Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Writing on ‘Spec’ › Jim, I hear you LnC. I’ve
I hear you LnC. I’ve had spec gigs passed my way and I’ve produced spec gigs. Working on spec is like casual sex, no guarantee you’ll get a ring out of it or even being good. Most likely you’ll just get screwed.
When I produce a spec gig these days, 99% of the time I’m the Exec. That way I know everyone involved will get a square deal. On those rare 1%er’s, if I find a project interesting enough to work on spec I’ll throw my hat in. A couple of years ago some folks trying to start a reality tv show approached me to shoot their pilot for them. Though I personally despise RTV it seemed like a good project and I was in between my scheduled paying gigs. Long story short, it was the usual BS. The folks making the program wanted 100% control over everything though they weren’t paying. I was willing to do an in-field cut during production so that when they left it would be with something tangible to watch in hand. My only proviso was I would keep the original footage until they paid my fee. Picture lead and balloons. They weren’t hearing it and they got some wannabe college schmuck to shoot it and one of the people I know that stayed with the project said it was so bad he left the production halfway through. Oh and the show never got picked up. Imagine that.
It was interesting watching those folks in the film go through the process of writing then pitching their film for financing. It was really painful to watch. Having gone through the ‘rejection cycle’ once, I realized I didn’t have the time or the patience to wait for someone else’s opinion. Early on I recognized if films with my name on them were ever going to be made, I had to be the one to do it. It has absolutely not been easy though when things fall into place it may seem like it later.
But you are right, it would have to be one serious sweetheart deal with some bennie’s attached.