I’m an industrial and interior designer. For a client’s research project, I designed and built an interactive installation, with VR and physical interactions. Everything went quite well for this part, but at the end when I offered to create promotional content (high-quality photos and videos), the client told me there was no more budget, and asked me if I could still create the content.
Client: I have no research budget for the photos and videos. Can you still do it?
Me: Well… I have to do it for my portfolio anyway… But it’s going to be more “modest” than what I would have done with budget, and it’s going to be focused for my personal use. But I can share the content with you once it’s done!
Client: OK! I just need it for my PhD defense.
Me: OK! If you don’t mind I will ask you to pay the costs 50-50 with me. So just like 80$ to pay a photographer friend a little bit and rent some additional filming equipment. He will bring his cameras for free and we will be the models in the videos and photos.
We did everything and ended up with good footage and photos, which I shared with her right away.
Three weeks later:
Client: Hey! So, is the video done? I need it in 3 months.
Me: Well, it’s not. I am sorry, but the thing is… I learned that I have cancer. So I will not be able to edit the footage and make a quality video. I need to focus on my health. But I can refer you a friend to help you with the video, it’s due in 3 months, it’s really doable.
Client: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that! But you put me in trouble, you know. I don’t have any money to pay your friend. You told me you could make the video. I was relying on you!
Me: Well, like I said, I have CANCER.
Client: I know and I am really sorry for you and wish you the best, BUT… When I tell someone I can do something for them, I try to be true to my word…
Me: Well… How long do you want your video?
Client: 10 minutes.
Me: What? Sorry, it won’t be possible and I think there was a misunderstanding. I offered to share a video I would do for MYSELF, for my portfolio. Something 1 minute long, max. You can’t possibly think that for $80, you would get professional quality photos and footage, and get me to work like 20 hours to make a professional 10 minute video, right? Already, you got the content and you paid practically nothing for it.
Client: WHAT? I paid nothing? I paid $80 and you told me you would make me a video! I was there for 4 hours when you filmed and took photos. I modeled. I worked and helped you, you know, it’s worth something!
Me: I was there as well, directing the video without a scenario because you couldn’t pay me to prepare one. I was there for more than 4 hours, and managed everything. And… I HAVE CANCER, REMEMBER?
Client: If I knew you would drop me like that, I would just have taken pictures and videos with my iPhone.
What. The. Hell.