You Win Some, You Lose Some

Date posted on April 30, 2010

Early in the morning, my producer texted me that we needed to go to our post production house to close the deal with them.

Talking to this post prod house was one of the first things that I did when I arrived. They’re the best in the business (in the Philippines) and I was really hoping that despite that, we’d be able to make them take pity on us and give us a good deal for colour grading. I would never even dare think of approaching them if not upon the suggestion of a good friend of mine who worked for this post house’s sister company (which is, incidentally, a film production company competing with my former employer).

My friend did some ringing up and I ended up talking to no less than the head of operations. He was very friendly and very nice. Made me feel at ease right off. He asked me to pitch the story over the phone and then gave me assurances that he’ll give us a generous quote. Within an hour of that conversation, I was talking to the head of sales and we were making arrangements for a meeting.

After my producer and I met with the head of sales for the first time, we received a quote from them. She gave us two options – one that packaged film processing, telecine, offline edit, colour grading and dub out of the final format, and another that excluded the offline edit. Both prices were still quite expensive relative to the size of our coffers. My producer, being more experienced than I, assured me that it’s actually still quite cheap. She tried to check how much a lesser known post prod house would charge us, and it ended up being more expensive than this quote given to us. Needless to say, I was happy with it. I gave the green light and said that we’ll be doing the entire post production with them.

Following yesterday’s production meeting, my producer contacted the post prod house to close the deal, but not before asking for further discounts – just for the heck of it. Lo and behold, the post house slashed a further 16% of the original, already-cheap-quote for the full post production package.

Woot!

So we went to the post house and finalized the deal. We gave them a copy of the second draft and they clarified some things regarding the creative requirements of the project. They also gave us some reminders regarding the time table and asked who our sound recordists would be (it turned out that they have an existing relationship with the company doing our sound – and they’re quite happy working with them). Within one hour, the meeting was done and we were all walking away feeling quite optimistic with the partnership.

On our way there, however, my producer told me about the lack of response from this corporation we were approaching for sponsorship. She said that it might be worth trying that I contacted the contact person myself, since he was acting sycophantically during our meeting. This guy hasn’t been responding to her texts, apparently, and she’s been trying for four days already. She gave me his number and I texted him while we were on the road.

As my producer had hoped, he replied.

He said that their company still felt like the packages we created for them were too expensive.

I was deflated. I was hoping that they would at least talk to us about it rather than categorically make a decision over text.

I replied courteously, saying that if they still wanted to discuss it, they need only to tell us and we’ll make time for it. Though to be quite honest, I think that ship has sailed.

There it is. Our best hope for funding is gone. They would’ve covered for about 50% of our expenditures, had that been successful.

So yeah. It is a bittersweet day. Talk about peaks and lows (as the masthead declared).

I hope I had enough enthusiasm at this moment to dwell on the good instead of the bad, but right now, I can’t help but wish that if we truly can’t have it all, I’d rather we lost where we won and won where we lost.