Here’s my second tip on how to fail as a freelancer: don’t whine about kit. Let me explain with a story about a cameraman, some kit and creative lighting (the first one was about the cameraman rate the same guy was offered).
Why you shouldn’t whine on a shoot
At Napoleon Creative We were on a shoot with a limited budget. The cameraman wanted another soft light, but this was adding about another £60 to the budget, which was already capped by the client. I said no, let’s live without. After all, if you turn up to a shoot with bells and whistles when the client is paying a lower rate, they’ll expect the same kit for that price every time.
So we were setting up lighting. I suggested something. Loudly and clearly the cameraman said “Well, if you’d let me bring my soft light we could have done that. But you said no.” He then went on to say how stupid it was not to agree to the additional costs for the light, rather than suggesting a different shot that could be lit. Yes, I knew all of that. I’d made that decision on a financial basis. But I wanted to look at what we could achieve with what we have, rather than what we didn’t.
Creative Lighting Tip
If you want to fail as a freelancer, moan about the kit. Say what can be achieved with kit that’s not available on the day. Make it sound like the day’s filming is compromised because not enough has been spent on lighting. Be negative.
If you want to succeed as a freelancer, by all means mention to the director that additional kit would have helped, but do it without making it sound like the project is in jeopardy. Then shrug it off and offer him something that can be lit with the lights you have. Because the only thing that the director will remember is your negativity. Negativity sticks like superglue.
More tips to win work in my CV book