The New Stuff

The Price of Not Paying Your Crew


A month ago, Amanda Palmer got a lot of bashing from her fans and people who don’t even know her  when she, once again, turned to her fans to ask for some help on her tour.

She put a call out for “professional-ish horns and strings” players to join her Grand Theft Orchestra tour. In return, she promises to “feed you beer and hug/high-five you” instead of payment. Musicians got enraged by this move after she just received 1.2M from a crowdfunding site, Kickstarter. In her interview with the New York Times, she said it would cost her about $35,000 if she hires extra musicians and that she can’t afford it.

Here’s the top comment of her blogpost:

“I’ve been a professional touring musician for 23 years, and I’ve never heard of you until today. With all due respect, your request for free labor sounds like a promotional gimmick dreamed up by a corporate republican who has no concept of the history of working people in this country. “

Ouch. So true. Good thing Amanda Palmer changed her mind and learned her lesson.

Whether you’re a musician, or a filmmaker, or an entrepreneur, it’s best that you pay your crew. It’s the fair thing to do. If you’re broke, borrow money to pay your crew. If you can’t borrow money, don’t even start that project. But if you’re willing to give “FREE” a try, make sure you’re ready for the ff:

Not getting the upper hand. If you don’t pay people, you are their slave. If you pay them, well…they become your workers. Ideally, decent workers you can rely on. If you won’t pay them, you will have a very difficult time adjusting to their schedule and they could even back-out anytime they want without any explanation.

Saying yes to their requests in the future. If you used a friend for a project without paying him anything, he will likely consider this as an “investment”. Later on in life, he will ask you a favor and you simply can’t say no because that’s what friends do- help each other. Yes, there are some who just help without any malice but they’re rare creatures.

Acting nice 24/7. You have no right to act stern if you’re not paying your crew…unless maybe you’re a big shot like Lars Von Trier or Spielberg. If you pay them, you can just be yourself.

Not having anyone to blame. If something goes wrong, let’s say while you’re filming the soundman forgets to record a half-day’s worth of work or the camera man drops your camera, it’s much easier to make people accountable of their shortcomings. The soundman could pay the damage he has caused so you can do a reshoot.

Being okay with whatever they’re willing to give. So let’s say you’re creating a set for your pictorial and then you noticed that your set designer is using a much darker shade than what you expected. If you got him for free, he could just laugh and say “sorry dude”. But if he’s paid, then he’s not laugh. He’d get serious, say “sorry”, and rush back to the nearest hardware. He’d try to fix everything so you will approve it.

Before you ask help from friends and fellow professionals, think again. Think hard. If you’re up for some ass-kissing and being Mr. Nice Guy all the time for your project, then sure, give it a try. But you’ve been warned;-)

photo credit

________________________________________________________________

Unified Manufacturing is an L.A. -based one-stop-shop that offers very affordable CD/DVD/USB replication, custom printing, promotional products, warehousing and fulfillment and many more. If you need an Instant Quote on a project and you want FREE SHIPPING, simply CLICK HERE.

Share

Recently Published

»

9 Holiday Marketing Tips for Musicians

Tis the season to be jolly and think of ways to market your band ...

»

8 Packaging Design Resources (for your inspiration)

Regular CDs are nice but if you want to release something your ...

»

Vinyl Packaging: Where The World Ends / Indian Wells

Designer: Chiara Tomati Designer / Co-creative director: Vincenzo ...

»

CD Packaging of the Week: Chang and Lee

We love the look of this street, grunge, trashy pop CD packaging. ...

»

Reasons Why Millennials Love the Vinyl

[Written by Ben Schultz, is an award-winning journalist and music ...

david bowie ziggy stardust
»

Best of the Best: Our Top Advice Articles for Indie Musicians

Hi folks! What have you been up to? Aside from the usual busyness of ...

»

NEON VINYL RECORDS

We’ve features some of the most creative vinyl records here on ...

vinyl box set: back to the future soundtrack
»

Back To The Future Trilogy Soundtrack Vinyl Box Set

A classic film such as the BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY deserves ...

Kiss band marketing
»

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Band Name and Why You Should Copyright It

Who would have thought that finding the perfect band name could be a ...

Read previous post:
california roll USB flash drive
12 Food Inspired Flash Drives

Here are some delectable USB Flash Drives that will make your mouth water. If you want to make your very...

Close