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Tom Maloney

I have to vent ,sorry

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When I receive a work call I am very honest with people making sure I have the gear and experience for the job offer. I have to turn down jobs that are FOH for a play or a large orchestra and such. I work with a bag or cart setup. Mostly corporate work .

So Saturday I get a call for an interview shoot at a hotel on Monday ( yes short notice ) 2 wireless 1 boomed mic and mixer / recorder w TC " yes fine" we agree on a good rate and am told DP will be contacting me (coming in from out of town ) so now, I have received 10 emails from the DP 1st states We are shooting on Canon-300 and we have YOU supply a tc lock box on back of the cheese plate which I have on shoulder rig system.

We also have you back up the audio with time code

I replied I do not have a lock it and ever job I have work on with one is supplied by camera dept.

He asks If I can rent one , on Saturday NO ,can you get one Monday morning before the shoot Monday afternoon ? NO I do not have time to run all over try to get one. Now his lead audio man is going to supply one to him. Hum....

Latest email asks if I have dual channel receiver to mount on the back of the cheese plate and receive two split tracks? I answer no but I do have two Lectro's that can be used for hops.

I should also state that I have tried contacting their" lead audio person" to obtain information about the shoot and get no reply.

So I guess my vent is why they didn't they give all of this information to the initial caller and I would have told them that my gear not would meet all of their requirements and explain what I have and do not have.

So now it's close to 24 hours away for shoot time I do not have a call sheet or any idea if I have the job or

not.

Thanks to pervious posts here I have studied the Canon and it's TCwoes and such.

Ok I am done venting

Tom

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TimPitot   

Fair enough it's short notice, but I don't think they're asking for anything too unusual? It might be worth adding an SB2 or SB3 to your inventory if you have a tc recorder, especially given the prevalence of C300's these days...they have a quick ROI anyway.

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I wonder if your DP had wanted to bring his usual Sound Mixer from out of town but was not allowed to. He may be trying to prove a point to production by using you as an example.

I think I would keep in contact with your production contact. If there are items that the DP is requesting that you cannot provide due to logistics, allow the production team to come up with an answer.

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With these types of shoots, you have to accept

the fact that many of these people typically produce content in spite of themselves... to get any real useable info before the gig would require forethought and a general sense of pride in ones work... for them to ask you for LockIt's an hops 24 hrs before the shoot -- on a weekend, no less... their bad. They've probably worked with one or two sound people at most -- who had the gear in question, so they just assume it's standard to have TC devices and cam hops. I had to turn down a 4-day gig because the producer thought a "basic" ENG package included camera hops... I said no way, that's not basic - "I can certainly do all those things you're requesting, but it will cost you."... she said she couldn't go any higher and went with someone else. The funny thing is I had just finished a job for the same client (different producer) that did pay the extra amount for camera hops and b/u recording... yeah, it's frustrating, but don't give away the farm with these people -- you'll set a precedent from which you'll never get away.

~tt

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Fair enough it's short notice, but I don't think they're asking for anything too unusual? It might be worth adding an SB2 or SB3 to your inventory if you have a tc recorder, especially given the prevalence of C300's these days...they have a quick ROI anyway.

+1 No sync boxes?

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Tom... Pretty typical rant these days....... Every job is chaos. I'm beginning to embrace chaos as the new normal, although as an elder technician, I am totally repulsed by the idea. I try to be very clear about what equipment shall be provided at what cost based on the pathetic previs of the producer/PM/coordinator. Always assume that the first description of the job is totally bogus. If the DP has some special request for Lockit/hops/back rub I request that the DP ask production for the additionals. DPs with enough horsepower can usually get their way, and I don't look like a begging idiot.

Epiphany: Take the job, but don't offer any anticipated issues/problems to the Producer. You will look like a problem maker. Production will find out, on their own, about those issues on the day before or day of the shoot. (This takes courage) The trick is to have enough experience with chaos and enough hardware to solve those issues/problems. You shall look like a heroic problem solver. Bill accordingly. Charge what you are worth, and be worth what you charge. Cheers to all...It's almost Monday..... have your body armor ready.

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Tom... Pretty typical rant these days....... Every job is chaos. I'm beginning to embrace chaos as the new normal, although as an elder technician, I am totally repulsed by the idea.

Man, that's gotta be a T-shirt slogan:

EMBRACE CHAOS AS THE NEW NORMAL.

I've noticed that a lot on the jobs I get. I've whined before that many young directors -- even not-so-young directors who are about 30 -- don't understand the need to yell "Roll Sound." Half the time, they're already rolling even before I know it -- no slate, no cue, no nothing. Absolute chaos.

And I've lost count of the number of times they stop and I have to call out, "is that a cut?" Just lame and stupid beyond belief.

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And I've lost count of the number of times they stop and I have to call out, "is that a cut?" Just lame and stupid beyond belief.

I'm under thirty and that also bugs the hell out of me.

I think the camera rec stop button should be rigged with an electric shock controlled remotely by our recorder so you have to tell us to cut before you can cut camera.

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TheBlimp   

DSLR shooters, gotta love 'em: A friend of mine is editing an 1-hr doco where sticks consist of the cameraman occassionally snapping his fingers - directly in front of the lens. I've seen the footage yesterday: it's just fleshy blurs with no visual reference whatsover, and on the boom mic, it's just inaudible. No announcements, nothing. The editor is having a real good time.

I gave a location sound crash course to some fellow students who were about to start a doco - they asked how to best go about with the DSLR double system (the sound man never held a boom before and had a hard time plugging the mic in). I tried to talk them out of it ("see, there's no use in having a narrow DOF when you run after your subjects and post will be hell if you guys don't know how to follow procedure" etc), major rant - and I was glad to see them happily tied to each other with an EX3 the other day. They actually thanked me. Haha.

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It doesn't excuse the chaos, but something like a SB-3 is a pretty good ROI. I pretty much paid for mine on the first jobs I bought them for, and i gave them a pretty decent rate. Same goes for a slate, but I think sync boxes do even better, and are less prone to damage.

The great thing about a TC slate and sync box is that you can 100% still capture sound on location. If they don't want to pay for them, then it will still sound just as good, but they will pay for not having them in post.

If anything, this might be a testament to their "lead audio" making things work to the point that they don't appreciate the work involved. Hopefully that person is charging appropriately. The downside to that is you not realizing what they expect with the package when you bid a "standard audio package" rate.

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Update 8am Monday morning ....was told shoot would start at 1:30 pm today

So the lead audio tech did not answer my calls but emailed me ,up to 12 emails now regarding this shoot

Guess a real conversation is out of the question

So I get this " we will definitely have b roll. That could have 2 people in the scene. Be prepared for 2 wires for this. Yes there will be an interview and for that we do the standard lav on ch 1 and boom on ch 2. Lastly we send a mix to camera ch1 and have the camera mic on ch 2.". BIG RED FLAG to me

This was from their audio person. At 10 pm I email the so called production coordinator and ask why no call sheet yet? She replies she was out all day and will call me early in the morning with details for the shoot in the afternoon..

So I sit here now at 8: 15 debating to answer the phone if it ever does ring ,or just think someone has gone way out of their way to FO me. I can't even imagine trying to deal with them to get paid for this job. No memo deal, no location given yet just Chicago, it's a 40 mile drive for me depending where in the city. I won't divulge the names involved for maybe there is possible a good reason for all the secrecy or stupidly. The audio person looks legit searching their name ,others not much info.

The only one who I think might ever go to these lengths to FO me is a young 20 something who refused to pay me after 3 months until My lawyer threatened small claims court , was paid the next day.

Anyway , not venting anymore, kind of laughing at this now

Will let you know the outdone if any :)

Tom

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Oh my. A near heart attack induced by anxiety, coupled with a suspicion that you are getting F___d Over by a previous client who you crowbared into paying. "EMBRACE CHAOS" and giggle about it all. Maybe take a Lorazepam..... makes me giggle

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News Flash ! 9:37am and no call yet . Going to take the dogs for a walk

Good news is I just picked up a good gig for the golf ch tomorrow and they supply their own camera hops !

Life is good

Old Men Rule ! ( that is already on a shirt )

Tom

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A little piece of advice to Tom: it's okay to rant, at least once, but it seems that you are putting yourself (and the rest of us to a certain extent) through a whole lot of additional aggravation worrying about one job that is obviously being managed badly by production. Lighten up, life goes on, don't sweat it.

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I don't feel like he's putting the rest of us through anything. He's just sharing with friends. Most of the posts in the thread are from other people. As for lightening up, he already indicated he's now taking this with a sense of humor and appreciation for the good gigs.

Looking forward to hearing if there's any further outcome from this non-event.

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Jeff, not meaning to aggravaite anyone , especially you Jeff. I'm already old and not really sweating anything. I take pills for that :) life takes on a different look the older I get, really know what matters and what does not.

Just thought I would share this silly nonsense with you folks , a lot of whom I met at the ramps partys

I enjoy hearing of others lame tales about productions and thought I'd put this one up there.

Tom :)

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I find that frequently the production coordinators who do the hiring on stuff like this do not really know all the details about technical specifics, and I also know that sometimes some of the shoot details like exact time or exact location, are not setmuntil the last minute, and that formal call sheets also frequently never exist.

As for the DP requesting specific equipment that was not included in the original negotiations, then s/he needs to let the PC know what is needed from you, and that the production will be billed accordingly.

Edited by studiomprd

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Zack   

I think instead of saying, "no", I would suggest saying... yes, I can get (x) for ($$$) if you need one. This will imply additional gear rental cost from you that they are adding to the job, or gear you don't own that they'll need to rent at their cost. Either way, you're saying "yes" instead of "no"...... which is better business practice imo. It's their shoot, their problem, keep it as such instead of making it yours :)

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You won' believe this I finally get a call...... At 12:30 for the 1:30 call time ......." did you get a hold of the DP.". Yes I got a hold of your DP and sent you a message a 9 pm asking for a call sheet..... You emailed and said you were out all day and would call me early am for details. " oh I am sorry we have been shooting for 60 days"

I am saying to myself sure. You are sitting in a office. " so how long will it take you to get there" I chuckle and say where is there". Oh .............Park in Chicago". I said depending on today's traffic it could take 45 minutes to 2 hours. I am 40 miles away. " OH NO do you know any other mixers closer". I said "NO" yea like I wan't to get anyone else involved in this CF.. Well she says " well can you still go I and I will call them that you are coming". I said I Still NEED A ADDRESS. " oh I'll call them and text you with it". I shortly get an address and crank up the tunes and take my time for a nice drive ,think I better try and call this DP and make sure he is for real and actually in the City... Ha answers,, I introduce myself and explain my ETA he says fine no problem, they are at the hotel and heading out to talents location. Where might that be I ask. "Oh on LSD" ......... address ? "just a minute" Crap these guys don't even know where are going !

Get there and we head to a park," no need for hops "I am told "we can go direct to camera" (after all the worry about hops and lock it boxes). I am polite do what I am asked and don' t make any waves or offer ideas. keep my mouth shut and smile . Asked to jam to lock it box ,I do , camera not taking it, after WATCHING many buttons and switches being moved ,I say nicely batteries maybe ? Ah ah. , I kindly hand over 3 AAs out of my bag......Thank you would be nice here........ Finish the shoot. No real problems. The expected 4 hour shoot turns into 10 and will be billed accordingly.. The most funny part. I am driving in the city and I get called from production looking at a map telling where this is in the city, I am polite saying I am fine thank you They can 't send a call sheet and now want to help me .All in all was a great day good weather,good traffic. And heck , if I ever want to produce a short I have the script. You just can't make this stuff up.

Smile friends. Life is great I still love my job !

Tom

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