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Author Topic: Where Do I Go?  (Read 7959 times)

Aaron Talley

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Re: Where Do I Go?
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2010, 01:30:10 am »

benjamin fisher wrote on Sun, 16 May 2010 23:27

Evan Kirkendall wrote on Sun, 16 May 2010 23:24

Make friends with local larger production companies. Offer to do freelance work for them. Make it known that you have a smaller production company, and are available to work when they are booked. Also offer to pass work off to them that you cannot handle.

Makes everyone happy, and keeps everyone working.



Evan

Good idea on the trading. Never thought of that, but I do occasionally get gigs that are a bit beyond me.


I agree. Making friends with some companies a little farther away may help too. They might be more willing to give someone some work who is not a direct competitor for their business. It also gives you more experience. Just remember to play nice.

I did an event and hired some first rate ops that work for other companies that I cross rent to and from on a regular basis. Guy1 heard guy2 telling the producer that the company he worked for had better gear and the producer should give guy2 a call next time he had an event. Guy1 told Guy3 and myself what he saw and Guy1 and Guy3 said they would make sure Guy2 didn't work with their companies shows again.

Talley
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John Mlynick

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Re: Where Do I Go?
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2010, 01:41:41 am »

benjamin fisher wrote on Mon, 17 May 2010 00:27

Evan Kirkendall wrote on Sun, 16 May 2010 23:24

Make friends with local larger production companies. Offer to do freelance work for them. Make it known that you have a smaller production company, and are available to work when they are booked. Also offer to pass work off to them that you cannot handle.

Makes everyone happy, and keeps everyone working.



Evan

Good idea on the trading. Never thought of that, but I do occasionally get gigs that are a bit beyond me.



When you have free time - spend it with the larger sound company in your area. There is always cleaning and grunt work to do. Let them get to know you and your work habits

Of course - there is always school too. You can either go back to college or go help the colleges in your area with their sound or stage set-up.

We are coming up on summer - there are various outdoor theater groups that usually can use some sound help - sound always seems to be a problem for them, as the sound of an actor's voice diffuses - making it hard for the audience to hear.

Some of this you may have to do for free at first - but it will turn into money as soon as you get so busy that you have people and projects competing for your time.

BTW- I agree with someone here who has an issue with people posting - "Do a search" and not offering any further information. Its is a rudeness prevelant on this board - if you don't have something constructive - don't offer anything. There are plenty of nice people here who are more than glad to help.

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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Where Do I Go?
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2010, 02:19:45 am »

Aaron Talley wrote on Mon, 17 May 2010 00:30

benjamin fisher wrote on Sun, 16 May 2010 23:27

Evan Kirkendall wrote on Sun, 16 May 2010 23:24

Make friends with local larger production companies. Offer to do freelance work for them. Make it known that you have a smaller production company, and are available to work when they are booked. Also offer to pass work off to them that you cannot handle.

Makes everyone happy, and keeps everyone working.



Evan

Good idea on the trading. Never thought of that, but I do occasionally get gigs that are a bit beyond me.


I agree. Making friends with some companies a little farther away may help too. They might be more willing to give someone some work who is not a direct competitor for their business. It also gives you more experience. Just remember to play nice.

I did an event and hired some first rate ops that work for other companies that I cross rent to and from on a regular basis. Guy1 heard guy2 telling the producer that the company he worked for had better gear and the producer should give guy2 a call next time he had an event. Guy1 told Guy3 and myself what he saw and Guy1 and Guy3 said they would make sure Guy2 didn't work with their companies shows again.

Talley


That's one of the things we make sure of: subcontractors and free lancers work for US.  We also provide incentive commissions in addition to agreed upon fees if they bring us new work or up-sell a job, and that helps to keep some focus on who's gig it really is.

For Benjamin, what did you *not* find in your research, or why was it not applicable to your situation?  Details help you get better answers.

Tim Mc
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(BJ) Benjamin Fisher

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Re: Where Do I Go?
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2010, 02:43:50 am »

Right on fellas.

Tim, mostly just the school side of things. I'm not talking about school for business, or Full Sail kind of things, though. I guess, networking with people that are more established and willing to lend a hand is a good start.
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BJ Fisher
Stealthy Sound
Columbus,OH

Tim McCulloch

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Re: Where Do I Go?
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2010, 10:01:55 am »

benjamin fisher wrote on Mon, 17 May 2010 01:43

Right on fellas.

Tim, mostly just the school side of things. I'm not talking about school for business, or Full Sail kind of things, though. I guess, networking with people that are more established and willing to lend a hand is a good start.


Realistically, networking is the thing.  It's all about "who knows YOU" rather than the other way around.

As for breaking out, moving up or whatever we call it, it's a combination of opportunity, competence, people skills and, finally, having access to the right gear to do the job.  The gear is the easiest part as it's one of those problems that can be solved with money.

Something to consider is you need to decide *who* you want to work for.  What kind of gigs can provide the income needed to make production a full or significant part-time job?  The vast majority of applications for amplified sound are not bands in bars, so see what other applications exist in your geographic market and determine if you can/should get involved in one or more of them.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
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Scott Smith

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Re: Where Do I Go?
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2010, 10:10:50 am »

Maybe a different angle, but you work for bar bands... do any ever do larger or outdoor events?  I guess this might not be helpful though, if you don't have equipment to do the job...
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Craig Basten

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Re: Where Do I Go?
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2010, 01:53:22 pm »

John Mlynick wrote on Mon, 17 May 2010 00:41


Some of this you may have to do for free at first - but it will turn into money as soon as you get so busy that you have people and projects competing for your time.


I have to respectfully disagree with this point - working for free (or too cheap) devalues your services as well as those of your neighbors.  It can seem appealing as a device to get your name out there, but underpricing is damaging to the marketplace as a whole.  It takes a long time to recover from that damage, particularly in a market where there's a finite amount of work.

All underpricing really does is to keep you busy at a rate that's too low to stay in business.  Your equipment, time and expertise have value - price accordingly.

The other comments about partnerships are spot on - it can be a great tool to find work.  Another option is to sign on with your IATSE local, though that can work against you if you don't have the flexibility to take job assignments on short notice.
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John Mlynick

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Re: Where Do I Go?
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2010, 03:02:33 pm »

Craig Basten wrote on Mon, 17 May 2010 13:53

John Mlynick wrote on Mon, 17 May 2010 00:41


Some of this you may have to do for free at first - but it will turn into money as soon as you get so busy that you have people and projects competing for your time.


I have to respectfully disagree with this point - working for free (or too cheap) devalues your services as well as those of your neighbors.  It can seem appealing as a device to get your name out there, but underpricing is damaging to the marketplace as a whole.  It takes a long time to recover from that damage, particularly in a market where there's a finite amount of work.

All underpricing really does is to keep you busy at a rate that's too low to stay in business.  Your equipment, time and expertise have value - price accordingly.

The other comments about partnerships are spot on - it can be a great tool to find work.  Another option is to sign on with your IATSE local, though that can work against you if you don't have the flexibility to take job assignments on short notice.


Good point - Undercutting the market is a very real risk, which could backfire and end up squeezing everyone in the market. However, scale plays a part here as well - and as we know the larger companies do not really compete head to head with the smaller - one man operations(There are exceptions - but as a general rule).

In my post I was looking at the OP's position only - not considering the broader implications. With the whole picture in mind I would have to say - you walk a fine line between scaring up work and experience - and creating a price point that is unprofitable, which could be more damaging in the long run than simply living with the work you have. I don't think this board can help the OP with that aspect - thats where "business sense" come in to play.

Keep this in mind though - Many small outdoor theater companies are volunteer organizations which do not have budgets for sound. That kind of work and experience may not be available unless you are willing to help them get to the next level.
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Dick Rees

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Re: Where Do I Go?
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2010, 03:08:42 pm »

There are many factors in play in the marketplace.  Service, price, personality among others.  Some will hire you for the service you provide and pay your rate.  Some will want you to work for their price.  Some will hire you because of who you are regardless of your price.  Of these the least desirable is the price conscious client.  They will hire the lowball bottom-feeder every time and demand the moon.

Be good, be real and do your best to find and support the going rate......plus a bit to counteract the tendency of over-competitive ankle biters to let entropy reduce the wage scale to negative numbers.  
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Craig Basten

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Re: Where Do I Go?
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2010, 09:31:10 pm »

John Mlynick wrote on Mon, 17 May 2010 14:02

Many small outdoor theater companies are volunteer organizations which do not have budgets for sound. That kind of work and experience may not be available unless you are willing to help them get to the next level.

This to me is exactly where the benefit is of joining up with a larger provider or IATSE; it gives you an opportunity to work with larger shows and theatres to gain that experience.  This isn't even about market differentiation or competing for different market segments.  The companies that have been around for a while (large or small) know better than to try to create an artificial market where there is no hope for an economic return.

I can't justify giving away a service of value just because an organization doesn't have the budget for it.  If they can't afford it, they don't get the service - that's true of pretty much anything.  I don't know of a lot of businesses in the habit of giving their services away.

Dick is absolutely correct on this...working on a low-bid basis is painful.  You need to work to create the value proposition so you can charge the right rate and at the end the client thanks you and rebooks.  And, you made what you're worth!  Educating the client on the value you bring goes a long way.  There are plenty of posts here about sound providers 'fired' by the client to go cheap, only to call back the next year and re-hire, many times at a higher rate.  BUILD THE VALUE.  Price is only one component of value.

Expanding on why I feel this isn't a good idea...using your theatre example, to do it right typically requires wireless earsets and boundary mics.  Most small providers, including me, don't carry that equipment so there's a real cost for rental to do the gig correctly.

So, now there's a choice to make...
1.  Create a perpetuating devaluation by doing it for cheap (or free), and damage your reputation by not doing what the show required (since you've effectively prevented yourself from acquiring the necessary equipment to do it properly)

-OR-

2.  Build value in the service, present real prices and preserve the market, knowing the client will possibly (or likely) reject the show due to budget.


I'm in the latter camp.
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