As I was in Ecuador I had a major paddle sports outlet approach me about the possibility of working a job for them. The job was on the instructional side and as I co-produced the Rescue For River Runners series I assumed that is why I was contacted. The R3 series continues to get traction even though it is reaching the 5 year mark. It has also won some pretty prestigious awards. It taught me a lot about building a formula for instructional style content.
The proposed job required me to put together a bid as there were other filmmakers approached. This is something that is very difficult to do as every job has different budgets and you have to be careful to not overbid (and more importantly, not to underbid your value).
For this bid it required me putting together a team that would be able to capture this project in an engaging and visually compelling way.
In the end, I was contacted by the outlet personally to tell me that I was a close second. This is never something you want to hear….that you didn’t get the gig. However, I want to focus on the positive side that came out of this and relay it into a learning experience as this is something that I will have to consistently face in a world of high competition, many people competing for the same job, and some pretty fantastic filmmakers out there.
I felt that just the process of putting the bid together was invaluable. It forced me to determine value, exercise project management outlines, and define a team that I have to work with. In the end the media outlet stated that it was extremely professional and pretty bang on in terms of budget. Ultimately the contract went to a filmmaker with more experience, less travel costs, and a lower bid.
I realize that just going for the cheapest bid is never the choice of a high quality outlet and there are many other factors involved. The fact that I got a personal call from the outlet to explain all of this showed a great deal of respect and consideration. It was made quite clear that there will be many opportunities down the road.
When working freelance and on your own there will be many answers that come your way that might not be what you want. It is important to me and my state of mind to focus on the positive aspects that came out of all of these and to roll with it and move on. It is easy to get down after a series of NOs but I have found that in these times there is always a really cool opportunity to come your way.
Keep busy, keep at it and realize that the world of Adventure Filmmaking is a dream for most people out there and that even the small jobs are great jobs.