We’re picky about the people we’ll work for. Which has meant, on a few occasions, passing-up what were generally considered “good opportunities”. On the other hand, it’s been a very long time since we’ve worked with the kinds of clients in the recorded conversation below.
(Although I make no guarantee for this entry’s veracity, I found no mention of it either on Snopes.com or UrbanLegends.com. And besides, it sounds pretty real to me!)
ON TALKING WITH CLIENTS.
What follows is an ACTUAL TRANSCRIPT of dialogue between the client and the creative team responsible for creating a documentary about the Rose Bowl Parade. Enjoy.
CLIENT 1: It’s confusing the way you jump around in time.
ME: How so?
CLIENT 1: Well, the show opens, and it’s present day, and then all of a sudden you say: “The Rose Parade was founded in 1890,” and we’re looking at old black and white pictures that clearly aren’t present day.
ME: Those are the pictures from the first parade in 1890.
CLIENT 1: But you never say that.
ME: I guess we thought when we said “The Rose Parade was founded in 1890,” it would sort of go without saying that the black and white pictures we’re seeing are from 1890.
CLIENT 2: But you see, YOU already know that. The viewer doesn’t.
CLIENT 3: Maybe you should say: “The Rose Parade was founded in 1890, and these pictures are pictures from the first Rose Parade, taken in 1890.”
ME: We could say that, but it might slow things down a little.
CLIENT 1: Well otherwise there’s no way anybody’s going to get it.
CLIENT 2: Also, it comes out of nowhere. People aren’t expecting a history lesson. You should warn them: “Here’s a historical fact about when the Rose Parade was founded: It was founded in 1890.”
CLIENT 3: And you should mention that those are horses pulling the horse drawn carriages.
CLIENT 1: There’re too many floats. We don’t want people to think the Rose Parade is all about floats.
CLIENT 2: It’s more than that. There’s too much emphasis on the parade. We don’t want people to think the Tournament of Roses is all about a parade.
CLIENT 1: One of the volunteers you interviewed really didn’t look good.
ME: So we should take her out?
CLIENT 1: No, she’s important. But can you make her look less fat?
ME: That’s really not something we can fix in editing.
CLIENT 2: Her hair’s bad too.
CLIENT 2: I’m a little upset. We specifically said that we wanted to see diversity, but you make the Tournament Association look like it’s a bunch of white men.
ME: Not to be out of line, but isn’t the Tournament Association pretty much a bunch of white men?
CLIENT 2: That’s not the point. You show the Tournament presidents of the past several years, and every one of them is a white man.
ME: Has there ever been a Tournament president who wasn’t a white man?
CLIENT 2: That’s not the point. You show a series of Grand Marshals from the past hundred years, and only three of them are black.
ME: There have only been three black Grand Marshals in the past hundred years.
CLIENT 2: That’s not the point.
CLIENT 1: One of the float designers said floats start as a “figment” of his imagination. “Figment” is a copyrighted Disney character. We can’t have him say that.
ME: Disney owns the character “Figment,” they can’t actually own the phrase “figment of my imagination.”
CLIENT 1: Yes they can. It’s a Disney character.
ME: Yeah, well so’s “Dopey.”
CLIENT 1: What’s that?
CLIENT 3: Watching this video, no one would ever know there are horses in the parade.
ME: We actually have a lot of shots of horses.
CLIENT 3: Okay, you have shots of horses, but you never specifically say “The Parade includes horses.”
ME: Um, actually, after you brought it up at the last presentation, we put in the exact line: “The Parade includes horses.” We also have a scene where a horse driver talks in detail about specific horse breeds.
CLIENT 3: I still don’t think it comes across.
CLIENT 1: I really loved the ending
CLIENT 2: Me too. It’s a great ending.
CLIENT 3: Very emotional.
CLIENT 1: Still, it could be more emotional.
CLIENT 2: Yeah. It doesn’t quite wrap up what the Rose Parade means to me.
CLIENT 3: It could be more emotional.
CLIENT 1: It was kind of dry.
CLIENT 2: Maybe if you had some, I don’t know, people bursting into tears.
CLIENT 1: Really, the ending now. It just ends. Nobody cries. Nobody jumps for joy.
CLIENT 2: Why don’t you have an interview with the Grand Marshal right before the parade?
ME: You mean right before this year’s parade?
CLIENT 2: Yeah.
ME: This year’s parade has already happened, so it’s hard to go back and get a new interview from that day.
CLIENT 1: It’s too bad, because the ending’s really weak.
CLIENT 3: Maybe you could add a horse.