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The PO has 10 hour days, client says...

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Richard HerdThe PO has 10 hour days, client says...
by on Apr 21, 2011 at 5:42:03 am

The PO has funding for 10 hour days, but the client says he'll probably need 14 hour days, so the overtime can be billed in a new way.

I asked, How will that happen.

He said, He'll look into it.

I said, without a PO we'll have to close down the shoot after 10 hours.

So what do I do? Do I really shut down the production? And if so, how do I say this in a polite way that maintains the relationship.

Thanks!


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Mike SmithRe: The PO has 10 hour days, client says...
by on Apr 21, 2011 at 9:15:16 am

"Need" and 14 hour days ... there's a stretch on Maslow's hierarchy of needs !

Often, long days are an economic decision : if locations and equipment are on a per-day and not per-hour, total cost can come down if people work long shifts. But there's nothing in the economic logic that requires that people shouldn't be paid for their hours worked.

A drawback with long-hours shoots is that, very often, efficiency and creativity drop off as everybody gets more and more tired - so you get two hours of output from your first two hours, but you may get a lot less value from hours thirteen and fourteen.

It sounds like you've already raised this well, your client has reacted favorably. You just need her / him to come up with something ahead of the shoot : you can explain that nicely. If the client can't control that you are paid for the extra time, is it really on to ask you to do (and get the people you've hired to do) the extra time unpaid?


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Mark SuszkoRe: The PO has 10 hour days, client says...
by on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:09:14 pm

Your choice as I see it at this point is to forge ahead and actually stop at the 10 hour mark rgardless, until they make withe the paper. I call this the "who blinks first" option.

The second option is to play along, but bill them for the overtime above what was agreed, and absolutely not release any footage for any reason, until this is straightened out. I call this "the show must go on, but I'm not born yesterday" option. To be fair, you warn them at Hour 11 that this is what you are going to have to do now.


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walter biscardiRe: The PO has 10 hour days, client says...
by on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:29:40 pm

Do NOT do any work with the client until the PO either allows for Overtime or you are willing to simply forego that overtime.

Working it out "after the shoot" can cause a host of issues. The billing dept. can come back to you say you agreed to that PO before the shoot no matter what your immediate client says.

No idea how large this company is, but in these days of tight budgets and number crunching, do not expect that you will receive the overtime just because you bill for it. They have allocated a specific amount of money for your project. Do not exceed that amount without prior authorization from the people who will actually cut the check.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Malcolm MatuskyRe: The PO has 10 hour days, client says...
by on Apr 21, 2011 at 5:47:26 pm

10 hous= day rate; 11&12 hours = 1.5x hourly rate; 13&14 hours = 2xhourly rate. Over 14 hours 3x hourly rate. Simple, put it into the contract and not you don't have to "figure" anything out.

M

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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Patrick OrtmanRe: The PO has 10 hour days, client says...
by on Apr 21, 2011 at 5:59:12 pm

Walter's right, especially with big corporate clients. But if this is a smaller client who you've done a lot of work for in the past and have a relationship with, I've successfully done the "Mark says the show must go on, but I wasn't born yesterday" version.

This gets tricky when you're working with larger crews, of course.

----------------------------
PatrickOrtman, Inc.
Los Angeles Digital Agency and Video Production Company


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Richard HerdRe: The PO has 10 hour days, client says...
by on Apr 21, 2011 at 6:19:29 pm

Small crew.
Very Big Client.

I submitted quote 1 with 10 hour days.
My contact mentioned 14 hour days.
I submitted quote 2 with 10 hour days plus overtime.
My contact's boss said the PO was approved under quote 1 and that quote 2 is refused.
So now my contact is under the gun to get all the footage on 10 hour days.

My question is more rhetorical than anything. How do I say what needs to be said without ruining the relationship?


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Patrick OrtmanRe: The PO has 10 hour days, client says...
by on Apr 21, 2011 at 6:32:53 pm

It almost sounds like the contact's boss is making it impossible. Even with a small crew you need to pay them overtime. Now, having that come out of your fee and you working about 40% longer... I don't see that as a winner for you. What's worse, if you give them all this free work that actually costs YOU money, you're setting a really bad precedent for future work.

If they approved 10 hour days, and won't pay overtime... you're in a corner. As for me, this is what my pile of "f-you" money is for. I personally would tell the guy, "Look, if your boss is only going to approve 10 hour days, then that's all we can work. Period."

You may lose the client. You may not.

----------------------------
PatrickOrtman, Inc.
Los Angeles Digital Agency and Video Production Company


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walter biscardiRe: The PO has 10 hour days, client says...
by on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:21:36 pm

[Richard Herd] "My question is more rhetorical than anything. How do I say what needs to be said without ruining the relationship?"

You're not the one who is going to ruin the relationship, the company has set a finite dollar amount and will not pay anything above that.

So you need to work with your immediate client and suggest ways to trim back the production shoot because the primary company has made it clear they will not pay for 14 hour days. Something has to give and that's time. You and your client will have to look at everything and create a priority list.

"I MUST have these shots."

"I would LIKE to have these shots."

"IF we can get these shots I'd be happy."

Then each day you work down the line. MUST have is shot first. LIKE to have shot second. IF is shot third.

Every one of my clients understand the time vs. budget scenario and this is how I work out situations like this with my clients. Take the proactive approach with your immediate client and help work out the priority list. Even suggesting ways to cut down on downtime, etc..

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Richard HerdThank you All! Re: The PO has 10 hour days, client says...
by on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:46:35 pm

Thank you!


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