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Setup time- payment refused

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#1 RobVanGelder


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Posted 18 May 2005 - 08:22 PM

Markus, does your client take off some part of your fee or does he refuse to pay at all?

If the first case, then I wouldn´t bother too much, in a situation like this you will always loose and you better be the wiser man here. Unless you really don´t want to work for him ever again.
Let him deduct something reasonable.

If he doesn´t want to pay at all there could bemore reasons behind it:

1: he doesn´have the money and screws you.


2: you and/or your equipment messed up really and they lost the shot/ could not get what they wanted or what you promised.

In that last case you should give him a fair discount or even offer to do the next job for (almost) free.

In my opinion we (you) always draw the shortest straw, specially if you stick firmly to your opinion when there is a discussion like this resulting in no work from them ever again.

This only applies to discussions AFTER a shoot. We should still be firm and reasonable in our quotes and demands when we are quoting for a job!

You have to be careful and aware of producers like this. I had one time a guy who didn´t pay and after half a year of asking he said he had another job for me and would pay me right after that for both. I agreed to do the other job, all went well and the next week the guy went bankrupt. Without paying me for both shoots, of course.
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#2 thomas-english


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Posted 19 May 2005 - 08:46 AM

Robs obviously correct, its probably blatantly not worth it, however I believe in giving them as much hell as possible because it sounds like they just don t want to pay, because thats cheaper.

Take the company to court

invoice the producer personally

bitch about them at every possible opportunity and over every pint

have your friends ring them from the pub pretending to be from clients you know they have giving them hell for problems that don t exist

feel bitter when you look at a bit of kit you want that costs the price of the invoice for the next 4 months

In the meantime, I would be more than glad to write to you and include my CV and state that my setup time first time of the day is 45minutes up to an hour if unforseen problems are encountered.

It can and has taken 15minutes, and will do again but it can not be expected.

Is it true that in california, you have your rig fully setup on the bazooka/magliner in the back of your van, and you turn up to a job, it all just rolls off on a ramp being pushed by a pretty blonde in a baywatch bikini?
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#3 Matias Mesa

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 04:55 PM

I allways tell 1st ADs that my setup time is 15min once I have the camera with a fresh Mag and lens, etc. If I tell them that is 45 min and the Camera Dpt take 40 min to give me the camera because they are geatting it rady for steadicam, I'll be in trouble. to get my rig out of the cases and to be ready to receive the camera only takes me 5 min. If you took toooooo long to set up the rig, ans mised some shot, then the the Producer is right but if this is not the case, tell him to Fu.. off and pay what he has to or ask any other steadicam ops how long it takes the to set up.

My two cents.

matias Mesa
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#4 Markus Rave

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 03:53 AM

Just to get this straight. The client has no reason to cut down the rate whatsoever. Here is the story:

I was booked for a 2 days shot in Dubai. Should be 1 day prep, 2 days of travel, 2 days working. The schedule was changed 4 times until we should fly throught the night, get to Dubai at 6:00 am, rest until 16:00 pm do some location scouting (because I told the client, we could not work without sleep), shoot the next day and fly back. What really happened was this:
We flew through the nicht, the client asked to pay the excess baggage for him since he was in Dubai, came to Dubai 6:00 am, no hotel room ready no breakfast no client until 11:00 am. The client wanted us to shoot immediately. We took a shower and shot until 18:00 pm, no break. The next day we shot from 10:00 am to 00:30, 1 hour break. Of course I wrote my overtime. I sent a bill of what was made out plus overtime and some equipment he rented off me.
He wants to pay 2 days travel, 2 days shot, no overtime, no extra equipment, no excess baggage, no taxi transport stating I refused to work, my equipment was not ready, I was not ready all the time, there was no overtime, there was no extra equipment, he never asked me to pay the excess baggage for him, he never agreed to a day of prep, there was nothing made out concerning the schedule. How, I ask myself, could I have made an offer then?
There was a delay because he caused it. He was supposed to rent a stand with a 16mm spud. This was to save him the extra cost for the overweight. He rented the wrong stand and my assistant had to open the hole in my docking bracket the get everything working.

I have witnesses for everything against him. My assistant stood right beside me when the call arrived to pay for the baggage and I had my communicator opened wide, so he could hear what was said. I called 10 times to get it straight. 3 times I got him and he refused to talk. We had a day in court already and the judge blamed him for not paying anything at all until now. He was like a schoolboy and refused to straighten it out right away. He has not paid a single Cent since then. Before the judge he stated that he has no money. I know this guy has tons of it. He ripped off a lot of people before me and I didn´t know. Could have had a happy time shooting and staying at home.

The company´s name: TV Medienservice GmbH, Owner: Karlheinz Balzer, Michelstadt, Germany

Any other questions I will gladly answer.


By the way: my setup time including the docking bracket problem until we rolled was 45 Minutes.
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#5 Mitch Gross

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 10:15 PM

Obviously the amount of time it took to set up has little to do with this guy not paying. Having been screwed enough in the past, there are clients from whom I require a downpayment in advance. I usually ask for at least half my money in advance when I get that queasy feeling beforehand.
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#6 Markus Rave

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 04:34 AM


let me tell you. I was working for this client last year and had no trouble at all. It all came out to be a nice job. I did not expect it to go wrong this time. That what bugs me the most is I could have stayed at home working more for even better money. I guess it just happens from time to time and I know he will look for an operator this year shortly before Xmas.
So you german guys out there in Rhein Main area, stay alert and ask for for advance payment!

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