I work within the production of moving and still pictures. I have done so for about twenty years. Most times, I find locations and coordinate all production logistics on a commercial level. I have worked on movies, corporate films, music videos, and many other productions. I’ve done and do these things for a living. A living means getting paid for what you do. It’s simple really. Like your Dentist or Dog Groomer, your Waitress or the Lawn Guys - I provide a service for a fee.
People outside the production biz with “real jobs” show up, do their work, and also – get a check.
While the challenge of producing a steady paycheck in our business is larger when you’re self-employed, I do what I do for one of those checks. My job is often performed within a hip creative environment that I like doing. Art? Maybe. That should not devalue the ideal of it being a job.
Please tell me how this concept of FREE LABOR got started?
Let me be clear.
Working on a real movie crew for pay and making a movie with friends for no money are two different things. The former being a job that provides an income to a family and contributes to a local economy. That is what I’m talking about here. While it is glamourous to have a movie shot in your State, filming incentives are about economics and paying jobs.
Making a movie with friends and not getting paid, although admirable and respected because you’re realizing a dream with sparse resources, is a hobby. You are not part of the working crew.
Let me be clear II.
I’m also not talking about PSAs and charity pro bono work for a cause or fair trade. I get the up-and-coming want-a-be and breaking-in thing. We were all there once. But how much FREE can you do before qualifying your passion as a career? If you feel like you still want to work with friends on personal projects – for free – knock yourself out. Good for you. I would merely suggest that after you are paid once, charge for your services the next time. When you don’t charge, it reflects negatively on a local working market and does nothing for the infrastructure of the future.
Why be in business of any kind and give it away all the time? Doing so alters the local economy.
No matter what you do in life – when you love it and you’re doing it, there’s nothing better. Now imagine calling that a job and even a career if you are paid for your hard work. This is what I do.
The art and creativity are the icing on one of the most collaborative gigs in the universe. A gig that pays.
Photos and words are a COPYRIGHT Jamie Vesay 2011-2012 USE OF ANY material requires permission.