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  • If you can dream it, you can do it. -Walt Disney

  • Quality is a great business plan. -John Lasseter

  • Let's make some funny pictures. -Tex Avery

  • I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. -Howard Zinn

  • When critics sit in judgment it is hard to tell where justice leaves off and vengeance begins. -Chuck Jones

  • And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? -Jesus

  • A man should never neglect his family for business. -Walt Disney

  • What's most important in animation is the emotions and the ideas being portrayed. -Ralph Bakshi

  • Once you have heard a strange audience burst into laughter at a film you directed, you realize what the word joy is all about. -Chuck Jones

  • Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. -Buddhist Proverb

United We Brand - Lesson #1: Be Professional

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

United We Brand - Lesson #1: Be Professional

Postby ChanceRaz » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:49 am


Happy Saturday, AN!

Here's a little perspective for all us pencil/pixel-pushers on an issue that goes far beyond animation. In response to the recent viral video by Stephen Silver, my good friend, Luis Escobar, just emailed me this video along with an article (Free PDF Download Here) on the specifics of "Working For Free". Check out master Sci-Fi/Horror writer, Harlan Ellison's take on the subject in the footage above (and I thought animators were upset about this - I think maybe we came in 2nd!) ;)

With as common a practice as "working for free" has become (due, at least in part, to "the oversaturation of eager newcomers trying to break into the entertainment business"), Mr. Ellison here has every right to be upset. Believe it or not, there was a time (not so very long ago) when this "work for free" mindset did not exist. Over time, however, this issue causes (and has caused) a ripple effect, which inevitably leads to the industrywide expectation that "even if you have a budget, you should be able to get it for free." This is simply basic human nature - give an inch, take a mile. But guess doesn't have to be this way! If we, as individuals, simply and collectively stop giving the inch away for nothing, both the inch and the mile become valuable again.

We can all learn a lot from Harlan's final thought about "the 'amateurs' being the source of the problem" (and I'm paraphrasing a little.) Despite his obvious anger and frustration with the issue, the lesson in all of this is still a very positive one: "Always Be Professional." Even if you don't think your work has reached a professional level yet, there's no need to treat it like it's worthless - like an 'amateur'. Your time has value! Your energy has value! Therefore, the work you used both of those resources to create has value!

Even if you feel your work is only worth $5...GET THE $5. If you don't feel right selling your work yet, there's a little thing called "Trade For Service" - just make sure what you're getting in return is at least equal to what you're trading (you are not "giving it away!") Always thinking like this, like Professionals, is just one of the many ways we as artists can perpetually better our situations and careers. This is a solution that requires nothing more than a firm, personal decision on your part. Just because we love doing what we get paid for does not make it any less WORK! If we all agree, make the decision together, and then act on it...well then the masses have changed for the better, haven't they?

Do you feel me? Here's how you can show it:

1. Sign The United We Brand iPetition:
2. "Like" United We Brand on Facebook:
3. Start (and Continue, to those who already are) Acting Like a Professional!!!

That's it! That's all it takes, but talking about it is not enough - I, you, we each have the power right now, today, to be the strong, confident, and yes, still generous artists I know we all can be. The pioneers and heroes we all look up to and believe in stood (and stand) up for what is right - my hero, Jesus Christ sure did! Let's stand up for ourselves and our skills, talents, gifts, and blessings - not just as artists, but as professionals in any field.

You can always give someone a deal or discount without giving your hard work away for free! And hey, I don't preach anything I'm not willing to practice - I charge even my best friends a very fair, discounted rate for my work - and guess what...they're happy to pay it because the quality I'm giving them is worth it! And so is what you do!! So are you!!! :)

We're All In This Together,
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:38 pm

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