In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

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Chad Peter
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In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Chad Peter » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:53 pm

I'd love to know what everyone's been working on lately, film or day-to-day jobs, etc, etc. Please use this forum to pitch, brag, complain, etc, about the things you've been hired upon.

Someone else start.

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Faldor
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Faldor » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:46 pm

I've been working on a short as VFX supervisor with a former Doctor Who companion doing Time Travel effects and gun shots and all sort of fun stuff.

which is nice

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Chad Peter
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Chad Peter » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:21 pm

Does it have a name? Or is still in the do not discuss phase?

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Faldor
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Faldor » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:52 pm

It's still pretty early going but it's fun. I wanted to do a post on a recent corporate gig but I shouldn't really do so publicly

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Adam Bertocci
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Adam Bertocci » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:14 am

I had my first couple of paid screenwriting gigs this year--rewrites, mostly Carrie-Fishering the dialogue. One, a feature (!), might actually shoot. I won't say they're the best things I ever wrote, but I'm very proud to finally be making a few bucks for what I love doing best.

Beyond that, my paying gigs are usually smaller edits -- reality TV pitch pieces, sizzle reels (I hate that term), sometimes an actor reel, sometimes a corporate gig; Rico has been throwing me corporate gigs of late, which is fun as we get a chance to commiserate in private. :p More rarely, I do graphics/titles/effects stuff, although I'm nowhere near as proficient an effects guy as a lot of people on this forum.

You won't hear me brag, because I am very very rarely proud of the things I get paid my full rate ($40/hr, whether it's actual work or rendering time and useless phone calls) for. It's not that I think my paying projects turned out badly (although sometimes they do), it's just that I have no passion for them, and I have difficulty faking passion. Obviously, I prefer working on narratives. I'll still sometimes do shorts for free if a friend is involved, but in general, I can get away with charging for that, although it's always a sliding scale based on much money the person in front of me seems to have. (I retain a great deal of love for poor-or-at-least-fauxhemian artists. I guess I saw "Rent" too many times.) I have not yet been paid to cut a feature. Shit, the last feature I cut _cost_ me money between one damn thing and another.

This leads me to a sidetrack: I have started making it a policy to pay everyone SOMETHING, however shitty, for my movies, be it money or bartered in-kind services or what. My actors are so used to doing plays for free (oh, _sometimes_ there's a meal if it's an all-day tech rehearsal...) that the pissant, what, $50 a day and lunch I give them seems princely by comparison. I realize it's not even minimum wage, but dang it, I want people to finish out their time with me having more than they would have if they spent the same amount of time begging on the street. I have been fortunate enough in my life to make that modicum of effort.

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Chad Peter
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Chad Peter » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:04 am

Adam, you definitely nailed a few points that strike a chord with me. Especially when it comes to the fact that we're adults now, and the acknowledgment that people need to be paid for their time. We're not kids anymore. It's a big reason why I don't make as many films anymore.

Good to hear you're getting paid to write - that's a great place to be. Got my fingers crossed that the feature sees its way thru to completion.

I've been extremely lucky over the past couple years to have landed in the jobs that I have as a VFX & stabilization artist (a field I really didn't expect to end up in). The trade off is that I don't have much time for writing and directing, but the amount I've learned and grown as a filmmaker (while not making any films of my own) seems tremendous. I can't wait to apply all this new shit PROPERLY to whatever film I direct next. Speaking of which, my goal for a 2nd feature is "do it by 40 years old", which leaves me with 5 years to make it. The lines are gray around whether or not I made my first feature before I turned 30 (I finished it when I was 31, but started it when I was 27). *shrug*

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Faldor
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Faldor » Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:59 am

Adam Bertocci wrote:I had my first couple of paid screenwriting gigs this year--rewrites, mostly Carrie-Fishering the dialogue. One, a feature (!), might actually shoot. I won't say they're the best things I ever wrote, but I'm very proud to finally be making a few bucks for what I love doing best.


That is awesome Adam, you can't say you didn't put in the hours.
Chad Peter wrote: I've been extremely lucky over the past couple years to have landed in the jobs that I have as a VFX & stabilization artist
How did that come about anyway?

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Chad Peter
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Chad Peter » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:16 pm

Faldor wrote:How did that come about anyway?
In 2005 a friend of Shayna Lanzo (lead actress of "Drugs") knew a guy by the name of Tyler Nelson that had gone to our film school in Colorado and was looking for a place to move in Los Angeles. Tyler got in touch with me and moved in to our apartment (replacing Chris Hanel and Josh Wasta of DLR fame). I lived with Tyler for about a year or two before I moved out on my own. Around the time I was starting "Apocalypse, CA", Tyler had worked his way onto the post production team for "Benjamin Button".

Fast forward to two years ago, Tyler had become (and still is), a fixture at the D. Fincher building - and I was broke as fuck, living at my mother's place in Palm Springs, having spent all my money on making "Apocalypse, CA". Luckily I ran into some terrible issues with rolling shutter on my short film "Pearblossom" and had to learn how to "fix it in post". So I learned Mocha and After FX to clean up some of the busted-ass shots. At some point around here, I met up with Tyler for dinner one night and he had mentioned how he had been approached to "stabilize" some bizarre-sounding upcoming indie feature (something called "Birdman") and he was wondering if I knew anyone that knew Mocha and After FX ("Me!"). (side note: Tyler developed a stabilization method on "The Social Network" that is still used on Fincher's movies/shows today). So I told him if "Birdman" ever happened to let me know, because I needed the money and it sounded interesting.

"Birdman" was running into some delays and I wanted to at least stop by the offices to talk to Tyler and make sure I knew what the hell I was doing. On my visit, Tyler introduced me to Fincher's post supervisor - and pitched me as a potential stabilization artist for "House of Cards", which was running post production out of Fincher's building at the time. While "Birdman" was still in flux, I was tired of waiting for SOMETHING to happen after a few weeks, and I could tell they were on the fence about hiring an unknown VFX artist with ZERO credits to his name (other than "Apocalypse, CA", of course) --- so I asked if they'd let me come in, work for free, and prove myself. I worked two days for free, proved that I could do it, and was hired onto "House of Cards" season 2 to replace Tyler as lead stabilization artist. "Birdman" eventually started a few months later. Been here ever since.

100% luck and "right place, right time"

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Adam Bertocci
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Adam Bertocci » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:43 pm

Whatever became of Pearblossom anyhoo? I am contractually entitled to a DVD copy of the movie! :p

Although at this point if it saves you money and aggravation you can send me a high-res H.264 QuickTime or something.

Chad Peter wrote:Luckily I ran into some terrible issues
Autobiography title right here.

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Chad Peter
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Chad Peter » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:46 am

Adam Bertocci wrote:Whatever became of Pearblossom anyhoo? I am contractually entitled to a DVD copy of the movie! :p

Although at this point if it saves you money and aggravation you can send me a high-res H.264 QuickTime or something.
Believe it or not, I still spend a considerable amount of time working on "Pearblossom" and fully intend to release it within the next two months. The show I've been on was just cancelled (no, not "Hannibal"), so I'm hoping I'll have time now to really focus on it. I've had to composite damn near every shot in the 20 minute long short. Still quite proud of "Pearblossom", despite everything surrounding it. By the time it's done, it will have taken almost exactly as long as "Apocalypse" did. Fucking mind-blowing. And here I thought I was slacking when "Drugs" took 2.5 years to make.

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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Grant » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:28 am

Would this cancelled show happen to be Fincher's Videosyncrazy (or whatever it's called) ?

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Faldor
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Faldor » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:12 am

I'm sure Chad is withholding the title because of how he's allowed to tell us if we guess ;)

Glad to hear Pearblossom is still a thing.

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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Grant » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:40 am

Haha yeah it was a cheeky question. Fantastic news to hear that Pearblossom is still coming our way.

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Chad Peter
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Chad Peter » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:13 am

Grant wrote:Would this cancelled show happen to be Fincher's Videosyncrazy (or whatever it's called) ?
8-)

And the news outlets never, EVER got the title right. ;)

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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Heiliger » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:49 pm

I've been continuing to work as an assistant editor, mostly in the reality TV genre, which I find most disappointing. After really burning out on a dating show pilot last fall, I decided to shun all reality work in an effort to find a job in scripted. I lucked out after five months of unemployment and a friend I knew from my PA days at Fox got me a night shift on a Fox/ABC comedy pilot. And then on my third day they gave me the lead AE spot because 1) I'm not a moron and 2) the other guy just sorta stopped coming in to work. To this day I don't know what happened there. Nervous breakdown? Physical exhaustion? It was a rough job, sometimes making me work 85 hours a week. I was always tired and on edge for the run of the show. It has certainly given me a new perspective on the business.

Some people will literally give up their whole lives just for the chance to work in TV & movies - I don't want to be one of those people. In the end, it wasn't the damn Godfather I was working on, just another pilot that didn't get picked up. But even if it had been the highest-brow kind of entertainment, is it worth trading my health and happiness outside of work to achieve? It's something I've asked co-workers about on other jobs since then - is busting your ass for a producer concerned only with getting more blood from the stone really worth it? We are not doctors and should not be on call 24/7. Shall I tear apart all my relationships, get 4 hours of sleep a night, and suffer bad treatment from my bosses JUST to make a fucking TV show? When people die in car wrecks driving home from work at 3:30am, it's a valid question.

Since that pilot I've worked on a couple reality shows including the Shark Week Sharktacular airing TONIGHT on Discovery. In the future, I may be joining Chad in the stabilization field, but perhaps not this year.

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Faldor
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Faldor » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:38 pm

Heiliger wrote:IIn the future, I may be joining Chad in the stabilization field
I'm sure there is a joke in that about it not being as stable as the name would suggest. B'dm Tsh!

Thank you, I'm here all week.

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Adam Bertocci
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Adam Bertocci » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:54 pm

I don't mind pitch pieces and whatever, things where it's just a few cooks stirring the broth and it's more like documentary than the fucking machine that is "real" reality TV. I do not aspire to work in that kind of environment. Sure, I know it's where the money is, but I think I'd rather get into weddings than be getting into that field.

I don't need the rush of saying something I cut aired on a major network. (Unless I was proud of the piece to begin with.) I have a lot of LA friends who are so proud to be in their thirties and working as some sort of assistant in TV, only because it's really TV. I'd rather be creative, and more of my own man, on stuff no one sees.

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Chad Peter
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Chad Peter » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:22 pm

Heiliger wrote:Shall I tear apart all my relationships, get 4 hours of sleep a night, and suffer bad treatment from my bosses JUST to make a fucking TV show?
Yes?

lol. Reality TV is the worst. It's the modern day rite of passage (it seems) for anyone trying to "make it" in LA. I don't miss those days at all.

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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Heiliger » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:49 am

Reality TV mostly has decent hours. It's just a factory where they churn out Reality Product Sausage. Mostly predictable at least. But it's non-union and doesn't pay as well.

It's the scripted shows that I was referring to and if that's what is actually being asked - complete devotion and prioritization over every other aspect of your life - then I will leave it to some other poor sucker who really thinks it's worth it. As if the viewing public cares about your personal sacrifices while they're watching the next season of The Flash. The more people just go along with it, the worse it's gonna get.

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Mike
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Re: In which we discuss the things for which we are paid...

Post by Mike » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:45 pm

Chad Peter wrote:
Faldor wrote:How did that come about anyway?
100% luck and "right place, right time"
"The harder I work, the luckier I get." - some dead philosopher dude, paraphrased.
"Np2k has ruined my life." - Lance

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