You MUST have you’re own equipment and werk for free

I’ll admit it, I’m addicted to reading Mandy.com. It’s like biting down on a tooth that aches. You know it’s gonna hurt, but you can’t stop doing it. I have nothing against websites like Mandy, or Shooting People. You have to start somewhere. The misspellings bug the hell out of me, but what really upsets me is the tone of many of the ads. There’s often no sense of graciousness… appreciation…for what a person’s offering by doing the job. I read ad after ad with expectations of people working cheap or free yet supplying kit. I see the word “MUST” (in capital letters) so often. Here’s an exact quote from a Mandy ad right now: “What you MUST have for this job it’s (sic) lights.”

So here’s my idea, a template for those that are looking for help on Mandy, Shooting People etc. :

“Hi, I’m trying to make a ___________ . It is a self-funded project and therefore I do not have enough money to pay anyone/can only pay NMW.
I would be really grateful for any help that you can give. Maybe you’re a ______ that wants to be a ______ , or are already a professional and just like to support the independent film industry.
Although the job is ____ days long, any time you could give to the project would be much appreciated.
We will do our best to make the length of the days reasonable, and will make sure there is always water and food on set.
I know this is a lot to ask, but I really want to make this ____ . I realize that you will be helping me more than I will be helping you, and I promise to behave in a manner that demonstrates that. I also know that if you own your own equipment you should be compensated for my using it, because I understand that it costs money to buy, to insure, and to maintain.
Thank you.”

Cost: The effort, loss, or sacrifice necessary to achieve or obtain something

I’ve been talking to a lot of film students and film school graduates about their projects, and there are several themes that seem to run through all our conversations. The one I’m thinking of right now, is budgets.

I would imagine that there are three budgets when it comes to making any film; first you have the ‘how much I have to spend’ budget. Then the ‘how much can I make it for’ budget, and finally, the most ignored of the three, the ‘how much would it really have cost to make’ budget. Continue reading