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Your "Favourite" Client Briefs?


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Let’s have a laugh. What are some of the best, meaning worst, project briefs you’ve ever had?

My gold medal goes to a voiceover brief I had a while back. The buyer was lovely but the directions were bonkers and went a little something like this…

‘We want the tone to be 20% inspiring, 20% casual, 15% informative, 10% dramatic, 10% dreamy, and the rest (25%??) however you feel.’

To my amazement, I managed this without revisions. 🙂

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We’ve definitely had our fair share of the old ‘energetic but melancholy, with angry passion, but also like you’re whispering a bedtime story to a sleeping child’ types of nonsense briefs over the years!

The funniest that comes to mind lately is a TV ad that we did. The ad involves two astronauts working on a space station. The script was basically humming the tune to Sprach Zarathustra (I confess I had to Google it, but then had an “oh, thaaaaaaat tune” moment when I did) - but here was the kicker. Because we were playing the role of being ‘in space’, we had to try and record at a really high quality, but as though we were wearing a space helmet.

We ended up just recording right up next to the microphone rather than a few inches away, and the client was really happy, but it was definitely one of the funnier/weirder jobs we’ve done.

What I remember about the job though, was that the client never thought to contact us first. In fairness, he ordered perfectly - included all the relevant usage rights etc, so no issue there. But at no point did he think that it might be a good idea to have a chat first about whether we’d want to record ourselves humming in space… 🙂

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I see things like that all the time in music composing. I edge around the outside of the room as this is worrying seeing:

  • a) they won’t show what the music is for (e.g. the film),
  • b) they show other composer’s work that commonly doesn’t represent my idea of these things,
  • c) they think 10-20 hours of work (and the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra) is well paid at $15

Pass

🙂

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We’ve definitely had our fair share of the old ‘energetic but melancholy, with angry passion, but also like you’re whispering a bedtime story to a sleeping child’ types of nonsense briefs over the years!

The funniest that comes to mind lately is a TV ad that we did. The ad involves two astronauts working on a space station. The script was basically humming the tune to Sprach Zarathustra (I confess I had to Google it, but then had an “oh, thaaaaaaat tune” moment when I did) - but here was the kicker. Because we were playing the role of being ‘in space’, we had to try and record at a really high quality, but as though we were wearing a space helmet.

We ended up just recording right up next to the microphone rather than a few inches away, and the client was really happy, but it was definitely one of the funnier/weirder jobs we’ve done.

What I remember about the job though, was that the client never thought to contact us first. In fairness, he ordered perfectly - included all the relevant usage rights etc, so no issue there. But at no point did he think that it might be a good idea to have a chat first about whether we’d want to record ourselves humming in space… 🙂

Brilliant! It can be fun to get these kind of requests if the buyer is nice. I always take a deep breath and strap myself in if they’re demanding, entitled and confused!

EDIT: I also just had to google Sprach Zarathustra and also went “Ahhhhh, that tune!” Haha

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I see things like that all the time in music composing. I edge around the outside of the room as this is worrying seeing:

  • a) they won’t show what the music is for (e.g. the film),
  • b) they show other composer’s work that commonly doesn’t represent my idea of these things,
  • c) they think 10-20 hours of work (and the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra) is well paid at $15

Pass

🙂

I have become more comfortable with turning down orders. The alarm bells become very clear after plenty of experience. The last one I turned down was “British but not too British - thanks for your quote, can you give me another one with your best price?” That was my best price. See ya.

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I have become more comfortable with turning down orders. The alarm bells become very clear after plenty of experience. The last one I turned down was “British but not too British - thanks for your quote, can you give me another one with your best price?” That was my best price. See ya.

Uh yes. When selling cars we increasingly got those:

Idiot: Gimme a test drive of this car, your best price, I am off to your competitor so you better have a sharp pencil.

Me: See that door? Use it.

🙂

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This was YEARS ago, but I was asked to draw this boy (I think it was the seller’s nephew or something).
Sure, no problem.
But then the seller told me:

“I want him to be drawn in Yu-gi-Oh style, but not too similar to the series because I don’t want to get into any copyright trouble, but I want it to be clear that it is Yu-gi-Oh inspired, also make him look very cute with big anime eyes but don’t make him look like a girl, and I know he looks pretty fat in the photo but please be sure to slim down a bit but leave enough meat on his bones so it still looks like him. Don’t give him a double chin, but just add some extra volume in that area.
Hie eyes are green-ish blue, please make them pop but don’t make them look too scary.”

Yeah, something like that. It was a bit of a nightmare but he tipped me in the end and he never came back so that was…nice?

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This was YEARS ago, but I was asked to draw this boy (I think it was the seller’s nephew or something).

Sure, no problem.

But then the seller told me:

“I want him to be drawn in Yu-gi-Oh style, but not too similar to the series because I don’t want to get into any copyright trouble, but I want it to be clear that it is Yu-gi-Oh inspired, also make him look very cute with big anime eyes but don’t make him look like a girl, and I know he looks pretty fat in the photo but please be sure to slim down a bit but leave enough meat on his bones so it still looks like him. Don’t give him a double chin, but just add some extra volume in that area.

Hie eyes are green-ish blue, please make them pop but don’t make them look too scary.”

Yeah, something like that. It was a bit of a nightmare but he tipped me in the end and he never came back so that was…nice?

Oh boy, that’s a good one! 😃

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This was YEARS ago, but I was asked to draw this boy (I think it was the seller’s nephew or something).

Sure, no problem.

But then the seller told me:

“I want him to be drawn in Yu-gi-Oh style, but not too similar to the series because I don’t want to get into any copyright trouble, but I want it to be clear that it is Yu-gi-Oh inspired, also make him look very cute with big anime eyes but don’t make him look like a girl, and I know he looks pretty fat in the photo but please be sure to slim down a bit but leave enough meat on his bones so it still looks like him. Don’t give him a double chin, but just add some extra volume in that area.

Hie eyes are green-ish blue, please make them pop but don’t make them look too scary.”

Yeah, something like that. It was a bit of a nightmare but he tipped me in the end and he never came back so that was…nice?

I don’t find those break copyright but don’t break copyright things funny. I bet Katy Perry doesn’t either.

There is no 10% rule or anything like it. As soon as you are making something noticeably like you are in breach.

Besides genuine work is rarely done, when trying to make a seller be someone who they are not. And I know that festival judges are prone to putting an immediate X on films with derivative parts so no one wins anything cloning someone else’s score or scenes - unless done deliberately to take them somewhere else.

🙂

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I write web content (blogs, articles).

I get a lot of these kinds of directions:

“Make up a title with something to do with (keyword) and write about it.”

You would be surprised how often I see this sort of thing sent to me via Fiverr Buyers.

The last job I completed, a few days ago, had a full brief right down to the number of characters to have in the title, what sub-headings to use and approximate word count for each section.

I was stunned…lol

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I write web content (blogs, articles).

I get a lot of these kinds of directions:

“Make up a title with something to do with (keyword) and write about it.”

You would be surprised how often I see this sort of thing sent to me via Fiverr Buyers.

The last job I completed, a few days ago, had a full brief right down to the number of characters to have in the title, what sub-headings to use and approximate word count for each section.

I was stunned…lol

I get both of those in music too. Fine if you know the person is open but you know they aren’t so when something is returned, suddenly they will be comparing it slice by slice to the thing they wanted cloned and assumed that any “good” person would have known.

I was once asked to write a technical article explaining how the chemical composition of the product made it better than competitors. All from a pdf brochure that said nothing about what was in his thing. That and I am not a chemist. I can read and assimilate some reasonable stuff but that is not cool.

🙂

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Oh I got one that was super funny and crazy. First of all buyer didn’t know much about music genres, he wanted me to remix one of his “chilhood songs” into a “German club rave full of cocain addicts-type beat”. I ended up remixing that Dannish old song into a crazy Psy-Trance with some Hardstyle. It was definitely fun but stressful. He was happy with the result (I even did things he didn’t pay for) and he accidentally put me a 4.3 review. Crazy day.

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Oh I got one that was super funny and crazy. First of all buyer didn’t know much about music genres, he wanted me to remix one of his “chilhood songs” into a “German club rave full of cocain addicts-type beat”. I ended up remixing that Dannish old song into a crazy Psy-Trance with some Hardstyle. It was definitely fun but stressful. He was happy with the result (I even did things he didn’t pay for) and he accidentally put me a 4.3 review. Crazy day.

This made me laugh out loud. And a 4.3 review…jeeeeez.

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I don’t find those break copyright but don’t break copyright things funny. I bet Katy Perry doesn’t either.

There is no 10% rule or anything like it. As soon as you are making something noticeably like you are in breach.

Besides genuine work is rarely done, when trying to make a seller be someone who they are not. And I know that festival judges are prone to putting an immediate X on films with derivative parts so no one wins anything cloning someone else’s score or scenes - unless done deliberately to take them somewhere else.

🙂

As soon as you are making something noticeably like you are in breach.

Also several years ago I got an order from this dad and he wanted me to draw his daughter in the “Xena the warrior princess armor” ( not sure if you know the show, it was popular back in the early 2000s) , with the weapons and all. He said he wanted to print that image on her birthday card, and he messaged me back several days later that his daughter was so happy she cried. I don’t regret working on that image, but

I don’t want to get in serious trouble either, obviously.

Hopefully something like that was…“OK?” 😅

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As soon as you are making something noticeably like you are in breach.

Also several years ago I got an order from this dad and he wanted me to draw his daughter in the “Xena the warrior princess armor” ( not sure if you know the show, it was popular back in the early 2000s) , with the weapons and all. He said he wanted to print that image on her birthday card, and he messaged me back several days later that his daughter was so happy she cried. I don’t regret working on that image, but

I don’t want to get in serious trouble either, obviously.

Hopefully something like that was…“OK?” 😅

Oh yes on watching Zena and that is perfectly fine. I have done jobs where parents have had their kids sing covers. If it for the home and family, no one is the slightest bit concerned.

If they put it on YouTube or Spotifry as the beginning of their kid’s career , don’t credit the real authors, and take all the money for themselves (as if anyone makes any money on Spotifry) that is then it is IP theft all the way.

🙂

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Received this message with no attachment:
Hi, we need to translate this file from Dutch to English.
We need it in 24hours.
Match the same layout and provide an editable word file.
Front page: few texts
Middle and last pages: short texts.
Please confirm that you can have it ready in time and what the price will be.

I responded asking for the document
not yet, waiting for client to send the files. plz give me a rough idea of price

So basically wanted a price for a document that could be any size and delivery within 24 hours, and wouldn’t even be sending it as a Word file…

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My favorite one was actually quite normal until I delivered and they asked, “Can’t you deliver these to me directly?” I explained all deliveries must be through Fiverr per TOS. They didn’t want me to email the five articles, though. They wanted me to print them out, put them in a folder, and hand deliver them to their office halfway across the country.

They didn’t act like a troll, and it took a while for them to accept the fact that delivery through Fiverr must suffice as I wasn’t about to buy a plane ticket to come to them. Very weird.

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My favorite one was actually quite normal until I delivered and they asked, “Can’t you deliver these to me directly?” I explained all deliveries must be through Fiverr per TOS. They didn’t want me to email the five articles, though. They wanted me to print them out, put them in a folder, and hand deliver them to their office halfway across the country.

They didn’t act like a troll, and it took a while for them to accept the fact that delivery through Fiverr must suffice as I wasn’t about to buy a plane ticket to come to them. Very weird.

They wanted me to print them out, put them in a folder, and hand deliver them to their office halfway across the country.

Hey I won’t mind doing that for them as long as they paid for the flight ( or train), hotel, food, etc.

Jokes aside though…what were they smoking when they messaged you???

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