OT: Lost my job, anyone have a line on some work?

FrigidNDEditing wrote on 7/26/2014, 9:38 PM
Hey folks,

I haven't been on the boards for a while (working 60-130hrs a week while maintaining a wife and 2 kids :) ), about 18 months ago, I took a director/producer/Sr. Editor position with a startup company producing the first Obstacle Course Racing TV Show based on a Mud Run ( called Hard Charge ). We grew to reach 85Million households on several different major sports nets across the US and were working on international distribution when the company closed because the events were not seeing the expected growth. (we got our last checks and an apology, the CEO never took a dime and lost a lot of his own money, so this isn't a golden parachute scenario)

Unfortunate, but that's the gamble when starting with a new company. It's frustrating because the work I was doing was growing and going relatively well, so it's tough to watch it fail based on things that weren't in my control. That said, I'm in the process of looking for another steady gig at an ad agency in town or something, however in the mean time I'm trying to make ends meet between unemployment and odd jobs.

I'm sure most folks here are not in a position of turning down work. And while I'm not trying share my sob story and look for sympathy. I was just hoping that anyone who might have a lead on work they can't take would be possibly kind enough to throw it my way.

My Reel ( which has my contact info at the end ) can be seen here:

In-case anyone is interested some of the gear the company is selling can be seen on my eBay account (not money going to me so I don't think there's any abuse of the forum in posting this).

Also in-case anyone wanted to see the show we did, I've got a couple of episodes online on my personal YT account so you can see them below. They were produced as live for the most part, and with less than $120K in production and post production equipment,.a Production crew of about 10-12 people including sideline talent, camera crew, in-studio VO talent, etc... depending on event. We had about 40 tracks on any given project and we had about 35-45 active cameras on any given event (including POV's)...

Thanks for anything anyone can send my way or lead me on to...

Dave H


riredale wrote on 7/26/2014, 10:16 PM
Sorry to hear about your situation, but you're doing the right thing. Get in touch and keep in touch with everyone, in a worst case be prepared to move to SoCal or NYC, which is where I assume most of the jobs are (could be wrong, don't know the industry all that well).

Something good will happen.
ushere wrote on 7/26/2014, 11:46 PM
my sympathy too....

when i closed shop in sydney in 2000 (saw the desktop rev coming full pelt and all that it implied), i moved to a rural location and thought, well, people get married, there's local adverts, and as i can handle anything in multimedia, i'm sure there's courses to teach, etc., etc.,

i haven't done a wedding per se (i shot a few for the local event videographer when she got double booked), but i'm now turning work away....

i reckon it's better to be a big fish in a little pond that a minnow in an ocean - my overheads are negligible, lifestyle infinitely better, word spreads much quicker and further afield without any serious advertising, and (as my 'king of the ranges' videos prove), find a niche market and you can make a remarkable living from it...
Kimberly wrote on 7/27/2014, 12:36 AM
Most years I still earn the majority of my income from the accounting profession, so I cannot help but comment --

Be careful if you are selling merchandise for others on your eBay account. If you are a US citizen, all of your worldwide income is subject to tax unless exempt by statute. Not sayin' you are doing anything wrong helping your colleagues sell off the excess gear. That's actually very kind and generous. Just be careful as the owner of the eBay account that you don't get stuck with the tax effect of liquidating assets for others if the sales are material. A really good gesture and good luck.


john_dennis wrote on 7/27/2014, 1:01 PM
Working for a dot com startup in 2000-2001, I was often too busy to breathe. Then the bust happened and I was hanging around the big new second house with nothing to do except look for work and wonder how I was going to make two mortgage payments with no income.

Remember, there are at least two facets to your current situation.

1) There are those who care about you.

2) You didn't all of a sudden lose all your skills when you lost your job.

Someone needs those skills and sooner or later the two of you will get together. I can say that from experience. In my career, I've been laid off by the US Federal Government, IBM Corporation and a dot com startup.

Best of luck to you.

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Camera: Sony RX10 Model IV


Grazie wrote on 7/27/2014, 2:20 PM
David, I've watched your development over the years. Having placed, what seems to be all your eggs in one basket, has got to be the central crucial issue you've had to realise here, and for some time too.

Business start-ups can/should have a mix of many but small options and then sometime later working-in an all exclusive single "client", which in effect, you've been working here.

As to title/ownerships to the "assests" I'd strongly advise you to ask your legal advisors.

Finally? Consider an alternative, non-video job to pay your bills. Smelling the coffee is only one part of your wake-up call.

Laurence wrote on 7/27/2014, 3:54 PM
I am the sort of self taught video cameraman and editor who likely would never land a job with any employer looking for someone with those skills. I use Vegas instead of the industry standard programs like FCP or Premier. I use a small camera and battery powered LEDs that hardly look professional. When I get in discussions with industry professionals, I hardly know the right words for things, and when I do, I probably pronounce them wrong.

However, while I keenly feel my limitations, I also know my strengths and have no problem with either confidence or ability when I snipe a whole project from one of the companies that would never deign to hire me. I definitely know how to make a competitive finished product, and I can do it without a fancy building, edit bay, or front office receptionist.

There are some disadvantages to working for myself though. My boss can be frustratingly disorganized. When somebody asks me if I have any free time to help with something, theoretically I can be off any time I would like even though I am constantly working trying to meet my growing workload.

The good thing though is that at least I have control of my destiny. For me that makes sleeping at night a little easier.
[r]Evolution wrote on 7/29/2014, 9:14 PM
My words of encouragement go out to you, me, and others in [I]our[I] situation.
Don't give in to depression. The correct match for you will come.
FrigidNDEditing wrote on 7/30/2014, 2:10 AM
Thanks everyone for your kind words. A few have reached out with kind words through the messaging system here as well, and I have to say thank to those people as well.

I do have to say to anyone that might be feeling badly for me, that this job was such an incredible opportunity. I got to work with a dedicated team of people where I gained experience that many people will never have. I would do it again without a doubt. It just stinks that it ended so poorly...

Grazie, Your advice... while appreciated in it's intent, is somewhat confusing to me, and seems to be incorrectly given. I was a full time employee of the company that closed and at that time I lost my job. I think maybe you didn't realize that I stopped working for myself and was employed by the company I had been working for, for the last 18 months.

And with absolutely zero malice, or any sort of a negativity intended, I also might recommend that if someone has just lost their job, the best way to respond might not be to tell them what they did wrong and suggest they find a different career :)
Grazie wrote on 7/30/2014, 2:47 AM
There's a great Yorkshire saying:"Fine words butter no parsnips."

David, you did put all your eggs in one basket. You say as much by confirming you'd got one client, so I was well aware of your situation, it was the company you had that had gone bust. And no, my best advise to you is what I said and not beat about the bush. You need to get revenue back into your life, and quick.

Learning from mistakes may not be pleasant, but it is those hard won experiences learnt that, when it has happened to me by my OWN hand, that has stuck. Oh, and BTW I am still "learning".

Now, if you can reclaim any of the video industry work you had prior to this debacle try and reach back out to them.

So, in the future, do NOT put all your eggs in one basket but rather have many and varied, our-industry based connections motoring along. Did this company stop you from working on other projects alongside them? Is that true?

Now is the time to re-shape your future in video: start by writing down, not on the PC, but with a Paper and Pencil all your video talents on the LEFT and then on the RIGHT all your options by which you could apply them to your immediate geographical area, further out say 250 kilometers and so on.

As to your final comment: " . . . the best way to respond might not be to tell them what they did wrong and suggest they find a different career :) " - Go get 'em Tiger!! Now prove me wrong!

Best regards

ushere wrote on 7/30/2014, 3:08 AM
after 40+ years in the industry / business i have seen any number of production companies come and go - it's the nature of the game...

what i would observe is for the project you described and the clips i saw it was VASTLY overproduced in the first place. too much too quickly. such ventures need to be built slowly, and not have resources poured into them like a dot com with a burn rate to match.

there's a tendency nowadays to think more is better, but the truth is still KISS. with good direction and planning the event could have been covered with 3 > 5 cameras, and as it's potential PROVED itself, then additional resources invested in.

there are few production companies that put all their eggs in one basket, i might have done a few 'feature' productions myself, but i NEVER let my other work / clients go.

in this business you need as many strings on your bow as possible, and always have a fall back position, even if it is the triangle ;-)

this is in no way criticism of your decisions, we all make our own and (hopefully) learn by them...
Laurence wrote on 7/30/2014, 10:31 AM
I believe the point that Grazie was trying to make is that having just one client is a scary proposition. It's kind of like having just one stock in your investment portfolio. Diversify and this won't happen again.
Grazie wrote on 7/30/2014, 11:08 AM
Correct. Waking up to these changes often happens when we're out of our comfort zones.


DavidMcKnight wrote on 7/30/2014, 12:21 PM
I believe the point Dave was trying to make is that he wasn't a freelancer, this was a full-time position with a (somewhat) established company. And I know he was working waaaaaay more hours which prevented working for anyone else. But I could be wrong.
FrigidNDEditing wrote on 7/30/2014, 12:23 PM
Grazie, I believe that we'll have to agree to disagree, having a salaried job at a company is the standard method of having a career and earning a living. While I have no opposition to having side work, when the salaried position takes on average of 70-80 with weeks where there were 120-130 hrs a week, there is no time to do anything else.

With regards to how over produced it was, you're entitled to your opinion, and that's fine. I learned that until people were involved in the production of one of these events, they had no real understanding of what a unique animal it was. To be clear, the Hard Charge company was not a "production company that did events" it was an event's company that produced a show.

Again, thanks for all the kind words and intentions, I'm sure I'll find something soon. But again, feel free in the meantime to send any extra work that might fit my way.
Laurence wrote on 7/30/2014, 12:49 PM
Certainly nothing but praise for you work from me.

Frankly, I am afraid of working for somebody else in any job, not just video. Here in Florida we have massive unemployment and I have seen a lot of people lose jobs that had nothing to do with video or any other sort of art. Agreeing to disagree is fine. I know my fear of putting others in control of my work life is perhaps irrational.
John_Cline wrote on 7/30/2014, 1:14 PM
I have absolutely zero interest in sports, particularly the "Iron Man" type competitions. However, I actually ended up watching an entire Hard Charge episode from the link in FrigidND's first post. Having been involved behind the scenes in the broadcast production of NASCAR for seven years and now IndyCar, I have an appreciation for what's involved in producing this type of show. Given that Hard Charge didn't have the budget of a network show, I thought it was really well done, it was able to hold my interest in something in which I would otherwise have no interest whatsoever.
farss wrote on 7/30/2014, 4:12 PM
Ultimately it comes down to the business plan.
With only 200 subscribers to the Hard Charge channel on YT it's obvious to me that nowhere near enough was spent on promotion.
By comparison the channels that I watch have over half a million subscribers and any video will get at least a quarter of a million views and the costs per show are minute by comparison and even then they have to rely on subscriptions to remain viable.

Cliff Etzel wrote on 7/30/2014, 5:52 PM
Did my part Dave by purchasing the Rode NTG-2 on eBay - I finally needed to upgrade and figured I'd help the cause best I could ;-)
set wrote on 7/31/2014, 6:32 AM
Hi Dave, I don't know if my info can help you, but perhaps you can try contacting a business coach, to make review of what you may want to do next...., or you boss, if it is still possible...

In recent years, instead of doing Wedding events, I have cooperate with one business coach, a branch from US Las Vegas based business coach firm.

I'll PM you the detail.

Grazie wrote on 7/31/2014, 7:07 AM
A most excellent idea Set. Business coaching truly lifts the misunderstandings garnered by many people.

In another life I was invited by a local college to add real-world experience of my own business startup and running.