Monday, February 27, 2006

It's the Mickey Mouse Club

I got a call out of the blue a couple of days ago from a girl I dealt with about 18 months ago. Back then she wanted a music video done and I had a meeting with her about it. Nothing happened after - she didn't follow up with anything so it never went anywhere.

Cut back to the present and she is back on the radar.

Wanting (as usual - because they ALWAYS want it like this) a music video done for next to nothing. I've sent a few emails to my producer and he's broken down what is gonna be possible for the money available and it's pretty funny to read.

It would be more appropriate to rename our collective: The Mickey Mouse Club.

The crew of the MMC will get paid - only £50 a day. But they will still get paid because they will be talented professionals. On a short film they will often work for nothing because a short film is 'art' - and for better or worse, that is the passion of a lot of people. But music videos ... FORGET ABOUT IT. Somebody is gaining something... and only desperate wannabess want the piss taken out of them. There are only so many total freebies that you can get out of people.... so unless it is considered art it needs to pay something. I'm not getting paid, but the actual crew who turn up and bust their asses all day - we HAVE to pay them something. From the runner to the Lighting Camera - they all get the same.

The problem facing the Mickey Mouse Club is that most people at the lower echelons of the music industry are a waste of fucking time. They all want something for nothing. In principle that is fine - fucking cornerstone of capitalism. But too many people want something for nothing and are totally unwilling to put in any legwork. So in order to make this project work - they need to put in some serious leg work to get all the things we need to make it work.

Personally, my own experience with music videos is that I need as much experience as I can get so I'm gonna do it. And for the most work, I'm the only one who doesn't get paid. (I'm not complaining - just stating a fact.)

But, it looks like the concept for the video is already decided. A generic performance video- with a mild twist. The problems here is that the Mickey Mouse Club simply cannot complete with MTV so any attempt is guaranteed to fail. But more often than not, that is what people see, and that is what they want.

The budget will *BARELY* stretch to cover anything. It will make the short film I shot in December look like a fucking EPIC. So any production values and dancers/models and whatnot will have to be organised by them and not us.

So with regards to creative control --- effectively, on this project I will have very little... because so much of it is out of my hands.

So, what is the fucking point?

What can I accomplish with this project?

I have a meeting with the woman next week, and I am gonna have to really come up with something - some kind of hook or something to make this project distinguishable from the next generic shit on TV.

But then again, maybe I shouldn't - maybe they should just get what they pay for. If we bust our asses on this then we will set the marker at what can be accomplished for so little and they will expect the same next time.

But then again - if something is worth doing it is worth doing well.

So I figure this:

I'm going to put as much effort as I can into this - BUT - I must be realistic about what can be accomplished for so little. I will give it 100%, but no more. If it gets silly or stupid or disorganised I will just wipe my hands of it.

I must not get excited or needlessly carried away with it. It is only a job. And one that doesn't even pay.


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