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Political Season starting

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Hi all;

I'm looking to discuss political events, rallies, commercials etc. and how we can get reliably get paid.

Most of this stuff seems to be non-union and production companies are going to hire us and then when they don't get paid we don't get paid!!

Yikes, with all those posts about bills still unpaid from the previous election I'm concerned.

Any thoughts as this contentious time starts to ramp-up what have you done?

I got a call for an Iowa political event, no idea the party or candidate and it made me think.


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Hi Janice 

When I am working on commercials ,corprate ,music videos ,etc where I have not worked with the production company before I specify that on the first job I get paid on the day (just like trade people plumbers etc).

For me that seems to work in most cases .

Good luck 

Louis Puli .

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  • 1 month later...

Cannot stress the importance of deal memos and signed documents enough.

I just shot and edited two pieces for Major News Site X, INC and they were flat out refusing to pay for a day of rental, double time, and turnaround time. They also attempted to force me into signing an agreement AFTER the fact with the wrong rates, guaranteed hours, and OT breakdown. It wasn't until the CEO of their payroll company got involved that everything was squared away.

During the 2016 election, I got a call from a Unnamed Candidate X's campaign office pretending to be the rights holder for a debate, lying about it multiple times on multiple occasions. It wasn't until they sent out the credentialing forms - where they're required to put their organization - that the truth came out.

Get. Everything. In. Writing.

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You need to negotiate for payment on shoot day, campaigns are a sprint for those involved in them and lots of details fall through the cracks as they plough along through the fall.  After election day everyone disappears for at least a month as they're all exhausted.  If they can't send you a COI beforehand and guarantee a check on shoot day you're taking a big chance that you'll fall through those cracks.  I've shoot a few hundred of these over the years and my experience is the budgets are lean, preproduction is usually lacking and the days tend to be disorganized unless you're working with high end Media Consultants. 

Political spots are not for everyone.  We all have political leanings and sometimes you find yourself in direct opposition to the message you're producing.  It's hard to be professional in that situation so make sure you agree with the message or at least respect that candidate's right to express the message so you don't create a moral dilemma for yourself. 

Paul Magee, soc 

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