Friday, September 13, 2019

How To - Payment VS Partnership

As any Creative will tell you there are always moments in your career where you find yourself staring at an email and thinking to yourself. "Fuck you pay me!". 

As a Creative myself, I know what that's like. Exposure doesn't buy food. And there are plenty of memes that will back this fact up.

The flip side to this is when you are a Producer, which I happen to be as well. As any Producer will tell you there are always moments in your career where you find yourself staring at an email and thinking to yourself. "Fuck you partner with me!". 

Of course there are no memes to back up this up whatsoever...

Here is the dilemma we all face. Payment or Partnership. How do we recognize the best opportunity as Creatives going forward? How do we know which opportunity is the right one?

From the Producers viewpoint paying an Artist can be a daunting prospect, and not because of the money. There are two scenarios every Producer faces when developing a new product.

1. I can pay the Artist a few hundred bucks and one of 2 things will happen. A: I cut and run and make a small fortune off them while swiping all their fan base money for a year and feel like a jerk. B: I pay this person and they cut and run and never tell their fan base this new product I developed with them. Which leaves me in the lurch, all invested with no gains, and little incentive to ever work with them again.

2. I can partner with the Artist, get the goods in front of their audience with some Producer/Talent social media synergy, and send the Artist a % of the production run they can flip online, and make way more cash than I could ever have paid them.

This is not to say that there are not risks involved in an Artist Partnering with someone. Many a tale of a Small Advance/Big Percentage deal have developed into a check chasing game ending in a 'get screwed on the back end' scenario of discounted goods and lots of 'breakage'. (All of which can legitimately happen when a product simply doesn't sell well. Not that this will comfort an Artist to tell them either...) This is why I prefer to drop goods on an Artist I partner with so they get their cut of the retail action in their hands and have full control over their incentive. No check chasing involved.

This is all to say that sometimes there are factors to consider that could lead to a bigger pay out for Creatives. Of course this is all just for consideration. Every prospective opportunity needs to be weighed on its own, based on various factors. 

Does the Producer have a track record of product development already? Have they worked with Artists before? Have they developed small runs or large runs? This last question may be the key to figuring out if you are going to screw yourself by taking that 'fuck you pay me' money. If a Producer is super eager to toss a few Franklins your way for a commission, that alone can be a reason to be suspicious. When they then proceed to make ten of thousands on some Giclee Prints of the piece, how is that going to pay the bills for you?

It's a tricky world out there. It's not always like it is in the memes.

Stay Up, Stay Loud, and Stay Nimble.

Posted By: Cultural Ambassador Gavriel Discordia

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