The “no-show” comes in various forms ranging form a super apologetic last minute cancellation through to the whole creative team sitting at the studio having heard nothing from the missing person. They’re not responding to texts, emails, social media or answering their phone, are they stuck on the tube with no service? Or worse have they been “taken” and we need to get Liam Neeson and his “special set of skills” involved to get them back?
It isn’t unusual for people to be running late (especially in London and even more so creative people) however at around the 90 minute mark you really start wondering at what point we are supposed to just call it a day?!
Here’s my view on things. If you arrange a test shoot or a TFP then you should still treat it like a paid assignment. None of you are doing each other a “favour” you are working under a barter system doing your respective jobs. I think that the major issue is that in many instances if there is no financial outlay that people forget that they are actually getting something of considerable value.
So is it never ok to cancel? Of course that is not what I am saying, what I am saying is that you should treat EVERY job exactly the same regardless of the level of remuneration. Would you leave a casting for the upcoming Coke Zero commercial to go to a test shoot you just got a call to go to? Of course you wouldn’t you would ask if you could schedule the shoot for later in the day or another time. But consider this, how many people are at the Coke Zero casting? Are you actually going to get the job? Maybe, but the odds are against you. Clearly the Coke Zero job would be awesome to get and I am not advocating that you should skip castings to do test shoots, I am just saying that you should consider the repercussions that your actions have for others and even yourself in some instances. In the past month alone I have personally cast 7 well paid (and super fun) modelling jobs and do you know who got them? The people that were fun to work with, showed up on time and didn’t cancel with no notice or a feeble excuse because I know that I can trust them. I (like many other photographers) use test shoots to find models that we work well with and when jobs come up we just book you, no casting with a bunch of other girls or guys just a guaranteed pay day with a team that you have worked with before.
So I think EVERYONE (I am talking to you photographers, H/MUAs, stylists, studios etc too) need to remember that we are all working hard to make it in this industry and we should all support each other where we can, but remember that everyone in the team is exactly the same as you and has made their time and super expensive equipment, facilitates and consumables (makeup, props etc) available for FREE (remember photographers, studios and makeup artists can’t eat photos either).
In short, treat each other with respect, be flexible with each other as much as you can but don’t act like you are the only one that is taking time out of their day.