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A request to students

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by David Ashton, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    Occupation:
    truck driver
    Location:
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    Whilst I run a lighting business in Australia I expect my problem may be international, and it is that students have a project to price a theoretical production and so they contact us to quote on this "show".
    Now it can be very time consuming to put together a quote and maybe checking to sub-hire some gear and check availability of equipment.
    I actually don't mind giving some general assistance, you may be a real customer one day, but let the business know that, then we can do a quick quote to do your assignment without wasting a lot of time.
    Incidentally, very often we can pick these inquiries because some details don't add up and we can actually help.
     
  2. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    By theoretical production, do you mean one that is never happening, or pricing stuff in an ideal situation?

    I've been told a fair amount of times to get a price on some gear I know we'll never get. When I've called suppliers I've always given them a quick 30 second backstory on what I'm doing, and why. ("We've been having some intercom troubles and I was told to recommend a new wireless system and get some price information, though I know we likely won't make any purchases. However, a ballpark figure would be very helpful.")
     
  3. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    Occupation:
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    I mean a production which is not going to happen, just an exercise.
     
  4. punktech

    punktech Active Member

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    i bet they were supposed to figure out the price of the show on thier, as part of the project.

    and it probably is international, people are lazy. but i know not a single person in my school's program would do that, we work hard and smart.
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Its a pretty common thing for some classes to be given a budget of so much and a stock of instruments, and be told call around to see what you could afford for a 2 week run. Usually though, you call whatever supplier the school buys everything from and they can help out. Really, all these people are looking for is weekly rates.
     
  6. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Occupation:
    Acoustical, audio and audiovisual consultant
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    It is not limited to lighting. A student recently posted on a pro sound forum regarding a project where each student was supposed to develop an installed audio system for a venue complete with equipment list, installation schedule and pricing. They did have a budget to work with but it specifically excluded 'soft' costs such as design, installation, cabling, hardware, project management, etc. so unless the instructors address these factors the work could just end up giving students a false impression of what is really involved.

    Anyways, the information their instructor provided actually suggested that they contact multiple installation companies to get pricing, scheduling and other information. I think it was unintended in this particular case, but the student's original post read as though it were an actual project and people were a little put off when they later found out that it was not. But they were asking for much more than just weekly rate type numbers.

    My recommendation to that person was to always be upfront about the fact that this was for a school project and not a real business opportunity and also to try to do their homework first and come with specific questions.
     
  7. ScaredOfHeightsLD

    ScaredOfHeightsLD Active Member

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    Location:
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    I haven't been in this situation exactly but one of the most helpful things I have found on the part of rental houses is a rental rate card. One of the shops I use frequently has one posted on their website(granted it hasn't been updated in 3 years). When I am pricing out a show I try to do a few workthroughs and cuts simply using their price card so that I don't go to them and make many rounds of cuts just to get down to budget. Perhaps, if you didn't want to make an entire line card or something of the sort, If a student contacts you you could forward them a basic price outline with some pricing on popular instruments. I know in my case I find that I become much more knowledgeable about my show when I'm trying to work pricing out. Plus it really forces me to ask, "do I really need this" when for each piece of equipment. Just my thoughts.
     
  8. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
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    Though guilty of such heinous actions, I've done it for shows I expected were going to happen, and never did. Most of the quotes I've had to obtain were for local community theatre gigs and we'd have some big shot telling us they want to foot the bill for a large event or battle of the bands and all we have to do is spend their money and put the show on...well 2 months of phone tag later our big-talker has gone MIA, and we no longer have a promoter. My apologies for businesses that have to deal with this, but I've been put in a situation numerous times by higher powers to produce estimate figures from a variety of rental companies under the impression that the show was going to happen.
     
  9. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    Occupation:
    truck driver
    Location:
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    Please bear in mind this was a request not a rant, if you are up front with the situation it is no problem to send a quote which will be accurate but which we haven't gone to a lot of time to check, incidently, the price lists are true for one or two items but for a full show we discount considerably, I assume this is fairly normal in the US too.
     
  10. Sean

    Sean Active Member

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    Yes, it is.

    It seems that everything from the weather, the time of year, how far in advance, who you talk to, who the LD is, and the price of tea in China all have some bearing on the price of a rental package. This is especially true of the larger folks (PRG, 4-Wall, etc).

    --Sean
     
  11. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
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    A lot of it comes down to who you are, who you're talking to, how much you're renting, and how much you've rented before. It helps if it's the same person is renting but on different productions by different groups; then they get the feel that you're a loyal costumer. The better you're reputation with the rental company, the more likely it is you'll get a discount or they'll be willing to bend the rules for you. (i.e. you can return it a day late w/o penalty rather than having to drive 45 minutes to return it the same night you've struck your show.)
     
  12. Techiegirly

    Techiegirly Member

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    I have another request you can add to students...if you're lucky enough to be invited to a load-in/strike amongst us paid professionals please DO NOT come wearing flip flops or frilly outfits. It does us no good to staff our crew and be counting on student assistance to be a few extra hands and have to ask half of you to go home because of poor work clothes choices. :twisted:
     
  13. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Har. I come with composite toe boots! While I may have gotten some initial scoffs, not having to worry about my toes is great. Plus, who cares if paint gets on work boots?
     

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