Prior to being here at Molten Blot Productions, we have all worked with a number of production companies and directors. In the past, there were countless times directors asked for things that weren’t in the budget. It came down to wishful thinking and not having the experience of running sets, crews and equipment. So how are they adding value if they have to rely on others to tell them where that value lies? We simply put more emphasis on our directors to manage efficient budgets.
Not having the right talent means lower production value. Not having the right camera package or lighting means lower production value. We have seen producers decide on camera and lighting without input from the professionals behind the camera. In these cases, the producers are simply making a decision based on money, and not on the value of a cinematographer’s experience. This happens often. We know of a high profile cinematographer that has shot 100 million dollar features and a commercial producer not letting him decide on the camera. This says a lot about the lack of integrity producers have for clients, let alone industry professionals. Why hire someone of the highest caliber if you don’t let them do their job? We value a client’s production.
In today’s market, you have anyone that owns an iPhone calling themselves a director or cameraman. Or anyone that can push a button calling themselves a Photographer. These are hobbyists. Unless you have run a crew of 20 or more, or have used a generator to host more that five lighting units, or can use an incident and spot meter or know every item in a grip truck, you are a hobbyist. All of whom have no idea how a client is spending money, not only on production, but on media as well. For this reason, perspectives on professionalism should revert back to the days when people devoted themselves to the craft and not just winging it because they get instant results. Technology doesn’t make you a professional, experience does—and that you learned from professionals.
You’re far better off hiring those who know how to handle a production and not leave it in the hands of someone that took a week to shoot their last YouTube sensation. Especially, when you only have one day to shoot. Yes, expertise is being over looked in this industry because people keep forgetting to see the big picture of protecting brand identity, capturing and swaying consumer impressions, and making media dollars count. It’s not about the sheer volume of eyeballs alone. It’s about what those eyeballs think and do, a more astute observation of qualification over quantification.