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  1. #1
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    Being Screwed over for making a living.

    Hi guys, I really hope any of you can help me as I've run into a problem with a job I've been doing over the last 3 weeks. I've recently had one of my first concept job's for a film and was commissioned to do a couple of portraits along with a series of storyboards. When the 2 images were complete, I meet with the director to discuss the storyboards and received payment for the images however he felt one image in particular needed a few adjustments. These were only small and was no problem but these changes continued over the next 5 or so days and became quite major. As any normal person would do I then proceeded to ask for a fee based on the 2 days I had spent making changes that were not in the original brief. He then responded with the most ridiculous allegory I've ever heard, saying he commissioned a portrait which I had not delivered and was like
    “If you go into a restaurant and are not happy with the food or service you are notobliged to pay.”

    Is this attitude common in the world of concept art and if so is there anyway of protecting myself from it in the future? Thankfully in this case I have been paid for the original contract but there will be more work from this guy and I need to lay down the law next time I see him.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

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  3. #2
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    It depends if these were scope changes or if they were problems with the image, or that you had not followed the spec properly. You should really give a bit of leeway with early scope changes, but if they change their minds every five minutes, or right at the end, then you need to revisit the budget. Just tell them that you'll do the current change but any changes after, no matter how small, will be charged for. If they don't agree then you don't offer your services to them again.

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  5. #3
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    Thanks Baron Impossible.
    At first I agreed to a few minor changes based on the age of the character but i had followed the brief in everyway. Later he wanted the character to look like a completley different actress, something which he did a couple of times. This is quite understandable as it is part of the development of the character but so far I have spent 2 days making alterations so I think I was perfictly within my rights to ask for an extra fee.

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  6. #4
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    Stew9 you are lucky, I am chasing a guy for my fee. He wanted some story boards and a cover for a presentation to close an advertising deal with a childrens clothing company, I recieved down payment and now they are refusing to pay the rest of my fee based on the fact that it's too expesive and that the top 'professionals' over here charge less. And yes, he gave me the same excuse he gave you.

    It's a weird thing with many of these types who deal with advertising, films, magazines n' stuff. They feel that because they take the risk of making idea pitches to producers or prospective clients without the guarantee of payment in the end, that you and I, as freelancers, should share the same risk. What a joke.

    "Don't judge a book by it's cover" Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
    RIP Frank.

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  8. #5
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    You can always include changes and pickups in the contract. Mine has a pay for one round of changes, two rounds etc. The best thing to do is do the things he wants for the one likeness of an actres and as soon as it changes to another actresses likeness you have to let them know right then it is another portrait.

    What I've noticed over the last ten years with digital invading everythng is it allows people to not know what they are doing. So you get a lot of I'll know it when I see it. Ad to that the corporate mind set these days of because I'm paying for it I get to dictate every apect of it. This is not just an art problem, as I hear everyone I know complaining about people hiring them to do a job and then micro-managing the process as they change their minds or get feedback from committees.

    The honest people will pay you and the dishonest ones won't. You just have to decide not to work for the the bad ones. I used to think that I would never get work again if I told someone off or ended a contract but that is not the case. You have to stick up for yourself. The more you do the more you will find good people will seek you out and bad ones will stay away.

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  10. #6
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    Exactly. Another viewpoint which I've encountered - though thankfully not often - is that because it's digital it's simple to alter at any stage - poof! - just like that, as though I'm using Poser or something and I can instantly change the character or clothing with a couple of clicks. The fact that I use real, posed reference, that I build up from a sketch through underpainting and onto full colour, without layers, is not something they want to hear. "It shouldn't be so difficult to..." Well hey, if it's not so difficult then do it yourself and save some money... assuming they actually pay.

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  12. #7
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    Sorry to hear that Line. I hope it all gets sorted soon and they pay up.

    Thanks dpaint, that makes alot of sense.

    When I got the email this morning I was pretty pissed so I'm glad I've listened to you guys before just venting at him. I suppose I've just gotta learn from this and make sure I have more imput into the original contract next time.

    I did wonder if it was normal for the artist to write the contract or the person hiring you?
    In this case he wrote the contract which basically stated he owned all the rights to the artwork once completed which doesn't seem to give me much leeway.

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  13. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stew9 View Post
    I did wonder if it was normal for the artist to write the contract or the person hiring you?
    Who writes it isn't so much a problem, so long as it is agreeable to both parties and covers you as an artist. If you're not writing it, make sure you get a good long look at it - and don't be afraid to request changes should you need them to cover yourself. I know a lot of artists have a standard contract they've made up, it can make you seem more professional and ready for the task to a certain extent - but you're not going to be able to do that all the time.

    Taking risks is always going to be necessary, but you can have a lot to do with whether the risks you're taking are wise...or whether they will be to your detriment.

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  15. #9
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    My theory on the subject is if you are going to charge extra for changes, you have to have the client agree BEFORE you do the work. That way he has the option of not having you do it (if you say it's 200$ for that change, he might decide it's fine as it is!)

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  17. #10
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    Were you afraid for your rep? That's why you continued his sharade for a whole week after he payed you?


    I make sure to show clients work in progress, that's how i gauge wether they can tell their head from their ass regardles of their initial 'vision', and if i should cut my losses.

    My favourite however is when they can't, but they still want to seem like important visionaries. At that point, it's swindle time. I convince them that it was the best idea they ever had making me add this cool (completelly insignificant really) revision to the picture. The "target audience" will get their "expectations exceeded" (and lots of other empty bullshit expressions that trigger excitement in a modern enterpreneurial client's mind.)

    I even got away convincing one tool of an ex sci-fi producer that his 10 year old baby of a script won't go anywhere for another 10 years unless he makes it an online 3D rendered graphic novel with foreground and background separate for animation and paralax shifts.. The guy initially wanted a comic book..hah! Man was it a boon. It bunked because he wasn't much of a writer either, but at least me and my buddy made good money on that guy.


    Overall, try to avoid these kind of clients all together...they are usually cheap and won't make it anywhere regardless how wicked you make their commission. People who have big funds to comission artists with or any valuable connections, usually know exactly what they want and probably researched their shit as well.

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  18. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraus View Post
    I even got away convincing one tool of an ex sci-fi producer ...., but at least me and my buddy made good money on that guy.
    .
    Well someone is a tool...

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  20. #12
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    Craig D man, your punchline remarks are getting old, extrapolation is long overdue on your part.

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  21. #13
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    Kraus, so you think it's a good exemple to lead ppl on for the purpose of extracting money from them? And you think dissing ppl who call you out on it is smart? Way to go.

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