Should we all accept to make movies ?

Doit-on tout accepter pour faire du cinéma ?

Learn to pay attention to shooting conditions


Today I want to share a little reflection on : Should we accept everything to work in the cinema ? That one is a beginner or already a pro.

This question I was often floating around in the head. Then must we accept all the conditions : Lower salary, provided accommodation, overtime and / or preparations not paid, day extension, taking risks etc… ?

I always believe that it is not. In all cases, no matter when and no matter how.

Personally I start from the principle that when one undertakes it must go until the end. But it is necessary to have all the cards in hand to make the right decision. For this production, the association, or your friend who realizes, you must say exactly how this will happen. Once the technician, the artist and the team have agreed to the terms : salary, work, housing, piled like pakistani workers in Dubai (well I added can be tons there !lol), expulsion (if the movie does not pass near you) of their family, in short, if people have accepted, it should not be a problem. After all they are major, major and vaccinated ! We do not put a knife under the throat.

But for those who want to become professional, I just want to remind them that we have a job, and a precarious status.

That all the wage concessions we make or accept have an impact on our lives…Yet we accept (I’ve done it often enough) to work – 20% or even -50 % of our salary , and here I speak of the tariff union ! why ?

Because, like everyone else, we are the technicians, the artists, we need to work ! We believe in our job and we do it because we love the cinema. This is our job but also our passion.

In addition, I am one of those who think that our status is also there to help young writers/ filmmakers to make their debut as with the short film , for example.

But if you look more près efforts are always on the same side. That is to say, on the side of the intermittent, the employee and never to the side of the production ! And it annoys me ! So I’m not a rabbit 3 weeks…I know how it happens in the middle of the work, either in the cinema or any other sector…But there could be things to do…Beware, I am also aware of some of the productions which sometimes play the game ! But too rarely.

Then the production, you said : ” yes, but if you do not agree to lower your salary, the film will not be… ” Ok, I understand… But if the film works ? If the film entries ? For a small budget ofa million or even less than 500 000 euros, it should not be hundreds of thousands of entries to be cost-effective is not it ? One should not count only when it’s good for us ! The production must also be honest. Then you respond : “yes, but the film is distributed by a small distributor…not a lot of copies…

And then ?

If the movie is good or noticed by a great festival of the film may take a significant stature ! To find its audience by word-of-mouth and be a hit ! Or at least more important than expected…and do more entries, be better distributed and more visible, it is likely to be cost-effective ? And then if the producer produces the film it is he believes !

Anyway, let’s fantasize a bit and let’s say that tomorrow the film will become profitable…and the technicians will not benefit. Why ? Because there should be a contract of participation been dealt upstream ! So why not request one ? Some of them do ! And it answers them….yes, but if the film is not profitable, it is a lot of paperwork…it’s complicated ! WE WALK ON THE HEAD ! The technician made an effort on his salary, he does not count his hours, it does the job of two people paid half of one and the producer replied : “it’s going to take me time. “


And then adds : ” If you don’t agree, I understand…it will work another time together.” And yes ! The hard law of : ” there are others behind you “ is valid in our fine profession more than anywhere else, and regardless of the relationships you have built with the people.

Ditto for some big productions that run in the region and you sometimes say :

  • “You want to work on the film ? “
  • Yes, that would be great !
  • “Ok, then, you do not reimburse (that is to say that one does not pay the accommodation, food, travel expenses).
  • But the shoot is 100 miles away from home !
  • “it is that or nothing “

Super atmosphere, or not ?!

The cinema is a dream that is true ! But for how long ?

Luckily behind there was the human. In fact, we take on that ! And here I speak of the first films with a small budget, because small productions are of the human adventure above all. You follow the director or the director for a while, you may have woven bonds of friendship.

You have accepted to work a little on the upstream project for free because the scenario you like, because the director is top.

I remember that I’ve also declined projects are well paid to make films broke, because we believed in it, because one bump (I work) also for art ! You believe in the film and the talent of the director. When you have the feeling that on this project you will make cinema… true : With a point of view, a tab, a space, then… then you go there and that is why you agree.

But as I said above the reality of the environment, the statute also, catching you up always and that is where you are the b…. ! If you do not calculate not much up to how much you can get off and that you are not working by regularly after at a normal rate it is your status of intermittent and that your compensation payments that will suffer. You will be affected less by day during the shoot so you will get less (much less) in the calculation of your benefits.

The other reason why you agree to do a film under paid it may be because you have not worked for a long time. You feel that it may not change then you accept conditions that you would not have accepted in normal times. It is to me already happened…You know that by 2 weeks you will no longer touch anything… your few economies are parties in the final invoice…if you do not agree to this movie is finished… Then you go there !

And finally you agree to work on this kind of movie because you’re doing your career, you start… you need for this job is leaving to sleep in a car and you wash every other day. And it is normal because you are hyper motivated, you have your evidence to do it…then you go…and you find pleasure, you are happy to be part of the adventure.

After we are told that we are privileged.

If I have something to say to you, if you want to make a career in tv or cinema, these are trades exciting, amazing, but you are never alone ! You never have the mind to calm. You must always be on the lookout for the slightest track of a job, sometimes you have to negotiate your salary (for certain type of film) and the terms and conditions. You have to pay attention to your status… and when you do all this and that the phone is not ringing… I can tell you that it is anxiety. Sometimes you play bad luck, you work on a project, then it breaks the figure… no funding…and it is off to a tower.

I love this job. I have never regretted the choices I’ve made. Despite the efforts that I have been able to agree on my terms I am rather someone ” lucky “. I never lost my status. I am proud of the films I’ve made.

Tomorrow you may be actors, technicians, directors or producers. Don’t forget why you are doing this business, where you come from and, above all, a movie is not made alone and not at any price.

Salary grid

I don’t want to be alarmist, eh ! It is necessary that you know that there is a salary grid, depending on whether you hit the cinema or television. That the productions use these grids most of the time and there are no problems :o)

But when you make films : short films or first feature...it may be that you are obliged to negotiate the terms and conditions and your pay.

That’s it for this article on : Should we accept everything to do with the film ?

I will tell you next week. Leave me a commenttaire under this article to tell me what you think or if you have any questions.

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Thank you to those who will make it ;o) and that are already doing that ;o)

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Tom Weil


Category: Uncategorized

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