I worked as a cinematographer for five years. An old friend asked me to “help” him for a few days with a music video he was directing. On the first day of filming, he revealed that: a) I was the only person he hired, b) he doesn’t own any cameras, and c) he has no knowledge of operating any filmmaking cameras.
the filming, he kept brushing off my advice and gave me vague instructions. A
few hours later, we took a break.
Me: Do you have anything to eat?
Client: No, I’m not really hungry. Were you working on an empty stomach all along? Dude, you should learn to carry your own snacks. I do that all the time. It’d be good for you.
We were filming at a remote cabin by the lake with no cell reception, so I couldn’t get food. He gave me some of his snacks and told me I eat a lot. After he kept me working much longer than he promised, I told him that I need to leave and pick up the filming the next day.
Client: You have to go now? I guess that’s fine. But you don’t need your camera until tomorrow, right? You should leave it here. I want to walk around and experiment how my
locations will look. I also need to practice filming.
Me: No, I have to take it with me.
Client: Okay, fine. Wow, I guess you’re really attached to your camera!
He had a way of suggesting my needs were personal faults. I wouldn’t have been surprised if I asked to be paid, and he responded “I guess some people are just caught in the rat race, man!”