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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Q. I had an interview scheduled for a job as an "assistant to the director". I confirmed that I could make the interview but I asked if it was a paid position. The guy replied saying that it was a paid position but because I asked he no longer wants an interview with me and canceled our appointment. He said he was looking for a passionate filmmaker who wants the job whether it was paid or not.

Was I in the wrong? Should I have waited until the interview to pop that question? I tried e-mailing him back to explain my case but he blocked my e-mail. So, should I just drop it and call it a day?
Asking about pay is always a perfectly reasonable question, even if the answer is "You'll be paid in slices. How do you feel about extra cheese?"

It is shocking to me how often people who have very nice houses in the hills get all snippy when people sharing apartments in the flats want to get paid.

Anyone who responds to a question about pay by freaking out is not someone you'd want to work with. I suspect they weren't planning to offer any money, and now they just want you to feel bad. Or they were planning to say there's pay and then fail to actually pay. In other words, they're sleazy jerks.

Any legit person in show biz understands that people need to get paid. They may not want to pay you what you're asking. But someone who objects to you even raising the issue not worth your time, period.

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5 Comments:

Apparently the interviewer lives in a world where people don't need money to survive. I absolutely believe filmmakers need to be first and foremost passionate about what they do. But to immediately reject someone because they ask such a simple question is clearly overkill.

By Blogger Kevin Alexander, at 4:28 PM  

I agree, that was completely uncalled for. He must've started from the bottom rung of the ladder at some point.

By Blogger Will, at 5:25 PM  

I once lost a gig because they wouldn't give me a contract in writing. Jerkholes.

By Blogger sean, at 8:15 PM  

The guy blocked your email for asking that question?

He's full of it. You're better off not working for him.

By Blogger Ron, at 10:19 PM  

@Sean: you didn't really lose the gig. If they didn't want to give you a contract, that's because they didn't plan to pay you. So you saved yourself the experience of working and getting stiffed.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 9:47 AM  

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