It's the elephant in the room and it's reaching into your pockets! When it comes to video and audio production, money is a sore subject. Production is expensive and it's a delicate topic, but it's time we brought it out in the open. So open your earholes and buckle up--I'm about to blow your mind!
1. Help me I’m poor.
It’s sad but true, like regular day folks, we filmmakers need those moneys to pay for things like rent, food, shelter, beer, etc. BUT all kidding aside, the rates of our industry are dictated by the ratio of our professional training and expertise to the time we spend for a project. The emails, preparation, execution, and postproduction all take time and plenty of time, emails, tears, and energy from our lives and we’d like to invoice you for a reasonable amount of them.
2. I’m a professional or something.
Like a fine wine or an aged cheese, filmmakers have been aged to perfection. Time in the industry means experience in the industry and like both wine and cheese, sometimes you have to pay a pretty penny. I won’t say that you will always need to go into horrendous debt to pay for production, but know that most filmmakers will ask for a reasonable price for their service. Some greenhorns may take some time to learn these rates, but all prices tend to fall in the same ballpark for each role on a set.
3. There’s more than meets the eye.
I own a SD502 multitrack mixer with timecode and direct ins and outs and my friend owns an A7S with an Atomos Shogun that records 4k uncompressed 30p video in 10bit. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?!?! Those surely aren’t the winning lotto numbers, but yes they are in fact important. There are few things priced as high or as complicated as film equipment (maybe in the medical industry?), but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We know that you know that we should know many things. You got that? Well we do know things about stuff and it’s actually pretty valuable stuff. The equipment, the techniques and the concepts behind all of them are an absolute necessity. So if we look like we are a little too relaxed on set, it’s because we did the work ahead of time to come prepared—we’re actually bubbling with knowledge that helps us run very complicated stuff.
4. Creativity loves company.
There is nothing worse than too many cooks in the kitchen… unless it’s just one cook with many kitchen staff, in which case that’s fine… or something. Let us fill your kitchen with fine pastries and delicate crème brûlée. It takes a team to be successful in fine dining, but just as much on set. Hire an audio person to work with your video person, or a gaffer to support your director of photography. There are so many moving parts on set, but they all function as one to give you a spectacular product.
5. Filmmakers are your friends.
Those people behind and around the camera are as cool as cucumbers dipped in liquid nitrogen and sent into space!! It wouldn’t take much to send a reasonable human to the loony bin on set sometimes, but most of us pride ourselves to be as docile as a monk in a library. I have met some of the most relaxed and caring folks in this industry and you should meet them too—they’re good at what they do and you’ll enjoy being around them.
So what am I getting at?
Mostly I am asking you to consider investing in your local professionals. I know it may sound absurd sometimes, but I assure you we are not trying to pillage or plunder. And if you have questions, please ask away--honesty is your best tool while working with filmmakers. We would love to work with you and hope that you would like to have us around.
So here's to you and to us in the future--Let's make something together!