Working For Free (As a filmmaker, freelancer, etc.)

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Taking a detour away from my crowdfunding post #2. 

The Atlanta Film Festival recently posted an article that caught my attention (Link here). While their topic is more geared towards directors, it brings up an interesting issue that surrounds independent film, theater, art, etc. Without volunteer crew members on Days Like This, the project never would have gotten made at the same level. To see interesting ideas by myself or other people I respect fall through due to money is tough. I myself will volunteer if called upon to help a friend I believe in (Max Pham can attest to this). This is not because I look at myself like some hero, but because I know I will soon call upon people to do the same for me. If we foster an environment of support, everyone benefits. 

Also, the goal, if it needs to be restated, is that when our work finally gets noticed and we finally start to make money doing it, we won't forget those who were there when it counted.

But there is the caveat of, "oh, at some point, I need to put food on the table and a roof over my head." This, I support 100%. Someone saying "Hey, you worked for free on so-and-sos project, so you value your time at $0 and will probably work for free for me." This second thought is one I try to snuff out with every inch of me. 

So, sound off because I'm actually curious:
- Do you ever take free gigs?
- Why, why not?
- Do you think people should work on your material for free? 

About the author


Daniel is a Director/Producer of short films who sometimes appears on screen. His most recent production and directorial debut "Days Like This" Premiered at the Palm Springs International ShortFest in June of 2013. Daniel spends much of his time thinking about the crossover between art and commerce. When not making…

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