RI012 - Romano / VIP - 07/2016
I have this project here because I can’t find the last project that I did with Rice. This happened around July after Tiger Wall and before Tiger Everest.
I said to Andy that Rice couldn’t handle the Art Department because there were no workforce that is enough skill to handle this. He seemed to be very upset about this. This time he brough Nick in the game as the director. I don’t know if Nick got paid for it or not.
I have no idea why I was called to meet the Cameraman at the film stage in pre-production. This guy demanded me to buy stuff for lighting department at the meeting. I know this wasn’t my part and the gaffer was right in front of me nod and said he will handle this so I thought we would just moved on to discuss something else. But this camera guy uses this moment to claimed that he didn’t trust me. I was quite suprise with this sort of culture. Later I realised that this is very common in this industry and was much cautious with who I was hanging out with when they said they work in the film industry.
This project as I recalled Andy brough in Lý Bình Sơn to do the Production Design. With this fact, I have no idea why I was ordered to be involved in this project while I still have stuff to work on for the youtube channel. Andy even told me that Sơn í above me in rank in this project but he kept asking me to do stuff instead of talking straight to the man. Sơn’s team see that all the command comes from me so they also adapt to the situation even though I was not supposed to be in charge. Meanwhile this whole scene was designed by someone else in 3D in Digipost.
I was not a Assistant Producer so I honestly have no clue why and what I was supposed to communicate between these people when I have absolutely no idea what the budget was.
Honestly I have no idea what I was doing in this project because Sơn has his own team and could handle everything just fine without me. Maybe I was a translator?
I did however understood that Any at this point was an Executive Producer for a post house and was also learning just like everyone else so I made no complain to Andy. Perhaps I was too easy to put too much trust on one person without set up any constrains.
After this project was the 11th birthday party of Digipost. I drank quite abit that night trying to ignore all the bullshit that was going on.
RI013 - C.S. Bar / Anniversary - 01/2017
The last project I did with Rice was for a famous night club on top of a very tall building in Sài Gòn. The client would like us to come to their office and present the work. I brought the iMac 64" with Andy and others new people who just joined the team. At the meeting, I managed to convinced them to another film from the footage that we shot apart from the two film that we agreed prior to the project. I said to Andy maybe I might be helpful if I get to go to meet the client more often.
After that meeting, Andy had a private word with me and said that he thought I was “working about 70% of my effort”.
I was quite shock at this. Most of the time I went home was just to sleep. The next team meeting, he repeated this sentence but the 7 is now just 5. Right the day after I announce that I was going to leave Rice. My salary at that time was raised by 1,000,000₫. Parallel to the 3 films that I was working for this project, I had 2 other films that were still on my table. So the total were 5 films that I had to juggle at the same time. I was very suprised that someone could lowered me down to such a level even though I have nothing else to give. I remember the last day in the office was a Sunday. That day, it was me and Minh (Digipost producer) at the office.
Close Chapter - Digipost & Rice
When I told this to a very close friend he said may be I was set up to such situation to slowly loose reputation. And with that they have a reason to keep my salary low and force me to leave. Sounded very convincing but that’s just a guess with no evidence.
Linh also left about the same time as I did. We hang out afterward and I learned that Đông was bullying Linh for some reason before I joined. I felt very sorry for her since I watched with my own eyes how she was being treated not just from Andy but also from Đông from the very first day. From this I guess Đông and Andy perhaps were together on this to push me and Linh out of the group. Of course it’s a complete guess and I can very well be wrong but have more than enough reason to not trust these two ever again.
These stories about Rice and Digipost was something that I thought I would never share to anyone for a very long time. But the more I think about it, the more it make sense to help the people who are just starting out in this creative industry. If I could start all over, I would still have pour as much effort that I did. But with these experience, perhaps I would be much more careful about contracts, salary, responsibility and benefit before getting myself involved with anything.
Work at the end of the day is a trade of your time for an fixed amount of salary that you agreed on. Time is always limited and work is always infinite. Through sharing these stories that I have been through, I hope that friends and collegues who are new in this bussiness will be more cautious before getting involved in any kind of work that you feel are not fair and transparent enough. I hope you will be more responsible to yourself than I was in these stories.
These stories tell the stories of the past. I have no idea how Rice is operating currently. Perhaps everything has changed. Or perhaps it is still the same. Or perhaps it is worse than before. One thing for sure is that no one can change history. But this is my story from my perspective. If all this mess did not happen may be I would still be very dump.
Anyhow, I learn quite a bit within a year or so.