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Old 27th May 2018, 09:43 PM   #1
amdfe
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Default Would YOU take this film job?

Not being a professional visual artist, and having never taken full duty on someone else's project, I am keen to get the thoughts and advice from those of you with more experience and expertise.

Firstly, I am flattered that any producer would take notice of my work and then reach out to me. However, I suspect that when visitors come across amateur hobby productions, they under-estimate just how much work and learning (and sometimes incredible luck) went into the final presentation. On this point, one of my primary concerns is if such a project is potentially a future-career killer for a hobbyist. [Of course I'd love to work in Hollywood one day and contribute to movies!] A second concern is whether the compensation is enough.

I have permission from the producer to discuss the following...

About the Movie.
It's a sci-fi, conspiracy reveal story involving extraterrestial involvement. It is to be produced in HD (not 4K).

About the Special Effects.

There are six or seven shots requring "holographic" projections or monitor visuals during interior, conference-room scenes;

There is one exterior field shot, where a subject in the distance will need to appear as if he's a projection or is materializing.

There is a "climax" shot in which an alien spacecraft emerges and lands. The ship does not yet exist, but is conceived to be in the style of a large, modern military aircraft, with futuristic, simplified propulsion parts.

About the Compensation.
  • $500 (flat rate).
  • 5 points of the net revenue of movie to start for a period of 36 months after the producer is paid back their investment.
  • IMDB submission for movie
  • Listings on official web site, Facebook and other social media platforms to be determined.
  • Mention in select press releases.
  • Copy of complete film/still images/credit.
  • Mention on official one sheet posters and other printed and electronic media.

When I first read the offer, I was wondering if there was a zero missing in the flat rate. At minimum wage (in the U.S.), one would need to knock out all these shots in 1.5 days. I've done similar visuals in past projects, and it can easily take a full day to produce one shot--particularly if motion tracking is needed. Moreover, don't forget that a suitable ship model must either be built or licensed for use.

Would YOU take this job? Right now there's a 50% chance I will need to decline, due to the very low immediate cash compensation. If I do decline, I would like to help the producer find an alternate, so do leave some feedback below if you're interested. I would be totally comfortable recommending many of the F3D users
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Old 27th May 2018, 10:59 PM   #2
David cgc
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I'm leaning towards "no," honestly. This sounds a lot like a gig I had once. They were also underpaying, had no concepts for (or of, frankly) design and pre-production (for instance, they also wanted a holographic screen effect, but they wanted it to be interactive, and had no design or planning as to what it might be showing or how it might look. They just had their actor jab and slide his finger around randomly).

The other thing to remember when freelancing (or bidding, if you're part of a company, which I was in the disaster I alluded to) is that it's not just the hourly pay you'd get at a desk job. You're covering health insurance, lean times between jobs, whatever retirement benefits you want, and so on. So $500 is even worse than it sounds, and it sounds pretty bad. It'd be low for either the monitors or the spaceship (the field sounds like an editing effect), and that'd be without any modeling or design work, which there will be. A pretty big chunk of that $500 would be taken up by buying a good-quality generic spaceship model, and commissioning one would mean you were taking a loss.

I could keep going, but TL;DR is run, don't walk, away from this gig. Telling the producer where he can stick it is entirely optional, but if you don't want to do it now, I guarantee you would after taking the job.

(Oh, one more fun thing about the nightmare gig; they had a PoV shot in the script that they absolutely insisted be shown as a matte with two circles cut out. Not even overlapping, like the cliche binocular shot. Two. Separate. Circles. One for each eye. Because that's what seeing is like if you have two eyes, right?)
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Old 27th May 2018, 11:15 PM   #3
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The first and biggest red flag that pops up is not just the low rate, but the fact that it's a FIXED rate.



You can be damn sure they'll be coming back to you again and again saying fix this, change that, with no concern as to how much time and effort it will take.



I once did a commission that paid about 600 US. Considering all the hours I put into it, I was lucky to crack 3 dollars per hour.



Good Luck,
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Old 28th May 2018, 12:20 AM   #4
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No I wouldn't. Not even as a favor.

500usd probably wont even pay your electric bill for this project. Not to mention wear and tear on your HDW. This job would probably cost YOU more than 500usd in the end, NOT counting your loss of time.

For what they want even a low budget film should be considering 50,000usd for the job. (total budget of 1m or so)

There are too many red flags telling me nothing will come of the project. It reads to much like some guy with a great idea and a gullible rich uncle.
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Old 28th May 2018, 07:56 AM   #5
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No, flippin', way !

I did some 'work' for a friend's YT channel a way back, and got a four figure sum for about 20 hours rendering. Go figure.
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Old 28th May 2018, 09:40 PM   #6
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Thanks, guys. Appreciate your slant on things.
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Old 29th May 2018, 05:34 PM   #7
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Yeah, not for that money. And OldCode has a good point, about how people will often try to get one over on upcoming artists in order to avoid having to pay actual prices for things. Always be skeptical of unsolicited offers or from places you haven't heard of. More than a few people have been burned on deals like this.


I know like, two guys in Hollywood that might conceivably reach out to me for something. If the request comes from anybody else, forget it.
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Old 31st May 2018, 02:24 PM   #8
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Surely not enough money. I'm interested in how this plays out to be honest. Oh, and all for gross, not net. Net means you'll never get anything. Read ' Hollywood accounting' for more...
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Old 1st Jun 2018, 11:16 AM   #9
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Nope. Kinda reminds me of this, sad but true, video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzk4P-U9vXo


Cheers.
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Old 1st Jun 2018, 09:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Grein View Post
Nope. Kinda reminds me of this, sad but true, video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzk4P-U9vXo
It must be photo-realistic... damn it!

You can just roto it.

Note. If anyone uses "roto" and "just" in the same sentence, run away.

That was golden. Thanks, Roger.
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