View Full Version : Problems at my club...
6th July 2006, 02:43 AM
Well, I have been doing visuals for this club for about two months now. Actually I am the technical director and I have a booking of 3 VJs for Thursday, Friday and Saturday only. I just take care of all the screens that includes a 9 plasmas video wall and 11 other screens, two touchscreen iMacs, two edirol V4 and a video router 16/16.
Well... today I sent an ultimatum to one of the partners telling them there will be no visuals until you pay fully what you own us.
I wanted to open this discusions to share the modus operandi of some club owners to extend your work without paying you.
There are 3 partners, any of them is present at the club all the time and they can't tell the work you do of course. Every time you have to talk about something they have to disscus it with the others two, so that can take several days or even weeks. In the mean time you are working in a good will waiting for an answer.
You can be sure they use that technique to burn time while they are looking for a replacement.
In this case they started to call one of my VJs without telling me to negociate. Of course he told me about it and I told him not to answer any more phone calls until they seat down and negociate with me. They own me like $600 only but I am not going to let them leave with that.
But the thing is my fellow Vjs that we have to know with time when to say enough is enough and always have a back up plan running.
I have the key code of the video router so no one else can use it. The same thing with the iMacs. If they do not seat with me in the next days I am going to send the vj they like the most (the one they have been calling) to set the code. They are gonna be watching Direct TV only and there is no one in this country capable of messing up with that equipment.
It is an stupid problem they are causing instead of paying me and that is it! Well, those are people that think about their money and taking shortcuts when the reality is they are driving to a close end... in this case, in some other cases they could very well leave with it.
So, that's about it for now.
6th July 2006, 06:50 AM
but you don:t understand, they have more important things to spend their money on...... themselves - the day you make them an ultimatum is the day they start looking for a replacement.
unfortunately, anyone is expendable in a nightclub except the owners and even they can be in trouble sometimes - I once worked in a club in kuala lumpur that had 7 people who each had a 20% share in the club??
my advice? try to get your money but dont burn your bridges, clubland is a small place and you,ll probably have to work with those people again and again in the future. lets hope the next VJ is totally useless and they will have you back in 3 weeks time with a pay rise...
6th July 2006, 08:38 AM
You should make sure you outline everything in a contract, at least that way you have a legally binding document that if you need to start legal proceedings strengthens your case. It makes a good negotiating tool as well as you have everything in black and white to refer back to. You should always include payment terms outlining when accounts need to be settled, wether its at the end of the night or within 30 days.
I know deepvisual says don't burn your bridges, but I would still threaten legal action, I worry that some promoters avoid paying once, but when nothing comes of it they are highly likely to view it as a viable solution to reducing costs when a night goes badly and they make a loss, VJ's are cheap labour anyway so I wouldn't let them just bin you in favour of even cheaper VJ's when they still owe money. If they pay and then look at other Vj's thats fair enough but to not pay at all is criminal. The fact they are secretly approaching other Vj's as a replacement option would have ended any friendly prods and made me start threatening action, as it show they have no intention of paying up but simply dropping you.
Non payment is all too common in any business, but don't just roll over, generally a letter stating you are starting legal proceedings gets the desired effect.
As for burning bridges, I wouldn't worry about them slurring your name, after all they are 100% in the wrong, and they have alot more to loose if they get a reputation for non paying acts, how could them ripping you off be interprited as basis to damage your rep. They are already dropping you if they are calling other VJ's looking for a replacement, especially when VJ booking is part of you job. But be honest with them, state simply that non payment is not acceptable they legally owe you for work undertaken, you have fulfilled your obligation and they now must do the same. Tell them that you have discovered they have been calling round the other VJ's and that you can only interprit that as them removing you rather than simply paying up, discuss it, explain your point of view, ask them why they are replacing you and that if that is their final desicion then they should settle the account and you'll bow out with no hard feelings. But if they continue to fail in settling your invoice you have no choice but to start legal proceedings to recover the money.
If you can always ask for a deposit for service based work and always use a contract.
6th July 2006, 10:30 AM
Is there any reason you can think of for then not paying you?
6th July 2006, 12:26 PM
I love when english people talk about contracts... VJ Rei is talking about Venezuela, I don't want to know how many people gets killed in the street....
I live in Italy, EUROPE, and I only know of one club in Rome which has their staff legally hired. And of course, the couple of times I worked for them I did it without any contract. If you insist on a contract, you don't work in any club in Italy (maybe in the north??). And as far as I know, in Spain it's the same. To ask to be paid before is another utopy...
In the end the only way to not be cheated is try to be "smarter" than those "smart" people. But you don't always got it, so better don't take it personally...
Edited to add: Rei, I was on holidays in USA and I spent a couple of days in Miami. I always pictured you, trying to get in the "industry" there. USA doesn't seem very VJ-friendly... I hope in big cities is different!!!!!
6th July 2006, 12:47 PM
if you insist on a contract, you don't work in any club in Italy (maybe in the north??). And as far as I know, in Spain it's the same. To ask to be paid before is another utopy...
I don't doubt that most VJ's are not using contracts with the idea that to present one means you don't get booked, this is what happens at present with VJ's in the UK most still don't use contracts think they'll get frowned at.
However to say that if you show a club owner or promoter a contract will stop you getting work I simply can't believe... I bet you the many Dj's especially any with a Dj agency playing european clubs has a water tight contract, if the club hire in any AV kit use 3rd party companies for lighting, rigs, installations, graphics, sound and suppliers would have to sign a contract too. I do work for lots of european companies and contract law is definately not a UK only term lol. Professional lighting, staff, the club is full of people on contracts, maybe VJ's just aren't insisting on them. Its so easy and generally if someone is hiring you they want it outlined exactly what your providing for the money they are paying out, so a contract IS a big plus point generally. Many UK VJ crews who are playing abroad make sure they have a contract.
I understand it may not be common practice for you, but a contract protects you and also protects the club, it tells them what they get for their money so I doubt any club owner would complain. They simply must have to sign lots of contacts...
As for deposits, it is a tricky one but its such common practice in any service industry, events staging companies, AV hire firms, DJ agencies all often expect a deposit. So club owners and promoters are used to paying a deposit for other aspects within the club. Its just a case of stating terms, if you spring it on them after the initial conversations no one will take it seriously, but treat them with respect in pure business terms and I reckon you'll find its far easier than you think.
If you come across as being the Artist rather than a professional service then people simply wont be listening.
Ok has anyone here played in Spain and Italy and actually did use a contract?
6th July 2006, 01:41 PM
I played in Italy (Torino) twice and both times it was agreed upon by mail and phone, and got money (including money for flight) in cash after the show. All in good trust, no contracts.
6th July 2006, 01:47 PM
I have performed in various locations throughout Europe with and without contracts based on a case by case basis. In Spain I usually don't work with a contract for local small scale events. Bigger events with bigger budgets have a contract but honestly its just a piece of paper. The legal system is horrendous. You would spend so much time and energy fighting it in court that its not worth it. Live and learn.
6th July 2006, 01:56 PM
In addition: the only time when an abroad-trip was completely arranged (flight tickets ready at airport to start with) and contracted was when I was invited to Norway. Here in The Netherlands a phonecall and mail-confirmation is OK 99% of all performances. In fact I don't even like to be paid in cash here but prefer a bank-transfer within a month after performance.
6th July 2006, 02:16 PM
Indeed a contract may seem just hassle when you havent had any bad clients and they aren't that common. However when that first major problem happens and you get totally fleeced, or you had to hire kit and the promoter refused to pay, or you simply don't get paid then you'll find that no contract often means you have to accept and take the loss yourself. Its those times when they don't pay that you need a legal document. Not having a bad experience does not mean that contracts are a waste of time. I don't see why people wouldn't use them especially when its work for people you don't know.
Better to have a contract regardless of difficult laws than not have one at all.
7th July 2006, 01:35 AM
Thanks for your opinions.. Videoteque is the most accurate one in this case.
Contracts are worthless in Venezuela unless you are talking about huge amounts of money. Just to give you a reference: a few months ago a family invade an apartment in a up town building in Caracas, I mean, 14 poor people just broke in to an apartment and that was it. They changed the locks and when the owners came back from work they couldn't get in. The police couldn't do anything because it seems that family were related to one of the policemen.
they left after 5 months I think but they took everything with them
That is how the law works here.
I am not actually stressed out, I make way much money outside the club.
Then, they still calling all the VJs and everybody refuses to work there and everybody are telling them to speak to me first.
I mean, I am the VJ with the biggest name and I am placing everybody now. I am not taking the market for me only, what I am doing is doing the complicate stuff and the day of the show I do what I have to do and give a chance to other VJ to perform as well in places they never thought they could. So, there is a lot of respect and thsi is only one club while there are hundreds of production companies in Caracas.
A VJ in this club makes $100 a night and they play one night a week (to give you a reference amount), I pay them $500 per show in one day and in a huge arena. My intention is to have a VJ label and put myself "on top of everybody" because "If I manage some other VJs that mean I am better and I know more than them" in the eyes of the others. I just know several disciplines so far but they are good, we have fun and I like to pay them well.
So, between working in a club and staying there and be free and share arenas they rather stay on this side. Beside there are a lot of good party promoters that won't call them if they betraye me or some one in the community of DJs/ VJs. We are very organized here in that aspect.
So far, that club is running out of VJs, it took me a month to train these 3 I have (MUTE, CEX and IVANOVICH) and no one can put their hands that easy on the system. I am going to upload pictures later.
Returning to the contract issue...
The contract in this case is to be clear about the job to be done. Now, in Venezuela as contracts are legally worthless as I said before... we do what I am doing... stay together and literally blocade the club as much as we can .
Again, so far everybody are telling them to speak to me first. They better do because they are reafirming the reputation they are not good clients and no one is going to work with them specially undet those ammounts of money they stablished in first place. So... they are fighting with something they do not understand well.
Personally I see now the results of being open to other VJs, I am flatered about that and is good. Well... is good because this si a bad client for everyone but if the client had money I know one other VJ who would be negociating with them behind me. =/
So far so good, lets see what happen.
7th July 2006, 02:48 PM
Is there any reason you can think of for them not paying you?
Just to screw you up.
I don't know how it is for you Euros, but this is common currency in Latinamerica.
They want to "measure" how much of their fist you let them ram up your rear end. That's how it works.
And contracts, well, heh, would LOVE to make some, but that certainly is NOT an option around here. However if you legally issue an invoice, you have some sort of way to get them at a legal level, so always do it right, with invoices and shit (pay your taxes!). That's the best bit of advice I could give.
Here I am, waiting for some payment from a club since December. They didn't want me to make them an invoice and here I am, quite stuck with that :/
Good luck. I know it's shit.
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.