Experience is priceless (but for everything else there’s Mastercard)

As a student, and new-to-industry editor and VFX artist, it’s very common for me to take on any new projects that I manage to find. These are, more often than not, not paid ventures, and offer to cover only the price of expenses. (i.e. travel, for some reason lunch doesn’t seem to matter when working on a video)

What do I get out of it? Only a student’s most valuable commodity – EXPERIENCE. (and dare I say it, it’ll look good on a CV)
I’ve more than once impressed my friends, and sometimes future clients, with a long list of things I’ve done. In fact, a large section of my resume is an inventory of companies I’ve managed to get involved with.

Sadly there comes a point though, when we can no longer quixotically live in our mother’s basement, and there are bills to be paid, pot noodles to be bought, a life to be had. Thankfully I haven’t got to that point yet (and therefore have no life), but when I do, there’s going to be a line to be drawn. Do I work for free? Do I charge for my services? How much? In what context? And for whom?

Along with these deep (at least I think so) questions, there’s another main point to ponder. How much am I worth?
Incidentally, I was in a lecture at my college recently, where as a side note the tutor asked me to hazard a guess as to this same quandary. Torn with curiosity (ok, I’ll stop being so melodramatic now), I did some research and found that there are actually accepted ways to do this.
Stolen anecdote: (and therefore the details are probably incorrect) A guy once attended an interview to be a location manager on a production. At the interview, he was asked how much he wanted to be paid; he said £3000 (meaning per month). The producer said ok, sure. A week into production, he received his first paycheck of £3000, and realised that the producer had put a bigger price tag on what he was worth, and he was getting paid about 4 times what he at first thought he deserved. (Meaningful pause)

I’ll round up this post with a point that contradicts everything I’ve just said, and announce a new aspect of ENERGY STUDIOS. I’m planning on going through my old Cinema 4D models, retouching them and uploading them up here for FREE (that’s right, you heard me) to the motion graphics community. Hopefully I will also do video tutorials, not only to help VFX/motion graphics beginners, but also to help me improve my own skills.

This post was not sponsored by MasterCard. (But I wouldn’t complain 😉

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