Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No, Really, I Don't Have Any Money (Part I)

Sometimes it's hard to convince people that when you say you have no money for something you have no money for it.

A friend of mine was scouting locations and called up the New York State Film Office and they gave him some phone numbers and he ends up talking to someone who has an unused power plant out on Eastern Long Island. He tells them: "We have no budget." They're all like "Oh, that's OK!" And he goes out there to visit and of course the place is gorgeous for a post-apocalyptic thriller and he's all like "Are you sure this is free?" and they're like "Well, you have to pay for a guard." Oh really? How much is that? "$700 a day." OK. Now that's not free. "Oh, plus we have to charge you $3500 a day for the facility."

Now really.

Maybe somewhere there are people who keep saying "We have no money" when what they mean is "We have thousands of dollars a day in discretionary funds." I've never met those people.
Like recently I heard about a job for rotoscopers working on the new Roger Water's The Wall tour. They're being paid $150/day. Now you might think that $150/day isn't that much money and gee whiz, Roger Waters has a whole lot of money, so therefore the job has to pay a lot more. Well, not really. Firstly, the whole escapade of putting on a tour is tricky -- very tricky if you don't want to take a bath on it financially.

And hey, a lot of people will be working on the tour. Hundreds, ultimately you could argue, thousands. So if you paid them all $350 a day you're gonna run out of money at some point.

So sure, there you might say "We have no money for this." But then you'd really mean "We have a couple million dollars, but we're watching it all very carefully and we're not going to pay more for stuff than we have to."

But you'd be able to afford the power plant location at $4200 a day...

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