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It is not a PAID job if you advertise for a Producer to raise the money to pay themselves!

I'm at the end of my tether with people advertising a Producing job as paid, when they are asking the Producer to raise the money without an upfront fee and pay themselves from the money they have raised. Please stop advertising this as a paid job, it is not, it is a speculative job where no fee can be guaranteed. This subjects Producers who are looking for paid work to a lot of time wasting. If you can't pay a Producer an upfront fee it should not go into the 'PAID' category of the bulletin.

  • Hi Emily,

    I looked through the jobs to try to find which jobs you were talking about.

    My main thing is saying, the system is broken. There are only two choices, paid and expenses. There's no option for commission only, no option for team assembly.

    Months ago, I saw a job for a sales agent that was paid on commission only. But, it was listed as paid. Sales agents shouldn't have a base pay, that's the main reason I read it. They should work on commission only, like screenwriters' and actors' agents.

    I think for jobs like sales agents, agents, and some types of producer (especially on speculative projects, rather than commissioned ones) you expect pay to be only from commission. It's not unpaid, because you should never pay an agent's dinner and hotel up front (That would be bribery.)

    Imagine if writers paid Disney to produce their scripts? And Disney only produced the scripts where the writer paid the producer? It would be like, Battlefield Earth every day. Producers (not line producers, but fully fledged) should pay writers and directors, that's a form of quality control. Unless of course it's a safety film, or commissioned by a third party.

    I'm not sure about the exact post you're referring to, but none of them that are currently up as paid producer jobs looked awful to me. I'll just say that most of the writers jobs I've seen here come out to less than minimum wage.

    All the best,
    Vasco

    7 months ago
  • Vasco, I won't point out the exact postings as I sincerely don't want to single people out!
    However, a jobbing Producer, who looks at these jobs, and is not a bigwig like Disney who is supported by large amounts of funds - nor anything like an agent or sales agent who essentially SELLS things.
    We do a job, the same as a writer - it may be packaging money+talent, or it may be running a whole film set and dealing with legals etc. If someone is advertising for a producer, as 'paid' they are saying - 'I have a project that requires these skills, and I have some money to pay for it'. If they do not have the money - then yes, perhaps SP should have a section for 'Commission' not 'Paid'. Essentially a 'no up front' fee job for a producer IS expenses only, in fact, it may not even be that!
    Another big point is, unless a Producer is looking for a new project, why would they spend their own money and time trying to raise money for someone else when they most likely have their own projects they would do that for?

    7 months ago
  • Hi Emily,

    Just to chip in to say we're aware of the frustrations members have about this which is why we always try to only allow jobs to be listed as 'paid' if there is money upfront. Sometimes this isn't made clear until a member has contacted the person advertising the role.

    However, if a member states that the money needs to be raised first before the cast or crew member is paid, we ask them to list it as 'expenses only' and explain their situation.

    Sometimes posts do slip through the net, and members can report roles if they think a job has not been fairly advertised. We can then assess whether any copy changes need to be made.

    Helen

    7 months ago
  • Cheers Helen, and Emily I can back you up, I've certainly seen many such posts over the years!

    I suspect a slice of the problem is that people don't always appreciate that if a producer can raise finance, they're not short of projects to spend it on, and will tend to have their own projects they'll favour! I've seen "opportunities" to earn minimum wage out of finance that the successful applicant would have to raise. We know that's not how it works, but some people maybe don't. In fact it was a position similar to yours that made me write a contentious post about what producers do a few years back.

    7 months ago
  • Thanks guys - it's nice to be understood!!!

    7 months ago
  • Back to whether you'd want to do other people's films.

    I sometimes think that, although it's easier to direct in your own work, it's easier to produce someone else's ideas. So, I contacted a writer this morning. There was an interesting pitch for a feature in a genre I normally don't work in.

    Anyway, he pitched a short to another director since then, without replying. So, I guess that's a no.

    I don't know why everyone wants to do short films.

    6 months ago