Grow, Hiccup and Value Truth
I’ve often been asked by friends and family why on earth would I choose make a company when there are so many jobs out there for people in my field. Well, the truth is that there isn’t one answer. It’s a culmination of a lot of things. But what it boils down to is setting out on a journey, rough seas and all, with the reward of making something that impacts people’s lives in a positive way- this includes our employees, our clients and our audience.
My company has been lucky enough to score some really amazing clients in film, broadcast, marketing, communications and fashion and committed to upping our game with each subsequent project. Along with my partner Jen, I’ve also grown our library of equipment and invested in the best in cameras, motion rigs, tripods, monopods, audio gear and lighting. As well, we have implemented methods of corresponding with client orders including Zendesk for project management, Freshbooks for easy and clear invoicing and Smugmug for secure project screenings, especially with proprietary/sensitive material.
Even better, and what I am particularly grateful for, is the mistakes we’ve made. Learning that every project needs a formal contract (although verbal and email agreements are totally binding in New York), every client needs to be given realistic expectations and that, contrary to popular belief, the customer isn’t always right. I know what you are thinking…well thats a risky thing to say on a company blog where clients and potential clients will likely come across. But sometimes you do have to tell your client when you don’t agree with their editorial direction because they’re coming to us for our expertise in the art of video and storytelling. As well, learning how to be clear and concise with clients, making their jobs as easy as possibly and always thinking one step ahead. Prepare for the hiccups because they happen in every project from short promos to big budget feature length films.
I reference Harvey Weinstein’s dispute with Warner Bros over the copywright issues regarding the title of his upcoming feature, The Butler, which he faces 25k in fines by the MPAA for each day he runs trailers and promotional content. Apparently Warner Bros owns the right to a silent film under the same title dated back to 1916. Its surprising that no one in Weinstein’s company saw this coming. A hiccup for sure…
The most important lesson I learned is from my former manager Lynda. And that is the unlimited value of truth. I’ve learned to tell clients what they need to hear, rather than what they want to hear. If I feel that a deadline is unrealistic, I will tell my client that openly and honestly. And the same goes for choosing color schemes, branding and storyboarding. Sometimes they will agree and sometimes they wont. But at the end of the day, it helps cements a strong foundation of trust with our clients who come back to us over and over again. They trust us because we’re always truthful with them.
Thats all for now. Thanks for reading!