Starting Over

3 03 2010

Wednesday Afternoon

int my cubical

Working on my computer loading that weeks interviews to YouTube. My boss comes over and said the worse six words in the English “I need to let you go”.

Lay-off….getting fired…being let go. No matter how is it said it all means the same thing. You will not be working at your post for any longer. It’s uncomfortable for both parties. DO NOT SAY ANYTHING THAT YOU MIGHT REGET. You never know if the lay-off is temporary or if you may need your boss’s reference. Never burn your bridges.

After hearing the news, I was shocked, I had been working for the station for over a year. Not only I had I learned the work flow, I became a event videographer and field reporter along as a graphic operator and digital content manager. Basically I could do almost everything except host our live show. I liked the people that I worked with and hoped to stay near my hometown.

Now I’m filling out unemployment, updating my resume and roll calling my friends. Not to say I’m not fighting depression and the WTF questions like “What am I going to now?” “How am I going to pay my student loans?” “Was film school a mistake?” are running around in my mind.

Luckily for me I have a non-media job that I’m slowly beginning to hate, that unfortunately provides me my income. I do realize some media professionals aren’t as fortunate. Plus all those damn tech schools piss me off ….I was told too that if I had a degree I would be making a lot more money that working with out one. No one put a gun to my head and made me go to college, but I did it anyway. I loved my college and they do offer career support.

I hate the idea that you “have to” go New York City or Los Angeles. Hundreds of film grads and wannabee’s flock to both cities and are run through the “internship” gauntlet. Six months minimal of long hours and no pay for the promise of “connections”. For some people that will be they ticket in to the industry. For others their dreams for fame and fortune will be shattered and they will go back to Des Moines or Lexington and give up. Please don’t. Find what you love and make a movie or tv show or web series.

The Hollywood system has changed and shows little to no chance of returning to the way it was. The faster that people realize this the better off they will be. Filmmakers now need to be PR trained, entrepreneurs with technical skills to sell their films. I hope I can help out by offering advice and technical support.

Find people that share your passion and make it happen!


The care and feeding of Clients or How to give great customer service

2 02 2010

I was talking to a freelancer I hired to work on my website. After writing a few emails voicing on concerns on the project, lack of updates I went off. To be honest not one of my prouder moments… here is a bit of the email I wrote.

Me  8:44 PM
ok…so there’s no prob? in the future you may want to make a client/project calendar

Name Protected  8:45 PM
yeah…guess as long as it doesnt happen again

Me 8:46 PM
that’s up to you

But as I think again….I did offer you access my calendar and ask you to add appointments for time at we’re both free to prevent back and forth emailing or im’ing. You did nothing so I took in control. I didn’t know you didn’t have your own calendar (wtf not?)  So I don’t feel least bit bad about happened @ work. Plus why it take so long to finally set up times to work together???  In case you have forgot I’m a client. Please do me a favor nut up or shut up.

Not good…not effective…not professional. We both failed. I let my emotions take over and failed to state communications needs and means.

Name Protected failed to communicate available times and means of scheduling and did not return emails.

Doom on both of us. Please don’t end up writing an email like mine.


Setup communications times and means.  Work with what you’re comfortable with and what your clients needs. Like Tues 10am skype + weekly process reports. You get the idea.  People get nervous once they pay for a service and don’t see anything being done.

Setup deadlines

Manage expectations. If you said you can make the world in 7 days you better done by day 6 hr 23 and minute 59.

If you can’t make it happen, please say so.  That clears your schedule and lets people know that you are busy.


Do your research.

Ask for recommendations.

Define your needs.

Then if satisfied let them do their job. Emailing your freelancer a million times does you both no good.  It wastes your time and their goodwill.

If you are not satisfied state your problems in a constructive way. If you do not find that works for you ….FIRE THEM.  Life is short to suffer idiots.

I hope this helps