MISC MUSES

The freelancing secrets I wish I’d known a decade ago

The freelancing secrets I wish I’d known a decade ago 490 294 Alicia East

I was a year into a career change I thought would be permanent and I was leaving…again. I’d lasted one year and 2 weeks as a high school teacher and it was….umm…not a fit. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I’d won awards in the position I had left the previous year but, while I was certainly happier in sales than in teaching, the profession didn’t speak to me either. With a mere three years of life after college under my belt, I’d experienced success without satisfaction in my first “real” job and then neither success nor satisfaction in my second.

I had harbored the “someday” dream of writing for a living from the moment I realized it was a thing. So one day, while picturing a future of business suits, uncomfortable shoes, and a schedule someone else set for me, I made the “risky” decision to just go for it. I’ll explain why that’s in quotes later.

Here are five truths I’ve learned in my decade plus as a freelancer

  1. The true risk isn’t the first one that comes to mind: Here’s the deal: in comparison with a 9-5 job, freelancing is risky. You absolutely could lose everything…or at least be very, very hungry at times. I mean it. You could have clients who pay late or don’t pay at all. You could have slow months that land you in the red and times you’re trying to figure out how to create a meal from whatever you can find in the freezer (“use by” date be damned) and the last quarter cup of rice in your pantry. Risk aversion is real, but if it keeps you in your swivel chair at a 9-5 you hate, then you’re afraid of the wrong kind of risk. Because there’s nothing more risky than staying there in your cubicle feeling like you’re wasting your life.
  2. The freedom is fantastic, but it still comes at a price: Yes, the dreams of working from the beach and choosing the jobs that excite you are real. To overworked, underappreciated 9-5ers, freelancing may seem like the holy grail. But going out on your own isn’t just a world of free-flowing creative juices, coffee breaks, and wads of money. Freelancing can make you feel just as burnt out and unstimulated as whatever made you take a hike from your previous gig in the first place.
  3. Your “boss” may be liberal about time off, but you still have to answer to your bank account: You’re your own boss. That means you can take Friday off because it’s a great powder day (that’s the Colorado girl in me speaking). Still, if you want to build a solid business, you have to put in the work. And if you want leave of any kind–vacation, maternity/paternity, sick days, etc.– you have to create it yourself. Ideally, that means building yourself a solid savings account with 3 months living expenses. The hope is that, because you’re building your own dream (and not someone else’s/one you don’t believe in) that you’ll at least enjoy it more. While it can be enormously satisfying and liberating to build your own business from the ground up, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Some days, you’ll get to take a Friday off because you want to. Others, you’ll grind away on a Saturday because you have to. Any workday can be a weekend and any weekend can be a workday. 
  4. You don’t have to starve. The “starving artist” is a familiar refrain. And it’s certainly easy to do, but you don’t have to. Start by producing work you can be proud of. From there, you can feel good about charging fair prices for it and walking away from projects people ask you to do “for experience.” You may have to take projects that don’t exactly stimulate you. My husband fondly recounts one of his early editing jobs for a veterinarian client. He got feedback to show a dog’s anus at 50% opacity (i.e. tone down the butt shots). Keep the long-term goal in mind and you can take the less than stellar projects in perspective. You’re building something. You’re building your thing. Once you have a steady flow of clients, you can be more selective and you can charge more as your experience (or equipment) grows. Remember that being able to walk away puts you in the best position to negotiate more freely.
  5. It’s easier than ever to burn out. I know how easy it is to have your life and energy sucked away by a “regular” job. The counterintuitive truth for many freelancers is that it’s even harder when it’s your business. You can pay your mortgage and your car loan and your grocery bill because you pounded the pavement to find the client and then pounded it again to produce a product they wanted. When you’re in business for yourself, it’s easier than ever to just do, do, do all the time. The trap is the lie that you have to. But you give yourself out completely and guess what? There’s nothing left. There’s nothing left for your bedtime routine with your kids, or those glorious miles on the trail with your sneakers and your headphones. And here’s the real, counterintuitive kick in the pants: if you don’t have time for the stuff the fuels you, you don’t have a business. As a freelancer, your business is you. It’s’ your creativity, your talent, your brains, and your guts. That’s something you simply cannot phone in. You have to be fueled, which means you can’t give everything to your business. You have to give something to yourself, which in turn, gives everything to your business.

The bottom line

Once you go out on your own, you live and die by your own work. The allure of working from home in your pjs and not having a boss breathing down your neck is real. But the struggle of life without a full time, “safe” job is real, too. It’s awesome. And terrifying. It’s not easy. Whether you’re on your own or working a “safe” job, you will kill yourself if you don’t find balance. But here’s the truth about freelancing, if you can handle it. And you can handle it, by the way, because you are scrappy enough to think about launching out on your own in the first place. It’s hard, gut-wrenching, kick you in the seat of your pants, pride-swallowing work. And it’s all yours, which is effing fantastic.

6 binge-able series to make your hibernation bearable

6 binge-able series to make your hibernation bearable 2560 1707 PayReelUser

By Dani Lyman

Spring may be just around the corner but we are not out of the (snow-covered) woods yet. Dangerous storms and record cold snaps are sweeping the nation—forcing people off the road, into their homes, and often to the comforting glow of their devices. If you’re not sure how you’re going to survive the long, boring winter nights that will eventually give way to Spring, these 6 streaming series filled with cold-hearted villains and heart-warming lovers are here to make your hibernation at least an entertaining one.

So grab a blanket and cuddle up with your favorite human (or animal) and stay warm bingeing these winter-worthy series.

YOU – NETFLIX

People cannot get enough of YOU. Women cannot get enough of YOU. The show itself, especially season two, is intriguing, murdery and sexy, but perhaps the real mystery here is the audience’s fascination with a serial killer who internally justifies his actions while stalking and slaying his prey. Outside of being a truly well-crafted and well-acted series, the show’s appeal lies in its complicated nature and the effect it has on its viewers. It is a fiery subject on social media—sparking dialogue on abusive relationships, boundaries, and violence. The lead actor, Penn Badgley, often interacts with his fans on Twitter and has been open about his discomfort portraying such a dangerous character. This show has created an opportunity to discuss truly important issues while also entertaining the heck out of us.

KILLING EVE – HULU

This BBC America international spy thriller starring the very talented Sandra Oh and the intoxicating Jodie Comer is one of the smartest, most intriguing and fun shows on TV right now. With the second season recently released on Hulu, Killing Eve offers nearly 16 hours of edge of your seat suspense, twists, creative murders, dark witty humor, and a fabulous female-driven soundtrack. The love/hate relationship between the attention-seeking and dynamic assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer) and the career-obsessed MI-6 agent Eve (Sandra Oh) turns into a complicated, sexy and dangerous game of cat and mouse. This is a must-watch.

MODERN FAMILY – ABC/ HULU

If murder and mayhem isn’t your style, then the classic sitcom Modern Family is a solid go-to this winter. On its final season (spoiler alert), the Dunphy/Pritchett clan is up to their old shenanigans while learning how to navigate the complicated and hilarious waters of blended families. This season they are exploring their futures as they prepare to bid viewers farewell.

SCHITT’S CREEK – NETFLIX

From comedy legend Eugene Levy (American Pie, Best in Show) and his son, Dan Levy, comes this quirky, offbeat and surprisingly heart-warming comedy about a filthy rich family who loses everything and must restart their lives together. Schitt’s Creek is as subtle as it is outlandish and sure to hit you with the laughs as well as the feels. The endearing characters and awkward antics make this show addictive and easy to binge. You can catch-up on all five seasons on Netflix and then, when you’re thirsty for more, follow EW ON Set Podcast for more insider info.

THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL – PRIME

Playful, upbeat and relevant, this Prime Original series follows Midge Maisel on her journey to become a successful stand-up comic in…wait for it… the 1950’s. The ambitious and likable lead, portrayed by Rachel Brosnahan, is adored by critics and viewers alike. From the creator of Gilmore Girls, Amy Sherman-Palladino, this series is creative, witty and a positive reflection of women and their tenacity to reach outside the box and create the life of their dreams.

3 ways we’re improving the client experience

3 ways we’re improving the client experience 2560 1707 Alicia East

We are all about providing you with the tools that will make your job easier and more effective. Independent contractor payroll management can be complicated: We simplify it so you can get back to the work you do best. We spent a lot of 2019 improving your experience and now we have our sights set on what we can do next.

Here’s some of what Payreel did in 2019 to improve client experience:

Standardized the un-standardizable to keep you on sure legal ground 

Worker classification is a hot topic right now. And for good reason. With California’s AB5 and the subsequent shockwaves it has sent through the industry, everyone has their eye on where things are and where they’re going. We do, too! We’ve developed AI-based software to take much of the subjectivity out of classifying workers. While there’s no way to truly standardize something with so much gray area, what we can do is put a set of parameters in place to make sure that your organization makes the decision the same way every time based on a set of measurable rules rather than someone’s opinion. The biggest benefit here is that it gives you a solid leg to stand on if you ever have to justify your decisions in a court of law. We’ve also made it easier, quicker, and more efficient for you to see where an IC classification case stands as well as each worker’s IC population in PRO.

Software development may not seem very sexy until you realize how much time, money, and headache it can save you!  

Matrix-ed our system so it can “learn” your system’s language with no human translation necessary 

We developed an Application Programming Interface (API) that bridges the gap between your software and ours. This is extra special because it means PayReel software can communicate with your time-tracking (or any other kind of) software without any human intervention. That means you can fulfill changing needs on your end quickly without having to rewire/recode (i.e. without disruption), intuitively connect your people to critical information, forms, and reports, and skip maddening double data entry/typing. Sexy, right? 

Take a client with a self-developed proprietary system for time tracking, for example. When we plug their Enterprise Relationship Program into our API, it sends everything needed for a project or a job and updates all 32 necessary fields automatically. That allows us to forego bulk uploads and manual data entry with absolutely zero human involvement required in the middle.

Sound good? Contact us here or reach out to your Client Relationship Manager to get started. 

Doubled our team 

We really like solid software, but it’s still good people who make our world go around. We doubled our team in 2019 so that each Client Relationship Manager (CRM) can continue to offer the same quality of service to each of our clients even as we grow. We’ve also transitioned Michelle (our longest-standing CRM) into a new role that allows her to maximize her many years of knowledge and client experience. She’ll now be using all of her experience to directly channel the voice of the customer to the team as we continue developing the solutions. 

Okay, so what’s ahead? 

You guessed it: Software updates

Now that you’re as in love with them as we are, we can tell you we’re focusing on improving operational efficiencies with PayReel Online, our dashboard, and with our Sick Leave Accrual Management application (SLAM). More states have added sick leave and FMLA compliance regulations into law. We enhanced our proprietary tool to manage the rapid changes to the paid sick leave (PSL) laws and all their many new complexities being implemented on both the state and local levels. That’s good news for you because you can rest assured we are staying up to speed with where the laws go into effect in 2020. 

The visibility reports you asked for! 

It’s true. We saved the best for last. You asked for more reports to give you insight into your backend payroll information and we listened! Soon, supervisors and managers will have better visibility to see where workers are in the process. We’re also working on a report writer that can put together the specific info you’re looking for.

Thanks for a great year! Get excited because 2020 is shaping up to be even better! 

 

Working on your marketing plan? Don’t fall for this common myth!

Working on your marketing plan? Don’t fall for this common myth! 2560 1709 PayReelUser

We’re all about tackling obstacles that get in the way of your success. Turns out there’s a persistent, pernicious myth out there that might be hindering you without you even knowing it. But before we get to that, a story:

I recently visited the website of a product I had heard great things about it and was really excited to try. It was a 6-month commitment and I wanted to make sure I was making a sound investment. I clicked on their videos to learn more about their services. I am so glad I did.

They. were. terrible.

Scary terrible. Scary like: Is this a scam? How could a company with a good reputation not be able to afford a decent 3-minute video? I skipped the purchase and I had to wonder how many other potential customers were lost over that no good, very bad video.

Video technology is quickly advancing and it plays a major role in acquiring and maintaining a client base, but it has to be done well.

Here are three strategies to incorporate into your video marketing plan to stay on trend and attract new clients in 2020

Personalized Videos

Personalized videos (PVs) aren’t new, but they are predicted to really take off in 2020. Customers are looking for engagement. They want to know who the company is they are doing business with and they want to feel known in return. Personalized videos are an excellent and creative way to help your customers feel seen, understood and important to your business. There is something special about seeing your name, photos or interests reflected in a video. Barclays—a client of our sister company, Crew Connection—produced a PV that manages to transform something as complicated and impersonal as lending services. They create a feeling of trust, engagement and true connection. How can you share the same feeling and personalize your next video?

Instagram Stories

Social Media is THE WAY to attract / interact with clients and maintain their loyalty. And now it’s easier than ever to engage users through do-it-yourself, simple Instagram stories. This doesn’t require hiring a crew, complicated post-production or rehearsed performances. With a phone and a message they care about, you can entertain, inform and captivate users in seconds. Stories also provide that personalized connection this generation of consumers is craving. They get to learn more about you while also being offered the immediate opportunity to contribute feedback through emojis and comments.

For a more detailed look at expanding your brand through Instagram Stories, check out this great marketing article by Neil Patel.

Long-Form Videos (ready to bust that myth?)

For years, we have been hearing that the attention span of the human race has dwindled down to mere seconds. We’ve been told our videos need to be thirty seconds or three minutes… tops. I’ve always found this to be a little insulting, but it was the (very persistent) word on the street and I went with it. However, study after study is busting that myth. Turns out human beings are not only capable of watching longer videos, but that they can actually be really interested in that video… if the video is interesting. That, of course, is the key.

Long-form videos are an opportunity to tell a story and take potential customers on a journey where they sense the purpose of your brand and feel something. Feel connected to people, a greater cause, nature, themselves… you.

This is where you really need a professional crew. This is when you need the DP who can execute powerful and cinematic shots, the soundtrack that inspires, the editor who understands the emotional impact of a perfect cut and the producer who can put it all together. This is where you want to put your money, so budget appropriately.

Senior Digital PR Executive at Click Consult, Daniel Sarath, said, “The rise of long-form video content is one of the key changes we expect to see in 2020” and he believes this beautifully shot and well-executed video by Patagonia is the long-form video to aspire to.

Good luck and welcome to 2020!

Post by Dani Lyman

ABOUT PAYREEL:

Looking for payroll options for your independent contractors and freelancers? You can depend on PayReel to assume all of the risks that are associated with worker classification because we make sure every worker gets paid quickly and easily. We even have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. Call us today 303-526-4900 or email us. We handle payroll solutions for video production, live events, media, and entertainment.

Last-minute gift guide for the self-proclaimed geek in your life

Last-minute gift guide for the self-proclaimed geek in your life 5897 3937 Alicia East

From Star Wars Arcade games to everyone’s favorite force whisperer: Everything old is new (or in the case of baby Yoda—young) again. We work with self-proclaimed geeks both inside and outside the office every day and these are some of the gifts causing a buzz in our corner of the world.

  • One of the most beloved Star Wars characters of all time upped the ante by going back in time to the very cute and cuddly past. There will be some PJ-clad Star Wars fans (and maybe their kids) wishing for their very own Yoda merch as soon as they can get their hands on it. Truth be told: much of the official merch isn’t ready yet (here’s why). Next best option: an outing to the movie itself (it officially opens tomorrow!). This checks two boxes: giving experiences over the things that could become future clutter (✅) and enjoying time together (✅).
  • Coffee lovers have been foiled by one nemesis since the beginning of time: a tepid cup of joe. Believe it or not, these mug heaters are popular enough to warrant their own top ten list. Compare features and ensure you get the hot beverage experience you’re looking for over and over again—sans the microwave.
  • Whether you’re going for the sleek and stylish bluetooth speakers or a retro turntable with an updated twist, this time of year will be bringing the latest in smart, stylish speaker systems into many homes. Here’s another top 10 list to help you decide.
  • For the super tech-forward home, consider lighting that pretends you’re home when you’re not, refrigerators that’ll order you a six pack, and thermostats that learn your patterns and adjust accordingly. Smart everything is supposed to make your life easier. Just be sure to do your due diligence to make your devices as secure as possible.
  • If all the technology has you longing for a renaissance of good ol’ pen and paper, this Bullet Journal might be the ticket. Like pen and paper, the journal has been around awhile, but judging by its fans’ enthusiasm, it ain’t going anywhere. The journal itself isn’t the revolution, it’s the system. Paired with a favorite pen, it promises to increase your productivity. It’s enough to convince even a dedicated paperless fan to reconsider. According to some millennials, it will change your life.
  • And if you just need a laugh and a break from the hectic season, check out some of this year’s gifts designed just for laughs (and warm feet in the case of heated corgi slippers).

Whether it’s smart and sustainable technology or pizza socks just for fun, stock up on gifts for your favorite techie or for yourself. While you’re in the shopping mood, you can visit Wirecutter for a full-on glut of options for every category of human (everyone from your favorite toddler to the technology disinclined parent) in your life. Go ahead, put something for yourself under the tree while you’re at it. Say it’s from Santa. We won’t tell.

ABOUT PAYREEL:

Looking for payroll options for your independent contractors and freelancers? You can depend on PayReel to assume all of the risks that are associated with worker classification because we make sure every worker gets paid quickly and easily. We even have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. Call us today 303-526-4900 or email us. We handle payroll solutions for video production, live events, media, and entertainment.

money to burn - Payreel

When a payroll company steals—and what you can do to protect yourself

When a payroll company steals—and what you can do to protect yourself 5472 3648 Alicia East

Here we are again: Fraud. Lives disrupted. An FBI investigation.

This time, a New York State-based payroll company is accused of diverting $35 million from employee accounts. As the details come together, it’s worth asking how you can protect yourself.

Why might a business trust a payroll company in the first place?

Trusting a company to handle huge chunks of change (along with your reputation) ain’t no small thing. So why would employers process payroll through a third party?

While paying people may seem like a simple task, it can actually be very complicated, time-consuming, and laden with risk. In many cases, employers hand off payroll to third-party companies to avoid having to navigate the minefield of laws governing taxes, family leave, and other regulations that come with running a business and paying employees. Outsourcing payroll is a way for companies to mitigate risks and offload a time-consuming, labor-intensive task to a company that specializes in that area. It’s like having a whole HR team without having to hire an internal HR team.

How could $35 million just disappear?

When businesses outsource payroll, they send a sum to cover all expenses (including payroll and taxes) to the payroll company who then distributes the paychecks.

A simple typo could lead to an employee receiving extra pay. In that case, a payroll company has the authority to retroactively cancel the check or even withdraw the overage from the account directly. It seems in this case, the company not only withdrew funds specified for legitimate paychecks, but went even further by withdrawing higher amounts than the original paychecks. The result: $35 million in missing funds.

If the investigation confirms the surface facts of this case, this is one egregious scandal. The offending company has since shuttered its doors and scrubbed social media accounts, leaving individuals scrambling for answers and companies figuring out how to pay their employees.

That. Sucks. So how do I find a reputable company?

Good question. Employers trust payroll companies to manage huge sums of money and, as this case shows, problems can have cascading effects. If the money doesn’t make it into an employee’s account or shows up late, said employee may face overdraft/late fees. From there, the frustration and time to fix the problems only build. What’s worse: even if they’ve hired a payroll company, employers can still be held responsible for payroll issues. So yeah, you could say it’s pretty important to get it right. It’s worth doing your due diligence to make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate company.

Here are some factors to consider:

Longevity: A company that’s been around for 30 years without scandal is a good sign. Chances are they’re not running a long game of doing the hard work to build a solid reputation and systems that work just to defraud people later.

Security measures: Payroll companies have HUGE amounts of personally identifiable information (PII) running through their systems on a daily basis. With that level of info, they must have rock solid security measures in place. Make sure your company:

  • Encrypts everything at multiple levels
  • Treats all sensitive information as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and in accordance with HIPAA recommendations
  • Doesn’t allow any sensitive data to go offshore
  • Has regular third-party security checks and an annual penetration test
  • Has a redundancy system that backs up and saves data if something goes wrong

Insurance/guarantees: Even once you’ve done the work of ensuring the above, you still want to find out exactly who is on the hook if a mistake does happen. If a payroll company doesn’t submit payroll taxes on time, for example, the company could be held responsible. You need some assurance that if the payroll company messes something up, it will also clean it up.

Ask questions: Corrupt behaviors tend to start with warning signs. If you think something may be awry, start asking questions or hire someone to look into it.

Bottom line

Most of this kind of fraud, while incredibly frustrating and costly, is highly preventable. As usual, the best approach for protecting yourself is preventing problems in the first place. Any cost or perceived hassle of doing your research and hiring a reputable company (👋 ) in the first place pales in comparison to the potential cost of lax research.

 

About PayReel:

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project. Rely on PayReel to assume all of the risk associated with worker classification and get back to the business at hand. We make sure everyone gets paid quickly and easily and have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team makes video production, live events, media, and entertainment payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

great white shark - Payreel

Live from the Shark Tank: Principles to do business by

Live from the Shark Tank: Principles to do business by 4675 3016 Alicia East

Shark Tank is legendary for the sharks’ personalities, the on-air humbling of would-be entrepreneurs just a little too big for their britches, and of course the on-air deals that make millions for all involved. The best pitches, like this one, identify the problem and solution in just a few sentences, but the pitch alone isn’t everything. The pitchers who are most effective—whether making a deal on set or building a business when they leave it—demonstrate the following principles.

Five principles from the Shark Tank

Story sells

Despite identifying a myriad of issues with the product, Barbara Corcoran invested in a line of swimsuits, not because the business was perfect, but because one of the entrepreneurial hopefuls told a compelling story. The story wasn’t about the swimsuits or about business at all—it was all about love and persistence. It demonstrated some of the qualities that make a good businessperson. Watching it all play out, it seems clear story was the kicker in striking the deal. Being able to communicate your business quickly and effectively is a plus, whether you’re on the proverbial elevator or in a room full of potential investors, but in many cases, the real product is you and your story.

Poise under pressure pays dividends

Watch how this one goes down. Entrepreneur Jeremy Brandt quickly gets four nos for his “Hire Santa” business. Had this elf buckled under pressure when all but Mr. Wonderful declined, he wouldn’t have been in position to negotiate and get the deal he wanted…and with a shark who had already bowed out. Barbara Corcoran—Brandt’s first pick—said she didn’t feel there was room for an investor in his business. Still, after Brandt confidently negotiated with Mr. Wonderful and Daymond John, she swooped in at the end and offered him the deal he really wanted. He was clearly prepared to negotiate and his poise paid off.

No doesn’t mean never


Check out the story of Doorbot/Ring. Every shark passed on investing in the product. These are the pros. There’s never an easier time to give up than when the so-called experts decline involvement. And yet the Doorbot became Ring and went on to become a booming product in the booming business of home security. A no doesn’t always mean it’s over. To bring in another example, JK Rowling got “loads of rejections” before finally landing her Harry Potter franchise with Bloomsbury. Persistence pays off. A “no” may simply mean it’s not the right time or the right team, but not necessarily that it’s not the right product.

Humility is better than the best product

In the same video (above) at minute 1:30, Copa Di Vino’s owner James Martin brings wine by the cup—along with a whole lot of attitude—onto the show. Not just once, but twice. While every shark liked the product, nobody liked the man behind it. He admittedly came back the second time simply to gloat. He smugly sipped wine while playing coy with offers from the sharks. It was very off-putting. The old adage that people want to do business with people like they like is true. Each shark groaned at the thought of doing with business with him. Barbara Corcoran said, “He would’ve ruined our lives.” No matter how great your product or service, it behooves you not to be a total pain in the ass.

Do your due diligence

This is probably the least glamorous part of the whole thing (which is why it happens off-air) but even after striking a deal, the sharks do their research before putting their signatures on anything. They research entrepreneurs’ claims thoroughly and do their due diligence before moving forward. You better believe they also make sure business dealings are clean, worker classification is airtight, etc. This stuff—the unsexy, totally-necessary detail stuff about doing business? This is PayReel’s bread and butter. We know the laws and rules so clients can get back to doing what they do best.

Most Anticipated Shows of the Summer

Most Anticipated Shows of the Summer 150 150 PayReelUser

Summer! It’s a time for slowing down long enough to sip lemonade on the front porch or get lost in a book oceanside. And of course, long, scorching days and short evenings filled with thunderstorms mean we have also officially entered the season of hunkering down indoors to binge-watch our favorite TV shows.

Here are four sizzling summer hits

Stranger Things 3

America’s freedom isn’t the only thing to celebrate this Independence Day. July 4th, Netflix releases the third season of the fan-favorite show, Stranger Things. Rumor has it that season three brings even more special effects as well as twists and turns. Always staying on brand to remind us of all the magic and fear of childhood, this season will take place during the summer with the tagline promise that “One summer can change everything.” Eight episodes will be released at once so prepare to binge.

Big Little Lies

The Monterey Five are back and trying to cope with life after covering up a murder. Their lies, trauma, and conscience catch up to them in this sizzling summer hit. Hollywood legend Meryl Streep joins the cast as Nicole Kidman’s mother-in-law who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth behind her son’s death. There has never before been a show filled with such a strong female cast. The performances are riveting, often painful and always truthful. If you missed them, you can catch up on the first two episodes now on HBO GO and OnDemand.

Snowfall

The return of Snowfall has everyone talking this summer after co-creator John Singleton’s unexpected death in April. Singleton left his mark on Hollywood creating powerful films as both producer and director. His success led to the hit drama that tells the story of the crack cocaine epidemic that emerged in the 1980s. Singleton leaves behind a legacy of controversial films that forces viewers to contemplate tough issues like racism, prejudice, and the culture and hardships of underprivileged black youths in America. Snowfall piggybacks off these themes while resonating with a modern America. The third season premiers on FX July 10th and will stay true to the voice and tone Singleton helped to define in this breakout series.

Surprise Sleeper Hit?

Danny McBride returns to HBO with a new comedy that is sure to strike a chord with American viewers. Always one to push the envelope, this one will likely incite some backlash, but the trailer alone is enough to conjure up some laughs. We don’t recommend this show for everyone, but if it sparks your curiosity you can catch the not-so-family-friendly trailer here.

 

Popcorn - PayReel

Summer movies to make you feel like a kid again

Summer movies to make you feel like a kid again 6000 4000 PayReelUser

This summer movie theaters are sure to be packed with a new generation of viewers who will be introduced to some of our favorite childhood characters. However, kids’ movies aren’t just made for kids these days. Those of us who grew up with beloved characters such as Aladdin, Simba, and Agent Jay will also flock to theaters in droves to revisit our childhood.

I was one of the millions of viewers who rushed to the theater over Memorial Day weekend to witness Guy Ritchie’s fantastical live-action version of Aladdin. Sitting in my reclining leather chair, reminiscing on how different things were when I was a kid, I couldn’t help but wonder why the remakes, reboots, and sequels appeal to us older folk as much as they do to the children.

The performances are charismatic, the humor delightful, the choreographed action sequences captivating and the brilliant colors are mesmerizing. So, no doubt, viewers of varying ages will be entertained. But, at the core, this was a story about true love in the form of friendship, romance, and family. A kind of love that is truthful, accepting, forgiving and willing to put others ahead of our own agenda. It was touching and challenged the viewer to reflect on their own self-worth and motives.

Perhaps as adults, we get so caught up in the rat race of life that we forget the simple principles we learned as children. These nostalgic reboots serve as a reminder of the innocence of childhood. They are also pure entertainment.

Here are 3 movies hitting theaters this summers that are sure to make you feel like a kid again!

The Lion King

Simba comes of age as you’ve never seen him before on July 19th. James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mufasa with a voice full of wisdom that will certainly spark childhood memories.

Toy Story 4

On June 20th, your favorite toys come to life on the big screen (and not in the murderous Child’s Play way, that’s a different movie that also releases that weekend)! Tom Hanks and Tim Allen bring life to Woody and Buzz alongside a cast of great voice actors, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Jordan Peele and many more.

Men in Black: International

A new generation of alien-capturing agents hit theaters this Friday! Not only is Chris Hemsworth sure to draw a crowd (both young and more mature), but Tessa Thompson will introduce a new female hero as the first woman MIB agent.

Here’s to the magic of childhood, summer, and the big screen.

About PayReel:

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project. Rely on PayReel to assume all of the risk associated with contingent workforce management and get back to the business at hand. We make sure everyone gets paid quickly and easily and have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team makes live event, corporate media, and brand management payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

30 years crew connection - PayReel

30 years and 5 lessons

30 years and 5 lessons 800 430 Alicia East

Everyone can see opportunities, but successful people act on them. With a 2-year-old, a newborn, and a home under construction, Heidi McLean had every reason not to fill the need she saw in her world. But instead of making excuses, she went for it—starting a business that connected the film crews she knew from her freelance news work with the companies that needed them. Crew Connection started with just Heidi, incorporated a month later and hired its first employee within a year. When the need for contingent workforce management became clear, PayReel rose to meet it. Together, the sister companies employ about 20 full-time employees and consistently rank among the top Colorado Companies to Watch.

A few decades of experience provide some great tips for anyone looking to grow personally or professionally:

Be persistent

If it seems overwhelming at first and at many points after, that’s because it is. Take small steps. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving slowly, just as long as you’re moving forward.

Be flexible

Sometimes progress is painfully slow, and sometimes growth happens so fast you have to scramble to keep up. Every stage of life and business brings its own challenges (or opportunities). The sooner you accept that there will be endless challenges, the better. Just grow with it.

Be willing to evolve

The minute you settle for what is, you get behind and lose the joy of pursuing what could be. Crew Connection couldn’t get too comfortable operating with the phone lines and fax machines of its inception. With the launch of CrewCloud—which offers customizable online crewing—the business has evolved for the digital age. Being industry pioneers is hard, but a lot of fun.

Surround yourself with the right team

The luxury of being able to shut up is a direct result of being surrounded by advisors and team members who are smarter than you and whose strengths function well together.

Attitude is the ultimate trump card

For team dynamics, attitude trumps everything. If you have to choose between working with someone inexperienced with a positive outlook or one with all the training, but a sour demeanor, the choice is easy. You can develop skills, but a bad attitude is like poison—deadly and difficult to remove. Once it’s in the system, things go downhill fast.

THANK YOU for 30 amazing years.

About PayReel:

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project. Rely on PayReel to assume all of the risk associated with worker classification and get back to the business at hand. We make sure everyone gets paid quickly and easily and have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team makes live event, corporate media, and brand management payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection puts a world of international video and production service providers at your fingertips. In just a few clicks you can search, chat with, and book vetted crews local to your shoot—all on your own schedule. Rely on Crew Connection’s team of media experts to organize the crews and gear you need for multi-day and multi-location video projects anywhere in the world. Our professional crew coordinators are on call around the clock if you ever need live assistance. Sign up on CrewConnection.com, call us at 720-531-9000, or shoot us an email at info@crewconnection.com.