"we're going to submit it to [insert festival here]."
i'm not opposed to doing work for free if i find a short, interesting and worthwhile project (I do on rare occasions), but there's always one thing they will have to agree to: i dictate the audio schedule and final delivery date. ;)
if it's something i'm willing to work on, they need to understand that i'll be fitting it in around other...paying...work.
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"When we get distribution, we'll ALL be rich". Usually said by producer/directors who've never had a movie actually SOLD to distributor - and who's movies are usually pretty bad.
I have a basic policy - I don't work for NOTHING. Sometimes the something is not money (although it is my favourite). It might be emotional -seeing a REALLY good film get a decent sound job, or donating my time for a charity I believe in or good karma (helping out a director who gave me my first gig). Sometimes it's barter - gear rentals, tickets, etc. But I always ensure I am compensated in some way.
Oh and my favourite of the above "It'll be great for your reel!".
Buddy, I have a "reel" the length of my arm from my actual PAYING clients - I really don't need your crappy film on it!
I've been offered shares in feature films (with low pay), which would be cool if the film made money. Sometimes they do and it's a descent bonus, but that's waaay later. The main question is whether the time commitment is really worth the risk...
"The audio personnel volunteering for this job is required to provide their own professional equipment for the shoot. We can accommodate a 16 channel Mackie mixboard, but the rest is up to the audio personnel to bring with them."
"The picture is locked. There will be no more edit changes."
"Can't you guys say the line in German? What's so hard about translating these 40 lines into German? This is what you guys do for a living, right? Just give me a German translation of it real-time - that's all I ask."
"We don't have any money left on the budget for sound. This is only because it's a one day and the shooting location is going to cost us a lot of money."
I didn't know locations where worth more than sound crew.
"If you decide to get onboard with these projects and help us and if we see that we have good chemistry on set - then there's a music video I am going to produce for a renowned music label company for one of their artist and I will give you the first opportunity to get onboard. That's going to be a paid gig."
All from a student producer... when will they learn...
Recently saw a post on shootingpeople for a "professional" sound recordist with own equipment... travel only.. thought that was quite funny.
There are times where working for free or cheap is worth it though. Ask for the script, ask for showreels or credits of other crew, if the film is already cut, ask to see it. If it's all shit (pardon my french) then say no. Make sure you have a big say in the sound design as well.
I rarely do anything free now unless I know the quality will be extremely high quality.