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Song choice disagreement

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John Murphy
Song choice disagreement
on Oct 4, 2009 at 12:11:26 am

Hi all,

I have been shooting dance school classes of a particular dance school all year to get shots of the kids to include in a end-of-year wrap-up video cut to music. This video is also being played on the night of the end-of-year concert. I am not being paid to produce the video in any way...all my proceedings will come from the sale of the dvd's which will include this song and the eoy concert.

Last year I was left to my own devices to produce this video and it was a hit.

This year the (young) dance teacher has chosen her own song for me to use for the wrap-up clip. The issue is the song is terrible and just doesn't work for cutting pictures to. There are no highs and lows, just a straight dance beat all the way through. No way to build emotion or energy anywhere.

I have chosen an another appropriate dance-style song (along the theme the teacher wanted) and one that cuts beautifully with the pictures I have shot throughout the year and evokes plenty of emotion, but the teacher doesn't like the song.

We have run out of time. The concert is this week. What to do? Do I go with the teacher's request because she is the teacher, or stand my ground because I know what does and does not work...and I can tell you, her song choice just does not work.

Any advice?



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grinner hester
Re: Song choice disagreement
on Oct 4, 2009 at 4:35:12 pm

The client always has the say so.
...and a client always pays you.
That said, put what ya want in it and explain she'll have a say so when she puts ya on the clock.

(then smack her on the ass for good measure)

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Steve Kownacki
Re: Song choice disagreement
on Oct 5, 2009 at 12:13:40 pm

Grinner, ya nailed it!

And then I spewed coffee. (then smack her on the ass for good measure)


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Mark Suszko
Re: Song choice disagreement
on Oct 5, 2009 at 2:57:01 pm

So you're not contractually obligated to the teacher or school, and they don't pay you. Seems like you get to do what you want.

However, if you do that, expect to not get to do it next year or ever afterwards, because she'll have them change the rules on you.

Welcome aboard the Kobayashi Maru!

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Stephen Smith
Re: Song choice disagreement
on Oct 5, 2009 at 2:58:50 pm

Chalk up another mark for Grinner. I don't think one person in this whole community will disagree with that statement. Show me the money if you want changes.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out the Graphics Demo Reel I did.

Check out my Motion Tutorials

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Bill Davis
Re: Song choice disagreement
on Oct 6, 2009 at 6:11:55 am

I always enjoy Grinner's perspective. But I don't always agree. Like now.

Two cutters. Both get bad instructions that go against their instincts.

One throws up his hands and says "I can't do it unless I change it into what *I* want."

The other breaks through their insular thinking - adjusts their approach - understands that while a LOT of musicians need 88 keys to bring an audience to their feet - there are other cats - BB King comes to mind - who can play one single freeking NOTE for 10 straight minutes and transport 100 otherwise sane people in a overheated nightclub to a place closer to heaven.

So yeah, you can make it what YOU need it to be. Or you can see if you can find a different approach that might make it something special even tho it's not precisely your cup of tea.

Which thinking helpls YOU grow?

And them that grows best - they tend to win over time...

for what it's worth.

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grinner hester
Re: Song choice disagreement
on Oct 6, 2009 at 3:17:20 pm

I'm all about growing. I don't see repeated freebies as doing that. I could see it one time, if connections are wanting to be made but in this case, that has already been done and they still don't want to pay him. This sounds like a fine gig to weed out of next years' schedule book, imo.
I'm not in the busines of my way or the highway. I'm in video.
Again though, it's only their way when they have a say so and that is only the case when employing me.
I stand by the ass-smack approach.

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Scott Sheriff
Re: Song choice disagreement
on Oct 7, 2009 at 5:32:23 am

Since your pay is dependent on how the video sells, and your not getting a 'guaranty minimum', and not being paid a base rate, then it should be up to you, since that in essence makes you the client, not the teacher, and not the school.
If it is your opinion that your choice of music will sell more DVD's, then you should go with that.
I agree with the others that say if the school wants creative control, then they should pay for the production, and sell the DVD themselves. And if they don't come back next time, oh well. Sometimes people think they can do it better, or get someone else, and then they find out different and come back the next year, and maybe get charged more.

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