Where are you looking? There's no where for us to see what is available. If you are looking in the app where it says assignments, those are only what has been assigned to you. You pretty much have to call them to find out what is available. Or you could try emailing them.
One thing with the app, if you are having trouble getting it to connect, try turning the wifi on your phone off and then back on. About 25% of the time it doesn't want to connect when you try logging in and turning the wifi off and on fixes it every time. Beats me. Just a bug in the app. Once logged in I never have any problem. If fact, I can login at home, and then go from theater to theater and I stay logged in until I shut the app down.
Re: 12 hours. I did have one standee take about 8 or so. Despicable Me 3 with that car. ugggghhhhhhh
Never had a MM one take more than 2 hours at first build, and I can usually cut that almost by half once I know the design. They do pay very well overall. Never been paid $7 for a standee. CFA was down to 7 for a flat card at the end though.
I tend to agree with you @weatherman2111 on the time for standees, but for some people they are just more difficult and I know there was one time I was nearly in tears with a standee, so I feel for those that get one that is difficult for them.
@kathierost no assignments show up in your app unless they are assigned to you. I read back through this thread and the assertion in January that the app would be updated so you could see available shops has not happened.
I have done trailer checks back when I was laid off, probably a decade or more ago. Since I freelance, I still do them when I can. Back then, I checked screens. Now - prints. Way less money to make and I have started declining. Not worth my time to commute, screen trailers, report, etc. for one showtime. Sometimes I check the same film for two companies but not as often as I used to. CFA still has trailer checks but very few. Yes, I most definitely take a seat! Especially when there is a lag between screens. My regular theater has 24 screens that are split all day, so I am sometimes checking two overlapping screens and going between them, so no time to sit. I most definitely take a seat (if nothing else is showing) during Marvel films and holidays, since there could be 10 trailers (that's 25 to 30 minutes of trailers). Since it's dark, I try to stay out of the aisle when standing so people don't run into me in the dark. Like I said, I've been doing this for a long time and have a system. However, rates have gotten so low especially with the print issue and the spreading out of films. I could spend the day trying to catch prints split on 24 screens all day. The other theater I check has 16 screens, also split because they have IMAX, RPX, 4D, etc. A few weeks ago, with so many split screens, then reporting, I average about $2 an hour. Good thing it was pouring rain and I had nothing to do. Trailer checking used to be good extra cash. Now it is nothing but...a few bucks. CFA had a hard time getting the job done for those "print" rates of $7. They would not bonus until the last possible minute late at night. Who is heading out at that hour? Now that my other company is only paying prints, they seem to be having the same issue. Films going unchecked. Perhaps rates will go up. $2 an hour is not worth my time to run around a theater.
Re: sitting during trailer checks—
Ideally, if you’re only there for the trailer check, it’s best practice not to sit (MovieMEASURE, and I’m sure other ethically-minded companies in the same business, advise the same). I think there are a couple of reasons behind this: a.) with the increasing number of methods in which one can buy tickets to the movies, you never truly know whether you’re sitting in someone else’s seat, and you want to avoid inconveniencing anyone, and b.) the corollary to that is those patrons have *paid* to sit in those seats for the trailers, the movie, and the credits. As a trailer checker, I’ve paid nothing; indeed, I’m being compensated.
That said, I think it’s a matter of judgment. As a previous poster mentioned, there are times when it’s okay (or even better) to sit. Say, like, when a theater attendant asks you to do so, LOL. Additionally, I’ve frequently found that earlier shows often equal deserted theaters (although this week and The Lion King seems to be a totally different story). But most 10:30 AM shows for most movies aren’t even half full. Also, in NYC we have the Alamo movie theater, which is one of those where you order food and drinks to your seat; in general, standing during that trailer check is a nightmare for the servers and yourself.
This last weekend for Lion King was the first time I’ve had to move due to a seat being bought.
I always sit up front where it’s usually empty. Some of these smaller auditoriums were packed and even the huge Dolby auditorium was packed where I had to move.
Anyway, my main theater is an AMC and Fandango is usually spot-on in regards to which seats have been bought. So, you can definitely avoid being in the way if you use that website in another tab to stay ahead of the game.
Besides, I don’t want anyone thinking I work for the theater. There were folks getting kicked out for taking seats that weren’t theirs last weekend and I certainly have been mistaken as an employee and gotten fussed at for sold out auditoriums on valentine’s night that wrecked plans. At that point, all I can say is “Find an actual employee, dude!”
I did trailer checks for both Certified and VeriTES for about five years (several years ago). I was very happy doing them, and the assignments for "my" theater never hit the board -- my scheduler just called me the day before with the movie titles and showtimes, and all I had to do was login to get the paperwork. Reporting was easy -- just call it in after the trailer. And the pay was good because there were always re-checks and midnight shows (all nicely bonused), plus lobby checks, open checks, etc.. Also, in addition to my theater, I was usually asked to go to other nearby theaters. There were several of big movie theaters in my nearby area. It got to a point that I was kept so busy just going to theaters, that I didn't do any actual mystery shops or audits. Then I moved out of that area, and no more theater checking for me. So I've been out of the loop. I'm sorry to hear that Certified is not the big player anymore.
But now I live in a different city, and there's one big movie theater nearby. I get the emails from MF, but the pay is too low. The base pay with Certified was 12.50 + 2.50, so I just can't bring myself to do it for less.
I must be missing something as I just do not see what the draw is to do the trailer checks. Seems like a lot of time for $7. I registered to do them with MM. But when I read through it all realizing I have to travel 25 minutes to the theatre, find parking at the mall, walk through the mall, stand in lines at the theatre, wait for the trailers to begin, watch trailers for 20-30 minutes, possibly wait 2 hours for another movie to start so I can earn $14 instead of $7, then walk through mall and parking lot, drive 25 minutes to home. That is hours of work for $7 possibly $14 if I am at the theatre all night.
Am I missing something? How is this financially beneficial for us as independent mystery shoppers?
I agree if it is a single showtime and you have a long drive, it does not seem worth it as would any shop. However, on the flip side, Lion King was such a big release I found myself moving from theater screen to theater screen in 15-30 minute intervals and the pay adds up. For every week that seems a dud, you may have a lucrative one.
Fortunately, my nearest theaters are not located in a mall; however, you could try to use that to your advantage if you can align another mystery shop while you are there. Big box stores tend to be in the mall parking lot area here. Also, I try to knock them out at the earliest showtimes when there are no lines, no issues with seating.
FWIW, I am only speaking from experience with VeriTes and have been for 10 years. I have not tried out Movie Measure.
Trailer checks are not moneymakers. Years ago, the fee was higher and they paid by screen so a checker could make decent money. Times changed. Lower fees, paid by print not screen/auditorium, wait times in between checks, etc., reporting, etc. I had to cut down on my checking.
Hobbs & Shaw is out this weekend and noticed there is a theater near me not taken, so thought might be fun to do the trailer checks and catch a little bit of the movie. But after checking Fandango, it's on 6 screens, so you're going to have to be there for about 3 1/2 hrs for $20. And then one screen is only at 12:30 and 3:35 so no doing them in the evening. Forget it.
As far as sitting while doing trailer checks, how much are they paying? You better believe I'm sitting. Who's going to stand for 3 1/2 hrs while making $20? If somebody says you're sitting in their seat, just say, oh SORRY, I'm just doing trailer checks, and move to another seat if there is one. Even though there is no longer any paperwork, I still carry a clipboard around with me with something that looks like paperwork on it so I look official. People just figure you're working or something, which you are. Its no big deal. The clipboard trick even works for the employees.
How come we didn't get the Playing With Fire standee? It was a huge fire truck. Looked halfway challenging. Came in 3 boxes. 7 pages just of the parts. 49 pages of instructions. Puzzling it only paid $100. Godzilla paid $120 and wasn't as hard. I wanted to get to do one. Who doesn't want to get to put a firetruck together. Alas in fact there were no standees in July at all. :-(
Still can't figure out how something that comes in 3 boxes and has 7 pages just of the parts, oh, and had 130 screws. How's that only pay $100? That should have got a bonus just for anybody willing to attempt it. But apparently MM didn't get any.
Now that we're checking prints...just wondering if anyone has had to go back to a theater multiple times in one day to check all the screens showing an assigned film. For Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, I checked: 11:15 am, 1:15 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:30 pm, 8:15 pm. All were unique screens - I did not check the same screen twice.
Some of the screens only had one show time of the assigned feature. No, I didn't stay in the area - I went home (14 miles round trip) because I didn't want to shop at Kohls or Marshalls, or have lunch out since I wasn't looking to spend $$ that day.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2019 12:40PM by katfromct7.
@katfromct7, I absolutely have (still recovering from Post Lion King Trailer Check Trauma)! The long gaps can be tough. IMHO, I think we’re getting worse by the day because we’re so used to being entertained by our technology (oh, the irony!), and I’m definitely guilty of being fidgety waiting for that next showtime. Being in NYC, I’ve learned to love to walk outside a lot (but not in December), and in cases of extra-long gaps, I’m looking into going to a yoga class or something (I’ve got a ClassPass lite account that I should put to use somehow...). @stormraven73 is right on about trying to schedule shops during breaks on trailer check days, too. There are a few not very rigorous fast casual dining shops that I always hope are available and in the vicinity when I’m doing trailer checks. If your cinema is located in/near a mall, I’m betting there may be some potential shops. Additionally, checking out mobile apps like Field Agent, Gigwalk, Observa and EasyShift on those long breaks might be worthwhile, too, if you’re not opposed to taking pics with your phone and doing audit stuff. I know you won’t pay off a mortgage that way, but you might save on gas.
thank you - I appreciate your response and ideas. They may work for some people.
However, I have a husband and family. My Fridays are pretty hectic without trying to come up with mystery shops to keep me in the area...and then I would need to write the shop reports that night, as well.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/2019 10:16PM by katfromct7.
I have signed up with M-M and have done my first trailer check with them. I am really looking forward to doing standee installs with them now that MF seems to be out of that line of business. In addition to M-M, what other companies offer standee installs? My searching has only turned up old information for companies that no longer do movie work. Thanks!
There's Vision Media, but checking their website, I don't even see a way to sign up. Not that it matters. They assign theaters and if all the theaters in your area are already taken, no way to get any work. And they pay real good so people don't give their theaters up.
Disney has some merchandising (think Walmart type stuff) company do their standees. That company pays by the hour. And not all that much. Plus they have an app that tracks you so if you say it took 5 hrs, you need to have been in the theater for 5 hrs even if it only took you 2. If you say it took 2 hrs, you didn't make any money. Besides, have you ever checked out those Disney standees? They are very intricate and even with 10 yrs experience, I just shake my head and wonder what the instructions must look like.
With Disney buying Fox, that's probably 1/3 to 1/2 of the standees that are no longer available now. So no matter who's getting the remaining work, there's less to go around. Market Force use to get the work, but they never paid very good. If you were fast you could make it work. Otherwise really didn't pay. i think one problem MM has with getting work is they aren't able to cover enough of the theaters. So it may be over. Not 100%, but MM is probably only going to get stuff now and then. Good thing I no longer need the money. Last 3-4 yrs I've just been doing them for fun and an excuse to get out of the house. Going to miss doing them. I wanted to get to do the Fire Truck one, but apparently Vision got it, so no way too.