Why I Walked Away From A High Paying Production Gig
Tuesday January 14th, 12:24am, my phone vibrates loudly waking me up from my sleep. I look over at the phone and notice it’s on my aluminum trash can. I then pick up the phone wondering “who texts at this time?” as I’m squinting at the screen.
Turns out, it was an email from a client, one I’d been waiting for since Friday of last week. The client tells me “hey, we love the work you’ve presented, payment will be processed … blah blah Cool, I love reading emails like that, but what’s even better was being told “we need help with 2 more projects” ← more work. I was really thrilled about being offered these projects, but had to pass on one of them. Can you guess which one? Click to vote (before reading through) → Pop Single or Game Audio, results should be interesting.
Why I Passed Up A High Paying Project
1) My Hearts Not Going To Be In It
I’ve never enjoyed the process of working with artist. I like to create what I want, when I want and be done when I want to be done. I just don’t have the patience or willingness to adapt in that department.
It’s not me and never has been. Even when I worked with artist in the past, I would just create the instrumental, and pass it over to the main producer and let them deal with the rest. I was never above taking partial writers credit, giving up credit or doing the work for hire thing.
2) An Obligation To My Members
On my membership page I offer “paid projects” meaning I often hand down work I don’t like doing myself, can’t do or am to busy to do. I’d rather pass the project along to someone who enjoys and has time for this type of project. This will knock out two birds with one stone.
1) → It’ll make the client happy, working with someone who cares and is passionate
2) → It’ll put money in someone’s pocket, might even be a strong connection that leads to more work in the future. I don’t ask for a cut, writers credit or finders fee, it’s a win win for all.
3) I Enjoy Helping Others
Music production was very confusing when I started (for me at least). Not only did I not understand how to set everything up, I didn’t know how to go about finding connections and making money. I didn’t know how to go about building connections.
I thought in order to do anything you had to work with a label or have a manager to pitch your material. Everyone told me to shake hands at production conferences and different types of conventions. I didn’t have money for that. And remember, this was before the internet took off as a way for people (little guys) to market themselves.
People were doing it, but it wasn’t that popular nor did it generate the returns like it does today. There was no market to market to like there is now. The internet (then) was better for video games and chat boards. 56K SUCKED!
So I continued saving money for gear and eventually purchased a ticket for a convention hosted by GC or BMI. I think they were co sponsors or something. Anyway, it was inspiring, but I was still lost. Still didn’t know where to start.
Felt like had just wasted $400 and some odd dollars, it was frustrating. The panelist went over a ton of information sharing stories and possibilities. But no one shared anything about actually finding the work. They pressed strongly on connecting with each other.
I wasn’t to happy about that. Yea, let me go connect with the rest of these schmucks who are just as confused (if not more) as I am, that’ll really get me somewhere. I wanted to connect with the panelist, after all, they were the ones making a living doing this stuff.
They didn’t even mention leads paths you could take to get the ball rolling. That’s what most of us wanted → to get the ball rolling. Rant! Anyway, I know some of us only need to get the ball rolling, getting a placement not only puts some money in your pocket, but it’s a boost of confidence, and for a lot of us, that’s what we need.
What Gigs Do You Hate?
Would you ever pass a project onto someone else without collecting a fee or taking a cut? Would you just work through the project anyway, even if it were one you weren’t passionate about?