Friday, January 30, 2009

Taking a job

In times like these, freelancers will take any job (and we should), however don't take on anything that is more than you can handle. If you are used to doing smaller production jobs be wary of taking on a larger production (I'm NOT saying don't take the job). Make sure that the team you hire to help you is capable of taking on this type of job and also work with them to make sure the clients are getting the best value and work for their dollars. Be prepared and be confident.

Clients and agencies are super aware of the dollar amounts they are spending now (especially when a commercial shoot can be the same cost as an employee's yearly salary if not more). We will question every dollar if we're unsure of why the cost is higher than we expected or when there is a line item we think is unnecessary.

If the shoot is a bit bigger than you are used to, don't go overboard and get extravagant with the line items and your bottom line costs. Don't hire 3-4 photo assistants if you don't need them. Don't have set builders on location if there isn't a set to build. Unnecessary costs like these will be questioned and will be asked to be removed. Make sure you communicate the best you can between you, your producer, the art buyer and the art director. Make sure you have all the scenario or shot descriptions and keep those lines of communication open during the entire project

I had a recent job where I was working with a team that I felt got greedy and charged for several things that were overkill and not needed. The person even confided in me that this was only their 2nd large production job and wasn't sure how to come up with usage license costs for print advertising. This is a big no-no. As an art buyer I will work with artists but I completely lose confidence in the ability of the artist if something like this is said. It basically says to me ... this person didn't have a good handle on what they were doing.

If you are unsure, get help... ask someone you know who has done jobs like these, get a stellar line producer that can help, talk to a photo consultant or a photo rep to help with estimates or suggestions on the production and approach to the job. Most of all don't bite off more than you can chew if it will ultimately work against you.
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