Archive for January, 2011

$50 Is The New $100

I work as a freelance location sound mixer, a.k.a. an audio recordist, on films and video projects. For the most part I get such work through referrals from previous previous employers and co-workers, and during seasonal work deprivation desperation, from various websites that list upcoming productions and their contact information.

Scanning through these websites I’ve become aware of a trend that’s going on, the day rate of pay being offered by people looking for employees seems to be dropping by the month, circling the drain in a death spiral that indicates soon people will be paying a producer to work for them.

Insert your career here, please.

That actually has happened in the past, with crew people asked in essence to also be the producers and invest their own cash in a project with the promise of a “deferred payment” as a R.O.I. to be received when said producer’s P.O.C. (piece of crap) somehow gets sold.

A safer “Return On Investment”

At this point I should mention that in nearly three decades of working in the entertainment business, I’ve never met a real live person who has collected on a deferred payment promise, I’ve only heard 3rd hand stories by someone who knew someone who had a friend that got paid off years after the show wrapped. This is not to say that no one has ever received such a payment, only that I’ve never even met one who has or even someone that’s directly heard of it happening.

The day rate I see offered most often lately on these epics is now in the neighborhood of $50.00 for a day which is usually going to be at least 12 hours, I did the math and I’m sure that I could do better going down to the beach and collecting used aluminum cans to recycle. And as for these producers who could not produce a shadow on a sunny day? They seem to be proud to brag about their project being an “Ultra low budget” production, like that’s some kind of badge of honor or something. Only a few months ago the average was in the neighborhood of $100.00 for a day’s labor which typically will include any privately owned equipment that the worker is expected to supply. Doing this means that they can avoid paying rental to someone else for the gear, which also means they don’t have to pay for insurance for the rental. I will quickly scan by those listings that violate the minimum wage laws in a business that’s in the hands of  low life morons and thieves who post these things trying to take advantage of film school graduates who are looking for a start. I’m in search of ads for productions that actually have thought out their budget and plan to pay people, even when the pay is going to be less than my normal rate. I’ve learned that I need to find work that will net at least enough income to keep my head above water until the next “real” show comes along, I’m aware that even if I was to stay in bed with the covers over my head, I still will have to come up with +/- a 30th of my monthly nut.

I’m writing this between takes, so for an update of this post refresh in a bit to catch the new stuff, more soon, I gotta get back on the set.

N.B., The ownership of any and all photos, opinions, and/ or quotes above (including those of my own) belong to the material’s creator(s). Credit is given when it’s known, but as always, success usually has a million parents and failure is an orphan.

Feel free to ignore any ads that are shown below this advisory, I don’t get to choose them and even more sadly, I don’t make a penny off any of them, so in the holy name of capitalism I rebuke and don’t endorse or support any of them, unless of course they’re made of funny stuff…..  

P.S., check back for occasional updates and rewrites….

FAIR USE NOTICE: THIS SITE CONTAINS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL THE USE OF WHICH HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE COPYRIGHT OWNER. I AM MAKING SUCH MATERIAL AVAILABLE IN MY EFFORT TO ADVANCE UNDERSTANDING OF ENVIRONMENTAL, POLITICAL, HUMAN RIGHTS, ECONOMIC, DEMOCRACY, SCIENTIFIC, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES, ETC. I BELIEVE THIS CONSTITUTES A ‘FAIR USE’ OF ANY SUCH COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AS PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION 107 OF THE US COPYRIGHT LAW. IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107, THE MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS DISTRIBUTED WITHOUT PROFIT TO THOSE WHO HAVE EXPRESSED A PRIOR INTEREST IN RECEIVING THE INCLUDED INFORMATION FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO: HTTP://WWW.LAW.CORNELL.EDU/USCODE/17/107.SHTML.  IF YOU WISH TO USE COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL FROM THIS SITE FOR PURPOSES OF YOUR OWN THAT GO BEYOND ‘FAIR USE’, YOU MUST OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE COPYRIGHT OWNER.  

 
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January 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm Leave a comment

Playing The Numbers Game

I received some shocking news in my blog overview that’s provided to me by WordPress today. If all goes well and the proverbial creek doesn’t rise (mid-Americans will get the idiom), by this time next week my humble little blog will have been seen by one quarter of a million sets of eyes.

Or perhaps it could be fewer eyes if Sandy Dennis, Sammy Davis Jr., or Mosche Dayan were representative of most of the viewing group.

And, we need to consider that some of that crowd are repeat offenders, aka people that I’ve repeatedly offended, so that might skew the numbers.

Anyway, my thanks to the (+/-) 250,000 of you, or worst case, to the one person who has made it an obsession to visit early and very, very often.

Full disclosure: My first time on a movie set (“Mr. Sycamore”) was when I visited a friend that was the production sound mixer, and I ended up flat on my belly on the roof and partially hanging over the eave to hold a microphone over two actors that were out of reach of the regular boom operator. One of the actors was Sandy Dennis.

N.B., The ownership of any and all photos, opinions, and/ or quotes above (including those of my own) belong to the material’s creator(s). Credit is given when it’s known, but as always, success usually has a million parents and failure is an orphan.
Feel free to ignore any ads that are shown below this advisory, I don’t get to choose them and even more sadly, I don’t make a penny off any of them, so in the holy name of capitalism I rebuke and don’t endorse or support any of them, unless of course they’re made of funny stuff…..
P.S., check back for occasional updates and rewrites….
FAIR USE NOTICE: THIS SITE CONTAINS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL THE USE OF WHICH HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE COPYRIGHT OWNER. I AM MAKING SUCH MATERIAL AVAILABLE IN MY EFFORT TO ADVANCE UNDERSTANDING OF ENVIRONMENTAL, POLITICAL, HUMAN RIGHTS, ECONOMIC, DEMOCRACY, SCIENTIFIC, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES, ETC. I BELIEVE THIS CONSTITUTES A ‘FAIR USE’ OF ANY SUCH COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AS PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION 107 OF THE US COPYRIGHT LAW. IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107, THE MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS DISTRIBUTED WITHOUT PROFIT TO THOSE WHO HAVE EXPRESSED A PRIOR INTEREST IN RECEIVING THE INCLUDED INFORMATION FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO: HTTP://WWW.LAW.CORNELL.EDU/USCODE/17/107.SHTML.  IF YOU WISH TO USE COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL FROM THIS SITE FOR PURPOSES OF YOUR OWN THAT GO BEYOND ‘FAIR USE’, YOU MUST OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE COPYRIGHT OWNER.

January 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm 2 comments

If I were a rich man…..

The subject line is not related to this at all, and is not related to anything else in this blog, so far. I got the idea from a line of dialogue that was spoken by the actor Robert Vaughn to Richard Pryor in Superman III, where he said something like “Being rich means you never have to wear the same pair of socks twice”. That line resonates in me whenever I hear about the Bernie Madoff scam, but I wonder if it has the same affect on his prison husband when Bernie says it?

10 Bonus points if you name the two women that are on the poster, 5 more if you can explain how they got there.

So, I went off on a new socks buying expedition to my local Costco, and a mere $60 dollars later I find that I’m able to wear a fresh new pair of socks each day for more than a month.

Now, I’m wealthy from the top of my head to the bottom of my….

As you’ve no doubt heard many times over the years, big feet mean big socks, so my size 12’s fit comfortably into what’s in the  size 10-13 package from the wizards of Kirkland, and there’s even a little room left for me to grow when this season’s cold weather shrinkage ends.

I’m not just circumcised, I’m Circus Sized

January 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm Leave a comment


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