It has been a while again like I sad I am not one of those who write every day or week in a twisted form of narcissism. I write when things piss me off or when things happen and I try to wrap my warped mind around them to make sense and they wind up not doing so.
I rant now and so it goes…
Just before Ramadan ended I was asked to meet up with some munchkins who wanted my advice and professional consultation on who to hire for a local film. While in the meeting we discussed Special Effects and make-up and from whom to get it, one of the producers said he’d been in talks with a very reputable firm based in France and they had said they would sponsor the film with “EVERYTHING” & “ANYTHING” needed, and that there were no problems (he let us call him R had been talking to them since December 2011), I said what about MAC “R” said let us go with these guys since we are already in communication with them. SO I said fine (not really I went home and dashed off a quick email telling the team at MAC that we might have to get in touch with them short notice last minute kind of thing, I had a niggling feeling and a nagging sensation), so we waited until after the feast.
So 3 weeks before shooting starts we are asked to make a list of what we need (I was already antagonistic as I had received a forwarded message from some English Strumpet who has no clue who she was dealing with and it was talking down to me.
First she was talking to us as if we didn’t have a clue so that pissed me off.
Then she had the nerve to tell me how a certain product from the company she endorsed made a better sweat like effect than using Glycerine and water, well, I was in such a state that I simply replied quite dry and tersely to “R” that they had planned on using Red HD (which changed to film) and in RED HD well to cut a long story short it was all about ratios and measures. But in general her list was like mine with a few extras and some things missing but standard for the business.
So we get started on making the list (“R” was foisted off on an office Numpty based in Dubai, who really was clueless, and I mean seriously clueless because “C” who we had been in contact with was “Busy”) at the meeting we had, and here is where the fun starts.
This company which is internationally famous has a website so we logged on and we browsed here are the steps we followed:
- Log on to site.
- Click on to products
- Click on SFX.
- Try to click on individual products name and description.
- Get unceremoniously booted of said site.
So this goes on for Four days until I manage to compile a 21 page wish-list with products (bear in mind we are filming in a desert where the nearest outlet of said brand is 300+ Km away). We send wishlist off and wait.
A few days later a panicky “R” phones me and says the office numpty (We shall call her NSS) isn’t picking up, he had phoned her to see what had happened and while talking to her he ran out of credits…(Okay I will not get into that) 😀
Enough to say he tried and she didn’t pick up for two days, he gets an email saying that said: “We are sorry but none of the products you asked for are available in our warehouse. And our shipment is stuck in Paris…”, he was panicking shooting was in less than two weeks so I stepped in and wrote to my people at MAC.
Within an hour I had gotten a reply which said clearly we would love to sponsor but since it is such short notice you will have to do with what is available in our warehouses, and I replied fine here is “R”‘s number get in touch I am sending you my wishlist.
“R” phones me and said he has never seen a sponsorship deal go through so fast, and I was like say thank you! 🙂
After getting the MAC sponsorship in order I decided that the other company will not get away with their shoddy behaviour so I wrote them a very angry email so they could put it in their records (which they will not because they know they would get into trouble) here is a copy of what I wrote:
To whom it may concern,
This email is a little side note for the future so the personnel at XXX can take note, heed and learn.
My name is Walid of S.I.C. ltd. And I am in charge of designing the overall make-up and hair looks for the film.
“R” was in contact with your team with regards to a sponsorship deal for “al dakheel”, and was re-assured countless time that there were no problems and everything would go smoothly…
Well come last week everything your team told Rupert has proven to be false.
Are you trying to tell us that Make up forever is so wretched that you did not have a single item on the wish list in their warehouses, that one is a little bit to hard to believe, so one is expected you have pristine empty warehouses.
We had a deadline to follow and someone screwed up from your side, we requested things and we requested (while explaining why) a whole lot of things simply because the shoot was on location and 300+ KM away from the nearest XXX outlet.
Do not attempt to even justify your position, we were willing to liaise a deal so we would pay for the shipping of said products to us if needs be but we had a feeling you wouldn’t follow through.
So obviously we went with our back up plan which was my first plan initially but Rupert had such faith in you and you disappointed him, I was not really surprised.
I said to the team forget them and get MAC instead, well it should please you (or not) to know MAC responded within a day with the contracts and a wholly different professional outlook and behaviour, we had no problems with our list and they will ship it to us forthwith.
Thanks for nothing and for screwing up our schedule just a tiny bit more, this is the type of behaviour we have come to expect with anyone importing materials to the middle -east, so no surprises there, the back-up plans were already in place.
If this is the level of your professionalism, I suggest you take it up to review, because your team really needs to know the difference between a film, a shop, and how tight the budget is with a looming deadline also how a day can affect the film schedule negatively..
Once again thanks for the effort and for the disappointing results.
“R” still has the faith in you while I do not, your behaviour and your lack of response and totally disregard in ignoring “R”‘s phone calls have left me with a bitter taste, and I can assure you if anyone ever suggests XXX as a sponsor for any project I am working on I shall give them a straight answer of a resounding no.
As for MAC I sent them an email and an official letter saying thank you so very much. Just to prove that as acerbic and vicious as I can be spewing vitriolic poison when upset, I can be gushy and saccharine sweet as the opposite.
I do not back down, I do not take prisoners and I definitely do not leave survivors. My mission now (yes I am being petty and vindictive) is too get anyone who is unprofessional to lose their jobs, I have had enough of that kind of behaviour, maybe if they realise how big the stakes are they will learn to be professional, as I always like to say knowing the word is NOT enough you need to know what it actually means….