February, 2018: The month in entertainment business news

After an arduous January, February almost vanished without a trace. Almost. The shortest month of the year still managed to register a few noteworthy moments in the entertainment business world. Here are some of the headlines in the entertainment business and the questions they answer.

 

Where are the jobs?

1. Adelaide, Australia is about to have 500 jobs in the special effects business.
2. Los Angeles is still where it’s at, with digital media jobs growing in the double digits and jobs that don’t require a degree in high demand.
3. If you’re looking for a change of scenery, mark your calendars for 2021. Cinecittà Studios, in Rome, is undergoing a relaunch.

 

Where are the scandals? 

 3. A lawsuit over a TV series covering Natalee Holloway’s 2005 disappearance.
4. In Taiwan, where a fatal earthquake depicted with animation is stirring up ire.

 

What are people watching?

1. The Olympics. Here’s how broadcasting a live event works. Who knew?
2. New technology that allows simultaneous uploading or livestreaming to Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and others.
3. The Black Panther, which is putting Wakanda on the map.

 

What’s the going rate for corny movies?

 

And just like that, it’s March.

 

About Crew Connection

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Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

3 tips for smoother shoots and the secret benefit of good preparation

Have you ever watched a pilot prepare to take a single-engine plane into the sky? It’s a highly-detailed art. No matter how well they know their aircraft or how many times they’ve flown, they still go through that checklist with meticulous care. After all, think of the stakes. If they get it right, it’s gonna be a beautiful ride, but if they get it wrong, it just might all go down in literal flames. The stakes for a well-planned shoot aren’t as high (although if you ask a producer on a particularly stressful day, they may argue that point), but better preparation still leads to better, more enjoyable shoots.

 

3 tips to make your shoot smoother

 

1. Follow a “night before” checklist

You know your gear better than anyone. Make a checklist that covers everything from the biggest details to the smallest. Be sure your tripod is packed, your batteries are charged, and your memory cards are empty. Special bags with your unique needs allow you to have a home for each lens and any other required gear. Put every item in the same place each time and before long, you’ll be like Forrest Gump when you’re packing and unpacking your bag. You may even go so far as to lay out the clothes you’re going to wear and prep the breakfast you’re going to eat. Include anything that will make you confident you can grab your bag and walk out the door calmly, not thinking of a damn thing except how good your coffee tastes. Keep that checklist in your gear staging area and, just like the most meticulous pilot, go through your checklist the night before each “flight.”

2. Follow a “day-of” checklist 

When it comes to the actual shoot, everyone’s process is a little different. But no matter what, you need to make sure your camera is on and stable and your subject is well lit. Make a physical copy (a mental one leaves too much room for error) of whatever it takes to get to that point. Include the little things like, “test microphones.” If you’re prone to getting into an all business mode, you may even want to include something like, “say hello to crew.” Go through your checklist for when you actually set up for the shoot. You can laminate it and make it small enough to put in your pocket. It may seem like overkill, but if you’ve ever missed the money shot because of a preventable error, you know it’s worth it.

3. Recover from mistakes quickly

No matter how much you prepare, sometimes, things will not go as planned. If you make a mistake or miss something important, pivot. Use all your creative juices to decide how to get what you need another way. Ask any documentarian ever and they will tell you that some of the best moments on film came from some of the worst mistakes. If you can remember that and recover quickly, it won’t be a mistake anymore.

 

The secret benefit of good preparation

Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama see such value in paring down decisions that they wear roughly the same thing every day. They say it reduces decision fatigue, or “the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making” and frees their mental capacity up for more important decisions.

Similarly, one of the most important benefits of good, practical preparation before a shoot is that it frees your mind up for mental preparation. When you are confident all of the details are covered, you get to dig deeper. You can think about the tone of the shoot. You can think about lighting and framing. You can think about the story. That’s where the art happens. Just about anyone can learn to light a subject, focus a lens, and set a camera up on a tripod. But that’s not what you’re there for. You’re there for the magic that led you to pick up your very first camera. You love the craft. It’s harder to access the magic that lives beyond the practical when all you can think about is whether you remembered to charge your batteries.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

What content creators can learn from the Super Bowl’s most controversial ad

Every year, the American public witnesses a battle royale on two fronts: One is between two football teams contending for a championship ring and the other is to determine which commercials will most capture the American public’s attention. Finding a place in social media as among the best, funniest, and most shared ads is something of a Super Bowl type pursuit in itself.

That brings us to another title—not necessarily the most coveted—but an important one nonetheless. It’s the most controversial ad of the year. In years’ past, racy hamburger commercials (forgive me for not hyperlinking one that would make my mama blush) or an insurance ad featuring a dead kid have made the list. This year, the title seems to go to that Dodge Ram commercial that relied heavily on a sermon by Martin Luther King Jr..

So what does this ad—and its reception among the public—mean to video content creators?

 

3 lessons for video content creators from one of the Super Bowl’s most controversial ads

 

1. Controversy is memorable

One user overlayed the original Dodge Ram ad with different audiothat of King disapprovingly speaking of buying into capitalism. The brand defended its choice, saying it worked closely with King’s estate and was honored to “celebrate those words.” Whether this is an example of effective, sticky marketing or a tone deaf faux pas demonstrating American marketing at its worst is up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is that people (like yours truly) are still talking about the controversial ad. And if you believe the adage that even bad press is good press, then that might not be such a bad thing.

2. Tackling the iconic is risky

Memorable or not, it doesn’t hurt to take a lesson from The Voice. If you’re going to cover a song by one of the legends, you need to bring it. From the first notes of a Whitney Houston classic or one of Adele’s heart thumping ballads, you can see the judges wince. They know how easy it is for even the most talented singers to fail spectacularly when tackling one of the legends. A historic figure like Dr. King carries weight in every way imaginable. People recognize his voice instantly and have deeply ingrained feelings about who he was and what he represents. That means the stakes for using his voice and words are high—a lot higher than performing in a singing contest. This is not to say that you can’t step on stage and belt a Whitney Houston classic or use audio from a historic speech to promote a brand, it’s just to say proceed with extreme caution.

3. Content creators need to have thick skin

When you step into the realm of the controversial and iconic, one thing is sure: People will react. Add that to the fact that the internet has given place to the strangest of phenomena—an intense level of arguing over anything—and you have a unique beast to contend with. Even if you say something as simple as “pretzels are the best snack,” you will be bombarded with counterpoints, often accompanied with a disproportionate level of vitriol. So if you’re going to say something a little more bold, you need to be ready to take the inevitable heat. Or maybe the real lesson is to stay away from the comment section of your videos. Because who really cares what pretzelfanboy17 has to say anyway? Consider the source and go about your business.

Video content creators have a big job. Please the client, reach the audience, and do it without ticking too many people off. That’s why they pay you the big bucks, right?

About Crew Connection

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Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

The freelancer’s guide to the 30-second sale 

When you’re in business for yourself, you know you must be on your A game at every networking event. Do you also have your game face on when someone asks what you do after your yoga class or while standing in line for coffee? New clients tend to show up in the strangest of places and the idea of the elevator pitch is that you’ll be ready to quickly and effectively communicate your value during any such opportunity. Whatever solution you offer, you’re more likely to end up selling its value on the fly than in a conference room full of decision makers.
You already know you offer a great experience and a dynamic final product. The 30-second sale gives you a chance to make sure your prospects know. The market is crowded and despite topnotch talent, you may struggle to get a seat at the table. Communicating confidently, clearly, and concisely keeps your business cards in demand and your phone ringing.

 

Three steps to a rockin’ elevator pitch

1. Conduct an internal branding sessionTo become the talent of choice, you must be ready to communicate your value—anywhere, any time. A branding session allows you to hash out your own questions about who you are and what makes you stand apart. The goal here isn’t to share notes from your branding session with a potential client. It’s just an exercise to make sure you have an incredibly strong understanding of your brand so that when the opportunity comes, you can share your back pocket value proposition at a moment’s notice. Treat your prospects like the big agencies do. They come to each interaction equipped to sell—knowing they must earn confidence to earn business. You don’t have to conduct an expensive, days long branding session (though you certainly can if you want to). Even a 30-minute exercise like this, from The Muse, can do wonders.
2. Practice, pitch, and practice more
Consider your services, strengths, and technology assets from your potential client’s perspective so you can communicate in a way that resonates with them. They must walk away understanding how working with you benefits them. Practice your pitch for your partners, friends, and business associates. Record yourself responding to questions so you can bolster the areas that come across weaker than others. Practice responding to concerns about price as well as curveball questions.  If you’re not so familiar with all of these ideas that you could talk about them in your sleep, you’re not ready for an on-the-fly opportunity to sell your services.
3. Create opportunities: Once you have all your cards in your back pocket, create opportunities to play them.  This can be called creating your own luck or networking your face off. Effective and consistent industry networking is the foundation for your growth. Identify key stakeholders within your network and pursue departments and businesses you know are an obvious or immediate fit. Spend time in the right places so you can put yourself on the other side of the table. Show up where potential clients hang out. Drink lots of coffee. Eat two lunches a day if it gives you an opportunity to share your value. Create your seat at the table—whether you were invited or not.

Being comfortable with your brand and sales pitch means that the next time you meet a potential prospect on the fly, your handshake will be firm, not clammy; your delivery will be confident, not desperate; and your pitch will compel your prospect to ask for your business card. Follow theses steps to be ready for when those strange and serendipitous moments present themselves.

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

CES: Our top picks for video content producers

Content producers: hide your credit cards. CES 2018 is off to a great start with smarter smart products, thinner TVs and laptops, and even more Ks (8K here we come). We’ve gathered some info on our top picks promising to make your life easier, brighter, and in higher resolution.

 

Here’s what we’re paying attention to at CES

 

1. TVs

Stephen King says you can’t be a great writer if you aren’t an avid reader. If that’s true for video content producers, you’ll need to watch a lot of content. In that case, you may be able to justify one of these TVs for your studio in 2018. Among your options are Panasonic’s FZ950–a TV fit for Hollywood post production houses and the Q9S QLED TV, which “uses AI to make its own 8K content.” As for your space, why have a TV mounted on your wall, when you can just have a TV wall instead? The wall (that’s what it’s called) spans 12 feet across and is made up of smaller, nearly seamless MicroLED screens, each of which is “made of pixels that, like OLED, produce their own light.” 8K resolution is here to scratch the itch of those who look at their old 4K TVs and think, “Rubbish! That is so 2017!”

2. All the Ks

It’s not just TVs getting in on the resolution game. Sony’s $30,000 4K projector sits 9.6 inches from the wall onto which you’ll be projecting a 4K image. Among its standout features is that “the laser projector reaches a peak brightness of 2500 lumens.” At $30,000 it’ll up your home theater game to the best in the block while also making your post production house portable.

3. VR

Vive Pro has unveiled its latest headset. With higher resolution, built-in headphones, and a more comfortable fit than its previous model, HTC has taken virtual reality to the next level. If video is your world, you better pay attention to VR. It is to video what drones were in the last generation. Those who figure it out and master it first stand to make their presence known.

Where does it go from here? With VR, seeing is believing, but where hand-held controls fall short with the current simple vibration, it’s our sense of touch that still needs convincing. Companies are sure to focus on better haptics in future VR products and to answer the question, “Okay, but can it look even more real?” The verdict is already in: It can.

 

The bottom line

2018’s tech is bigger and better than ever. And in some cases, like this fingernail-sized sensor, that means smaller than ever. You can keep up with the rest of CES news here.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

This post originally appeared on ProductionHub. You can find it here.

So you want to make it as a freelancer? Here are 4 tried-and-true tips

Whether you start your freelancing career as a calculated choice or land there by accident—you’re in good company. The American economy is increasingly built on independent contractors. Together, these workers have earned a respectable $1 trillion in the past year alone.

It’s clear there’s business to be won for talented, hard-working independent contractors, but that doesn’t mean it’s just going to happen without you making an effort. It’s important to have a plan if you really want to make a viable career path of freelancing.

4 ways to make independence work for you

1. Nurture and develop your network

Many freelancers strike out on their own because they’ve had just about enough of the corporate grind. But, even if you’re unhappy as you pack up your cubicle, avoid having a “take this job and shove it” attitude.

From my experience, business connections happen in funny ways. Someone from your old full-time gig could end up referring you to your biggest new client. Don’t lower your chances of capitalizing on your network by being a sourpuss on the way out.

Get the word out by updating your social network profiles to reflect your new pursuit. Reach out to any contacts who might have work that fits what you do now. Let everyone in your existing network know what you’ll be focusing on and be ready to discuss your work with new connections, too.

Whatever you’re doing, you need people. They’ll be the ones to hire you, rehire you, recommend you, and refer you. With a large portion of the economy built on people like you, you can bet there will be a lot of talented people to compete with. Even with highly technical skills, it always comes back to relationships.

2. Do great work

Networking is a good start, but no matter how much people like you, they also have to be happy with your work.

Like so much of freelancing, how you go about establishing yourself in your field is a bit of a balancing act. I believe in finding your niche, getting really good at your craft, and sticking to it. After all, being able to take the work that interests you and decline the work that doesn’t is a huge perk for the established freelancer.

However, I also believe there’s something to be said for branching out. Projects that aren’t as comfortable or easy push your creativity and force you to learn new things. Even when you’ve found a niche that feels right to you, make yourself available for new opportunities. You never know where they may lead.

If you find yourself doing something that isn’t a good fit long term, just turn the next similar opportunity down. That’s one of the benefits of being in the driver’s seat! A bonus is that it actually builds trust with potential clients when you acknowledge you’re not the right fit for what they’re looking for. If you can, refer them to someone in your network who will nail the project. That builds rapport on both ends of the deal.

If you do great work, people will find you. Let your product speak for itself. When it does, your contacts will talk, too.

3. Master time management

Many freelancers say time management is one of the biggest challenges of launching out on their own. Having full freedom over your schedule requires infinitely more self-discipline than showing up at a designated time every day. You may find that being able to decide whether you approach each day like a weekend, a workday, or a little bit of both ends up being more taxing than having it decided for you.

It’s true that having a work/life balance of your choosing is one of the major perks of independent contracting. Just don’t forget that it should be just that—a balance. One day, you may decide to take advantage of your flexibility for the life part of your work/life balance. Another day, you may use that time to work on business development so you have the long-term work to sustain your business. The idea of “having more time” as a freelancer is misguided. It’s more of a constant exercise in weighing priorities.

While you strive for balance, set aside some time to be available for last-minute opportunities. Being fully booked is a blessing, but if you turn down enough gigs from a potential or returning client, they’ll stop calling. While you’re on call for bigger opportunities, take advantage of the down time to do the back office work of running a company. If you’re worried about being bored; don’t. You’ll always have plenty of the unbillable, not-so-glamorous variety of work. A well-organized calendar is a freelancer’s best friend. I find the most successful (and sane) self-employed folks schedule their time with military-like discipline. They block time on their calendars for existing projects and even schedule time for generic tasks like emailing, invoicing, prospecting, etc. Such an approach keeps you from overbooking yourself or disappointing clients with late or substandard work.

4. Get your books and business details organized

The rewards of freelancing are immense. The risks and uncertainties are, too. Just like managing time is a totally different challenge when nobody is telling you when to clock in and out, managing finances is a whole different beast for the self-employed individual.

Whether you choose to hire an accountant or DIY, you need some sort of system to manage the famously feast-or-famine nature of your new business pursuit. Freelancing is inherently a gamble. You may find yourself stacking your chips when business is good, and then making tough choices just to stay in the game when business slows down.

Get all your paperwork, processes, and procedures in order. Get your website, financial operations, and company name established. Design and order your business cards. Learn your way around Quickbooks, Toggl, or other project management tools you plan to use for day-to-day business. Your process will evolve, but feeling comfortable up front sets you up for sustained success.

The bottom line

Successful freelance careers are built on talent, hard work, and a positive attitude. The rest is up to you. It’s difficult work, but the payoff is huge. If you produce good work, enjoy what you do, operate ethically, and treat clients right, the money will follow.

Here are some additional tips from HBR’s  “How to become a successful freelancer.

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

This post originally appeared on ProductionHub. You can find it here.

3 ways to perfect your demo reel and knock out your competition

The video production market is tough. If you want to become a client’s go-to crew, you have to convince them to book you in the first place. And you have 30 seconds or less to do it.

 

Here are three simple tips to make sure your demo reel knocks out your competition

Put in the Time

There’s not really a way around it: If you want to have a great demo reel, you have to produce great work. And to produce great work, you have to work hard. No matter how gifted, nobody picks up a camera or sits down at Premiere and produces great work in the first hour—or even the 100th hour. Practice truly does make perfect. If you want a demo reel that looks perfect against tough competition, you better be ready to put time into your practice.

Keep It Simple

Your demo reel is like your resume. Use it to show off your highest quality work in the shortest amount of time possible. Thirty seconds seems to be the sweet spot to highlight your skills without boring clients. Make it visually diverse. Demonstrate your macro lens with up-close nature shots and your drone skills with sweeping landscapes. Consider including a shot from an interview as well as a fast-paced action scene. There’s no formula, just be sure to showcase a wide range of your best work.

Make It Easy

No matter how badass your work or your reel may be, it won’t do you any good if potential clients can’t easily access it. Make sure your demo reel is optimized for mobile viewing, desktop viewing and anything in between. Post it on Vimeo and YouTube so it’s easy to watch and to share. Meet your clients where they’re already searching for your skillset by setting up a profile on a variety of online media matchmaking platforms. On our comprehensive online database, you can create a robust profile to market your demo reel, stills, gear list, awards and more to some of the largest clients around the world, including Disney, Oracle, and Verizon.

The Bottom Line

The challenges of freelancing in the video production field are many, but the beauty of it is you’re in the driver’s seat. When you do great work, showcase it on your demo reel and make it easy for clients to view it—well-paying projects are sure to follow.

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

Read the original article on ProductionHub here.

How to make it in the entertainment capitol of the world

What better place to go for advice on how to build a successful production house than where competition is stiffest? Mike Levy started Levy Production Group in 1987 and succeeded where many others failed—Las Vegas. We figure if you can make it in the entertainment capitol of the world, you can probably make it anywhere. Here are our top four takeaways from Mike on building a successful studio:

 

1. Get experience

The best thing young, aspiring editors, camera people, and future business owners can do is get experience. If you want to become the go-to person in your field, take online courses, college courses, and even unpaid gigs as opportunities to learn the ins and outs of video production. Learn the industry overall, not just your position. Understanding everything from production through post makes you a well-rounded teammate or team lead. Not all jobs offer glamour, but all jobs offer experience.  

 

2. Be nice

Being talented isn’t enough. Don’t just learn to be good at what you do, but also at how you do it. This is not your typical desk job. Our industry is famous for long hours, late nights, and many consecutive days on set. Tough conditions can bring out the worst in people. Those who can communicate clearly, listen well, and stay level-headed are invaluable. You’ll be remembered as much for the way you conduct yourself as for the work you produce.

Be humble. Look to learn from people rather than to be right.

 

3. A warehouse is just a warehouse

You can’t just call a large, open building a studio. Having enough room to shoot properly is just the beginning. If you really want to do it right, you have to be ready to invest in heating and cooling, overhead and floor lighting, and soundproofing, for starters. If clients have to redo a take because they hear an ambulance in the background, they’ll be taking their business elsewhere next time. You also need creature comforts so you can accommodate not just the shoots, but the people, too. Clients want to go to a facility that feels good—with nice dressing rooms, kitchen areas, restrooms, etc. Fresh-baked cookies (a Levy Production Group signature), goodie baskets, meals, snacks, candies, sodas, and gourmet coffees and teas go a long way toward making people comfortable and earning repeat business.

 

4) Find your niche and do it well

It seems simple, but most of the important things are. When you have the best resources and do the best work, you’ll get return clients. Word of mouth and reputation are irreplaceable.

After starting as an ad agency and outsourcing to local TV stations, Mike Levy decided to invest in a small stage to facilitate smaller projects like ChromaKey insert shoots and single-car shoots. Realizing that they were good at something and that they could get paid for, Levy Production Group bought their first camera and editing package and have grown along with Vegas ever since. In their current 14,000 square-foot facility, they do everything from everyday interviews to shoots with big-name celebrities, athletes, and musicians.

Building any business can feel like a gamble, but with these key practices it’s a sure bet.

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

This article was originally posted to productionhub.com. Read the original article here.

Contract work is uncertain: Here’s how to make sure you get paid every time

The struggle is real. Contract work often means gambling with each new client and gig. While you might get paid half up front, you usually work without any guarantee—billing upon completion. That means a lot of uncertainty—especially for small video crews and owner/operators who rely on each project and its corresponding cash flow to pay bills, buy equipment, and stay in operation.

For their part, clients may have a net 90 invoicing policy, a small accounting department, or an unstable financial situation. Often, you’re the one at risk if any of those operations hits a snag. So you get a signed contract, do your best work, and hope your client follows through on their end of the deal.  

The good news is that there is an alternative: You don’t have to rely on a handshake and a roll of the dice.

 

Three ways Crew Connection brings payment security to contract work

Problem one: Many companies, especially the big ones, have 90 day payment terms, meaning you could wait an extra 60 days to have that cash in hand.

Solution one: Crew Connection guarantees payment for crews in 30 days regardless of the client terms.

Problem two: Onboarding paperwork slows down the process of working with new clients. Setting up contract and payment terms takes valuable time and often, different companies have different expectations for how and when they want to receive invoices.

Solution two: Crews invoice the same way every time (which happens to be very easy, by the way) regardless of who the shoot is for. Crew Connection takes care of the paperwork.

Problem three: Unfortunately, small companies without internal legal teams often get paid last or not at all when there’s a dispute or a client hits financial troubles. Some clients never pay. Who wants to waste time and money pursuing payment for previous work when you have new work to get to?

Solution three: Crews receive money for the project regardless of whether or not Crew Connection ever does.

 

The bottom line

Crews often bring new clients to us to make sure they get paid quickly even on their first project together. It benefits clients, too. We built our online database to make finding a crew fast and easy for clients and to make getting paid for contract work fast and easy for crews. Beyond that, it makes communication and record-keeping a breeze. It’s a win-win for both parties. We take the gambling out of contractor pay so crews can do great work, get paid quickly, and move on. Save the gambling for Vegas, baby!

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

Invoicing: Tips and tricks to get paid quickly and seamlessly

Invoicing day: The day independent contractors love to hate. For any production crew without a standalone accounting department, invoicing simultaneously keeps businesses afloat (hello cash flow!) and keeps you away from the work you got into the business for in the first place. It doesn’t have to be so painful, though! Like everything on Crew Connection’s online platform, invoicing is easy and streamlined.

Here are some best practices to help you simplify invoicing and get paid quickly.

 

The invoicing process in a nutshell

Here are some simple but important keys to uploading your invoice to Crew Connection:

  1. Wait until the day after the shoot end date to upload your invoice.
  2. Click the “Upload a New Invoice” button (bottom left).
  3. Be sure to export a PDF file (no larger than 2MB) from your system of choice.

 

When will I be paid?

We pay within 30 days of the day you upload your invoice (not the end of the shoot date) and we always initiate payments on Wednesdays. The later you upload your invoice and the more revisions you have to make in order to finalize it, the longer it will take after wrap to get paid. It behooves you to make the invoice a priority the day after you finish the shoot and to make sure you avoid revisions.

 

What causes rejections?

Nobody likes to be rejected. It’s usually just a matter of clearing up some confusion, but here are the two most common reasons we have to kick back invoices:

  1. There are discrepancies between the estimate and the invoice (for instance, new line items without explanations/notes, or unexpected costs such as parking and meals).
  2. There are mistakes—the wrong date, client name, or location, for example.

 

How can I prevent confusion on my invoice?

Once a client approves your estimate, it becomes a project. Basing your invoice on your project keeps everything consistent. That means we’ll likely have fewer questions for you and more time to cut your check. (Need a refresher on creating an estimate? Click here.)

Here’s what we mean by consistency:

  1. Make your invoice look as much like the estimate as possible. If you bid the project as a package, don’t submit an itemized invoice. On the flip side, if you break down costs such as camera operator, labor, gear, audio, etc., do so on both your estimate and your invoice. Either way, pick your approach and stick with it.
  2. Be sure to include your preliminary total, less our finder’s fee, and your net on every invoice. Not sure what we take commission on? Get the scoop here.
  3. Provide proof of purchase. Spent some extra cash on the job? Include those lunch, parking, and other receipts as pages of your invoice or as separate “invoices” for the same project. Make a habit of including meal and parking receipts. Vague extra costs make clients nervous, while clear communication makes them feel more comfortable.

When anything doesn’t line up, we have to go back to the production crew and find out what changed. We notify you via email and give you a chance to fix it. That said, it still delays the whole process (and often the payment). It will just be a quicker and smoother process if you take your time and do it right up front.

 

The bottom line

We built our online database to make getting paid fast and easy already, and these little tips will set you up for success from your very first estimate. Uploading your invoice on Crew Connection is the fastest way to get it in front of our crew coordinators and get you paid. It’s easy. Promise.

 

About Crew Connection

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Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.