The trouble is, there are many people out there looking for a free lunch. The trick with working for free is to ask yourself what the benefit will be to you, and whether or not it's likely to be worth it in the end. In this very funny 2009 video by Scofield Entertainment, some film-makers have cooked up a very entertaining satire on on the "Work For Free" culture of much digital media today.
The video essentially poses the question: what if the folks asking for free stuff from digital artists were trying to get hold of real world items like food, haircuts and DVDs? How far would it get them?
On a personal note, I have worked for free on many occasions, and I still do. The questions I always ask myself are: do I have the time to do? Is it a good cause? And, if so, is it worth it?
I have done many charity jobs over the years, some of which have been very rewarding in non-financial ways (I'm doing one now, a design for a invitation for a charity auction). Charity work can be fun, and you tend to meet a lot of great people.
|A design for a deckchair for London's Parks|
|A charity gig in 2012 for "The Big Egg Hunt" in London. Like the cows - but with eggs|
For more on how to survive and thrive in the animation industry, read this post. Also read about what studios look for in a great demo reel, and read our guide to student demo reels. Hear what London's Blue Zoo has to say about finding work, and take a look at this video on portfolios by Sony Pictures Animation. You can also watch Alex's ten minute video on creating a great reel, and read this post on the perfect demo reel. Also, 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. Learn the nuts and bolts of freelance life by reading our guide to invoicing clients, and our guide to putting together a great CV. Also download the free Escape Studios guide to careers in VFX.