Don't Be a Diva

Artists of all types are well known to be prickly. Even though I am an artist, I am also in the service industry and my business thrives when people recommend me and I get repeat business from happy clients. Yes, of equal importance is being a master of my craft but a lot of the details that I as a filmmaker and photographer obsess over may never be noticed by the client. In reality, will anyone notice that the color temperature is slightly off? Or that stray bit of makeup that I retouched from my 42 megapixel image when displayed on a website? No, probably not. But those details are picked up in totality which separates the true professionals from the crowd.

What they do notice is that I show up prepared, on time and the way in which I deal with unexpected problems. All too often I show up to shoots to find out that the subject I was supposed to film was unable to make it due to a last minute conflict. Instead, I find out, we will be shooting something else entirely. Or, the location we had reserved has unexpected maintenance so now we need to shoot in a tiny windowless office because that's all that is available. Oh, and we need to be out by 2pm. Further, we still need the look we are going for so we will need to move some furniture and press up against the wall to get the angle we need.

 Two camera shoot with lighting in a windowless office.

Two camera shoot with lighting in a windowless office.

 Atomos Ninja Assassin, 4k recorder/monitor.

Atomos Ninja Assassin, 4k recorder/monitor.

 Final graded result with moody, natural looking lighting.

Final graded result with moody, natural looking lighting.

A diva responds to these problems with indignation and is thrown off their game because things are not as expected. "I can't work in these conditions" would be the stereotypical response. In fact, I can and will work in these conditions and I will do the best job that is possible. Work is expected and work will be delivered. Yes, there are times when a job is quoted and then reality throws that quote out of the window, but as long as expectations are realigned and all costs are covered then there is no reason why we can't produce something despite the rain, jackhammers, or time crunch.

I can't tell you how many times a client has said how happy they were with how easy I was to work with, which to me is shocking. It is hard for me to imagine that someone would have a bad attitude on set or in any professional environment. Nevertheless, I'm ok with it, because it's just another way that I can outshine the competition without spending a dollar.