Sarah Clark, CSA
We all do it. Every crew member. We all do projects we aren't crazy about. Either we want the credit, we're doing someone a favor, or we want the day rate. Whatever the reason, we signed on, and now we have to get the job done.. Keep the following in mind the next time you tackle a project you're not crazy about.
You signed on - no one forced you.
Yeah, some movies (commercials/plays/shows/etc.) stink. The production team is disorganized, there's no money, it's in a really hot location-- whatever. There are millions of things that could make a project no good.
BUT you signed on. If you auditioned or interviewed, you knew what was coming. Actors, you and your agent both got the breakdown and you knew exactly what you were getting in to. Crew, you signed the deal memo and you knew the terms. No matter what the case, you signed on. Try not to complain too much when things go south. You decided to take the job, so do it to the best of your ability.
At least you get the credit, right?
There aren't a ton of benefits of doing a really bad production. What's nice is at the end of the day, you'll get credit on your resumé. So...you know...make sure that's a part of your contract. At the very worst, even if you're not getting paid much/at all (which is silly - get paid for your work) you will usually be getting a role/job that is bigger and more prestigious than your previous work.
Maybe no one will ever see it?
There are a few films that I would be totally happy with if no one ever saw. The truth is, not even 1% of the planet did see some of them. That's a huge relief.
When production is bad, there are usually going to be issues down the road for the project. You won't have to stress too much about people holding you to your work on films that pushed you to the brink because the truth is, most people won't see it.
Better yet, maybe it will be great!
Because you're the consummate professional, you will do an amazing job. You're talented, so your work will shine through. The best thing you can do for a project that isn't a great one is knock it out of the park as best you can. You'll not only get the attention of the rest of the cast and crew, you'll also feel good about a job well done.
There's nothing better for me than seeing a project that was insanely hard to pull off end up being really good. It makes all the bad totally worth it.
We're all going to do those jobs. It's going to happen (more than once.) Earn your battle scars and get past the bad so you can enjoy the good that much more.
Good luck out there!