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free steadicam work for reel footage...


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#1 Michael Maga

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:17 PM

Saw this on craigslist.. Is it so bad that people are working for free?

 

http://losangeles.cr...4323848804.html

 

 

 

Hello I need footage for my steadicam reel so I am offering to do free steadicam for your short or feature.

The following requests will have to be met:

Narrative ONLY (short or feature) NO COMMERCIALS/ MUSIC VIDS/ PSA's
Only ONE scene with a max shooting duration of four hours.
The footage will be recorded on my own cards and will keep a copy of footage.
Equipment will be provided for the footage be copied on set.
The camera HAS TO be an Alexa, Red or a similar size, film cameras are OK. (NO DSLR's)
A $30 stipend for gas.
Lunch will be provided.
IMDB credit will be given as Steadicam Op.
The shoot has to occur within 3 weeks or less from the day you contact me.
My on-set time will not exceed 6 hours.
The lens aperture will NOT be lower than f4.
A 4 + foot cable for video transmission (camera-monitor) will be provided.
A wireless focus system will be provided (but not necessary)

If interested please send me an e-mail to avalos1979@yahoo.com with all necessary info about your shoot (script, scene, location, contact info, etc.) and clearly stating that you agree to all the conditions expressed in this ad, if your e-mail is correctly worded, formal and fulfills my requirements I will immediately follow up with a call.

Please make sure to copy and paste the add at the end of your e-mail.

Thank you


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#2 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 09:22 PM

Why are you trolling Craigslist?  :wub:


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#3 Michael Maga

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 09:31 PM

Today was a boring day at work, I am not proud of that.  :mellow:

Craigslist has it uses. I bought most my arri lights from there.

I bought my quad charger from an op off craigslist as well.

Some people dont want to deal with paypal, shipping, etc.

so once in a while I search it for steadicam and see what comes up. 


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#4 Andre Perron

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 10:07 PM

I personally think it's quite fair; the guy seems to be pretty much picky on what his demands (IMO maybe a little too much...), he seems to know exactly why he's doing it, and he consider doing this being a real favour for the eventual lucky client.

 

He may be a new operator who needs a starter demo. Or maybe he's an experienced operator who didn't have the chance to work his rig for a while and needs to update his visual references.

 

A production that knows the value of a good steadicam operator will be willing to pay for what its worth;

 

1606.jpg
“It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When
you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay
too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you
bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The
common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a
lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well
to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will
have enough to pay for something better.”

― John Ruskin

 

A good and experienced operator will never loose a GOOD gig to the profit of a new (or bad!!!) operator.

 

Just my (and John Ruskin's) two cents.


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#5 Andre Trudel

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 02:47 PM

I'm with the other Andre on this one. I bet that even with this offer, he got few if any real responses. For those of you lucky enough to do steadicam for a living I can see how this would be an outrage, but for those of us trying to make a name for ourselves in an over saturated market with the catch 22 being that everyone wants to see footage before they will even give you consideration, this is actually not the worst idea. He's essentially trading a favor for a favor. His demands are pretty specific and ensures a product that would be beneficial. Like I said earlier, I doubt he got any real responses that actually came through. This is LA, a place where full size rigs with wireless FF can sometimes be had for close to nothing.  :wacko:


Edited by Andre Trudel, 16 February 2014 - 02:49 PM.

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#6 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 06:27 PM

If you want to start, contact your local film school and film programs. A lot of students would be happy to have an operator for their first short. Like that you are not cutting down on someone else's livelihood with a real prod company. I also did some free stuff for friends to train myself but never accepted to work for free for someone I didn't knew. I realized that the ones who don't want to pay for your work often don't understand the value of your work, and always take advantage of you (crazy hours with dangerous situation, no meal, no transportations and NO Thank you at the end of the day)
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#7 Jessica Lopez

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 11:35 AM

Does he know exactly what he's doing? 

 

- A wireless focus system will be provided (but not necessary) ???


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#8 Michael Maga

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 01:54 PM

His demands are specific, so other than what Jessica pointed out (Jessica, I remember the first few no budget jobs I did there was no follow focus) he seems to know what hes doing. If he has a rig to carry an Alexa, follow focus, and he knows what he is doing, he shouldnt be working for free. 

 

@ Andre Trudel you make a name for yourself by doing quality work, not working for free. 

By working for free, it devalues our work. If a producer gets him for free, how much are they going to want to pay for an op next time?

This bugs me because I am in the same boat as you. I do this part time, I am still working on days for 600.. and days dont count if they are free. You may not realize this now, 

but look towards the future, it only makes it harder to find paid work and at descent pay as well.

As far as a reel goes, its not everything. I still havent finished mine. 

You practice, get better, you make contacts, and they want to hire you... because you do good work.

By the time you get good enough to have a descent reel, you will have some good contacts as well.

Victor makes some great points as well.


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#9 Andre Trudel

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 03:43 AM

Excellent points. I was just trying to play devils advocate. This is just my opinion but I felt like his target audience was going to be a project that hadn’t even thought about using steadicam (Students) and not a producer with the intentions of replace a working operator. I could be wrong but what “legitimate” production would bring in an ope for “Only ONE scene with a max shooting duration of four hour.” That was only one of his specifications. I would be really surprised if he actually got any real responses.

 

 

Cheers.

  


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#10 Kiel Michael Eulberg

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 07:26 PM

As a younger operator, I can indeed confirm that times are tough. I would not work for free though, not in a million years.


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#11 Brian Freesh

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 10:12 PM

I would, and do.  For the right people and reasons. I'm not trying to split hairs here, you may well have exceptions to your rule, or a stricter definition of "work" than I am assuming.  I just want to clarify that there are circumstances where it makes sense.

 

My first two professional gigs 6 years ago were for free. I also did a freebie gig last month, and one last June. All of those have led to paid work (well, not the one last month, yet).  All of them were also done as favors to people I know.  So like I said, right people, right reasons.

 

This craigslist guy is looking for experience and footage, more power to him.  His rules are smart, though his presentation could be more welcoming. He'll learn the ups and downs of offering this, and it'll either work out for him or it won't. Why do we care?


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#12 Michael Maga

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 10:36 PM

Brian, is this different than a professional union op taking a low rate to get a job? I see that discussed on here quite a bit. 

Why should you guys care?


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#13 Brian Freesh

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 10:39 PM

Yes, it is.


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#14 Michael Maga

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 10:46 PM

Both scenarios do the same thing... devalue our work. Granted most people here are union, so could care less about something like this.

But for the guys starting and coming up and working non union stuff, 

it makes it harder for them to get a good paying gig if people are offering work for free.


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#15 Brian Freesh

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:34 AM

I don't see how being union has anything to do with it. Undercutting is undercutting, lowballing is lowballing. Doesn't matter if you're union or not, though if it matters I'd argue most people here are not. The union doesn't protect "good" rates anyway, at best they protect against "horrendously terrible" rates, and that's not even all the time, depends on the contract.

 

Of course, "good" is relative anyway.

 

There's nothing here that devalues the work. This guy isn't taking good paying gigs.  He's addressing an audience of craigslist, looking for experience and reel footage 6 hours at a time. No one that can afford a good rate is on craigslist looking for this guy. Cragslist is the perfect place for an ad like his.  He'll find, if anything, low to know pay gigs run by people with as little experience as him. And eventually he'll feel he has the experience/network/skill to charge for his services. There's no threat here. This guy is just making his way.


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