HIRING ME

I DON’T WORK FOR FREE

Before you contact me, just know that I don’t accept to work without being paid. During my very rare free time, I prefer to read, to watch a movie, to learn something, to get some rest, to travel, to make love, to LIVE in order to progress as a human being, and as a cinematographer, rather than working for free on a project with very bad conditions. If you don’t understand, I suggest you to go to the bakery and ask for a bread for free. Go to your doctor, and ask for a consultation for free. Ask to an architect to build you a house for free. The answer will always be the same: no.
No need to promise me that your next projects will be so well paid: if I only work for free waiting for you to finally offer me a paid project, I would already be living on the street right now. And no need to tell me what a great opportunity it would be to be on your set, that it will be so cool, so fun, etc… I already spend three quarters of the year on different sets where I am always paid, so it is not an opportunity that you are giving me. Imagin that you tell your dentist: « I won’t pay you, but you will have the opportunity to heal my teeth! ». Ridiculous, right?
Besides, if you don’t have money for your project, most of the time (not ALWAYS, but most of the time), it is because your project is not good, which is why it didn’t get financed. Or because you were too lazy to search for finances, and I don’t work with lazy people.

IF YOU WANT TO HIRE ME

-If we work together, please pay the fee or the invoice within the month. You are paid for your work every month, right? Well, it is not different for us freelancers. There is no reason to wait for seven months to be paid for a job that has already been done and delivered. If you don’t have the money to pay people, then why do you even organize a shooting? Do you ever go to the supermarket without your wallet?
-I shoot all the images that I light. For me, it is a process where both go together. It means that I don’t work with a cameraman, unless there is a second camera (and only if it is really necessary). If you hire me, it is because you care about my vision, my way of seeing the world in accordance to yours.
-As a producer or a director of production, please put me in copy of all the emails sent to the rental companies for camera, lenses and lights. I really need to follow the discussions with the rental companies, to check the references of equipment they put on the quotes… Directors of production too often tend to keep private the conversations with rental companies, but it often creates problems: when I do the tests prior to the shooting, I then discover that the equipment and references are not the ones I asked. By being in copy of the emails sent to the rental companies, I can react faster, change references if it doesn’t fit the budget of the production, find solutions, receive propositions of references I didn’t know from these rental companies, and I can even help you save a lot of money!
-I work on the image from the BEGINNING to the END. If you intend to contact me just for the shooting, and then you do the color grading without even telling me… then dont contact me. I don’t work on a project if I am not on the color grading process in the end. I don’t shoot any image that I cannot supervise and control until the end, in order to make sure that it respects the intentions of the preparation and the shooting. You have to understand that my name, my career and my reputation are associated to the images I sign, so yes, it is important that cinematographers validate the final result. Would you like your movie to be edited without your approval? I guess not. It is the same for cinematographers and the images they film.
-If you try to reach me, know that I ALWAYS answer, and if I can’t, I ALWAYS call back. So if you have no news from me, no need to call me fifteen times during the day: maybe I am shooting (you wouldn’t like me to be on my phone when I am on YOUR set, right? So please understand that it is the same for other sets: my phone is ALWAYS off when I am shooting, and it should be the case for every technician on the set). Or maybe I am in a color grading room. But calling me fifteen times will not make me call you back faster: if I am not reachable, then… I am not reachable. If you HARASS me, then not only it might piss me off, but I might not even call you back, cause I don’t deal with disrespectful people. Just send me a text message, and I’ll call you as soon as I can. Be patient: if you cannot wait a few hours for a phone call, how can you even consider achieving a film, which requires so much patience?
-Once the project is finished, you MUST deliver me a master of the project, in 2K resolution, in Apple Prores 4444, for my archives. Of course, the images will be kept confidential according to the terms of the contract.
-I work on several projects, with different directors and different producers. So please, try to give me precise dates of work and try to stick to them. Postponing at the last minute or cancelling is disrespectful towards me, and towards the other people I work with. You do not have the exclusivity. If you give me dates, and I block them, then it means I refuse other works for these dates… But if you cancel or postpone them at the last minute, then it means I end up with no work (and no salary) on these dates, when I could have worked on another project. Besides, if you don’t give me precise dates, then I cannot give to my other clients precise availabilities, and not only it is disrespectful from me towards them (because they also need to organize themselves… as much as you do), but I might also lose these jobs. So keep in mind that hiring someone is a big responsibility, and that it can have impact on your project, but also on other people’s ones.
-I must be credited in the beginning and/or end credits, as « Cinematographer » in english, or « Cinématographeur » in French. Not « Director of photography » (or « directeur de la photographie » or « chef-opérateur » in French).
-If we shoot abroad, just know that I do not share my bedroom with you. Or with anyone else. I will already spend the day working with a lot of people, so during the night, I need intimacy, privacy, calm, and loneliness, in order to focus and get rest for the next day. So for the accomodation, please make sure I have my own bedroom.
-I am vegetarian, so please make sure I get vegetarian food on the set, on the plane, in the restaurant. To shoot all day, I need energy. And food is energy. For information, chicken is not a vegetarian food. Neither is fish. Thank you!
-More and more, people organize shootings by creating whatsapp groups. Please keep me out of any whatsapp group. I don’t want my phone to ring day and night everytime someone has something to share (and very often something not even important or urgent). Besides, all the infos get drawn into the whatsapp group, it is impossible to classify the infos, and the more there are participants and messages, the more it is complicated to find an information you’re looking for. All the images sent in the whatsapp group end up in your cell phone, mixed with all your private pictures, and the organizers become lazy and then avoid sending emails, with precise objects, and with a concise content, since they think the info is shared on the whatsapp group. And in the end, the organization of the shooting is catastrophic, because the whatsapp group creates a lot of problems of communication. This is absolutely not an efficient tool, so please avoid it.
-I don’t like to work with disrespectful people. So if you are disrespectful, don’t contact me, please, let’s not waste each other’s time.
-Otherwise, I am a nice person, so we can always talk, discuss, and communicate, as long as there is a mutual respect.