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Richard Ragon
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Here's a bit of correspondence that I got tonight in an email. The conversations have been going back and forth for a few days now.. But this was the last bit, in which I had to reply back, and kindly (as I could) just say, "no thank you.."

---cut---

and there is another point, we wouldn't pay for the equipment you provide. since the equipment you bring is only operated by you, so if there is some trouble of them, we have no obligation for the compensation. i think it's reasonable, right?

---end------

Well.. A huge F*$&U buddie!!

I'd like to thank you Craig's List, Facebook, Wells Fargo, Mandy, HULU, Amazon, B&H, Digg, ABCnews, CNN news, Yahoo, Bittorrant, and the other one million websites out there that provide FREE services to everyone, for producing an entire generation of Douchbag A-Holes that are just used to getting everything FOR FREE in the world today. They actually believe they are entitled to everyone giving them free sh*t. I've actually had people been upset with me for saying to them that I'm NOT giving my equipment away. They are looking at me and saying, "why not?" as if I'm the one who's crazy for not paying for their shoot. Not that I don't appreciate the world we live in of 24 hour ATMs that are FREE to use (if you bank there), and making phone calls while were actually moving at 60mph on the freeway, and not having to stop for a payphone. For example, Netflix has a FREE streaming service in which people have been getting the service for Free.. and Netflix now wants to actually maybe re-coupe their money (they should) and people are acting as if Armageddon was breaking out because the free ride is over now.. God people.. If Netflix's priced quadrupled, it's still better than the 100/month DVD rental bill you used to have 10 years ago..

Now if this were an isolated thing.. Hey, I'm just blowing off some steam.. But it just seams like a vast majority are simply clueless, and it's getting worse and worst. I can't tell you how nice it is to actually run across a producer who I don't have to explain that the equipment is NOT FREE just because I own the equipment. When I go to interviews, the first questions should be, What experience do you bring too my set?? But, no.. The first question is now.. What equipment can you get us for free?

I know I'm preaching to the choir.. I'm not mad at any one.. I'm just in amazement over the new narcosis generation that we have now.

p.s. Oh, and too all of those mixers out there taking those 100/day gigs.. F-you too. Your not only screwing yourselves, but the Biz too..

<shows over.. move along people. > :)

-Richard.

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Alright, number One: and there is another point, we wouldn't pay for the equipment you provide. since the equipment you bring is only operated by you, so if there is some trouble of them, we have no obligation for the compensation. i think it's reasonable, right?- What!? No your doing it all wrong! (Whatever his name is)

and Two

p.s. Oh, and too all of those mixers out there taking those 100/day gigs.. F-you too. Your not only screwing yourselves, but the Biz too- Will always keep this in mind.

Sorry for the bad experience though. People will learn that nothings free sooner or later. So I hope any-whome-and-how.

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Hello Richard,

you do seem to get your self into these situations. Isn't it about time you were moving beyond these semi pro gigs you do? Would you not be happier focussing all you efforts on fully professional work? Even if it means doing jobs other than mixing movies such as assisting in TV studios, financial webcasts or other things where you would be working for real production companies. Then your status as a professional would move upwards and you can still pursue movie work but from a position more equal to other pro's.

I don't mean any harm by saying this but you seem to have leapfrogged the starting point in your career and seem perpetually stuck supervising for poor productions. Why not assist on better productions and avoid these people who seem intent to exploit you?

I've wanted to suggest this before. I know you have a lot of equipment and I looked at your web site too many months back. However you seem stuck in this rut. Maybe I am totally wrong so please don't take offense. After all you have chosen to post here like this so I choose to comment. All the best

jim

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Jimmy, I'm not saying every job is like this.. In fact, I've been pretty lucky in the last few years, and had some really good gigs. I can afford to even pass on these crap gigs, when I smell a 'cluster-f*ck' in the making.. (and even spend some time berating the producer a bit too sometimes). But as a freelance sound mixer, it doesn't matter where you go these days.. My complaint is this general attitude in Hollywood...

"I had heard that x did there movie, and they got everyone to work for free on it.. So, I'm going to do the same thing".

It started off with the book, "rebel without a crew" and went down hill from there. Now there are schools that are telling people get all your crew for FREE, books that say this, and even worse.. Directors speaking this at every seminar now too.

So me.. just a low level freelance kind of guy, and not like most of you on this board. This 'attitude' is seeping into larger and larger productions.

Like I said.. not a complaint, but somewhat of a rant.

-Richard

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I'm sure we'd all benefit from a list of alternatives. I'll post mine if you post yours.

--Marc W.

Well you get lucky and get a good client and that can lead to another good client.

Or you get a poor client and that can lead to another poor client.

That is the problem with low end jobs, they lead to more low end jobs and the cycle continues.

I'm not trying to critisise, some of my gigs I don't totally love doing.

I have had people call me up about their project and how it could lead to things and how they have no money and when I have helped out for a very low rate it often turned out that they where clueless and treated me much worse than well paying clients.

The exception to this is my music friends who I sometimes record for a bottle of single malt, or less than a proper rate as I like it and they are not professional productions.

I believe we should not work with the 'student/free' production scene but then I'm not really doing movies. My point is that doing these low end projects can hold you back and advertises that one is equal to them and attracts more of the same.

Just chatting, no big deal

cheers

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Back in the days when I was just starting out, I trolled NYC film school bulletin boards for "work" (experience), a necessary step in my development. There came a time when the red flag of frustration flew too many times, and it was clear that finding jobs on film school bulletin boards was no longer helpful, and I moved on.

Frustration is a sign that it's time for something to change, and in this context, usually means it's time to take a step up the ladder.

Sounds like it's time for you to move up, Richard, and that's nothing but a good thing :)

-- Jan

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" I'll post mine if you post yours. "

Hollywood reporter / Daily Variety

Mercury Production Report

Break Down Services Production's listings.

There are several others, the good ones are not free, but some of the biggest names on jwsound subscribe...

" started off with the book, "rebel without a crew" "

The rebel had no sound crew, not even a sync sound camera, he recorded wild likes on a (cheap) cassette recorder; the first thing it got from Columbia Pictures (Sony) was acomplete, costly, six figure, 100% union made soundtrack!

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Jimmy, I'm not saying every job is like this.. In fact, I've been pretty lucky in the last few years, and had some really good gigs. I can afford to even pass on these crap gigs, when I smell a 'cluster-f*ck' in the making.. (and even spend some time berating the producer a bit too sometimes). But as a freelance sound mixer, it doesn't matter where you go these days.. My complaint is this general attitude in Hollywood...

"I had heard that x did there movie, and they got everyone to work for free on it.. So, I'm going to do the same thing".

It started off with the book, "rebel without a crew" and went down hill from there. Now there are schools that are telling people get all your crew for FREE, books that say this, and even worse.. Directors speaking this at every seminar now too.

So me.. just a low level freelance kind of guy, and not like most of you on this board. This 'attitude' is seeping into larger and larger productions.

Like I said.. not a complaint, but somewhat of a rant.

-Richard

In Aus it seems to be becoming a everyday event. No Pay/Deferred. Goesn't matter if they're high end or Student Productions.

Where do these people think the money comes from to buy the gear in the first place?

The Film Schools are the worst when it comes to No Pay/Deferred and yet they charge their students to do the course. Maybe they should do the course for nothing so the Students can pay their crew!!

At the end of the day you get what you pay for.

My two cents!!

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Well you get lucky and get a good client and that can lead to another good client.

Or you get a poor client and that can lead to another poor client.

That is the problem with low end jobs, they lead to more low end jobs and the cycle continues.

I'm not trying to critisise, some of my gigs I don't totally love doing.

I have had people call me up about their project and how it could lead to things and how they have no money and when I have helped out for a very low rate it often turned out that they where clueless and treated me much worse than well paying clients.

The exception to this is my music friends who I sometimes record for a bottle of single malt, or less than a proper rate as I like it and they are not professional productions.

I believe we should not work with the 'student/free' production scene but then I'm not really doing movies. My point is that doing these low end projects can hold you back and advertises that one is equal to them and attracts more of the same.

Just chatting, no big deal

cheers

Here's another problem Jimmy,

I do have some really large clients.. And guess what.. They all heard somewhere on some production that they did a production for near no money.. So guess what happened.. My large client, decided to give that a shot.. The producer didn't even bother calling me up to ask me if I would take a huge cut in pay.. He probably knew what I would say to him. I'm sure he was so embarrassed that he thought better to take the wrath of some strangers.. I saw his ad in Mandy, I couldn't believe it. So guess what Jimmy, clients sometimes go down the wrong way too.. But they don't care, they got it done for cheap.

Do you think this is just a one off isolated thing?

-Richard

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Here's a bit of correspondence that I got tonight in an email. The conversations have been going back and forth for a few days now.. But this was the last bit, in which I had to reply back, and kindly (as I could) just say, "no thank you.." ---cut--- and there is another point, we wouldn't pay for the equipment you provide. since the equipment you bring is only operated by you, so if there is some trouble of them, we have no obligation for the compensation. i think it's reasonable, right? ---end------ Well.. A huge F*$&U buddie!! I'd like to thank you Craig's List, Facebook, Wells Fargo, Mandy, HULU, Amazon, B&H, Digg, ABCnews, CNN news, Yahoo, Bittorrant, and the other one million websites out there that provide FREE services to everyone, for producing an entire generation of Douchbag A-Holes that are just used to getting everything FOR FREE in the world today. They actually believe they are entitled to everyone giving them free sh*t. I've actually had people been upset with me for saying to them that I'm NOT giving my equipment away. They are looking at me and saying, "why not?" as if I'm the one who's crazy for not paying for their shoot. Not that I don't appreciate the world we live in of 24 hour ATMs that are FREE to use (if you bank there), and making phone calls while were actually moving at 60mph on the freeway, and not having to stop for a payphone. For example, Netflix has a FREE streaming service in which people have been getting the service for Free.. and Netflix now wants to actually maybe re-coupe their money (they should) and people are acting as if Armageddon was breaking out because the free ride is over now.. God people.. If Netflix's priced quadrupled, it's still better than the 100/month DVD rental bill you used to have 10 years ago.. Now if this were an isolated thing.. Hey, I'm just blowing off some steam.. But it just seams like a vast majority are simply clueless, and it's getting worse and worst. I can't tell you how nice it is to actually run across a producer who I don't have to explain that the equipment is NOT FREE just because I own the equipment. When I go to interviews, the first questions should be, What experience do you bring too my set?? But, no.. The first question is now.. What equipment can you get us for free? I know I'm preaching to the choir.. I'm not mad at any one.. I'm just in amazement over the new narcosis generation that we have now. p.s. Oh, and too all of those mixers out there taking those 100/day gigs.. F-you too. Your not only screwing yourselves, but the Biz too.. <shows over.. move along people. > :) -Richard.

You're one of my favorites Richard. I share a lot of what you rant about :), however I am guilty of doing a few of those low-ball gigs (sorry but when unemployed, survival took priority over ethics)

Hello Richard, you do seem to get your self into these situations. Isn't it about time you were moving beyond these semi pro gigs you do? Would you not be happier focussing all you efforts on fully professional work? Even if it means doing jobs other than mixing movies such as assisting in TV studios, financial webcasts or other things where you would be working for real production companies. Then your status as a professional would move upwards and you can still pursue movie work but from a position more equal to other pro's. I don't mean any harm by saying this but you seem to have leapfrogged the starting point in your career and seem perpetually stuck supervising for poor productions. Why not assist on better productions and avoid these people who seem intent to exploit you? I've wanted to suggest this before. I know you have a lot of equipment and I looked at your web site too many months back. However you seem stuck in this rut. Maybe I am totally wrong so please don't take offense. After all you have chosen to post here like this so I choose to comment. All the best jim

Richard is not alone with these "situations"

it's time to take a step up the ladder.

Where the hell are they? I believe the "professional" world doesn't take me seriously. I want it, I want to start at the bottom and work up the "professional" ladder, I want a mentor, I want to bust my ass to make a living. (yes i used a lot of "I wants", but I promise not in the sense that I'm demanding entitlements, but more for accomplishing my personal goals/expectations.

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" I'll post mine if you post yours. "

Hollywood reporter / Daily Variety... Mercury Production Report... Break Down Services Production's listings.

Yep, I get three of the four. Also Below the Line news.

" started off with the book' date=' "rebel without a crew"[/color'] "

The rebel had no sound crew, not even a sync sound camera, he recorded wild likes on a (cheap) cassette recorder; the first thing it got from Columbia Pictures (Sony) was acomplete, costly, six figure, 100% union made soundtrack!

I worked on the post for El Mariachi, all done from 16mm A&B rolls, and spoke to Robert Rodriguez at length about the film. What I dimly remember (this was 20 years ago) was that he did have a crystal sync Nagra (I think a Nagra III), but he had no ability to check sync and couldn't afford to do dailies. When they did finish shooting and he got enough money to develop the film and transfer the 1/4" to mag, then they found out all the sync was bad. They did "a very rough version" of the film and corrected all the sync by hand, transferred it to 3/4", and he sent the tape to Hollywood just to try to get an agent. Three days later, he got a call from an agent who said, "not only will I be your agent, I've sold the film for a million bucks to Sony."

I often have told film students, "yeah, El Mariachi cost $5000 to shoot, but then it cost about $200,000 to remix all the sound from scratch."

I worked with Robert again about 12 years later on Spy Kids II, and he said, "you were that guy in the dark room? I was working 20 hours a day for two weeks straight, so I barely remember that whole experience."

--Marc W.

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" he got a call from an agent "

Sony liked his editing, and storytelling.

" (Our) clients sometimes go down the wrong way too.. "

and often that is because they are being pushed, or dragged, that way by their clients, the ones who pay them to make the stuff... I recently spoke with a fairly major commercial producer who told me his clients are constasntly asking him to bid on low budget "web" stuff, and he tends to hire much less expensive shooters (one-two person bands) for that stuff at really low rates, and naturally does not use his regular, well paid crew.

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I met an actress the other day, she's pregnant and we started talking about her pregnancy, after a bit of talking she mentioned that she's a soap actress, who's currently working on a soap "webisode" show. I was curious about this so we continued talking about her webisodes. She mentioned that they worked for a month at a time and turned out several "shows" a day, she feels like this is where the soap operas are destined to be headed, the internet.

I asked her about the crew, shooting on a Canon 5D, or 7D she didn't know, but admitted that it looked like a "still" camera. She said that currently, while waiting for the show to get a "pick up" they all cast and crew were working for FREE!! This all just for the effort to maybe find success on the internet.

She already has one young daughter and with another child on the way, and her working for free, I asked if her husband was an actor as well, and she said no, he's got a regular job he works at Borders a chain bookstore. I said, those are closing up, and she said he had assured her that they were merely "consolidating" a few days after I heard that all of the Borders stores would be closing. I felt sorry for this young family.

When starting out I don't think it's a bad idea to work for free, you can make contacts and if everything goes well you may have created a lasting friendship. If you're in need of money, working for free is not the best idea, it can only lead to frustrations not necessarily related to the project you're on.

Starting out and developing your clientele is a long process, and some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you.

Good Luck to you all,

Rich Van Dyke

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