If it’s a film, the next stage is a storyboard animatic, usually edited together with sound and music, and a style guide, so the client knows exactly what they’re going to get. Show them samples of other films and agree a style for their project. Once you start animation it will too late to change this, so make sure you are agreed in advance.
|All good freelancers deliver on time. Photo: Wikipedia|
One of the hardest things about client projects is learning to take client notes with good grace. On every job, clients will give you notes which you don’t agree with. Try not to disagree openly with the client. The best response to a dumb idea is to say "that's a great idea, why don't we try this..." and try to steer them in a less silly direction. Sometimes though you just have to do what you are told and make the best of it. Make it look as good as you can. Contrary to popular belief, you can polish a turd.
Finally, be positive. Clients want to feel that you are as excited about the project as they are. Even if you've just done an all-nighter and you feel like screaming at their latest ridiculous changes that they should have told you about weeks ago, be upbeat and optimistic. Make them feel good about working with you - remember that they are taking a risk by using your services for the first time.
For more practical advice on freelance careers, check out this post on your first client project, read out our post on Portfolio Careers, and read this piece on Survival as a Freelancer. Learn the nuts and bolts of freelance life by reading our guide to invoicing clients, and our guide to freelancers and taxes. For more on careers in general, check out our guide to animation careers here, and also take a look at this map of digital studios - a great place to start your search for work in the business. Finally see our article on the jobs page at awn.com