Friday, February 06, 2015

Michael's Really Bad Mood...

…okay, I just ripped a guy a metaphorical new butthole on the phone, and since I will no doubt be brutalized for it on FaceBook, I would like to do a little 'splaining.

The person in question has called me repeatedly looking for a free copy of the show in which he appeared. And you know what? I'd have given him one — I'll still give him one — even though it's not technically something I'm supposed to do. OUTDOOR CHANNEL owns the programming I do. OC is a huge media conglomerate with a very specific set of rules for those of us who work within it. Several of those rules involves when and under what circumstances we can release material.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO…you call me up, explain that you won't subscribe to OC because it's too much money, it was "too much trouble" to ask a friend to record the episode for you, you'd like use the segment of the episode to promote your own business and you want it now.

Sigh…well, you can't have it now for several reasons, not the least of which is that the season is still running. I can't do anything until the season ends. Period. When shows are in their first run on OC, that is the only place you can see them. Not on the Internet; not on another channel, not on a DVD.

Secondly, there's a sense that somewhere in the bowels of the production companies I use there's a machine that spits out DVDS. In fact, as a routine matter we don't do DVDs at all…it's a digital workflow. DVDs are a special set-up…a production person has to stop what he or she is doing, set up a computer to create a DVD and run said DVD off. Considering that the small production house we use has 3 series in production right now, nobody has the time (or the spare machine) to knock off a DVD.

That's all pretty straightforward. Once the season's over and the production crunch has passed, I can and do ask my production company to produce a few DVDs for people who've helped us over the season. Those request are very, very limited, and even those DVDs are released with specific caveats…you can't dupe them to hand out or sell, you can't use the material on the DVD in, say, a television or Internet ad, any use of the material without proper attribution is prohibited, etc.

Those are the rules I operate under.

Should you decide to call me and try to bully me into something I simply cannot do, you will discover a have a somewhat legendary temper.

Let me apologize in advance for that.

Secondly — and all of you who have worked on my various shows over the years already know this — we have never forced anyone to be on television. We ask if you'd like to be part of the show. You can say yes or you can say no. We're fine with either. If you don't want to be on a show, we'll ask someone else. We NEVER offer "consideration," that is, there is NO quid pro quid for your appearance in a show. We at NO point say, "If you do this for us, we will do that for you." We promise you neither money, gold, product placement, DVDs, tchotchkes, dream dates, slaves, or even adult beverages, although we do try to pick up the dinner tabs when we can.

We are there at the invitation of the organizers of whatever event or subject we are filming. We never just show up. Everyone involved knows that we're going to be there filming. In that sense we're like vampires — we can't come in unless you invite us in.

That said, we do our best to accommodate requests. And twice a year I buy the beer.

More than this I can't tell you.


John Brantuk said...

Michael, you seem perfectly reasonable to me. Thanks for making your situation as clear as could be.

_DonWorsham_ said...

Michael, I'm ready for my close up now.

Anonymous said...

Not to worry Michael!

We'll wait for the "flame-job" and respond accordingly. If it's a business that wanted to exploit the situation, we'll respond by zipping our wallets. We don't take to any form of strong-arming, not matter what the value of the "goods".

Life Member

Anonymous said...

There go my hopes for residuals for that one episode where you can see the back of my right arm.

DonD said...

I was newspaper photog for thirty-nine years. The p.r. director of state zoo (former co-worker) called and asked if they could use pic I made on state road map. "Sure" was answer. After map came out, I get call at work, guy asking for a print of photo for friend. "Sure" was reply, "cost $12" (my cost+postage). "What do you mean!!! I'm on state road commission! You'll never get another job doing work for us again....blah,bluster, shout!" "Goodbye, sir!"
Later, person who really wanted pic (their kid in it) called and asked politely. "Sure; cost $12". "Thanks,SO much, I really appreciate this!"

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I love my customers, but every once in a while someone comes along who has no shame about abusing my time and goodwill. These self-centered jerks are why I have a written customer service policy that I never violate.

I've heard plenty of sob stories about why I should sell my product and service on the customer's terms. Without exception when I've violated my own policy, it cost me time and money.

Now a days if someone knowingly asks me to violate my terms of sale, I give them the phone number of my competitor.

Hang tough Michael. You create a unique product, don't let anybody compromise your standards or policies.

kmitch200 said...

We NEVER offer "consideration"

Well I guess that explains me not getting the free guns, hookers and blow for standing around doing nothing.
Too bad I had to pass on the generous dinner offer too.

Anonymous said...

" Well I guess that explains me not getting the free guns, hookers and blow for standing around doing nothing."

Obviously you don't hang with the right community organizers.