Here’s the text of an ad I saw on craigslist just last night:
“I need someone to create 10 original Motion 3 templates in broadcast quality 1080i60. Each template must be between 20 to 30 seconds in length and use a 3D effect of some sort. Pay is $200. Perfect work if you are talented and fast. Please have samples of your work available for me to see. In your response please let me know what your turnaround time for the templates would be.
You should be able to send me a quicktime version for approval, before we exchange final payment and sending the of the files. Again, this must be an original template.
This will probably turn into a regular monthly or bi-weekly task for the right person.”
Really? 10 original broadcast-quality templates for $200? I’ve been working with motion graphics for years and have created what I would call broadcast-quality templates, and each one took me a few days to create. I understand that there are plenty of folks looking to break into this (or any) industry who are willing to work for cheap or for free in order to get a foot in the door – I did it myself back in the day – but I would never advise anyone to take a job like this. If the producer is really looking for original, quality work, then they should pay for it – and no one who is capable of providing original, quality work should be giving it away for free.
One more point to my little rant. Notice how the ad promises that it will “probably turn into a regular task” – well, I’ll tell you from personal experience (and I’ve heard many other folks say the same thing): once you do a job for someone, you have locked in your price. Doing that first job at a discount in order to get more work at full price just doesn’t pan out that way.
If you are a newbie looking for experience, you may have to work cheap or work for free for to get experience and make connections. If you are good at what you do, then charge what your time is worth! Send these types of producers the message that they can’t rip off artists that spend years learning their craft.