I’m a big believer is working on as many projects as you can when you are starting out. THe more sets you are on, the more you will learn!
As you progress in your career it is ok to say no to a job if the script doesn’t speak to you, you don’t want to work with the crew, or the pay isn’t enough.
Some people are great at this and don’t need the reminder, but I have to tell myself that saying no to one job will not end my career. Working on a film, especially as a producer, takes a lot of time, energy and heart and soul. If the project isn’t right I (now) wait until I find one that is.
I LOVE when crew members give me a solid “No” right away when I reach out to hire them. It’s much clearer than a “Possibly” or “Yes, let me check my schedule.”
And I REALLY love it when it’s, “No, I can’t work for that rate.” I’m often working on small projects that pay maybe half of what someone is used to making. Sometimes people can make that work, or love the project, other times they can’t and I respect that. But nothing is harder than dealing with a crew member who is upset about the amount they are getting paid when it was stated in the original deal memo. If it’s not enough, say no and I’ll move on! Easy as pie!
Saying no can seem scary and like you might miss out or get put on a “don’t ask them” list. But you won’t! I asked the same sound person to work on five projects before her schedule finally matched up and I could book her.
Saying no can build your confidence. Saying no opens you up to better or higher paying jobs. Saying no means you’ve learned enough to call yourself a professional filmmaker.
Are there projects you said “Yes” to that you should have said “no” ?