EP001: Client Communication

Episode 001
Duration 30:03

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It’s episode one of The Offset Podcast!

For this episode, we figured there was no better place to start off than a discussion about client communication.  You know, those super important people and companies that let us do what we do in postproduction.

On the surface it, client communication seems like an easy thing, but it can be anything but that sometimes, and if you’re struggling with client communication there are some easy things you can do to improve matters.

In the episode, Robbie & Joey lay out their top 5 tips for client communication – some of them you’ve likely thought of before but a few of them you might not have thought about before.

Enjoy the episode, and mention us to anyone you think might enjoy The Offset Podcast.

-Robbie & Joey

Video
Transcript

01:00:00:07 - 01:00:03:01
Robbie
Hey there. Welcome to the Offset Podcast. I'm Robbie Carman

01:00:03:06 - 01:00:05:08
Joey
And I'm Joey D’Anna

01:00:05:09 - 01:00:17:08
Robbie
And Joey today, we're going to take a look at our top five do's and don'ts when it comes to client communication. Let's get started

01:00:17:10 - 01:00:32:12
Robbie
Today, Joey, we're talking about one of those things that every colorist, every person in post-production at some point is going to find themselves doing, and that is communicating with clients, right? Clients are what makes makes this industry go round.

01:00:32:12 - 01:00:55:14
Robbie
And we wanted to kind of do our sort of top five client communication do's and don'ts because we go, you know, whether it's on different user groups, whether it's at conferences, we see people talking about this constantly, right? And we've heard some really cringy things over the years. We've heard some really good techniques. So, Joey, why don't you start out with kind of an overview of your top five?

01:00:55:16 - 01:00:59:16
Robbie
I'll give an overview of my top five and then we can kind of break them down a little further.

01:00:59:21 - 01:01:24:15
Joey
It's worth noting that in just client communication, I feel is so important because, you know, at the end of the day, no matter what we do with all of the tech and the artistry and everything else, it's still a people business that we work in. And being someone that your clients want to work with is probably the most important thing you can do to develop your business in any part of post-production, and especially color correction.

01:01:24:17 - 01:01:47:07
Joey
So my top five that I've got here are two. Number one set clear expectations before a project. I think that's really important. Number two, you need to know how to respond to negative feedback productively because you're not always going to get it right. What we do is artistic. It's subjective. Not everybody feels the same way about the same things.

01:01:47:09 - 01:02:05:01
Joey
Number three, I always like to try to show investment in a project, make the client feel like I really care about the project as well, and I really do care about the projects that I work on. So that kind of comes natural to me. But it's really important to communicate in a way that the client understands and appreciates.

01:02:05:01 - 01:02:25:20
Joey
That somewhat related to what I said earlier about responding to the negative feedback. Any time there's notes, always try the notes. Don't say I'm going to you know, that's a bad idea. Let's not try that. Nope, always try it. It doesn't take a lot of time. And you can get yourself into a different creative space. You might surprise yourself.

01:02:25:20 - 01:02:42:13
Joey
It's always worth trying. And lastly, stay honest with your clients. That's absolutely critical. I believe in honesty in business no matter what, and that definitely comes into play with communication.

01:02:42:16 - 01:03:01:10
Robbie
Those are all great. I have quite a few thoughts on all of them as I'm sure you'll develop those further, but I agree with all those are good ones. My first one is, and this is one that I'm guilty of all the time and in full transparency to everybody watching. It's something that I'm constantly working on going, you know, that's better than anybody.

01:03:01:12 - 01:03:24:14
Robbie
And that is don't don't point out problems that weren't specifically mentioned by your clients. I have a tendency to go, yeah, here's your screener and here's the 48 things that are wrong with it that they had no idea about, didn't know about it, didn't care about, didn't mention. And I sometimes point out problems that they didn't know about and that, you know, leads us to other other problems.

01:03:24:14 - 01:03:44:07
Robbie
So we'll break into that one a little bit more. I think another one for me is figure out what kind of communication is best for that client. And by that I mean both the kind of like the platform that you're using, whether they're, you know, their email people, whether they're phone call people, etc.. But also kind of like how when you're in that platform, how should you go about it?

01:03:44:07 - 01:04:06:18
Robbie
Right. Is this do they want just, you know, daily recaps of what you did all day in the grading suite? Do they want, you know, a blow by blow of, hey, I moved this knob and that knob, you'll figure that out with clients. But getting that understanding what kind of communication they want, that works for them. I think when communicating and this is a really big one for me, again, it's something I've learned from Joey over the years is be very concise.

01:04:06:18 - 01:04:31:03
Robbie
I have a tendency to write kind of missives about, you know, project updates or here's, you know, here's this screener or whatever. One thing I've been trying to use a lot of recently, especially in email, is just bullet points. Bam, bam, bam. Here's what you need to know. Moving on and don't overexplain. I guess fourth for me would be being careful with technology by deep dives.

01:04:31:03 - 01:04:53:14
Robbie
Right. You know, I think us as operators, as technicians, as colorists, like just by definition, we're kind of geeky or technical people, right? And we have a tendency to think that everybody else is like that, right? So, you know, somebody starts asking a question about, like, why does it look different on this monitor? And then you break out this whole long winded thing that has like Charles pointing level equations in it and they just gloss over and they don't care.

01:04:53:15 - 01:05:12:18
Robbie
Right? That's good. That can be a kind of a mistake. And then the last thing, which is just kind of an overarching thing for me and all of this fall on your sword. That's customer service one on one, right? I've seen so many people get into needless arguments and fights with clients when they could just skip following their sword and go, Yeah, you're right.

01:05:12:18 - 01:05:30:02
Robbie
We'll make it better, we'll fix it our fault, whatever, and just continue on with the project. So that's kind of my top five. Your top five? Why don't we do a little tic tac toe back and forth, kind of cover some in more detail? Some, of course. And then I'll go for one and we'll keep going back and forth until we're back to the list.

01:05:30:04 - 01:06:04:00
Joey
Yep, absolutely. One thing I'm going to kind of go back to my last one because I think it's a story that anybody that's worked in post production has either heard or even had themselves experienced themselves. And like I said, I believe in honesty in business and all things. And that especially happens with communication with clients. Everybody that's been in post-production has heard the story of a colorist or an audio mixer laughing and telling them, Yeah, I turned it off and turned it back on and the client, nothing changed, but the client said they loved it.

01:06:04:02 - 01:06:20:11
Joey
So I just laughed it off and was like, Yeah, it's way better now. I hit the magic button, right? I had a lighting director friend that used to call it the Fader Number 49 trick because he had a 48 fader board. I don't buy into that stuff and it's definitely happened to me in the suite. Turn it off.

01:06:20:11 - 01:06:32:18
Joey
Turn it on close. Like, that looks better. I usually take that as an opportunity to be like, Yeah, this is really subjective. And sometimes your vision tricks you because I didn't actually change anything. So let's just back up the timeline a little bit, play it in context.

01:06:32:18 - 01:06:33:03
Robbie
Exactly.

01:06:33:03 - 01:06:44:15
Joey
And talk about the scene. And it's I use it as a transition to get into a creative discussion less than, you know, some other colors. And people have said this story and just be like, let's just move on. It's great.

01:06:44:15 - 01:07:01:14
Robbie
Yeah. And I think I think that's absolutely right, too. I think that sometimes in especially in the context of like a review session, people are looking for problems, right? They're looking to see, did you notice that? Did you see that? And so they'll say, stop, this is a problem. And then you do that trick, you know, turn it on, turn it off again, like it's fine.

01:07:01:19 - 01:07:17:05
Robbie
That's just an indication that maybe their eyes are tired. We've been looking at this a little too long, you know, that kind of stuff. So I think that you're right. No long lines. The client is never going to pay dividends. And I mean, I think those those stories make for good bar jokes, you know, good you know, where you're catching up with colleagues, that kind of thing.

01:07:17:07 - 01:07:26:01
Robbie
But in practicality, I think you're better off. You're right. Just to kind of be like, actually didn't change much. You must just like it the second time around. But I think, you know.

01:07:26:03 - 01:07:46:11
Joey
And it's a great opportunity to start that creative conversation about some of the subjectivity or eye fatigue or any of the other things that can go into those kind of creative decisions that go into a review session. And that kind of brings me to one of my other points is always try the note, right? Client comes up to you and says, Hey, I want to try making this whole scene purple.

01:07:46:13 - 01:08:04:18
Joey
You could be like, in your head, that's a terrible idea. This scene should not be purple and that's going to look awful. You don't vocalize that. Those are I tell my kids all the time, those are inside thoughts. You know, sometimes you keep your thoughts in your head are great. Sure. Let's try it. I'll play back the scene in context.

01:08:04:18 - 01:08:29:15
Joey
I'm big on providing clients context. That's another communication thing that I like to do any, especially in any time, a real time review, whether it's streaming, whether it's in the suite. You know, I'll just back up the timeline a little bit and play something in context for them and then we'll talk about it. Just try the note, you know, it's not going to take you all day to dig into that exploration with the clients to see.

01:08:29:17 - 01:08:31:01
Robbie
No, no, I agree.

01:08:31:01 - 01:08:37:13
Joey
I feel more included creatively, which is something you always want, and it might take you in a creative direction that you didn't think.

01:08:37:15 - 01:08:57:06
Robbie
Well, that's that's so that's a great point. And I liked, you know, when I'm talking to younger colorists, people getting in the industry who are who are who are learning the game, as I call it, because I'm utterly convinced that anybody can learn how to better a shot and win some practice. People can learn how to better a scene and then a whole movie or whatever, right?

01:08:57:07 - 01:09:16:22
Robbie
The game is what's going on with the clients and the communication and the scene in the suite and all that kind of stuff. And I like to tell that, you know, the young colorist and people that are getting into the game, this is the art of telling clients they're, you know, I'm right. Me the color. Awesome, right? But let me, you know, let me go in a roundabout way of doing that, Right?

01:09:16:23 - 01:09:43:23
Robbie
Kind of like we're going to put your thing through the ringer. And then at the end, inevitably after you try that thing, they're going to go, So what do you think, Joey? And that's your opportunity to go, Well, I see where you're going with this. I like the motivation about this. I don't like everything about it. But what if we try to, you know, graft this small thing that we just did on to what I was doing over here, and that pays the benefit of, you know, the dividend of they feel like they've been heard.

01:09:44:02 - 01:09:59:19
Robbie
Right. But, you know, like, as you said, try to note that they've been heard. You're not just dismissing them, but also you might go, well, that was a really good idea. I really liked how that turned out. And I know it's hard for a lot of us believe. Right. But sometimes clients have good ideas.

01:10:00:00 - 01:10:18:09
Joey
Yeah. And, you know, the better clients you wind up working with, you know, the better clients you end up working with, the better ideas they're going to have as you kind of get into better, more high quality projects with better photography and more thought going into them, you really do need to lean into that client input because guess what?

01:10:18:10 - 01:10:28:17
Joey
They're they're artists too, and they've been with the project a lot longer than you have. So, you know, it's always worth the time to hear out every bit of their creative feedback and try it.

01:10:28:17 - 01:10:48:19
Robbie
And so related to that would be my first one about not pointing out the problems that weren't specifically mentioned or making a bigger deal of problems. Like sometimes I get it we as colorists or editors or audio mixer, sometimes we want to look like the hero, right? So if there was a big problem that they didn't notice, you might go, look at this thing.

01:10:48:19 - 01:11:14:08
Robbie
I just saw them do an on and off and they go, Wow, that's amazing. And they never knew it was a problem before, but you look like the hero. But when it comes to communication with clients, I think it's a really slippery slope with that. Right? Oftentimes when people get into our rooms, it's the first time they've seen their content on a bigger a bigger screen, not a small little, you know, window in their NLE or whatever, you know, something like that.

01:11:14:10 - 01:11:37:23
Robbie
And often they've seen it, you know, in log or, you know, without a grade on it. So, you know, contrast men, in contrast can bring out the details that they never knew were ever there. And you can have the most amazing grade, but you point out a fault, a problem, you know, whether it's a smudge on the lens, whether it's, you know, focus that's breathing a little bit and you've lost it, man.

01:11:37:23 - 01:12:00:02
Robbie
You have lost, you know, all they're going to pay attention to is those things ever. So I think when it comes to communication with that kind of stuff, it's it's this fine line between you, the operator, making a judgment of no, this is this is, you know, a game stopping thing. If I don't mention this, this is something that I probably should mention, but I can make an easy fix.

01:12:00:02 - 01:12:24:18
Robbie
So I'm not I'm going to fix it, not mention it. Right. And then the third level of do don't even open that can of worms because you're going to be road going until you're, you know, in the face. Right. And I think it's just a subtle thing on how to do that with clients. But if you have a client that's already kind of edgy, kind of nervous, you know, they're worried about spending too much money with you or they're worried about X, Y, and Z, Be careful with pointing out those problems.

01:12:24:18 - 01:12:47:04
Robbie
Right. And I think that also kind of goes with my my second one, which is kind of what kind of communication works for them. Right. I have found that that same situation. Right. I have a problem. I think it's worth mentioning, but I don't want to point out the problem. Nine times out of ten, if I do that face to face in the suite where it's just a little to on and off, or we're looking at something in context.

01:12:47:06 - 01:13:04:14
Robbie
Again, that word context, looking at it in context together, you're probably pretty cool. But if I at 11:00 at night write an email that's like, okay, I posted your screener, here's the 11 things that I fixed that are problems. You know what they're going to do? They're going to read that right before they go to bed and they're going to stew on it all night.

01:13:04:18 - 01:13:20:20
Robbie
They're not going to sleep well because they're like, crap, my project has all these problems. And then the next day when they start working with you, they're going to be a pain because you just told them, Here are the 20 problems that we have with the film or the project, and they're just going to stew on those rather than focusing on the good things.

01:13:20:20 - 01:13:31:00
Robbie
So I think when it comes to both of those things, figure out are the email people or the phone people, Are they in-person people and wait for your opportunity with those and then just don't point out problems.

01:13:31:02 - 01:14:05:10
Joey
Yeah, and I got to say, it's definitely like you said, it is it's a spectrum, right? It's a gradient of how you talk about problems with the project and not only the method used to communicate but how you phrase it. You know, like I started off saying this is a people business and I think it's really, really, really important as kind of the very last creative in the chain that we as colorists be very careful about our language when we start fixing problems, addressing things that may or may not have been perfect earlier in the process.

01:14:05:12 - 01:14:39:10
Joey
Right. If there is a smudge on the lens or if there's something that's not perfectly focused, we don't want to throw the entire production crew, the DP, the gaffers, the grips, everybody that was on set. We don't want to throw them under the bus. We don't know what was going on that day. We weren't there. So we need to maintain a positive attitude about fixing things where we can and improving things where we can, but also still respecting all of the other artists that came before us because, you know, just like we don't want somebody looking at our grade and saying, Well, that's the worst grade I've ever seen, right?

01:14:39:12 - 01:15:00:02
Joey
Well, they weren't in the color suite. They don't know what we were handed, you know, you know, we don't know what situation that anybody before us was handed. So every one of those situations and every project will have them because nothing is ever perfect, you know, handling those kind of things with a little bit of elegance and a little bit of, you know, carefulness can go a very long way.

01:15:00:02 - 01:15:17:01
Robbie
You're absolutely right. Those kid gloves are really important because the last thing you want is somebody who's just they've spent all this money on professionals. They've hired, you know, whether they're sound people, you know, gaffers, ditties, whatever it is. And then you're just sitting there in your, you know, comfortable air on an on going, well, this person is terrible.

01:15:17:07 - 01:15:18:09
Robbie
You know, they don't want that, right?

01:15:18:11 - 01:15:27:16
Joey
Nobody likes negativity. Sometimes we're faced with it when we have challenges. But going to the negative by default is never going to make your client happier.

01:15:27:18 - 01:15:47:19
Robbie
I agree. And I think, you know, at the end of the day, clients are often more aware of problems, you know, in their productions than we ever could be after, you know, if you watch downs looking at it. And so they might already be sensitive to those problems. And so, you know, you might be opening up a wound or pouring salt back on that.

01:15:47:21 - 01:16:00:14
Robbie
And so, you know, oftentimes in those situations, I'll fix what I can. And if they notice it, great. If it's, you know, something that I'm really proud of because it, you know, made a huge difference. I'll mention it to them, but I try not to to bring out all those problems.

01:16:00:19 - 01:16:43:07
Joey
Yeah. And that kind of thing. That reminds me of, you know, what I was talking about earlier with showing investment in the project. Right. One thing that I always love to do with clients and I think it's a good use of your time no matter what you're working on, if it's narrative, if it's a doc, if it's long form, short form, watch it down, take it in and make the effort to understand whatever your grading this means learning characters, names, learning, interview subject names, and referring to them by names, location means understanding where different scenes take place so you can have a conversation with the client about their film or their show kind of more

01:16:43:07 - 01:17:01:06
Joey
on their terms. Because again, they've been with the project a lot longer than you. So taking a little bit of time on your own to really familiarize yourself with the project so you can sound like you know what you're talking about when you're talking through, you know, color with them, I think goes a long way to giving the client confidence in your work.

01:17:01:06 - 01:17:20:00
Robbie
So let me tell you a funny story about that. And then I want to tell our viewers a funny story about you in that, too. So my funny story is last week I was in I was in the street doing a review session and the client was like, no, go back to the you know, go back to Bob or whatever the guy's name was.

01:17:20:02 - 01:17:42:12
Robbie
And I embarrassed and he was like, which one is Bob? And she, you know, the client come around, came around the desk, stand by me for a second. And I was looking through because it was an interview based show. I was looking through all of my groups, right? And the groups were like, Dude, with the black tie guy with, you know, blue jacket, woman with the glasses, you know, like that kind of stuff.

01:17:42:18 - 01:18:08:03
Robbie
And she had a laugh at it. But I think you're right, like being that invested, knowing those people's names, locations, etc.. And I think you do this exceptionally well. And I think also, you know, having interest in the show like that also builds trust. And, you know, my my favorite story about you is we've worked on a lot of aerospace, you know, flights of, you know, you know, massive kind of stuff, theme stuff over the years.

01:18:08:05 - 01:18:26:19
Robbie
And I'm not kidding with you guys who are listening. Joey, I think several times has basically been colorist slash subject matter expert when it comes to some of these shows, even to the point of correcting some, how should we say, some inaccuracies in some of these shows and the producers going that.

01:18:26:19 - 01:18:50:02
Joey
But that goes back to what you were talking about with, you know, how do you handle talking about mistakes for the client? You know, I in the one particular show, there was a it was a show about a particular point in aviation history and a particular airplane. And then there was a clear wrong airplane in the back that basically took this documentary out of the correct time period.

01:18:50:02 - 01:19:04:23
Joey
Right. I felt that was important enough to mention the clients. I was like, Hey, guys, I know that this is, you know, stock footage here, but, you know, we're talking about the X-1. There's an X-15 in the background there. Do what you will with that information.

01:19:05:02 - 01:19:24:12
Robbie
Some eagle eyed viewer was likely going to pointed out, make a big deal about it and legal is going to get involved. And then they're going to go back and, you know, redo that part of the show. Like, I think, you know, ultimately you might have felt like, am I prying here or whatever? But ultimately you were saving the production a ton of money and time because you were knowledgeable.

01:19:24:12 - 01:19:37:22
Robbie
So but I think more so in those kind of clients, I think ultimately come to value that kind of feedback because they go, no, he's really watching the show, not just turning the dials on, you know, on the control surface to make things happen.

01:19:38:00 - 01:20:04:17
Joey
Yeah, yeah. And that kind of thing goes a long way toward something that we've kind of touched on. But I think it's worth mentioning again. And that's client confidence, right? Everything you can do to build up and maintain the confidence of the client, it's going to make everything improved, right? You don't want them second guessing everything and trying to go back and looking at the same things over and over and over again and making little changes to things that aren't going to really affect anything.

01:20:04:17 - 01:20:29:11
Joey
Because again, you get into that syndrome of I turned it on and off and now I like it better. You know, if you hyper focus on something because maybe the client has lost confidence in you and in your grade, they're going to have a much harder time being productive. Whereas if they have confidence that you are focused, you're doing what's right for their piece and you know, you're having a good collaboration with them, then everything moves so much smoother.

01:20:29:11 - 01:20:35:13
Joey
So everything that we're talking about with client communication is hand in hand with maintaining and building client confidence.

01:20:35:15 - 01:21:03:11
Robbie
Absolutely. And I think one of the biggest things to point out that I know I'm guilty of, but I see a lot of like if you look on user groups and stuff, I see a lot of client themed conversations or, you know, people talking about their clients taking decidedly technology focused answers to their client problems. And I think that can be appropriate sometimes.

01:21:03:11 - 01:21:26:18
Robbie
Like sometimes there's no other way to explain what's going on or the issue or whatever without being techie about it. But at the same time, I also think that there is there are people, myself included, who sometimes over rely on those explanations that can then confuse clients, can get like you know, at the very like the very best they go, okay, cool.

01:21:26:18 - 01:21:43:16
Robbie
But like I can't even you know, I can't even Gronk that I can't even understand what you're saying. And so I think that's one of those fine line things to try to figure out. I like to think about this as like, okay, what's my tech elevator pitch? Because I've come across this problem before. I know that it's a confusing thing for clients.

01:21:43:18 - 01:22:07:19
Robbie
Let me see how I can easily in 30 seconds to minute explain this. And there's a lot of examples of that, right? Why doesn't this monitor match? Why does it look different on my iPhone, iPad, whatever? That's one. You know, all the HDR work that we do these days explaining things like, okay, what is Dolby vision? You know, you're not going to get into the finer points of tone mapping and Dolby vision examples with the client, right?

01:22:07:21 - 01:22:21:12
Robbie
But you got to figure out sometimes how to take the technology conversations that are sort of inherent to what we do and explain those in an easily digestible, confidence inspiring way to the client, Right?

01:22:21:16 - 01:22:24:04
Joey
Yeah, Because you don't want your client feeling dumb.

01:22:24:09 - 01:22:26:01
Robbie
Exactly. And you don't talk down.

01:22:26:01 - 01:22:50:14
Joey
To a knowledgeable in something that they don't need to be knowledgeable about. And that goes back to what you had mentioned. Figure out the kind of communication that works for them because some clients are really techie and really want to get into those details with you. Not many, but the gradient of clients that want to get into the technical details and want nothing to do with the technical details spreads a very wide swath of communication.

01:22:50:19 - 01:22:57:14
Joey
So yeah, it goes back to what you've been saying. Figure out the types of communication that works with your client.

01:22:57:16 - 01:23:23:07
Robbie
Yeah, and related to both of those things is and I think this is something that I see a lot of again playing that game, a lot of new newer colorists doing is the whether it's a technology thing or even a creative thing kind of standing by Well I'm right and you're wrong kind of thing is the exact kind of confidence killer that client communication.

01:23:23:07 - 01:23:40:17
Robbie
I mean, like that's where clients go to die, right? If you're not if you're if you're just going to basically tell your client they're wrong, they're stupid. You're talking down to them, whatever, you're violating every rule of customer service. And what we do right. And it needs to be every step along the way in these communications and they need to be handled.

01:23:40:19 - 01:23:42:10
Robbie
Okay. What else you got for us?

01:23:42:12 - 01:24:05:19
Joey
One last thing that I think is is really important to talk about, and it's kind of everything we've been saying about client confidence and figuring out how to communicate with the client is comes down to me to one kind of horror story example from early in my career that I want to relay because as you know, I always think that you should, you know, if you're going to make mistakes, you might as well learn from them.

01:24:05:23 - 01:24:33:15
Joey
And this was a big mistake for me early in my color grading career and early in my post-production career, I had a series of shows that we did for a client that I was the colorist grading, and I didn't figure out how to communicate well with the client and this particular client. Their way of communicating in that context was that they kind of shut down and didn't communicate.

01:24:33:17 - 01:24:34:23
Joey
So I assumed.

01:24:34:23 - 01:24:35:08
Robbie
Everything was.

01:24:35:08 - 01:24:52:13
Joey
Good. I was doing it right. They were kind of like they weren't really happy with the grade, but they didn't know how to approach me about that. And I was probably acting a little bit more arrogant, intimidating, maybe like, well, I'm going to do this and I'm going to do that and not really listening as well as I should have been.

01:24:52:15 - 01:25:15:20
Joey
And essentially we went through, you know, the first series that we had been contracted to grade everything got approved, everything shipped, everything aired. There was no major technical problems. But then I kind of heard through the grapevine that they weren't really happy with me and they didn't want to approach me about that. And that's their right. Right. You know, I want to be someone that you want as a client to approach, right?

01:25:15:21 - 01:25:43:15
Joey
If they don't want to approach me with notes and with feedback, that's my fault and that's my problem. I've presented myself in such a way that they don't want to tell me their opinion on their own project. We never heard from that client again. We lost a client because whatever I did, attitude, arrogance, good or bad work, whatever I communicated with the client in such a way that they did not want to come back and they did not feel comfortable working with.

01:25:43:15 - 01:25:44:08
Robbie
Me.

01:25:44:10 - 01:26:08:08
Joey
And that is 100% on me. So when you're talking to clients and you're kind of gauging their reaction to things, it's important to kind of be self, you know, examining, to say, Hey, am I messing this up? Am I you know, don't drive yourself crazy, but just look at yourself and look at how you're talking to the client and how you're responding to notes and how you're responding to their dialog and make sure that they feel comfortable.

01:26:08:10 - 01:26:17:04
Joey
Because if you ignore them feeling uncomfortable, they might just kind of shut down, go through the project, never be happy with it, and never talk to you again. And that is the worst possible outcome.

01:26:17:04 - 01:26:34:13
Robbie
I think that, you know, and that's same thing goes, if they are giving feedback, if that feedback has negativity in it, you know, they're just not happy with how that same kind of feeling of like, how can I do better to make you happy? I think that parlays exactly with that. That last thing that I have, you know, just fall on your own sword thing.

01:26:34:15 - 01:26:55:21
Robbie
And I mean that in every, every sense of the meaning except the literal falling on the sword part, because we wouldn't want anybody to do that. And that is just that, you know, at this point in time, if there's a problem upstream that caused a problem for you, fall on your sword like this. You know, pointing out incessantly that, well, DP didn't do a job or they didn't have a way, it's like, what good is that causing at this?

01:26:55:23 - 01:26:59:15
Robbie
At this point? You know, the point is point in the game, right? Like, can you fix something?

01:26:59:15 - 01:27:04:13
Joey
It's not my fault I didn't do it. It's not my fault. It's their fault. No, that doesn't matter. You know, you're the last in the chain.

01:27:04:14 - 01:27:35:08
Robbie
Yeah, nobody likes that, right? And then, too, I think that, like, you know, whatever the issue is, I always try to give, even at the smallest level, a small recap or small debrief at the end of a session. End of a project, like maybe you just said, the tag at the end of the email, like if there's anything that you'd like to talk about or if we're missing the mark on anything, let's just talk about it and make sure, you know, sometimes I think our job is to make sure that they are happy, and that sometimes involves coaxing it out of them a little bit.

01:27:35:08 - 01:27:53:00
Robbie
Right. And, you know, well, like your body and like in being a little bit of a client whisperer, right? Like you see somebody sit on the couch with both arms folded like this and just kind of like, you know, looking down. That begs the question, hey, everything's cool. Like, is there anything you want to revisit in that scene or relook about?

01:27:53:02 - 01:28:00:05
Robbie
Because they might not have the confidence themselves to say, yeah, I hated that whatever in that scene. And sometimes it's just.

01:28:00:06 - 01:28:19:10
Joey
That's something I get a lot from clients is they don't always have the vocabulary to tell you what they want and that's fine. They don't need the vocabulary, it needs to be a conversation, but they need to feel comfortable having that conversation. So, you know, sometimes clients will come in and be somewhat self-deprecating, like I you know, I'm not an expert on color.

01:28:19:10 - 01:28:30:17
Joey
I don't really know how to say what I want, so I'm kind of embarrassed. No, this is all subjective. You know, Tell me you want it to feel like a bag of gummy bears. It doesn't matter. You know, We'll figure it out together.

01:28:30:23 - 01:28:55:22
Robbie
I had somebody once describe trying to describe the the warmness coolness factor of a scene as I want it to feel like I'm taking a nap on the beach at the end of the day. Right. And you look at that, you're going nap on the beach. At the end of the day, they didn't have anything. And there's nothing in that sentence that was like this needs to be the contrast.

01:28:55:22 - 01:29:11:02
Robbie
It seems to be the color temperature. None of that. Right. It was a feeling. It was emotive thing. And like, you know, think back, okay, Have I sat on the beach at the end of the day? yeah, I get it now. Like so a lot of that kind of interpretation is, you know, it's part and parcel with what we do on the job.

01:29:11:04 - 01:29:27:09
Robbie
Well, this has been, I think, a fun talk. We're going to kind of do these top fives occasionally just because, you know, they're easy to pick top fives of lots of different things and they're kind of fun to chat about. Do you have things that you'd like us to cover or questions or things that you want us to go in more detail later on?

01:29:27:11 - 01:29:47:02
Robbie
Feel free to visit offsetpodcast.com, and we can answer your questions from there. And if you like this podcast, please be sure to give us a thumbs up wherever you're watching, whatever podcast platform or if you're on YouTube, giving us a thumbs up gives us confidence to keep doing these and lets other people know that this is something to check out.

01:29:47:02 - 01:29:50:13
Robbie
So for the Offset Podcast, I am Robbie Carman.

01:29:50:15 - 01:29:55:03
Joey
And I'm Joey. D’Anna, Thank you so much for listening and watching and we will see you next time


Robbie Carman
Robbie Carman

Robbie is the managing colorist and CEO of DC Color. A guitar aficionado who’s never met a piece of gear he didn’t like.

Joey D'Anna
Joey D'Anna

Joey is lead colorist and CTO of DC Color. When he’s not in the color suite you’ll usually find him with a wrench in hand working on one of his classic cars or bikes


Stella Yrigoyen - Editor
Stella Yrigoyen

Stella Yrigoyen is an Austin, TX-based video editor specializing in documentary filmmaking. With a B.S. in Radio-Television-Film from UT Austin and over 7 years of editing experience, Stella possesses an in-depth understanding of the post-production pipeline. In the past year, she worked on Austin PBS series like 'Taco Mafia' and 'Chasing the Tide,' served as a Production Assistant on 'Austin City Limits,' and contributed to various post-production roles on other creatively and technically demanding projects.


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