Sunday, 23 January 2011

Should I take it to the bridge?

There are many communication gaps to be bridged in my line of work. Perhaps the most important of those is trying to translate a picture editor or art director's vision conjured up in a warm Mac-strewn office into something that works on a wet and blustery hillside. I exaggerate of course - sometimes it isn't windy. Often the bridge isn't bridged, and I know now that this is my fault because I am still being a little, shall we say, old fashioned. I like a brief. A brief is a starting point from which many things can happen and usually do, but at the very least it attempts to set down on paper some guidelines for a shoot and what is expected. Whether it is time constraints or too much Twitfacing or whatever, I get fewer and fewer briefs. Often to the point that I don't know where I am supposed to be! Briefs used to be delivered from the commissioner of the work, because they are the ones that need the work and are paying for the work.
But now I find it is up to me to make calls to eek out information such as where are we going? What is the nature of the job, when do you want the images delivered by etc.etc. A deep, stubborn part of me wants to be told such vital info since it has a bearing on the shoot. For instance, I recently did a shoot abroad and paid a lot of money on excess baggage for equipment that sat in its cases in the hotel room the whole trip! For the actual shoot I needed different gear that I didn't have, probably because the job changed shape somewhere over the ocean. Taking everything I own is going to be my practice from now on. But the point is I could have got better images and more of them had I had a small piece of kit. And the final bill to client would have been smaller. If I were to go a butcher , I would tell him what meat I wanted and how much of it. Likewise a barman would expect me to knoow what drink I was after and the quantity. So why is it different in this instance? I'd be interested to hear your opinions on this, something that bugs me. Or perhaps I shouldn't lose sleep over it?

1 comment:

  1. AGREE!!!!!!!
    No-one benefits from a bad/non brief.
    Can't count the number of times we've sat in the office slagging off a freelancer's work (writers too) only to realise that they were pissing in the wind, as the brief consisted of nothing more than "can you go to XXX and get some pics/write some words".
    Even if you rebel against the brief completely, at least you're doing it from a standpoint that you know what you're doing, and why you're doing it. How can you argue your corner when you've got no idea what you should have been doing?