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Second paid job - advice needed Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 26th July 2014
Gear Maniac
Justin Case's Avatar
Second paid job - advice needed

Hey guys, posted this over at VI-control forum, thought I'd post it here as well.

I need some advice on getting paid and some other stuff. I just got my 2nd paid job, series that will air on national TV, I will score the complete first season.

I was offered 100€ (after tax) per episode after asking what budget they had in mind for music, which is very low, even compared to my first paid gig for which I got around €400 (short film, duration around 25 min). They mentioned that they want original music for the first episode, and then re-use it with some variation for other episodes (it's a documentary)...not completely clear about this yet. I'm pretty sure that their budget is around 10k-15k per episode.

I was brought by a director for which I scored some student shorts for free and I wouldn't want to compromise a potentially long-term good business relationship. On the other hand, since I'm a beginner, I suppose that I'm not in position to choose or say no. Should I negotiate (how to even start)? Any other tips?

Thank you very much in advance, all advice is welcome!
Old 26th July 2014
Here for the gear
Openway's Avatar

Well done! If it were me I'd just do the job, if its a good gig - which it sounds like, a whole series which gives you scope to show what you can do and build connections while doing so. In my experience if you put the work in and feel good about it, the rewards will come down the line. Being dynamic magnetises opportunity to you, but you have to do it from a space of yeah thats great!
Old 27th July 2014
Gear Guru
drBill's Avatar
$100 Euro's? For an entire episode? For national release? I'm curious - what country are you in? That could have some bearing on this, but...... That is BEYOND absurdly low. An episodic TV show is a serious grind - even when you are being paid well. I don't even see how you could music edit existing music for that price. Do you keep ownership (unlikely) of the music? That's the only way I would even consider discussing such a low rate. Honestly, that's not even low - that's virtually criminal. They might as well pay you nothing. Sorry, this is amping me up. I hate people who take advantage, and this is taking advantage. They can't even buy library music from a cheapo bottom feeder buyout royalty free library for such a low rate. They would be paying 5X's (+) that for scoring with music from a royalty free library like audiojungle.

As for advice on negotiation, honestly, this is where you need an agent to come in and get things real. At your stage of the game though, that is highly unlikely. It's also extremely unlikely that anyone else will do it for that price, so that puts you in the power position. Personally, I'd compliment the project, say you are DYING to score it, that you think it's a good fit for you, but that you can't possibly do a good job and pay your bills for 100€ an episode and you couldn't do it the justice it deserves. Remember, there is no one else who will do a decent (or even amatur-ish) job for that price. Then, tell him to add a "0" and that would be a place to start discussion..... If you plan on writing anything worthwhile, make SURE you keep the publishing. That's not normal for a TV production, but under the circumstances, it's mandatory IMO.

Best of luck to you though whatever you decide to do. Maybe best to gently bow out due to "other commitments" which will surely show up and which you won't have time to do if you're locked into this gig. With a budget like that, it sounds like a disaster on all fronts, and you will likely get a lot of blowback.
Old 27th July 2014
Here for the gear
Openway's Avatar

I agree the price a merely a token - I wouldn't be insulted though, its a game. : ) He did it for free the previous time and the client has come back offering 100 per episode in his next project. Its movement forward. This is only paid job number 2, yes its lower than job number one but the scope of job 2 is larger... Yes its lots of work, but who cares if you love doing it!

Definitely let the client know that you are doing them a massive favour because you are passionate about your sound and their project. I don't think its worth alienating potential clients at this early stage of the game. A delicate way to approach this may be to negotiate a time frame for your input. For that price I can give you x amount of time which equals y output, for this price that...

The client could always post the job on Elance or O desk and I'm sure he'd find many an engineer/composer internationally willing to do the job for that price.

I really believe that if you are not currently working at what you love, less opportunity to do what you love is available.

In my experience when you work from a place of selfless joy, you are putting out a really powerful positive vibration - and that vibration absolutely comes back to you. How it comes back may not be as you expect but it comes! Don't do it if you feel in any way annoyed, because that will define the vibration you put out and the result won't be good as drBill points out.

The real question is, are you interested in the work. Have you got anything better to do?

If you are up for it, go for it and love it - it will bear fruit. Opportunity will be created. If you think you could be doing better things, don't waste any time and do them because its equally true for them...
Old 27th July 2014
Gear Guru
drBill's Avatar
A few things openway -

1. Doing it for that price degrades the entire industry, and the professional rep of Mr. Case.

2. Letting the client know you are doing them a favor rarely works out for the best. They feel guilty and put on the spot. Not good for generating a future working relationship. Best to tell them that the job simply cannot be done to the standard they are used to and/or need at that price. And that you only seek projects that strive for excellence. That will tell them what they need to hear.

3. Selfless joy? How much selfless joy is a gallon of gas? Where is the business in selfless joy? This is a NATIONAL TV show. Not a student film. After about episode 3, the grind will be brutal, there will be no money, and the joy will be gone. Best to guard your love of music by getting paid fairly. Get taken advantage of enough, and your selfless joy will turn to bitter resentment. Guard against that at all costs. It's very expensive on your career goals.

4. The ONLY reason the client can find others to do the job for the same is because people agree to do it. Suggesting that Mr. Case do the same is only sealing his fate of not ever being paid fairly. It's a self fulfilling time-bomb waiting to blow up not only Mr. Cases career, but ultimately all who want to write music for a "living", because next time it will be 50 Euro's or less..... The race to the bottom can never be won. For those that insist on "competing" there, say goodbye to everything you ever loved or wanted out of a career in music.

5. There's one thing (well, many actually, but one that's appropriate here...) that I've learned over the years. There's ALWAYS more money. Guaranteed. If you don't ask for it, you are the only one to blame.
Old 27th July 2014
If their overall budget is $15K per episode, then their offer represents only two thirds of one percent of their total budget.

I don't have drBill's pedigree in the industry, but I have to agree that the offer is at best incredibly naive of them, and at worst a fairly grave insult to you.

If audiojungle tracks are more expensive than your bespoke score, you're pretty much definitely not getting enough money.
Old 27th July 2014
Here for the gear
Openway's Avatar

I understand your viewpoint. Its a perspective thing. I can only talk from my experience in 20 years of making money from what I love to do. Albeit not all of them in music production.

My advice to Mr Case is simply do what you feel is right. What does your instinct say? Its never wrong. If he is interested in the work, and can afford some time to do it, why not do it - you can only learn and thats priceless. If he cannot afford it or is not interested its not worth it.

In my opinion doing the work is everything, by actively focusing your talent in open exchange you generate energy for that talent exchange. Its slow at first but like everything, over time the energy builds and as such so does the perception of value.

Yes, knowing your worth is very important - but it does not have to be linked to a fixed exchange rate. If you have the space to do the job as i said - why not, if it interests you. Especially when you are beginning your career.

Before we moved to Goa, my wife, a yoga instructor, had a studio in the UK that ran on a pay by donation basis. Some thought we were mad, others thought yeah thats the way it should be. but low and behold by just being open and loving the work in of itself, it was successful - no worries, bills were paid, more and more people came and paid more and more because they loved the vibe. Some payed a little, some nothing but some payed a lot.

I follow a similar approach with my work. I don't get too wrapped up in the value of the exchange. I find that some jobs I do for little, and then some jobs for a lot. It balances out. I don't have stacks of cash but I have what I need and I'm happy.

Following this methodology I have found that life becomes a very joyful thing. Stress free. If you are passionate about what you do following the opportunities as they present themselves, from a chilled, fearless place always works out. There are no mistakes just turns in the road.

I don't think MrCase will degrade the industry by accepting the job if its what he wants to do. Its roughly 0.5% of budget, in my experience the BBC don't pay more than 1% for an in-house doc.

I feel you create your reality, you can choose to be relaxed, non attached and see it as a game, or you can get really involved and let it take over. The idea is just to be happy surely. If working making music is your thing - work making music, the clients that are right for you will come.

Just my thoughts for debate....
Old 28th July 2014
Here for the gear

That's a ******* terrible deal. Period. Please listen to Dr bill (as well everyone's responses on VI control) and renegotiate a price that isn't on the level of financial rape.
Old 28th July 2014
Gear Nut

I like your post, openway, but I don't think it's good advice in this case.

1. The op is talking about a full season of documentaries on National TV. That is a lot of work, possibly several months. If he takes the job, he will operate at a loss, as I am sure his costs (software, studio, even if its just depreciation costs) are higher than a couple of hundred bucks. Include his working hours and it will definitely be a loss. If he wants to make up for that, his next big job has to last several months as well and pay twice the industry rate...

2. The yoga example: most business simply doesn't work like that, period. Also, did you have customers that paid nothing once, then a lot, then nothing again? I bet it was more like those who paid a lot always paid a lot. But again, yoga a very specific example, it is a lot about the vibe, whereas most business transactions (e.g. scoring a documentary) are not so much about the vibe.

3. If he does take the job, why would the producers/directors pay him more next time? They will try to keep down the costs for music again and again, because they know he fell for it once.

4. Are you saying, the average BBC documentary pays no more than 200 (after tax)?

5. Exception: take the job if those documentaries are going to be airing like crazy, so you are going to make a lot of backend. But better be sure and do the math first.

Good luck!
Old 28th July 2014
Here for the gear
Openway's Avatar

: )

Viva la difference!

I just absolutely know that if you put energy into something, it gives back. Its a feedback loop. But what you put in comes out. Negativity brings negativity, positivity brings positivity.

Yes if you feel used, insulted, taken advantage of from the beginning - the thing will only amplify those feelings.

I never said don't try and negotiate. I suggested that instead of saying i'll do it for a thousand, straight up... maybe say that for 100 you get x amount of my time.

I feel the timelines here for the work are a dramatised? In my experience you have to work faster than that:

A 55 min BBC doc for national broadcast and syndication with a £100k budget pays a £1k fee for composed music. All Ive ever had to provide is a stereo master - they chop it in the edit. I've provided them say 3-4 tracks of 4 mins - they wont necessarily use it all - you could get away with less. It can be done in less than week - make sure you get on well with the director : )

Web commercials (segmented) for brands pay around £500 for 30secs. Turn around with edits again - about a week - expect lots of edits and alts : )

Scoring for corporate / brand management companies - conference anthems, B2B, internal films, web, whatever they can dream up that needs sound - £3k for a single 5 min track. Expect lots of edits, late nights and conference calls - turnaround anywhere from 2 weeks to 24 hours.

Working for production companies - expect to do free stuff, teasers etc that they send out to broadcasters to land a buy. Name your price, its worked into the pitch, if they get the job, you get paid well, or indeed sometimes sidelined!

Lets put this into perspective, MrCase doesn't need to score war and peace. The way I read the job from the description was 100 euros for a track/theme they would want adapted here and there. 50 min Docs only require maybe 20 mins mood music max, the track is just a support to the info explored, its not the star and its worked in passages. So, Per episode. A day to write the theme, a few more to expand on. The themes across the series could all be related - therefore cutting down the time frames needed to create. So 10 episodes for a 1000 euros maybe 3000 euros if you feel lucky : ) 3-4 days to get the main theme and work its 9/10 variants. 5 days max to chop the whole thing into its relevant segments. So 8-9 days at most, you could possibly do it in a week. At the least 1000 euros for 7-10 days aint as bad as it seems. Plus you get the credit and experience. Thats the way I'd approach it.

I mean really, for a 1000 euros for the entire job they wont be expecting the heavens to open sonically. They understand that you have to work from a commercial standpoint too? Get it done quick. The music is a low financial priority, you can manage their expectations if indeed they have any!

My whole point is that if you do this from a space of joy and real love of the challenge and do it without attachment to significance - everything speeds up, you're inspired. It doesn't take as long to get the music right, or at the very least your passion influences the director and they are more ready to accept it.

Either way, its easier. Is it not true that if you are working the phone's more likely ring about work. If you're not working its more likely to ring about bills?!
Old 28th July 2014
Gear Head

Openway, I think you're giving the production co a bit too much credit!
You're assuming they'll be very reasonable in their demands ("The way I read the job from the description was 100 euros for a track/theme they would want adapted here and there"). In my experience, the people who want to pay nothing (or close to it) are the MOST demanding! I'm no psychologist, but they possibly see free/cheap composers as desperate lap dogs who'll do anything to stay on the project, and they can't help but exploit that.
To me the whole project sounds dodgy - 10-15 euros budget per episode?! Doesn't scream 'quality production' to me.
Old 28th July 2014
Here for the gear
Openway's Avatar

I can understand why everyone is nervous about this - with video expected to account for 84% of all online use by 2018 the marketplace will become ever more of a hostile jungle vis a vis music.

Getting full composition credits will become harder as libraries consolidate their positions. The world is contracting fast and going down a dark old road, polarising ever increasingly between those earning a fortune and those not.

All i'm saying is that in MrCase's position - second job, career start - I would accept the job on grounds that he appreciates being thought of for national TV, however only the proviso that 100 euros budget per episode will buy x mins of bed music. If they need more they pay incrementally for it. He's worked with this chap before, they clearly have some kind of rapport. As DrBill said, there always more money....I would not spend more than a week on it - unless paid accordingly. Get the credit, be thankful for it and move forward. If I was not doing anything else musically for money, or nothing else was fixed on the horizon I would not think twice about it.

Its always better to have money coming in than not - it absolutely attracts more to you, especially if you come form a space of gratitude for it. I'm mean whats the other option, don't work for money, look for money, work on my magnum opus in the hope i get money, go camping for a week... All the time a grand is sitting there saying here I am!

You cant expect at the beginning of your career to be handsomely paid - in no profession is this true. To my mind 1000 euros for a weeks work is a reasonable wage. Thats equates to £800 a week, £3200 a month = £40k a year. What person starting out in a profession gets paid that kind of money and usually an office is involved - yikes!

I'm not in any way defending slave labour - check zero hour working contacts in the UK. Its all going that way. Its gonna get tough. Yes. Thats why its important to follow the opportunity and network, build relationships.

I would think: Could be fun, I'm getting paid to do what I love, get the credit, build a relationship, pay the rent, enjoy the challenge, thanks for that! Move on to next. Keep it in the present moment. The future absolutely found there.
Old 28th July 2014
Gear Guru
drBill's Avatar
You can have a good attitude, be grateful, joyful to write and EARN fair money. Or you can have a good attitude, be grateful, joyful to write and be taken advantage of.

Which person do you think will KEEP their good attitude longer?

This is a complete diversion from the problem as it sits openway. The attitude and lifestyle you suggest is admirable, but not getting paid fairly is a short road to discouragement and bitterness no matter how you paint it. This is an expensive world to live and work in and being taken advantage of never works in your benefit. Well, maybe it will build character, but it doesn't get your career moving as most desire.
Old 28th July 2014
Lives for gear
Amber's Avatar

It's not a great amount of pay. I don't think you're going to have a great working relationship with these people.

Can you just do a few episodes to get something to add to your credit list and show future clients? Maybe say you can help them out for a few eps, but they'll have to find someone else after that. They might be stuck finding someone and you can up your price. I've managed to get two clients to double their fee for me recently by explaining how I can only do so much for their fee and want to make sure I do their project justice and that I can't do it totally for the amount they have.
Old 28th July 2014
Lives for gear
jrp's Avatar

It really depends on how much work this will be.

If 1000 is the complete budget you could offer them 2 themes with some variations. Less is more.
Make clear that quality has it´s cost, so with a small budget they simply son´t get a new music for every episode (sounds like that´s how it´s planned anyhow).
Make sure that you produce a set of music for them and will not be touching any episodes. When the Music is finnished it´s done. Someone else can place it in the film, choose the takes, etc.
Otherwise you might soon feel your time and life being wated by some production company.
You might be sitting on the screen editing field recorded interviews without even knowing how you came to it if you don´t watch out...

My observation: Work cheap and you get unhappy customers that give you annoying calls about change this and that, i don´t like that bass sound, whatever.
Charge your price and you get handled with respect.
Doesn´t seem to matter if it´s for friends or new people.
Old 30th July 2014
Gear Head
marksargison's Avatar

I'm relatively new to this business with a few dozen jobs behind me and often I'm all for working for cheap to make good, and hopefully long term, relationships. However for a nationally broadcast show, 100 euros per episode is awful. I don't think you will be helping a future relationship by offering to work so cheap. It is a step up from a student film and much, much more than nothing to 100 euros.

Your gut here should be saying don't do it at that price. Negotiate for at least five times that.
Old 31st July 2014
Here for the gear
Openway's Avatar

I'm curious how this is a diversion from the problem as it sits? I have only offered suggestions on how to approach a problem we have all been confronted with : )

I have offered a working methodology, a negotiation tactic and deeper than that a suggestion as how to found an attitude that maintains a balanced and detached perspective in the face of ups and downs that will surely occur.

I agree with all points raised. The fee is less than small, they are leveraging the worth of the credit. Yes its a sad indictment of this business today.

The OP will win some and will loose some. Thats life. The individual has to learn how they sit with it - vicarious advice can lead one up a garden path and in truth you are never going to know anything until you have experienced it for yourself - which is why I suggested doing the work in the first place. By doing we fast track our self knowledge.

If its the worst week of the his life, he'll know in future to smell the situation before it drags him in, if its rewarding he'll realise there can be more to a job than renumeration...

I don't really see how, at job 2, he can loose here.

But i'm clearly in the minority. To be honest, I'm quite surprised - how many references are there on this site that talk of working your way up from tea boy to top engineer through absolute dedication to craft and craft alone. The better you are at your job, the more likely you are to get hired. Its the way it works. I've never heard complaints from an aspiring engineer to the effect of 'I learnt a lot, got a big label credit, but they only paid me a tenner for my involvement'. I understand this analogy has a few holes in it, however i feel its largely apt.

I mean, has the OP got any national TV credits on his reel? Is a degree or student project based reel enough capitol for him to ignore an opportunity for his work to be broadcast to 100,000s if not millions of people? Who knows....

Tuppence in the pot...
Old 31st July 2014
Lives for gear

It's certainly a controversial situation and I can retrace both sides of the coin.

But in the end it really has to be a win-win situation for both sides, no matter what the experiences of the composer and/or the filmmaker might be, in order to work out for both parties. Good work, good pay, it's that easy. Everything else just does not feel right and does certainly not build up a trust worthy long term relationship.

I mean, think a step further openway. It might be that the OP gets a few credits under his belt but what's next? Next project he has to compete against the next newcomer while the prices are down. The story goes on. And one of the first things you learn in every business class is: The prices never (rarely) go up again after these kind of scenarios. It's a downward spiral for everyone who produces air.

The devaluation of music has gone a long way during the last decade and every step further - no matter how tiny it might be - is not the answer. Maybe the composers around the globe should strike for an indefinite period. Wondering how the cards are shuffled then.
Old 31st July 2014
Originally Posted by color View Post
It's certainly a controversial situation and I can retrace both sides of the coin.
Agreed. My initial instinct upon reading Openway's post was to rail against it, and while I still think it's a rotten deal, upon some clarification I do think he raises some interesting philosophical points. But they don't IMO make the other issues go away, they just shift the spotlight a bit.

On reflection, if I were the OP I think I'd at least try to sit down with the producers and negotiate for a more favourable deal, if only to find out more about them. If they're not prepared to respectfully consider your points, are they really somebody you want to have a relationship with?
Old 1st August 2014
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Openway's Avatar

Cue lights!

Its interesting. In India for example, 100s farmers each week commit suicide in the face of increasing agricultural monopolisation. They simply cant compete. They are watching the demise of their lively-hood and are absolutely powerless to do anything about it. They cannot diversify. Market forces have literally steamrollered their most ancient and hereditary enterprise. Does anyone bat an eyelid, no. Are we aware that though our purchasing habits we are supporting situations such as this by using supermarkets etc - notionally perhaps, but lets face it the supermarket is convenient and i bet 9/10 will shop there. Yes you might buy something with a fair trade tag, yes you may shop in boutique health food shops but none of these things actually makes a difference because the situation is getting worse. I use the example of India because i'm located there and I see this struggle everyday I go out of my door. People will go to the supermarket here because its what we do in the west, they see it on TV, they want to emulate... and its crazy because the veg on sale - that is bought - comes no where close to the quality on offer down the street sold by a local farmer who grows the produce, using traditional methods, in the locality. No they would rather buy the inferior item, that is who knows what and has been shipped from who knows where etc.. Its stunning. But we don't care, we are happy to substitute conscience for ease...

The point here is that this process is not limited to food production. Its a whole pattern of thinking and we in the world of music production are not exempt... : ) Its business, not art. As such, the business, will and has to consolidate in a way that knocks out the competition, driving down the price of production in favour of faster and healthier profit. Thats the system we vote for and participate in. Its all about he shareholders. No one gives a monkeys what its consequences are. We are all expendable in the face of profit. If one does not accept that this is the reality, beyond any preference held, one is quite simply misguided.

Lets face it, from a global perspective, we are extremely lucky to be doing what we do as a profession. Its what a vast number of people on this planet would give their right arm to do. Most of them are earning less than $1 a day shovelling excrement. I don't buy into this woe is me mentality and I think that if you are not grateful for all that you have, a reality check is needed. We are in a position that is simply unobtainable for most of the world. So yes be grateful for the opportunities, be really grateful. For the most part, the days of making the silly money in this business are over. Its true that 15 years ago ad agencies would pay top dollar for a demo.... now look where we are. Get over it or diversify - everything is fleeting, nothing lasts. Change is the only certainty there is.

We are so caught up in expectation and entitlement that we have become absolutely and absurdly myopic. Its terrifying. Seriously. I would be more worried about impending water shortage, increasing government intrusion on liberty and the general vacuity of our culture than whether 1000 euros to compose a few tracks is 'rape' or not. I mean really!
Old 1st August 2014
Originally Posted by Openway View Post
I don't buy into this woe is me mentality
Who has exhibited a "woe is me" mentality? I think the general consensus has simply been that the amount offered (both in total and as a percentage of the overall budget) is less than the work is worth in the market where the service is being provided. That's not "woe is me", that's just expecting a reasonable rate for your labour.

I think that if you are not grateful for all that you have, a reality check is needed.
I am immensely grateful that I had the good fortune to be born into an affluent, egalitarian society. But I'm also working within the economic expectations of that society, and I need to earn a certain amount to function effectively within it.

We are in a position that is simply unobtainable for most of the world. So yes be grateful for the opportunities, be really grateful. For the most part, the days of making the silly money in this business are over.
Nobody is talking about "silly money" here - just fair remuneration for the work involved, within the economy where the transaction is taking place. And judging by several posts from people making a living in this industry, scoring an entire episode of television for 100 euro is NOT fair remuneration.

I would be more worried about impending water shortage, increasing government intrusion on liberty and the general vacuity of our culture than whether 1000 euros to compose a few tracks is 'rape' or not. I mean really!
How incredibly patronising.

I suspect the reason why people here have failed to meet your lofty standards for discourse, and are instead discussing trifles like getting fairly paid for composing music to picture, is because this is the "Music For Picture" forum.
Old 1st August 2014
Gear Guru
drBill's Avatar
Originally Posted by Openway View Post
Cue lights!
Annnnnnnnd.....fade to black.

Your assumptions (at least from a western perspective) are so far off that I can't even address all of them now. I'm busy trying to earn a living, but although there's certainly room for disagreement, there is a place where perspective just gets whacked out and crazy.

The music biz is NOTHING like the farmer demise you describe, and honestly, I don't know if it's disingenuous, or just ignorance or perhaps just trying to prove a point, but the music scoring biz is NOT being ruined by monopolies, it's being ruined by too many people trying to get in (beginners and newbies with unrealistic expectations) cutting prices to the bone - and below. (Enter Mr. Case's connundrum....) And, in addition, the fact that piracy has decimated the inherent precieved value of music to not only the general populous, but now to the production circles as well. That is also creating extreme challenges for earning a living writing music. Big business and monopolies have very little to do with it other than IF a business can get a product for less money, they of course WILL.

So.....different world? Different perspective? Or perhaps one of us is just plain wrong. I prefer to believe that I am right, because, IMO, to assume your viewpoint would mean the death of an industry I love and have used to support my family for a couple + decades. And that is too much to bear and be grateful and happy. And I choose to be grateful and happy.

Oh, and just a FYI - in most american cities and even small towns, there is NO place to buy produce or meat from the farmer / rancher. Supermarkets are the only option other than driving a hundred miles or starving.... I hope your farmers figure it out, and I hope you don't see dozens of would be composers jumping off the empire state building.....
Old 1st August 2014
Here for the gear
Openway's Avatar

: ) Dont be like that!

I have no 'lofty standards of discourse' vocalnick. Its simply the truth. I'm not dissing or patronising anyone - although you would make out that I am - thats your issue not mine.. The point is this - its not fair, nor will it ever be. We're too greedy, our present paradigm is a house of cards. One has to accept that fact, make choices and work accordingly. If thats too much of a bitter pill, so be it. Yes, we all need to earn - I have 3 children aged between 16 - 9! I am all too aware of the challenges associated with economic expectation! LOL...

its a game, its favours a few and the rest of us can choose how or if indeed we want to play...for now...... Egalitarian society? Thats a joke...Please show me one!
Old 1st August 2014
Gear Guru
drBill's Avatar
Originally Posted by vocalnick View Post
and are instead discussing trifles like getting fairly paid for composing music to picture, is because this is the "Music For Picture" forum.

Crap, I'm in the wrong place. Sorry. Gotta go......
Old 1st August 2014
Gear Guru
drBill's Avatar
Originally Posted by Openway View Post
We're too greedy, our present paradigm is a house of cards.
Please don't speak for the rest of us. From what I've seen, being a musician is 100X's harder than most jobs I know while the pay is a fraction of those other jobs. General, NON-superstar musicians are perhaps the most underpaid profession on the planet aside from migrant farmworkers.

Listen, I'm grateful and I believe most of us are. But I'm not greedy. Maybe you have some issues? Please don't paint us all with the same brush. Thanks.
Old 1st August 2014
Originally Posted by Openway View Post
I have no 'lofty standards of discourse' vocalnick. Its simply the truth. I'm not dissing or patronising anyone - although you would make out that I am - thats your issue not mine..
I just reacted honestly to what I read. You brought up a bunch of heady, broad ranging social issues in what appeared to me to be an effort to trivialise the OP's question and the subsequent discussion. That, plus your choice of tone & phrasing ("I mean really!") appeared quite patronising from here. But I realise how easily these things can be misconstrued online, so if that was not your intent, then I retract.

The point is this - its not fair, nor will it ever be. We're too greedy, our present paradigm is a house of cards. One has to accept that fact, make choices and work accordingly.
I don't disagree with that. But among my choices would be to try to maintain the marketplace's integrity and respect for my craft. I can't do that by making a habit of accepting payment significantly below what my work is worth. Or to extend your metaphor - if you're living in a house of cards, why would you be encouraging people to pull the cards away?

Egalitarian society? Thats a joke...Please show me one!
I was referring to Australia. It is by no means perfect, but I really just meant that it doesn't have the entrenched social stratification of many other nations. I'm sure you could think of many problems with the description, but please feel free to keep them to yourself. It was a passing adjective, of little import to the discussion at hand, and I have no interest in discussing it with you.

Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Listen, I'm grateful and I believe most of us are. But I'm not greedy. Maybe you have some issues? Please don't paint us all with the same brush. Thanks.
I'd appreciate that too.

The production team who funnel me most of my work could use someone cheaper if they were greedy, but we have a good creative/business relationship, they like my work, and they like to keep the work local, so it goes to me.

Likewise I subcontract various services out, and I could use MUUUUCH cheaper providers if I had a mind to - I would have saved many thousands over the last year. But I think that does a disservice to the industry I work in, so I go to people who charge reasonable (and sustainable) rates, do great work, and who I know as a result will still be in business the next time I need them.

I'm thinking through all of my professional affiliations and clients, and I can't think of any who I would describe as greedy. A couple of EX clients perhaps, but that's why they're ex...
Old 1st August 2014
Lives for gear
Amber's Avatar

The way I see it comes down the this. If 100 euros per day is close to a living wage where you live, and you can do one ep per day, do it if you have no other work and want some credits. If you're talking 100 euros to last you the week and each ep takes you a week, you'd be better off working 2 days a week in a coffee shop and spending the rest of the week doing music work you actually enjoy. As long as I get min wage, I don't worry too much. For me, it balances out with the work that makes me feel a bit greedy sometimes where I spend a few hours working and know I really don't need to work for the rest of the month if I didn't want to.

But I'd still try and negotiate higher. You can't buy time in this world. You can't get it back. If you're going to really struggle through something, make sure it's something you are extremely passionate about and can't live without doing.
Old 1st August 2014
Thumbs up

I agree with that 100%

Old 1st August 2014
Here for the gear

Anyone remember DesireInspires and his posts?

Openway reminds me of him - except DesireInspires finally came to his senses -

: Topic: Have I Been Cheated Out Of Money?!?
Old 1st August 2014
Gear Guru
drBill's Avatar
Just a side note here....

saw this over on the post prod forum where someone was asking about a LOW paying audio post budget - per episode. Comments :

$6k that's not a budget, that's an Insult.
That wouldn't cover dubstage time.
Glad you walked away.

Now, for a low budget show like this someone will do it. And they will probably have a somewhat decent facility staffed with 2-3 guys and a real mixing stage (albeit a very small one). But the people asking and discussing walked away at $6,000 per episode (one week) because it was TOO LOW to do a decent job.

But in light of this conversation, let's take this laughably low insult and compare it to the music budget side of things....

For this same show, it would generally take 2 guys working full time to finish an episode. (Writing, recording, mixing, music editing, deliverables, On the stage for a day, etc.) Not as much high end gear is required, although specialized gear is needed, and no store front studio is necessary for most composers. BUT, manpower-wise it will take at least 2/3's the time as the audio post will. I'm fairly knowledgeable on this. I've done it before...

So let's play a game....

6,000 X .66 (2/3) = approx $4,000
Let's be brutal and adjust that by 50% due to no storefront studio to support. That = $2,000

Mr. Case's aforementioned $100 is 5% of $2000, which is already laughably and walk away low by professional standards. Is anyone besides a couple of us seeing a problem here? Why is (adjusted) a $2000 budget not reasonable, but a $100 budget is "OK", and we should just be happy to have the work?

Until attitudes change and we start getting "greedy", expect to see your ability to eat, have health insurance, and a place to call "home" disappear over the next 3-5 years. Until the guys who want MORE $$$ outnumber the guys who will take the job at whatever price just to be doing something, your jobs will continue to disappear. They will go to India, China, or to HS and College students or royalty free libs.

Say goodbye guys.

Either change the industry yourselves - one job at a time, move to a 3rd world country where you can live on $20 a day or call it quits. Trust me, performance royalties aren't going to save your A$$.

Your choice.
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