In creative industries like film & television post-production, it’s extremely common to see job listings for free or low paid work, but how do you know if it’s worth it or if you should run for the hills? After all, would you ask for services for free in other industries?
In this episode I have a candid conversation with feature film editor Alan Bell (The Hunger Games, The Amazing Spider-Man, 500 Days of Summer) about how to distinguish between whether or not a low or no paying job is worth the gamble. We evaluate the many reasons that a specific job opportunity may be worth it based on the potential long-term payoffs, and we also talk about when it is absolutely unacceptable under any circumstances to take on a job that is clearly looking to exploit your talents and experience.
I have also created a helpful bonus document for this episode with a series of questions that can help you evaluate your next low or no-paying job opportunity, and it also includes a list of helpful questions that you can ask your potential employer as well.
- Alan’s background and credits
- Is free work the right thing for your career?
- There is good kind of free work out there, you just have to watch for it
- You can’t treat every film and every job posting the same way
- Why I decided to leave a high paying job to go cut a low paying indie film
- Never take a free job if you’re not going to get something out of it: participation points, producing, new experience etc
- How Alan got his start in the film industry with free work
- Alan’s work experience with Norman Hollyn
- How I learned After Effects by working FOR FREE
- Free work that’s right for one person might not be right for another
- Take stock of where you are in your career and life before deciding to work for free
- How taking on a free web series (Bannan Way link..which site should this link to?) helped jump start my career in television
- Building relationships is a key component to finding quality work
- Bring your own questions to an interview! Make sure the job is a good fit for you
- Take the work that’s good instead of taking the work that’s there
- Questions you should ask during an interview
- Know your own temperament
- The best job listing in the history of job listings
- Learn how to spot the “catch phrases” and red flags of exploitative producers
- Be honest with yourself and surround yourself with honest people
- Be aware of your situation and decide what’s best for you