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Last Minute Plans

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Mike CohenLast Minute Plans
by on May 13, 2008 at 2:34:23 pm

This was going to be a blog post, but the discussions on this forum can be very interesting, so here goes...

Occasionally, a client has a last minute shoot. Less than 24 hours notice, or advance notice but no actual confirmation until the day before. Such scenarios are not a big problem with 3 video crews available, and in-state driving distance.

However when the shoot is a plane trip or long drive away (or a trip into NYC which while only 90 miles by car entails leaving the house at 4:30am or earlier) the last minute details can be unnerving.

Beyond travel when you need to deal with public relations departments, security and business big whigs, last minute arrangements can be a hassle.

While I do not mind making such last minute arrangements, one is sometimes met with pushback from the others you need to contact, ie "you know, we need more than 24 hours notice. I have a lot of other projects to manage...blah blah blah"

My ideal response to such push-back is "are you going to help me or not?"

But in reality, one has to be sensitive to others' schedules, realize that last-minute arrangements are in fact trouble in some business settings where people are accustomed to meticulous planning. Sometimes I need to play good cop/bad cop, depending upon who I am speaking with - sometimes good cop / good cop does the trick.
Lots of apologizing and a hot cup of coffee doesn't hurt.

Now in the case of flying somewhere, assuming all other arrangements have been made, this becomes more of an imposition on me. On several occasions, it has been 6pm or later the night before an early AM flight that I have found out if the shoot was happening or not. Thank goodness I buy my antacids in bulk at Costco!

All of this being said, sometimes things fall through on the other end. Recently I flew down to Florida the night before a shoot. The next morning, 2 out of 3 patients were in fact not able to participate, and the 3rd was not the ideal example of what we were trying to show. Best laid plans...

Finally, my favorite example happened as I got off the plane in Omaha, I checked my voice-mail - it was the doctor calling after I had already left Connecticut telling me the patient canceled, and had I left for the airport yet? So I had a relaxing evening in the Omaha warehouse district, tried to get into the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder's meeting, and took a flight home the next day.

As far as charging a client for such shenanigans, it would be whatever rate we quoted plus travel, whether the shoot happens or not, unless it is canceled the day before, then we let it slide, assuming things will be rescheduled.

Maybe I'll post this in the blog after all.


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grinner hesterRe: Last Minute Plans
by on May 17, 2008 at 3:21:08 pm

bummer man
I stopped looking at it as they are buying a production from me a long time ago. They are buying my time. That said, travel shinanigans are just payed hours I didn't have to sit in the suite to me. Certainly hours I didnt get to bill otherwise. Someones payin for em. not me.

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