We were doing post-production for a documentary film.
Client: We didn’t get releases to show any of the people in these scenes. You need to obscure their faces.
Me: Okay, we can apply a blur and track the—
Client: No, that will look like COPS. We don’t like that.
Me: We can try darkening the faces, but it won’t look natural in the lighting—
Client: Just obscure the faces of everyone in these shots but make it look natural.
Client: When do you make it look like a real movie?
The film was mostly shot on cheap video cameras. We try to explain things like frame rate and depth of field to them.
Client: What about the gamma?
Me: Sure. When we color correct your film, “gamma” is one of things that the colorist controls—
Client: Yes! That. Put the gamma on it.
Me: These graphical text elements you provided are outside of title safe. That means they will be cut off on some TVs, and it will also fail QC.
Client: That’s how we designed it. Needs to stay that way.
Me: Okay, but it will 100% fail QC.
Client: We know what we’re doing.
Soon after delivering, we start getting panicked calls followed by a string of threatening emails.
Client: Our text is outside of title safe! You failed to properly explain this to us! Fix it immediately.
Me: We’re fully booked up today, but we’ll help you as soon as possible of course.
The clients showed up at our office, staged a “sit-in protest” in our lobby, and refused to leave until we dealt with them. We stayed up all night making changes to their film.
The next morning, we fired them.
That same week, they were fired by other vendors for similar reasons.