Tuesday, January 15, 2008

When it rains, it pours

On top of all the problems experienced by working production professionals – death of music industry, typical January blahs, some kind of strike – we have also been visited by another bit of bad news. What, no rain of frogs?!?

Axiom, one of the major production pay-roll companies went under – taking many millions of dollars with it. My favorite definition for Axiom is “A self-evident principle or one that is accepted as true without proof as the basis for argument.” Which could be read as “so true it needs no back-up” or “don’t ask for proof, just trust us.”

Payroll companies handle the taxes and payments for most productions, since there are so many details and loop-holes in tax laws and with-holdings. Axiom (and associated companies) going under does not just effect those in music videos and production but lots of other places as well. Some folks have lost their health insurance that they assumed had been paid for by the company, others are stuck with no money at all for work they did. The beleaguered prod cos are now stuck finding more money to pay the people they owe, since the first time they “paid,” Axiom swallowed up the cash and trucked it away to Enron-ville. Over on "Totally Unauthorized" there is a sharp dissection of what this will mean to production types.

The more “stable and safe” companies – from Axiom to formerly big-balling production houses - go under, the more it is clear that there are no guarantees in music video. That certainly isn’t news, but it is easy to forget that nothing is for sure, especially with the state the industry is in. It never was guaranteed, but shiny office buildings and cool, custom printed business cards can sure cover up the cracks in the foundation.

Young directors looking to get more work are now faced with the realization that “making it” and signing at a hip prod co means nothing if the company goes under in a week or two. There are fewer and fewer rules all the time, which leaves lots of room for new ideas and new people. Especially if the old people are bankrupt or indicted.

Bit of side business. On the ‘Ville there was a post about Janet’s new video and people sharing their thoughts. Then the thread goes sideways with the appearance of an incredibly obvious fake “Dale Resteghini” posting ludicrous stuff. (Hint, most people can spell their own name.) Trust me, Senor Rage is too busy making his next ten videos to post on Antville. Some easily convinced types should be careful when they reply to emails about imprisoned princes in Nigeria. The thread is a fun read, never-the-less and remember that “gullible” is not in the dictionary.

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Ah yes, another sign besides current fashion and entertainment style that eighties are once more upon us.

Big business frightens me, those poor, poor people.

Big business is all about your trust in the other people, that's why I'm all about small business. Me, a partner I trust, and some dedicated fans, of both myself and the products. ^^

Still, I don't think they prepare you for how to handle business betrayal in business school, just how to cover your ass and sue sue sue...

(That ville argument bit was very amusing! What is bigger than the universe? I thought you dealt with that gracefully...^_-)
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