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Topic: OT: Worst job memories?

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  1. #1

    OT: Worst job memories?

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    I just finished writing a TV commercial for a fashion network and boy, was it painfull! [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

    The client didn\'t have any musical reference but wanted something fun, quarcky,funky but not urban, hip for thirty year old women mostly living in the Midwest USA.

    Fine, so I write a light funky piece.
    The next day, i am told: no, no. Sounds too much like the competition. They don\'t want percussion or horns and they don\'t like the synths. They want something hipper.

    So i write a slick funk track. No percs, no horns.

    Next day: no, no. That\'s not it.They finally send me a reference: Missy Elliot [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img]
    which is the epitomy of urban, vulgar rap.

    Ok, i will write something with a similar vibe but lighter...

    Next day. No, not at all what they need.

    This time I get a reference that sounds like old r\'n\'b mixed with scraches (and it has JB horns in it).
    I start writing something in that vein until the owner of the add company i work for on the project tells me these people have no clear direction but if i do a drums\'n\'bass track, he thinks they will love it.

    Ok, d\'n\'bass it is.

    Next day at 9:15 pm: no, needs to be much more energetic. they need a new track by the next day in the morning.
    Since i still have a full time job, i have to write my stuff at night. I finish the scratch/r\'n\'b track at 4am and go to work at 7:30am.

    It is finally accepted. They love it [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/frown.gif[/img]

    I am sure some of you have horrendous experiences in the same vein to share.

    I\'d love to hear them [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    Thanks for sharing! [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Worst job memories?

    It could get worse. Have you already been paid? [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Worst job memories?

    Jon,
    you got that one right! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    Luckily, a friend of mine is the overseer of the account [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Worst job memories?

    - A client that micromanages me.

    - One that calls everyday, sometimes more, and would like to talk about his \"vision\" of his project, keeping me on the phone for a very long time, preventing me from doing any work.

    - One that wants a lot, but can\'t pay a lot.

    All that, coming from one person... a year later, he came back dangling internet stock options and more money for his new project, I REFUSED to do his project. I told him I\'m busy... which is true.

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Worst job memories?

    A client told me once that the TV gameshow theme I\'d done was fine except for one tiny fragment which was too discordant - the general public doesn\'t understand discord he told me gravely. So I changed a major second chord into a major third. Everybody\'s happy.

    Another client told me that my TV promo-spot music was great except for a single chord that was a bit too \"sad sounding\". I took a gamble and said \"you want me to go from minor to major?\" She smiled and said \"exactly\". I was impressed - producers aren\'t usually that clued-up [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    And then there\'s the usual \"it\'s too Chinese sounding\" meaning anything using fourths... etc etc.

    The upshot is: string a load of major triads together and everyone\'s laughing.

    BTW I quit TV music for a couple of years because of all that. I\'ve recently snapped out of the sulk and gone back to work. However, I keep my seconds and fourths handy in a little black velvet bag, ready for that rainy, bluesy day.

    Heath

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Worst job memories?

    I was doing a spec cue for an issue advocacy agency in D.C. I had a few conversations with the producer and then proceeded to have a few emails back and forth with the director.

    I saw the 60-second spot without any temp music and gave them back my impression. Due to the images in teh first few seconds from from 1847 and then WWII, I wanted to start with something purely orchestral, or perhaps with strings and a piano or harp - and then on to something with more of an electronic feel for the medical lab scenes and then blend the two together with a rousing finish at the end with a swell and a cymbal roll. TA DA!

    They said that no, they wanted something simpler that would really drive home a theme that everyone could remember and recognize. So, I wrote a theme that had some build throughout, but was stated in enough instruments and across a couple of key changes so that it didn\'t get too monotonous. They said thanks, they loved it, and it would be considered along with a few other entries.

    Well, I see the spot on air two weeks later, with - you guessed it - a solo instrument in the beginning with electronic instruments coming in with the med lab shot - then a rousing finish to a big cymbal roll w/\"TA DA\" at the end - done by someone else.

    [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img]

    I guess I learned something - I\'m no longer looking for work in issue advocacy spots in the D.C. area...

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Worst job memories?

    The trick is, leave a wrong note or a tiny ugly misplaced sound in the cue.. when the client gets back to you they will tell you that they like everything except the little detail you left in there for them. When you\'ve changed it, the client will feel like they participated in the creative process and everybody will be happy and paid. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    /Tobias

  8. #8

    Re: OT: Worst job memories?

    Originally posted by tob:
    The trick is, leave a wrong note or a tiny ugly misplaced sound in the cue.. when the client gets back to you they will tell you that they like everything except the little detail you left in there for them. When you\'ve changed it, the client will feel like they participated in the creative process and everybody will be happy and paid. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    /Tobias
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">That\'s true in any field. lol I work in the ad agency business by day and this happens everyday. I always leave something obvious that needs to be fixed. If you dont and it\'s perfect they will nitpick and find some unreasonable thing to \"fix\" that most often actually hurts the aesthetic IMO. It\'s a way for them to assert their \"power\" and justify their job.

  9. #9

    Re: OT: Worst job memories?

    >> \"The upshot is: string a load of major triads together and everyone\'s laughing.\"

    I\'m doing music for a :30 and :60 radio spot for my brother-in-law\'s business. It will air on three types of stations: jazz, oldies-rock (50s & 60s) and a big band station. It\'s an optometry business in Palm Springs - gotta appeal to the older folks.

    The problem is how to stick to those major triads, make it catchy and not peg the cheese meter.

    Far from being a bad job, this is really good experience. And my bro-in-law\'s a great guy. I\'m charging him one dollar. But it may take a number of tries before we\'re both pleased with the result. Fortunately, there\'s little time pressure as he doesn\'t plan to air the commercials for a few months.

    Hopefully I\'ll still feel good about it at that time :-)

  10. #10

    Re: OT: Worst job memories?

    LOL!

    Nice thread !!

    I had \'hell client\' today.

    Yesterday, i was told to \"Write a :30 that sounds similar to the \'Go Navy\' theme (which i believe is a Godsmack song.) It is for a \"Army Vehicle Toy spot\" I was booked 9am-2pm to write it, mix it / and send for approval before mastering. The video will be cut Monday morning. Kinda tight, but not too bad.

    So, i pull out all the tricks - Discrete Drums (which are fabulous btw) quadruple tracked guitar, Stylus dubs , Atmosphere builds, blah blah ..... it was the same \'vain\' and tempo as the Go Navy theme thing (even had some Gutteral grunts). Sounds great (i usually am never happy with my work, but i liked this one). Ok .....

    First, client loves it ...... BUT ...... our video editor says \"Ummmm, can you make it faster with more hits, so i can cut fast\" .... Sigh .........

    Clients says \"Oh, i see what he means ... can you do that ?\" And while you are at it, come up with 2 other ideas. You have 2 hours!!!

    Grrrrrrrrrr ....................... i slam an espresso and go back to the grind......

    So .... i did what they asked (as always, bend over and take it) ........ now they are happy, everyone gets paid, and i just Sigh ..

    Not my worst experience (by no means), just found it ironic this went down today and i saw this thread.

    With that said ...... I NEED A BEER!

    SWL

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