when indie shorts have "casting divisions" and can say they have a "great cast" in their cast call :/

I don't understand their mentality... in music we called it "rockstar mentality" it create a persona that is decidedly out of league with the person wielding it. Not only does this make them look like an a**ho** but they usually fail in their plans because they simply don't have it in them to succeed at the level they think they should be at.

While shooting our first DV feature (Invisible Bridges) all three of us (myself {Sam Javor}, Fawn Cay, and David Conrad) who are the producers will easially admit that we don't really know what we're doing... we have a combined total of 4 shorts between us..in fact we were talking a couple weeks ago that if we knew what we were getting ourseves into we probably wouldn't have done it.

When we were trying to get equipment and a DP we only ran into sleezeballs... one group called themselves a film company... when they showed up with their camera it was a 1CCD 1/4" handycam that was about half the size of my cameras lens... then they wanted us to basically give them the script and go away.

another guy said he "has access to" a DVX100 ... what the hell is "has access to?" But then he wanted $100 a day and when we said no because we had 30 scheduled days and we could just go and buy one he said "then we must not take our movie seriously"... Fawn tore into him after that... I think I still have the emails... :)
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#14 Cillian Daly

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 03:37 AM

Howdy.

I'm also late to this topic, but as a student film maker going into 2nd year, I just have to add to Phil's comments.

If I was getting a respected camera man to work for free on one of my shoots, I would hope I would treat him with the respect he deserves. I hope I would be open and upfront about the whole project. i.e, we will probably get some things ass about face, we'll be a little bit slower than a so called pro shoot, and we'll all be very young. But we would all be energetic, honest, polite and treat crew and cast like professionals. I don't think I would have even worked on that shoot, Phil, even though I'm just a lowly student, and could probably use the experience. This Guy B is like the type of person a friend of mine dislikes in the industry: he is in love with the idea of being a film maker, not MAKING films. Huge difference.

Regards,

Edited by Cillian, 15 August 2005 - 03:41 AM.

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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 10:31 AM

Hi,

That's the guy. I think calling himself the "casting department" then posting his personal mobile just about says all that needs to be said.

And, er, I'm very far from a "respected cameraman". I think even I've got the right to "respected human being" status, though!

Phil
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