This happened a few weeks ago. A fella who pops into my Coffee & Creative shop at the Magic Mall requested a branding video. Being the magnanimous person that I am, I told him I'd do it for $60. (Yes, I know, I'm RIDICULOUSLY affordable!). He gave me a $20 deposit which I wisely set aside, took his notes, and wrote, recorded, and animated this video over the weekend ... based on our discussion on a branding spot and the notes he gave me.
When he finally comes back to the mall, there ends up being this long 'conversation' about how he didn't like the video, thought all my videos are the same, didn't care for my sense of creativity, yadayadaya. Long, LONG conversation short, I gave the fellow his deposit back and said good day. The pretense was that he needed gas money anyhow and that he WOULD be back to pay for the whole video. Of course, I never gave him a copy (just a screener on my youtube channel that has since been deleted) and, more obviously, he has yet to return to my shop in the Magic Mall.
I went into this project knowing it could be problematic, so at very least I wanted to see how the VO would come and I wanted to start playing with some Apple Motion templates. The photo animation I ended up recycling for a TV commercial I was producing at the same time -- I worked out the kinks in this video and rolled the concept into the commercial really quickly. The VO came out great, imo, and built my confidence for a bunch of other VO projects, which will be debuting over the next few weeks.
In my mind, the project wasn't a waste. It was a good experiment and flexing of some creative muscles. The time spent with the client (which was considerable) was excessively wasteful. But at the end of the day, I'm sitting on a decent video that I can't really share with the world unless I also promote this guy's work, something that he owes me way too much time and money for me to be able to do in good conscience.
So what to do? Would you have handled it any differently? What do you do when a client stiffs you?
The anguished musings of a jack-of-all trades creative professional based out of Longwood, Florida. Find out more about him here. You know, if that's your 'thing'.
Most of my production music is original but if I need something extra-special, I usually get it from AudioNautix.com: