I was hired to make a short promotional video for a company that makes electronic equipment. The job, a montage of images and text, was to be quick and fairly straightforward, and the budget wasn’t huge.
In my contract, I stated that I would edit in any music they provided, but that I would not provide the music. I verbally recommended that they purchase and download something from an online stock music provider, which would ordinarily cost around $30.
Client: Hey, I wanted to talk about the music. What kind of music do you think we should have?
Me: Some light jazz might be nice. I can download a few samples for you, if you like.
Not part of my contract, of course, but I thought it would a nice courtesy.
Client: I was thinking more along the lines of something like, Michael Jackson.
Me: Oh, you want something with a Motown bounce, or more R&B?
Client: No, I mean I want one of Michael Jackson’s songs.
Me: You mean the actual song, sung and recorded by Michael Jackson?
Client: Yes, of course. That’s what I said!
Me: I think that’s out of your budget.
Client: For what we’re paying you, I’d think you’d be able to provide that!
I patiently explained that we weren’t going to be able to get the rights to an MJ song for under $10,000, which was a lot more than they were paying me.
Client: I thought you were a professional! Don’t you know people? What are we paying you for?