I must tread carefully to protect the innocent:

A friend repeated a conversation he had with the fellow who runs his unit. There is a couple of layers of management between my friend and Important Man.

Important Man: “How long does it take you to do that thing you normally do?”

Friend: “It varies, but 3-4 hours is a good average.”

IM: “I really don’t understand why it should take more than 10 minutes. 20 if you are adding music.”

Obviously, it’s hard to continue the conversation at that point. When the person who signs your paycheck- whether that person is your boss or your client- has no understanding of what you do, you have to wonder how they establish value to your work. If they think your job can be done up to 1200% faster than how you do it, you have to assume there is a bit of wage pressure on your salary or day rate, to say the least. Is a 91% pay cut far behind?

I see and hear it all the time in our business, that managers and clients somehow expect Hollywood quality work to be done in the time it takes to order a cup of coffee, and for the same $4. Yet they fully understand the reason different restaurants, autos, lawyers and houses are priced the way they are. Is the problem that they don’t buy enough “video” to understand the range of the market? Are they conditioned by the low cost of the video that flows from their TV?

But my biggest concern is the apparent lack of interest of the Important Men of the world to learn why projects cost what they do. They can fully explain why they drive a Lexus and not a Corolla, but video is and should remain another commodity to be purchased by the 5-gallon bucket at the lowest price-per-pixel.

Client expectations is always a struggle.


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