I was making a promotional video for a financial software company. They had no brief other than wanting it to look “clean and stylish”. During filming, they wanted me to get them tickets to the premiere of the Miami Vice movie because I must have “contacts in the film industry” (this was a few years ago). Despite myself, I managed to get the tickets.
Client: We want our video to look like Miami
Vice. And The Matrix – we loved The Matrix.
I had to start again from scratch. I actually surprised myself by how well I managed to fake up elements of the films from various bits of B-roll footage I had lying around and through filming their staff posing in sunglasses around their Canary Wharf headquarters. It came out looking very clean and quite stylish.
They loved it.
But then the boss wanted endless edits. He never talked to me directly, instead getting his PR consultant to call me. On one occasion, he woke her up at 4am on a Sunday morning to ask her to wake me up to do yet more edits. He decided he wanted the film in widescreen “you know, with those black bars” and to have all his clients’ logos scroll across the black bars. Then he wanted pictures of their company cricket team added in. And “inspirational quotes from the famous”. The next demand was for sales figures scrolling over the main image. Pretty soon the video was almost entirely obscured with text and scrolling logos.
The final straw came after
the video was finished and had been signed off. The boss wanted me to add a
poem he’d written. Five pages of rambling, broken English. And he needed it
done and uploaded to a server in India within an hour.
Unsurprisingly, they took almost a year to pay me and only did so after I began court proceedings.