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  #1  
Old 06-20-2017, 04:27 AM
melloj melloj is offline
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Default Are us post guys really under appreciated or am I just paranoid?

This is a question for post really but feel free to comment. Is sound design, Foley, audio editing, whatever...an under appreciated profession? Are we thought of as lower than other artists in film making? I see more paid jobs in other departments than audio, a lot more. Especially job sites. If I look on TV and film Pro there seems to be a plethora of paid vfx, DOPs, make-up etc... you name it, but there's almost always a fee being offered. Barr the occasional audio job, all the audio post jobs are on the 'low no pay' section of the site. It's always the same crap - you'll get an imdb, you can use it for your show reel, "everyone else is working for free".

Where is all the paid work?! Of course I have lots of "deferred contracts". I guess I'm just having a whinge and crying out for help, I'm not as busy as I'd like to be. Here in the UK the industry has an almost Masonic existence. You have to be 'in the club'. MPSE requires sponsorship by several members as does AMPS.

I'm just not very good at the business side of things and really don't know where to start. I've refrained from having a website because I've nothing of anything notable to put on it. I've just relied on producing the best work I can, buy the best kit I can afford and hope by having a good work ethic my rep will spread, but after 4 years of working in post I'm still treading water. I'm interested to know what other people think of the industry and us.
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  #2  
Old 06-20-2017, 09:00 AM
conleec conleec is offline
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Default Re: Are us post guys really under appreciated or am I just paranoid?

The movie and television industry is a tough nut to crack; from the outside it looks like a glamorous profession, so many people try to do it. Perhaps too many.

Post in particular is competitive, because everybody has access to the tools now, and many don't see the need to hire a professional when they can "do it themselves." Picture editing is also full of low and no paying job offers.

If you're passionate about it, stick to it. Do good work, always, and work to get better at the business side of it. There is a definite advantage to hiring professionals, and you need to get better at marketing that fact to your prospective clients. If they don't have the money to pay, they aren't really "clients" anyway, they're charity cases. Be selective about what charity cases you take on. Some might have genuine talent and could be a worthy investment, but MOST are a time suck and keep you from either enjoying life, or servicing paying clients.

In addition to talent, you need a small amount of luck, some good timing, and dogged determination. Believe me, I've been making a living at this for over 20 years, and there are days I wonder if I'll ever work again. LOL.

I'd start by figuring out what you need to keep the lights turned on, and start demanding at least that from your pitch meetings. Market the hell out of the fact that they're going to get more than what they'd get from somebody working for free. Eventually, you'll establish a minimum rate, a clientele, a reputation, and a solid reel.

I wish I could be more specific, but there are as many ways to do it as there are people and markets. Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 06-20-2017, 11:15 AM
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Benoni Benoni is offline
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Default Re: Are us post guys really under appreciated or am I just paranoid?

You are not paranoid.
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  #4  
Old 06-21-2017, 02:52 AM
melloj melloj is offline
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Default Re: Are us post guys really under appreciated or am I just paranoid?

Thanks for your input. I needed a sympathetic ear. Some times I get down about it especially when Ive invested so much time and money trying to get onboard. I gave up trying to get a job in the studios in the city near where I live long ago, they're just too indentured in how they recruit; they want them young and un-schooled. So I turned to freelancing.

There are indeed a lot trying to get into it, but in my experience most give up in the first year. I'm the only one left in my class at sound school still actively trying and working on projects. My enthusiasm has never wavered I love doing this, only recently I upgraded to PTHD at huge costs.

I just really want to be taken seriously and start getting paid, but I don't know where the work is. It seems producers don't advertise on job sites. I don't even have anything to be getting on with although I'm waiting to hear from another unpaid job I applied for, just to do something.
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:20 AM
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EGS EGS is offline
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Default Re: Are us post guys really under appreciated or am I just paranoid?

Networking over time.
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  #6  
Old 06-30-2017, 02:27 AM
The Byre The Byre is offline
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Default Re: Are us post guys really under appreciated or am I just paranoid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by melloj View Post
There are indeed a lot trying to get into it, but in my experience most give up in the first year. I'm the only one left in my class at sound school still actively trying and working on projects. My enthusiasm has never wavered I love doing this, only recently I upgraded to PTHD at huge costs.
Most of the people I get to meet that are working on sound for pictures in the UK are Surrey Tonmeister grads and they tend to know one another and are sometimes accused of being a sort of Mafia! There is some truth to that, but the reality is, that if you hire a Tonmeister, know know what you are getting and what sort of skill level and musical literacy and ability to expect.

The other nasty truth is, that pay scales for audio are rotten and they are particularly rotten in the UK. Half the movie may be sound, but it sure ain't half the budget - more like 3% maybe, if that! And yes, I am including the score in that share!

You only have to look at the credits on any major movie or TV series to see who gets the single on-screen billing - it sure ain't the sound designer or the ADR guy! Cinematographer, yes. DoP, yes. Lighting designer, yes. Bloke holding a Sennheiser on a pole? Come on, you're joking,right? That disregard for the audio crew is reflected in the pay scales.

Typically, the producers will approach an agency, who can tie up all the audio in one (cheap) package and then farm out individual roles to their usual suspects. And if someone says "That's not enough money!" the agent can truthfully tell them that the budget just does not stretch any further - and of course she's right, because she pitched it that low to get the gig!

In short, it has become a race to the bottom!

Just occasionally, the composer of the score will get single billing if he is a 'name', though all he did as bang out a tune on the piano and then hand that to an unpaid intern to turn into a MIDI file and put into PT. If actual live musicians are involved, that will be a scratch group that rush into Abbey, Air or Angel for a couple of hours. And if a whole orchestra is used, chances are nowadays that it will be in a shed outside Bratislava!

I wish I could speak comfort to you, but the reality is, it's getting mighty thin out there! One possible way out for you is to offer your services for a part ownership in a project. That way, in the unlikely event of the damn thing selling into distribution, you get something - albeit not much!

Tip - stay away from gritty urban dramas. They always bomb!
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  #7  
Old 06-30-2017, 04:34 AM
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Exponential Audio Exponential Audio is offline
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Default Re: Are us post guys really under appreciated or am I just paranoid?

Post guys are definitely appreciated in these quarters, whether foley, dialog, score, FX or re-recording. I'm the guy sitting in the theater while the credits roll, waiting to get past the carpenters, lawyers, caterers and everyone else who manages to come in front of the audio guys. If the schedule's been compressed because light wasn't right or it was raining on location, you're the folks that pull double-shifts so the show can still make it into theaters on time.

On top of that, you've got mixes that may be incredibly dense and you've got to figure out just how to jam everything in, all the while maintaining clarity of dialog and leaving room for the big moments. If you've done your job in foley, no one knows you were even there. It's the same in dialog--you're trying to use location whenever you can, while leaving no fingerprints on necessary ADR. You know your mixes might be heard in mono, stereo, earbuds, 5.1, 7.1--maybe even Atmos--and they've got to be satisfying in every medium.

And I don't know if it's going to get better. Modern tools have given you much greater power, while reducing the need for so many of you. The web has allowed a lot of work to get farmed out to lower-cost areas than California or London. You'll keep at it as long as you can because you love doing it. And to me, the sound of a lot of modern films is ever so much better than the content (if any).

So yes, you are appreciated.
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Old 07-09-2017, 10:17 PM
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BobbyDazzler BobbyDazzler is offline
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Default Re: Are us post guys really under appreciated or am I just paranoid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exponential Audio View Post
And to me, the sound of a lot of modern films is ever so much better than the content (if any).

So yes, you are appreciated.
Ain't that the truth!
Crap scripts have never sounded so good
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:22 PM
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Bob Olhsson Bob Olhsson is offline
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Default Re: Are us post guys really under appreciated or am I just paranoid?

My experience was that you need to first work as an assistant. This is because a lot of money is on the line and nobody is going to trust somebody new. Your break happens when someone's first choice is not available and you are recommended.
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2017, 07:07 PM
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dr sound dr sound is offline
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Default Re: Are us post guys really under appreciated or am I just paranoid?

Isn't it funny, after all the films that are being done in England and New York with the tax credits I would have thought you'd be busy as hell.

I agree, work as an assistant, learn from someone who is doing it full time for a living and has a following. Watch and listen. Your chance will come.
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