Had an interesting thing happen to me that, as a pro, I should not have to experience again. But then, if I had moved ahead as a pro, it wouldn’t have happened.
I met with a client months ago at their behest and we agreed that I would produce a CD on them. We talked about how much it would cost, how long it would/should take, how to do it in the most cost effective way possible. They also wanted to co-write with me for the CD. I put together a budget and time frame and presented it and they accepted.
Consequently, I left the time frame open for the CD production. As a touring musician, I must fill in dates months in advance, as they can not be filled in at the last moment. So this time I allotted for the project could not be filled in by something else that also paid.
As we grew closer to the date, I hadn’t heard from them, but I wasn’t worried as they were friends. I called and left several messages and also sent several e-mails.
The first date came and went with no response from them, so I again attempted to contact them, to no avail.
Finally yesterday ( a week and a half after we were to begin) I receive an email, apologizing for not getting back to me, but there’s been a financial crunch and they can’t do the project now.
But the are going to do it as soon as they can.
That would be code for “I’m never going to see you again”.
Now I know these folks, they are usually good people and so I’m sure something came up that couldn’t be avoided, but I should have been put in the loop as soon as things began going south, so that I could do something to replace the income that was no longer forthcoming.
Good people, good friends, they make mistakes too. It doesn't mean they are bad people, just that they have made a mistake...unfortunately it is a mistake that you end up paying for.
Leaving me hanging with free time on my hands and free studio time earning me no income was a bit disappointing, not to mention financially uncomfortable.
So, here’s what you must remember. You need to have a contract. If someone wants to work with you in any capacity, get it in writing. Get the time, the date, what is expected of you, what you expect as remuneration, how long it will take, what will happen if it goes longer, what will happen if it takes less time, how the credit will appear, when you will be paid and how, and anything else that might be pertinent IN WRITING.
Verbal contracts are not worth the paper that they’re not written on.
My feeling is, if I had a written contract for the production and I had a deposit on the studio time, we would be recording right now.
But because we were friends, I let all that stuff slide and now I’m eating at Wendy’s for the rest of the month.
GET IT IN WRITING and GET A DEPOSIT. If the client won’t do it, DECLINE THE PROJECT. Let the opportunity go.