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where he essentially divorced a major media giant because, “They’re bidding low,
demanding it immediately, asking for multiple revision maybe four or five times without
compensation -- because it keeps going up the corporate food chain and everyone wants
to change it.”
Bill would like to get paid for the multiple versions or overages. He usually finds himself
spending more time reworking the mistakes of poor sound quality of film given to him on
the front end. He also mentions a lot of underhanded bidding ploys such as, “Just lower
the price on this job by 50% and we’ll throw more work your way next time.” Of course,
the work never materializes and they repeat this deception at other studios to substantially
reduce costs. The Freelancers Union has an online conversational site to chastise
deadbeat clients. As we move freelance from an independent to an interdependent front,
these community discussions and advocacy groups have the power to forewarn and
organize against deceptive business practices.
Alan McElroy (Screenwriter): Technology Has Changed The Film Industry
Everybody used to have a novel in the drawer and now it’s a screenplay. Alan speaks to
changes in the film industry:
We are the most visual we have ever been as a society. Between online and the
cinematic experience, there’s a hunger for the visual IMAX, Big Screen TVs,
Webisodes, youtube.com. There is the software and technology to build worlds.
With graphics arts, you can make your own movies. The success of Open Water,
The Blair Witch Project, and Paranormal Activity demonstrates that with an HD
camera you can make films yourself for under a millions dollars and get into a
festival. A studio sees it picks it up it catches fire and booms you’ve made a
mint.
Alan knows many of the risk and reward tales that abound in the film industry. A Michael
Moore, initially holding bingo games to raise money for his first film, is now a wealthy and
recognized documentary filmmaker. The ability to make a movie with very little upfront
capital and production expenses, coupled with energetic filmmakers doing the promotional
legwork at film festivals, has the large studios looking at these wunderkind films that can
maximize profit and buzz with minimal overhead (e.g. Paranormal Activity). Alan describes
a narrative that is more typical in the industry and that is the difficulty of finding money in
this downturn to finance films. This leaves mid-budget films to wither Alan explains:
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