Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Dealing with Inexperienced Clients
(This post will be more helpful for freelance models and even actors)
The thing about working freelance is that you won't always be dealing with clients that have huge budgets and industry professionals handling their projects. Companies turn to freelance models for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:
1) Limited budget or lack of one.
2) Avoiding agency fees in addition to the high rates agency represented models command.
3) Saves time and money instead of going through casting agencies or paying people to find them talent for projects.
If a company can save money when it comes to such projects, it will. Using freelance models means that most clients can pay a much lower rate for these type of models than agency models and have more control over their project. Some clients will have enough of a budget to use casting agencies or certain individuals that will handle the reviewing nx casting/auditioning process for them and then allow the client to choose the people they want to work with. From there, the client can hire a photographer and/or other professionals required to carry out the gig. But there are some clients out there that attempt to do everything in-house, meaning their own employees are responsible for recruiting models, interviewing/auditioning them and deciding who to use. When this happens, it can be an awkward experience for you as the model. Why? Simply because when clients take such projects into their own hands, you are more than likely dealing with individuals that have NO idea how to interact with models (or actors for that matter), which can make the casting experience for you very different from what you'd usually expect.
It isn't uncommon for models or actors to audition for clients that are somewhat uncomfortable working with such individuals in this respect (let's call the models and actors "talent" from this point on to simplify things). When you have someone that is not familiar with anything talent-related, this can make it more difficult for the talent to do a good job in the casting. Most of the time the person in charge of the casting won't be able to communicate very well about what they want from the talent and may have problems giving direction. This isn't their fault--they're simply regular office employees that have to do what their boss tells them. If it's an acting gig, then they'll more than likely use a regular digital video camera in a separated area of their company's office, so don't expect a studio filled with high tech, expensive equipment. Or if it's for a modeling gig, they may videotape your casting as well as use a regular digital camera to take your pictures.
If you find yourself in this situation, just do your best to follow their directions. Don't try to take over the audition and tell them how to run it (unless they ask for your assistance). Just because you may have more experience than them, this doesn't give you the right to tell them how to do their job. It's their project so let them do their job and you as the talent should do yours. There will be times when you may do what you consider an awful job as a result of the poor direction and inexperience of the client. When this happens, there isn't much you can do about it.
It is important to know that such situations do occur but this doesn't necessarily mean that the client you auditioned for is a scammer or unprofessional. It's just an unfortunate occurrence that happens when companies try to do everything themselves. Give it your best and move on.