Everything is negotiable, my Total Film article part 1

I wrote a three part feature for UK based film magazine Total Film, about how to make your first movie. I built in a few lessons and I thought I would share one with you here, about getting stuff for free or reduced. If you are not great at negotiating, it’s a great exercise to do. It will certainly get you out of your comfort zone, but it will also get you results…

To a film producer, every penny spent is a penny that could potentially be saved. This single lesson could transform your life and open up a new world of discounts, but it will take you getting out of your comfort zone. Here it is. Never pay the asking price. Never. Most of us wander through life paying the price that is on the tag, not even aware that we could barter. Maybe it’s the English reserve, the dislike of confrontation. But, if you just try, you can save a huge amount of money and once you get good at it, you will never pay full price again.

So next time you need to buy something, you’re going to ask for a discount. Not at the market where you have a good reason to haggle, but in a retail store where people don’t ordinarily haggle. It might take ten attempts, with ten different strategies, but you will get there. You will need balls, charm and persistence to pull this off. Smile, ask sweetly, tell them this is all you can afford, you need them to help make this happen, you are making a movie, do they want to come to the premiere? Avoid closing the conversation until you have what you want. So try not to get to an ultimatum. And if you do get a ‘No’, keep going past the ‘No’ until you get a ‘Yes’.

I understand how insane this sounds, but ask yourself how do ugly men pickup beautiful women? They just don’t accept the ‘no’, and ask more women than most of us would in a lifetime. Balls. Charm. Persistence.

Chris Jones
Filmmaker, Author and Firewalk Instructor
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What am I doing now?
Directing splinter unit on Mission: Impossible 8
Exec producing The Enfield Poltergeist

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