Using non-local post creatives
I've had a few projects that came during a busy time and I used designers and AfterEffects guys that were either out of state or some distance away. I sold the project as if my company had produced the work, which it did, but I 'm a one man shop and most clients believe I am doing the work. Some of them don't care as long as the client loves it, but how many of you use creatives that are some distance away?
I have found that in some case I have a designer take the general idea and build the overall look, then I take that and animate it. Other times I come up with the look and have an animator build the many different animations...most of this is repetitive work, as in an awards show where there are many winners but one consistent look.
This has worked well for me so far, because it frees me up to do more producing and job wrangling, and to just accomplish more work in a given week. The people I have used are excellent and reliable. Perhaps I'm a lucky guy, but I have been able to increase my overall billables.
Anyone else working this way successfully?
In nearly every job that Kathlyn and I do, it is done working with many of the people right here in the Cow who work on these projects. The only local one I can think of which we did 100% in Cambria, was the new "Strawbs: Live at NEARfest 2004" album which we were executive producers of -- and even that included a Cow leader as the producer we worked with, Steve Crimmel of our Audio Professionals forum.
We are at work on the new Creative Cow Masters Series line of DVD training products and our art director is in New York City and the last time we were there was long ago and Nick Griffin spent way too much money on dinner for us all -- I am still looking down at the result. ;o)
There are many people in the Cow who use Cow members on different projects: Alan Bell, who edited some of Rob Reiner's movies, told us over dinner at last NAB of some of the projects that he has done using nearly 100% Cow members.
Thanks, Rich, for being a part of the Cow.
Ok, you read my mind.
Yesterday I resolved to assisting first time film-makers with the initial assembly of their films for a nominal set fee. The only caveat is that they send me dv clones of their master tapes with a script and initial shot selection.
The beauty of this method is that there is no waiting for studios to open time up, no hourly billing and clock watching and best of all, a chance to see how their project is going to come together without committing a large chunk of the budget to post. I prefer to work in my environment and the cost of shipping a large amount of dv tape is cheap. Other than that I do the edit and post mpegs or quicktimes to an ftp site for them to look at.
Initial assembly usually falls to the editor working on their own anyway, and I can take it all the way to fine-cut if the director is comfortable continuing to work long distance.
Once they are happy with the cut they are free to move on to an on-line facility to colour correct and create effects.
The best part is that I reside in Canada, and specifically in a province that provides tax credits on labour. My specialty is in editing with hands-on producing and marketing skills to boot. I understand the budget, mind-set and end product that the director or producer is looking for and can meet anyone well beyond half-way if they can deal with the fact that I am working in my own environment.
Right now I am negotiating to cut a product that will go to Sundance to get pedalled. I am constantly coming across directors looking for someone to assemble their product. I am pretty relaxed about it and willing to let the product go back into the directors hands at any time, or as I mentioned, I can continue working with them up to fine-cut.
I think that this is the wave of the future and my skills are being put to good use without anyone spending more time than necessary in airports.
So let me know if you need some work done and we'll work out a unique package that meets the needs of the director, producer, and most importantly, the end-product.