Created a New Business Model for Mixing
Bill agrees that it was great advice to rent space especially given the situation now with
studios shutting down because of high overhead. As Bill explains, it was a turning point for
developing a new relationship with studios and encouraging him to be interdependently
situated within an established studio as a vendor. Bill notes, “It was my first company
where I was doing the equivalent of freelance and putting it through a business account
instead of taking it on personally.”
He constructed a new approach to work and is now blazing an alternative trail for other
studio mixers to consider. Cavanaugh notes, “I got a job offer in Manhattan from Sync
Sound doing big projects. That’s where I worked on ‘Beavis and Butthead,’ picked up
MTV as a client at that point. And they followed me wherever several other companies
did and I moved on to two or three other studios. The last one I worked for was a
company called Highball Digital (not real name) and they were part of a large editorial
company that was running into the larger problem of increasing rents and lower budgets.
They had hundreds of million dollars of equipment installed in this facility. Their overhead
got to the point where they were left with either cutting salaries or laying people off. I was
making $150,000 a year. They then had me down to $120,000 and then the cut it down to
$100,000. I said, ‘that I would start taking in some outside jobs to make up for it because
New York is expensive.’ Then one day out of the blue owner/manager of the audio division
said, ‘look we’re in trouble.’ I found out years later that the company never really made
money. They said, ‘your new salary is $87,000’ and half the staff walked out. I said let me
think about it?”
Opening To Possibility
I love the phrase, “let me think about it. . .” It is the pause in the conversation that creates
a space for another possibility to be considered. Often there is a discomfort with pauses. It
is respectful way to politely be excused and continue the conversation at a later date when
you have something to discuss a placeholder for future dialogue. Or, it is a conflict-free
way to ignore someone. I’ve observed plenty of parents of young children use the phrase
“let me think about it” (myself included) to pause the conversation. In Bill’s case, he was
actively listening, engaging, and using the time out to ponder the possibilities.
Bill was then able to come back with an offer that was mutually agreeable. “I thought I
have A & E Biography, The History Channel as clients who have left the studio system
because the new technology was allowing them to do some of the work. The studio was
losing clients because they could not longer afford to pay for the rooms as their budgets
were failing. I looked at the technology and built a small multitrack system that could
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