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difficulties with clients

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Lisa Koza
difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 3:45:11 am

Hi, I'm a new editor and I own my own little production company. I feel the need to turn to some people in the biz, and thought of you guys cause you're awesome.

I have some difficult clients right now, and I am really learning a thing or two....let me tell you. First off, I'm doing a 60 second commercial that will air on DirectTV. I am new to the biz, and landed the job because the client wanted it done cheaply, and she certainly got me cheap. It's shot and edited by me, and it's way under $1,000. I don't know what I was thinking, but the contract was signed last fall, and we finally got into shooting in March, and now the edit is almost done. I was hired to do it all, but found out the night before the shoot that a girl 15 years my junior was to come along, one who assists directors in indie shoots (big whoopie). Anyway, long story short, she shows up and takes over, takes over my shots, and then takes my camera. yes, my fault for letting her, but she was bugging me over every shot I was doing, so I figured, go ahead, do it. First mistake. That was not a good day, I felt like I was there just so they could rent my equipment.

Now we're editing, and she is in the picture again, and she's trying to run the show, and she has no clue, and I'll admit, I'm being difficult to work with. I truly dislike that she's telling me what to do, because she's clueless. Her shots sucked, and her concept of editing, and everything that is involved is way off track. I'm being difficult because I resent her being there, and I run my own production gig, and it was my job. Anyway, I think I'm being unprofessional, because I'm complaining about the situation to them. When the client will say yes to a certain cut, do it this way, and this younger girl will be like, oh no, it should go like this....well, it's just not a good situation.

I'm just losing my mind. I guess I need to be told, Hey Lisa, this is the business, suck it up or ship out. Or, maybe I'm actually right in being pissy.


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Scott Davis
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 4:37:17 am

Read Ron's article "Clients or Grinders" here on the cow. In my experience the less you get paid the more crap you have to deal with. Do your job, get it done. Learn from it and dont undersell yourself anymore.

Scott Davis



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Steve Wargo
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 7:01:23 am

Well, you could ignore her and proceed with your work. If she buts in, politely ask her to leave and explain to the client that they are paying to have it edited ONE TIME. If she is involved then they are now on an hourly rate.

Have you gotten any money up front? If so, it might be time to cut bait and escort all of them to the door. Even if they haven't paid you, you'll feel much better by taking control. You are going to have ulcers if you let this go on.

Have a frank discussion with the client with Jr. sitting there. If they take her side, hand them their tapes and say goodby.

After all, who owns your company? You or them?




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 12:06:33 pm

Hello Lisa,

What Steve Wargo has just laid out for you is what is called "The Take-away Close" in sales parlance.

The Take-away Close
Done well and played successfully, the take-away close is one of the most powerful negotiative ploys that you can use.

Why?

What is it that everyone wants? What they cannot have. It's human nature and when you take something away from them, they want it back.

The Take-away Close Takes Away Their Power
It is also a case where (when successfully done) the take-away close also takes away their power. Why? Because once you tell them that this is not working and that you are no longer interested in working under these conditions and they are free to take their job elsewhere, they have no power over you.

In a negotiation, you only have power over me if you have something that I want. But if you don't have anything that I want, there is little that you can do to get me to do much because I have no interest.

Where the Gamble Pays Off
As Steve Wargo points out, if you take this kind of control you have to be willing to lose it all. If you do, and if you play it well, you could also gain absolute control.

By dumping the job back into their laps and leaving it in the hands of the inept, you have shown them that they are now no further along than when the whole mess started and they are in control or you are in control.

Sometimes you will win, sometimes you will lose.

But played well, this is one of the most powerful techniques in business that you will ever muster to your sometimes benefit.

There's my two cents added to Steve's.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom


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Todd Terry
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 1:03:48 pm

I've never done it, or had to, but I've sometimes secretly dreamed of the moment where I could throw up my hands, dramatically turn and begin to walk away, while announcing old-Hollywood style "I'm off the project!"

This might be one of the cases where you have to do so, if the excellent advice you have been given here does not work.

It sounds like they have already cost you well over the thousand bucks in grief. That's a tiny amount in the production world, sometimes it's better to walk away.

And, not to be mean, but the next time you are packing up your gear for a location shoot, double check and make sure you have included your backbone. Unless this gal is the one paying your bills or has been granted authority over you by the client, they can't tell you what to do.

Unless you let them.



T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Patrick Ortman
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 9:54:40 pm

I know you have your solution for this problem. Which is great!

I can imagine that you'll never, ever let anyone call the shots again. I finally realized a little while ago that I am the director and unless the client has a specific, addressable problem they need help with, it's my show and my vision (previously signed off on by said client, naturally). It doesn't mean one shouldn't be open to the input of others. Just that in the end, this is your show.

That's what they pay us for, even if- depending on the shoot- we're not just playing the director but also the DP, gaffer, production designer, and janitor.

This took me a while to figure out. That's why I read the Cow. There's always much to be learned from one's peers- especially those who've been screwed before, which is pretty much all of us at one time or another. ;-)


---------------------
http://www.geniusmonkeys.com
(818) 653-9144


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Mike Smith
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 10:32:42 am

Lisa, it is your job.

You do not have to take direction from a third party (or from the client - he or she is paying you because you can do that. You just need it to work for their audience, and /or for them to like it when it's done. )

Let the age thing go - it doesn't matter. What matters is what you want out of the project, what you can get out of it, and how best to go about it.

I agree with Steve's suggestion to spell this out in front of client and junior, get the cutting room cleared so that you can make something decent out of what you have, and to terminate if client does not support you.

If there's another time, you really won't let anyone else take over your shoots - a lesson worth learning, as many a time there's someone around who thinks they know, or have an idea. Mostly they have no clue. You have to be brutal, in a kind way - it's yours to run.

Look really carefully at what is actually spelled out in your contract - if need be you can fall back on that. For the value of the job, it's causing you too much grief - if they want the tapes, they'll have to pay you for at least half the contract amount for your shooting and editing time to date.



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Lisa Koza
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 1:47:09 pm

I just finished reading, "Clients or Grinders" and boy o boy, these folks are Grinders to a T (or G).

I had an hour long, and slightly heated, conversation with my client last night, we both aired our issues, and cleared a few things. I should have spoken up sooner, instead of just being cranky. I have no problem learning from my mistakes, it's all par for course. I'm trying to stay positive, and I'm feeling more wealthy of hard earned knowledge. Anyway, I will finish the commercial, and I told her I want *HER* to love it, and that I didn't need Junior there telling me what to do. It's been an insulting past few weeks, and I've had enough of it.

Next time Grinders will be tossed back out to sea. Tell me though, what happens when you do decide midstream to not finish the product. She had already paid me my 50% upfront.

Thanks, you guys rock! :-)

Oh, and yes, giving the camera away set a precedence to all that followed, and I pretty much got what I deserved....I know this.


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Mark Suszko
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 2:07:09 pm

Not much to add this time, but I thought these videos would kind of help bring some humorous dimension to the conversation. Beware, some of the dialog is rather salty, and may not be suitable for the open office or those people easily offended, but the videos have a lot of truth in them:







and the sequel:






and this one to finish the package...







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Mick Haensler
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 8:10:56 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Not much to add this time"

Does not compute.....


Seriously, this is all good stuff here. Fortunately I have not been in this situation. If I ever do, I will have learned from your experience. Thanks for sharing openly and honestly.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media





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David Roth Weiss
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 4:55:01 pm

[Lisa Koza] "I had an hour long, and slightly heated, conversation with my client last night, we both aired our issues, and cleared a few things. I should have spoken up sooner, instead of just being cranky."

Lisa,

Its pretty clear that you don't feel good about allowing yourself to get cranky and this is something you need to work on. Getting cranky seldom has any payoff, instead it simply allows the other side to feel that their position is justified. On the other hand, if you calmly take a stand and express yourself well, your self-esteem rises as does your esteem in the eyes of others.

[Lisa Koza] "Tell me though, what happens when you do decide midstream to not finish the product. She had already paid me my 50% upfront."

What happens is that you are in the driver's seat. You have them over a barrel and they have to figure out a solution. It can range from a quick apology to a protracted trip to court, but you're putting the resposibility to figure things out squarely in their hands.

Keep in mind, if you're in the wrong this will end up biting you big time. So, if you have even an inkling that its your ego talking and not your brain, you'd best start figuring out a plan to get things back on track before you wind up paying for that commercial yourself.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Lisa Koza
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 8:29:14 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "Keep in mind, if you're in the wrong this will end up biting you big time. So, if you have even an inkling that its your ego talking and not your brain, you'd best start figuring out a plan to get things back on track before you wind up paying for that commercial yourself."

Oh trust me, I've gone over this in my own head, wanting to make sure I'm not being a baby, but truth is, I've bent over backwards to accommodate my client, and have been easy going, and giving extra. I had no warning that "Junior" would be involved, and truth be told, I hate it. I'm creative, and I know what I'm doing, and I don't need her telling me what to do. I think if I had agreed to her involvement, that would've been a different story. My client last night said she didn't feel the need to "run it by me".



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Steve Wargo
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 4, 2008 at 6:32:45 am

This all happened to me about 20 years ago. A gal had hired me to produce a dog obedience video for too cheap. But I was excited about getting a job that paid $5,000.

This thing went on way too long and she just quit working on the project. I had twice as much time invested then what we agreed on and I sued her, in small claims court, for the rest on my money. She sued me in superior court for ruining her life. She obviously never met my first wife.

The superior court wanted to refer the case to an arbitrator because this was obviously a squabble, not a court case. No one's life was "ruined".

But, instead of an arbitrator, the judge took us into his chambers for a private pow wow. He agreed that we would never get the job finished and we had to settle on money. His decision was that I had done a lot more work than I had gotten paid for and she she was actually way ahead in the deal. The training tapes were 90% done. He asked if I (the defendant) would be willing to hand her the tapes and walk away. I said yes and we were done. She and I shook hands and she never did put her product on the market.

Now this: I got a call a few days later from the state bar association asking me to bid on their "Continuing Legal Education Program". I bid on it, got it and had that contract for 10 years. I found out later that the superior court judge put my name in the hat. Being ethical, honest, and standing your ground will get you noticed by the right people. And the most important thing is to admit when you're wrong. Just try really hard to never be wrong. That's probably easy for you. Your original post presents you as being in the right but not wanting to make waves, a good attitude. We all just need to know when it's time to speak up. None of us want to throw money out the window. Well, not me anyway.



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Lisa Koza
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 4, 2008 at 12:00:41 pm

[Steve Wargo] "She sued me in superior court for ruining her life. She obviously never met my first wife."

Now that is funny! ;-)

[Steve Wargo] "Being ethical, honest, and standing your ground will get you noticed by the right people. And the most important thing is to admit when you're wrong. Just try really hard to never be wrong. That's probably easy for you. Your original post presents you as being in the right but not wanting to make waves, a good attitude. We all just need to know when it's time to speak up. None of us want to throw money out the window. Well, not me anyway."

And thanks, you're right, I didn't want to make waves, wanted to be professional and stand by my agreement. Took care of it though, Junior is gone. It's one thing to work cheaply, but why have to put up with someone that I didn't agree to?


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Steve Wargo
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 5, 2008 at 6:46:08 am

I'll go ahead and speak for all of us, Lisa. We spend many hours donating our time to mentoring others. There are some very wise people pictured at the top of this forum and they, as well as the rest of us, appreciate it when we offer our years of experience and expose ourselves on the internet and our colleagues actually take our advice and learn from our experiences and our mistakes.

When do we get to see the piece that you created?




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Lisa Koza
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 5, 2008 at 1:03:47 pm

[Steve Wargo] "I'll go ahead and speak for all of us, Lisa. We spend many hours donating our time to mentoring others. There are some very wise people pictured at the top of this forum and they, as well as the rest of us, appreciate it when we offer our years of experience and expose ourselves on the internet and our colleagues actually take our advice and learn from our experiences and our mistakes.

When do we get to see the piece that you created?"


Everything single response here has helped me, and thank you to all of you! I completely look up to you all, and respect your knowledge and experience.

I'll post a link as soon as it's done, but of course I'll have to throw in the clause that says, the beginning was so much better before they ruined it. ;-)

Have a good weekend,
Lisa


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grinner hester
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 4:00:06 pm

the bottom line is the boss runs the show. If it's not you, find out who it is. If the boss sent her, she is your boss.
If you were hired to be the boss, you are dropping the ball.
I am in the business of pleasing clients. Quite a bit of that time has gone to making a show worse at the request of the bill-payer. I would not be in business if I were not prepared to let go of their project.



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Lisa Koza
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 8:36:43 pm

[grinner hester] "I am in the business of pleasing clients. Quite a bit of that time has gone to making a show worse at the request of the bill-payer."

I had forwarded over to my professor from college, who runs his own production company, and who actually just hired me for a freelance gig next week (at $50 an hour), but anyway, he loved the intro that I created. I told him of some of the creative differences I was experiencing, and he told me "don't let them make you change it, it's perfect how it is". How do you not let them change it though? This has been part of my struggle, fighting to keep what I feel is right. But as it turns out, I've made changes, and now they still want more changes. They are relentless actually.


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Craig Seeman
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 9:25:26 pm

They're the client and they get to determine the final content. That's why there are "director's cuts."

NEVER EVER EVER give ANYONE an OPEN ENDED contract. Even flat rate packages (which I would NOT do) usually are limited to ONE revision.

I don't know all the details but as Steve and Ron said, you can walk away and either they'll agree with your terms to continue or they wont. Otherwise you're loosing money by putting in more work and not getting paid for the time.



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grinner hester
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 4, 2008 at 5:04:49 pm

dont fight for what is right on tother people's projects.
Just make it how they want it. Offer your siggestions and when they are cast aside, just let them go.
This is what editors do. Producers don't always want creative input. Quite often the gig is just a media processor...a button pusher between a computer and a person who does not know what the buttons do.
By all means, I am not saying be a media processor and await time code niumbers as that will land ya unemplyeed quicker than having an opinion. I'm just saying, make a director's cut if you have to but don't go against the person paying.
I have made a lot of wonderful things that were pretty freakin lame by the time they aired. Today's producer is often an intern who has never been in a suite. There is an art to drivin' the boat and makin' sombody else think they are the captain. This truely is the key to the craft.
a tactic I use when somone asks for a page turn or somthing is to pretend like I thought they were kidding. They usually don't defend it. I am also quilty of placing ideas in their head and cediting them with the idea "so your saying B&W the background, make the lady's hat red and then sting it with a quitar riff!? man, thats gonna be awesome, here we go!"
you'll be amazed how many times thjat results in a red hat over a mono-colored background with a stinger. And you'll be amazed how many times they gloat over that a week later.

in short...it doesn't have to be an arguement, it just has to be their idea.



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Craig Seeman
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 3, 2008 at 5:51:20 pm

I'd thought I'd add my 3 cents since I've done such low budget spots.

For me a typical $1000 (or less) spot consists of 4 hours of shooting (no crew other than me) and 4 to 6 hours of editing. That's spelled out in the contract and that time includes revisions. They can certainly buy more shoot or edit time if they need You have to hold a very hard and firm line to that if it's to be profitable for you.

Certainly clients may have someone supervise the project for them but that doesn't change the terms of the contract. If a person attempts to takes such a supervisory position on the shoot I'd immediately ask the client if this is approved by them (and yes I've had to do that). If the client state's that the person's job then the "supervisor" has the right to muck things up.

For these low budget spots, the client pays 1/2 up front and 1/2 when editing BEGINS (not ends). This is another firm position you'd need to take in order to make these kinds of jobs profitable to you. I do send the client a window dub of the shoot on DVD so they can make any assessment of the material (know what they have to work with for the edit).

If after the terms (shot and edit time) have been met and the project isn't complete, the client has to decide if they want to pay for additional time.



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Todd Terry
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 4, 2008 at 5:49:52 am

I think at this point the solution is pretty obvious... cut it EXACTLY like the client wants, right down to the frame they say... no matter how bad it looks or how unhappy you are with the end results.... do it quickly... and move on.

As others have said, it's the client's money and the client's project... they have the call on final cut.

As someone whose company primarily produces broadcast commercials I had to learn a similar hard lesson myself many years ago... and finally had to come to the realization that they are just commercials.

You're not making art... you're selling soap.

Every now and then a great client will come around that shares or accepts your complete vision, and you'll walk away with a spot that both sells a product... and is art... or, at least something that you are proud of.

There's a reason that not everything that gets produced "makes the reel."


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Steve Wargo
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 4, 2008 at 6:49:14 am

A very wise answer Todd. I think that Lisa is concerned that she would be putting out a job that she would not be proud of. I go through this with my editor about once a month. I have to tell him "They are paying the bill. Give them what they want". If it is pure crap, I can send it out the door.

I shot a feature film a few years ago and the client took a DVD of the rough cut and created a trailer from it. Horrible. Boring. Didn't make an ounce on sense. I've showed it to others and they all agree. My editor cut a really sharp trailer that actually enticed a person to watch this movie. The client said that they didn't like it and to send their version with the deliverables to the distributor. The distributor called us and said that our trailer was one of the worst they'd seen, nicely, but that's what they said. I directed them to our trailer that was posted on-line and they loved it. They called the client and said that they wanted to use our trailer and the client called us and ripped into us for not liking their work. It's available on NetFlix and I keep wanting to rent it to see what the distributed DVD looks like.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Michael Hancock
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 4, 2008 at 12:04:22 pm

[Steve Wargo] "It's available on NetFlix and I keep wanting to rent it to see what the distributed DVD looks like."

What's the movie? I'll add it to the top of my Queue.

Michael.



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Steve Wargo
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 5, 2008 at 6:55:27 am

Well, it's called "The Hoax". But, it's the one with the reddish cover, not the Richard Gere version. http://www.netflix.com/Search?ff2_submit.x=0&ff2_submit.y=0&v1=the+hoax (the second one)

This movie is NOT color graded and the sound was not finished. Except for one day-for-night scene and a few effects, it is all camera raw footage. The budget was less than $90k.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Gary Hazen
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 4, 2008 at 6:57:10 am

"There's a reason that not everything that gets produced "makes the reel." - T2

As they say... Some for reel. Some for meal.

I'd wrap this puppy up as quick as possible and move on. If you do the math and figure out that you should have charged $10K instead of $1K, then call it a $9000 business lesson and be thankful for the lessons learned.

- GH



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Lisa Koza
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 4, 2008 at 12:05:21 pm

[Gary Hazen] "I'd wrap this puppy up as quick as possible and move on. If you do the math and figure out that you should have charged $10K instead of $1K, then call it a $9000 business lesson and be thankful for the lessons learned."

Oh, speaking of 10K, she got all whiney hiney and said I really hurt her feelings because I wrote this to her in my email, "I think you have an amazing commercial right now, and it didn't cost you the $10,000 that it should have."

Howaboutit?


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Mick Haensler
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 4, 2008 at 1:29:41 pm

[Lisa Koza] "she got all whiney hiney"

This phrase should never be uddered on The Cow again....ever....under any circumstance.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media



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Lisa Koza
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 5, 2008 at 12:59:25 pm

[Mick Haensler] "[Lisa Koza] "she got all whiney hiney"

This phrase should never be uddered on The Cow again....ever....under any circumstance."


hahaha, OK! I'll do my best! ;-)


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Lisa Koza
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 4, 2008 at 12:02:03 pm

[Todd Terry] "You're not making art... you're selling soap."

In this case, a big rubberband. whoohoo! :-)

Thanks Todd, you're so right!


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Fernando Mol
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 5, 2008 at 3:55:47 am

Cheer up, this is just a job and you are learning from it. You will learn how to manage difficult people or, maybe, how to recognize the ones you simply doesn´t whant to do buisnes with. Remember the words of Steve Jobs, talking about being fired from apple: "It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love".









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Nick Griffin
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 5, 2008 at 2:19:28 pm

Better late to this party than not making it at all?

I'm not a psychologist (and I don't play one on TV), but having myself fallen into similar traps in the past, I'd like to add a thought to the discussion.

Oftentimes when we get frustrated and push back against clients in inappropriate ways, it's because we have allowed a situation to spin out of control. We're mad at the client and allow it to show on topics other than what has us mad in the first place. I believe the proper term is transference. In your mind you can be mad about how you under-priced the job in the beginning and let others excerpt control even though they're clueless yet your getting huffy and putting on auteur airs over what color the logo should be. It's being dishonest to yourself and can cloud your vision in dealing with real issues.

There's seldom a good reason to be a jerk with clients. Clearly keep in the forefront of your thinking the fact that you are in business. Get the job done in a professional manner as efficiently as possible and move on. For most of us there are many, many more clients out there so extract yourself from the bad ones and get on with it. If you are going to have a disagreement do so based on the actual issues and don't get all "whiney hiney" (sorry, Mark) because it just reflects poorly on you as a professional. It's never a good thing to be described as "difficult to work with" even by a grinder.

And finally, thanks Lisa. Thanks for starting a thread with yet another of the issues so many of us face. The Biz COW is a remarkable water cooler for our extended workplace.


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Tim Kolb
Re: difficulties with clients
on Apr 9, 2008 at 1:55:46 pm

[Nick Griffin] "Oftentimes when we get frustrated and push back against clients in inappropriate ways, it's because we have allowed a situation to spin out of control. We're mad at the client and allow it to show on topics other than what has us mad in the first place. I believe the proper term is transference. In your mind you can be mad about how you under-priced the job in the beginning and let others excerpt control even though they're clueless yet your getting huffy and putting on auteur airs over what color the logo should be. It's being dishonest to yourself and can cloud your vision in dealing with real issues."

I'm late into this one as well and I agree completely with Nick (as often happens). Usually handling issues when they START to go off track is much easier. If the question had been asked when the young, brash, yet inexperienced and unskilled interloper arrived...

"Excuse me Mr./Ms. Client, I'm confused since Amy Amateur came on set, she appears to be attempting to direct...is that your intention? I have a much less flexible fee schedule when I'm a camera person/gear rental source as I rarely end up with something I can use on my reel. How would you like to proceed? It really is inefficient to have so many people calling the shots..."

Then you propose quadrupling your fee and letting the upstart lead on...the cliff is ahead. But you've been smiling and professional the whole time.

It's a lot like disciplining kids. It's far easier to correct when their behavior is a little out of line and you can talk calmly, than it is when the situation has elevated to complete chaos and you have to yell to get their attention...it takes a little more work to address the small issues than to let them pass, but then they don't become large issues...


---As an aside, I've found after 20 years at this that I help myself a bit when I say out loud that a certain piece of input or a recommendation is "...my informed opinion." when there is a subjective difference of opinion on an aspect of production. I've found that it helps me to call it out as subjective and identifies it to the client, producer...whoever. That way when we have a hard and fast issue such as engineering limits on certain color saturation and safe areas, I can also identify that as non-negotiable and it's credible.






TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

CPO, Digieffects


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