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More free work requests, more emails saying no

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

More free work requests, more emails saying no

Postby Charles » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:16 pm

I get emails like this all the time. Mostly through the Academy but quite often through AN as well. Message is edited to protect the identity of the individual.

..................


Hello,

I am currently looking for some talent to help us with a project we are working on. I work for a small Independent company called. I am also an employee at ****** here in Hollywood. We are working on an Animation project with help from our VFX and Animation Departments here at ******. We have some Investors interested but we still need to do a presentation with a "Bible" that explains the storyline, plot and character backgrounds. What we need is motivated 3D artists to help us draw 24 characters so we can get this project going. There is no pay but they will get Credit, their own copy of the Bible with their name in it with all sketches and progress of their work, we will include them in our website and hopefully if we get picked up we will try to give them a job on our team. What I'm wondering is if there is a possible way to get some of your students to do maybe an internship with our Independent company or if this would even be possible at all. I hope to hear from you soon and thank you for your time.
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Re: More free work requests, more emails saying no

Postby Charles » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:18 pm

This was my response...

..............


I'm afraid there's not much that we can do without compensation associated with the project. Students will simply not respond. We get requests like yours all the time and they go nowhere. What you're looking to do is the same thing our students are doing. Developing their own projects. If we forward this notice it will be an embarrassment and our students will find it offensive. It's not possible to generate interest by offering production credit alone. Especially in consideration of the amount of work that you're asking for which is significant.

Thanks for getting in touch and for keeping the Academy in mind. In the future should the nature of the situation change and you're able to offer something realistic as part of the deal, something that would attract talent to what you're doing, we'll be happy to help.

Good luck and best wishes,

Charles Zembillas
The Animation Academy
Burbank CA

http://TheAnimationAcademy.com
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Re: More free work requests, more emails saying no

Postby Dolphin78 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:09 pm

Spec projects and vanity projects go hand in hand, but vanity ones are more rewarding.
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Re: More free work requests, more emails saying no

Postby EAllen » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:55 pm

The professional thing to do, as always with any project, is to offer some form of compensation. Bottom line. I don't care if it's a gift card, free season tickets to Chargers games, or free website hosting space--just, SOMETHING, y'know?


When I staff up my project, the crew will be fairly compensated. That's a minimum.
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Re: More free work requests, more emails saying no

Postby Greg B » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:21 pm

Boone's First Rule Of Business:
ou
"Free is the most damned expensive thing that you will do in business."

With 1/3 of all Americans on some form of federal welfare, people losing their homes right and left, there are still people and companies that will try to rip you off with that 'spec' bull.

Nobody in the Free Friggin' World can work for spec. Don't even approach me with spec or I just might kick an ass until the Sun roasts crumpets in their butt.

Right now I'm looking at the global internet marketing industry trying to get Americans to work for the same salaries as people in Third World countries. The Liberals got their wish with that "Global Love The World One Brotherhood" nonsense because now Americans are just as poor as those other countries that don't understand what a Republic is. The whole country has turned into a slum and some creep wants people to work on spec?

Charles your reply was gracious. I would have cussed that guy out for trying to get cheap labor by exploiting young people.
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Re: More free work requests, more emails saying no

Postby Charles » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:17 pm

I get requests like these all the time. Phone calls and email. Last week I started laughing on the phone when one fellow called looking for interns to do free work on his project in exchange for... dig this... class credits at my school! :o :shock: :lol:

My response was literally... Lotsa luck pal.

Oftentimes they have this confident bravado to their voice like they're doing us a favor by having Academy students work on their projects for free.

Anyway Greg, I try to be as gracious as possible and do my best to educate these people.

I got a call from someone today who's looking for an artist to do some animation work and they're willing to pay. How much I don't know as I haven't returned the call yet. The irony in this is that they're from a non-profit group! Maybe they understand what it's like to fish for funds first and not take artists for granted. We'll see what happens.
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Re: More free work requests, more emails saying no

Postby Charles » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:37 pm

Haven't sent a reply to this yet. Here's what came in today. At least with these guys there's some good exposure as they have a substantial following and community.

....................


I am writing you because we thought it would be mutually beneficial for us, the artist and a design school to partner up on these projects. We would get to see a variety of videos to choose from, and the school would have an exciting project to assign students that allows them to be as creative as they want, and the artist gets to see their work and their credited name displayed to roughly half a million people. We are very open to artistic interpretation and there are no boundaries. How it would work would be for us to send you the audio sample for the release or promo, and your students can design any video they want, and we'll pick the best one and post it, giving full credit to the student. So it also has kind of a contest aspect to it to further contribute to the fun factor of the project. So overall it's easy to see how this benefits every one involved. Thanks for your time and I hope to hear back and work with you.

.................

Notice friends that an importance issue has not been mentioned.

Who owns the video? If we're using the audio that they provide and produce the content for free in exchange for exposure through their network... who... owns... the video???

8-) :roll: :P
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Re: More free work requests, more emails saying no

Postby tstevens » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:27 pm

Unfortunately there will be a student who will jump at this thinking they might hit it big. I don't get too many of these inquiries any more and I rarely do spec storyboards or designs. When I do spec work it is usually for agencies that have thrown me quite a bit of work over the years. More often than not I generally charge for pre-pro work and credit that amount to the production if the job gets awarded.

Also, as a warning to students out there, make sure that you always get an artistic services agreement stating who owns the property, when you can use the work for portfolio purposes, what the terms of payment are, and when those payments are due. This document should be signed by both parties and the artist should get either an original or a copy for their records. In general, unless you know the producer well, never start work until you have money down. When it comes to starting work, most companies should be able to cut a check almost immediately. If they can not get you a check to start work, then don't do anything: as my grandpa use to say, it isn't a job till you get the check. I normally do 50% down. If you quote the job correctly, 50% should be your cost. If you do the work and don't get paid in full, the 50% down covers your cost so you aren't out any major amount. However, final payment generally take anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks depending on the company. If you feel like a producer might be a little sketchy, you can hold final delivery of work until you get final payment. This might entail low res files with water marks to prove that the work has been completed according to the standards required. Also remember that all things are negotiable and most producers will expect to haggle a bit.

Again, always get money down and a signed contract!
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Re: More free work requests, more emails saying no

Postby Charles » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:34 am

If any of these requests got to the point where there was a reason for students to negotiate contracts your professional advice would be well received. It's well received anyway even in light of these "free work we're doing you a favor" emails.

Here's another one that came in yesterday. At least they're offering $150 to $200 for 4 minutes of Flash animation. :lol:

This is paraphrased...

..............


I am a Producer looking to find a talented, local animation student for a fun project. We need someone who has a gift for Flash animation. This will be a 4min (at the most) short geared towards [several major animation networks and outlets named], and the like. I am looking to work with someone who is passionate, talented, and thinks outside the box. My production team and I are prepared to offer between $150 & $200. It is imperative that this person is communicative, and efficient as well as talented.

..............

But of course! It's imperative that this person is all of the above for a $200 at the most job for 4 minutes of animation. :roll:

I'm debating whether it's worth my while to answer any of these emails anymore. When I do it's mostly to educate these people about our business. What do you do Mr. or Ms. Producer? Would you work for a month or two for $150 to $200 or even for free? While using your own equipment? And give away the rights to your work on top of that? :shock:
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Re: More free work requests, more emails saying no

Postby SNAKEBITE » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:41 pm

Create a form letter from your intitial response about students laughing etc and just use that to respond to all these people.
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