Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'm wondering if anyone has veteran experience or sage advice in how to personally deal with another mixer who repeatedly poaches work you're up for. To some degree, I understand it's the nature of the business and you can't take things personal; it's a dog eat dog competitive industry. On the other hand when something repeatedly just doesn't feel right, it makes me side-eye. 

 

I'm originally from Los Angeles but I work in a smaller market now. Our market is a little hit or miss - there's a ton of work outside of features but, the narrative market comes and goes. When a feature comes to town, there really are only two local options (in the whole state) for a production mixer with the chops for a long-form feature - myself and a colleague in town. This other third mixer was closeby in a neighboring market but, would always hit us up for information about a gig (the only time he ever reached out to us) saying work was sketchy and he was having a hard time (even though he works all the time), then later we would find out he landed the job and sometimes at different rates than what all the other mixers in town quote. So not only would this third mixer with feature experience come to town in an already small market, they would seemingly underbid our work. Recently, he relocated to a larger market (ATLANTA) for more work opportunities. However, they keep coming back and working on a lot of gigs in our area (and still hitting us up for info about work) saying they can't find enough work (BS). 

 

We're both union and recently I lost a bid to mix a tier one. I was talking with the prod super for about a month then all of a sudden radio silence. Come to find out, this other mixer is coming up from Atlanta to do it, which is perplexing because I know the production was looking for a local. 

 

Basically what I'm wondering is if we're taking this too personally and/or what we can personally do to cope/adapt our mindset towards this. I know it's a much more nuanced conversation than doing XYZ; it's just very frustrating. Anecdotally... Most of my negative experiences I've had surrounding a production in the last two years have involved this guy. It's like the mindset is, all my work is mine and all your work is mine too.

 

If it looks like a duck...

 

Hopefully looking for a constructive conversation but I know I'm gonna get some grumpy responses. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That’s a tough one. I have sort of parallel issues comin from LA and now into a smaller market as well. The best thing I can say is to get everyone on the same page regarding rates/etc. and make sure that everyone knows what this guy is up to. If he doesn’t want to play fair, then blacklisting him in town and in ATL would be appropriate imho. 

 

I know we are all eachothers competition, but we are also eachothers support network, and cooperation is key to keeping our industry competitive. If he doesn’t want to play by the rules then let the rules work against him. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The world is full of people who, at least when it comes to income-making work, are hyper-competitive and flout most notions of karma (and community).  I've been in  smallish market for 45 years and have seen a lot of this.  What seems to eventually happen is that they A: piss too many people off and fade away (because the community "shuns" them somewhat--word gets out on them), B: move to a bigger market and don't come back.  I'm ok with both of those.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You will never stop producers from shopping for the lowest price, even if it hurts their film.

 

I commented to the producer on one project that production tracks from the second unit stuff sounded incredibly thin... to the point that there was nothing to equalize up.

 

His responses?  a) I got this guy for $350 a day with full kit!   and  b) You're supposed to fix it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, on those thin shots... there was no reason to use the mixer's crappy radios. It was a noisy environment, so lavs were a necessary backup. But both characters were seated for that entire scene, never moving, and shot from waist up: they could have been wired.

 

(No idea who the mixer was, and never bothered checking IMDB after the fact. I suspect he might not have known lavs even can be wired!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you’re talking about union jobs, your BA needs to do his job better!  This happened in my town a bunch until the new BA stepped in and demanded 100% proof of residency (not a utility bill) or else “distant hire.”  Those are two words that make a penny-pinching producer run to actual locals.  It’s kind of a two-edged sword, because the folks in nearby towns become “nearby hires” instead of “true locals.”

 

Dan Izen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...