Working For Free: Is That A Good Thing?

Working For Free: Is That A Good Thing?

Have you ever considered working on some project with a team for free to support an idea or to develop and show your skills?

Have you ever considered working on some project with a team for free to support an idea or to develop and show your skills? How good philanthropy when it comes to the game industry? There are also other options like accepting low payments. Fausto De Martini has recently discussed his take on the topic, showing that philanthropy might actually be destructive. Let’s study the opinion and discuss! 

I have been planning to post this for a while now, but I feel this is the perfect moment for it.
Since I started to work as a freelance artist I have received TONS of emails and messages about working for free or with low payments on projects. So here is my take: by accepting these types of offer, I always felt I would help to slowly destroy the very industry that now gives us jobs. Why? Because by providing work for free or a really low rate I’m devaluing the rest of the industry.

No matter how famous a director or a property is, you have no reason to give him a very low rate or free work because is a cool project. If someone takes your work seriously and he wants to partner with you on a project, he will offer a percentage or something along those lines. To simply say “its such an awesome project” or “your work will be on the big screen” is a very manipulative way to take advantage of artists.

I will give you a good example. I have my own project called EDGE, and everyone I have hired to work on it has been paid their full rate. My project and budget are much smaller but I give the respect I want to receive from other artists.

If he is a well-known director that has a passion project, he probably has the means to pay the artists he wants to hire. If not, they should do the same as I do and save money for it. Or even do a crowdfunding to raise money and actually delivers a product to fans. 
In my view, nobody has the responsibility for your passion project other than yourself so put some money aside (or do a crowdfunding to raise money and pay the artists you need) and don’t try to scam younger artists to do free work.

Let me draw a small parallel for you. Try to walk into a car dealership and do the following:

Approach a sales person and say: I’m a HUGE fan of your car! I love your car so much that I want to drive it for free… but check this out: I live in a great neighborhood where people have lots of money and that will give your car TONS of exposure!

See if that is going to work.

Fausto De Martini 

Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Comments 7

  • someone

    Free work is ok if it's not-commercical project, such as modding for game. If it's commercical and they're going to make money off your work then it's unfair.

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    someone

    ·a year ago·
  • DenKuzn

    I presume you think a little tight about that.
    When you have small exp and dont have any level of modeling (like), for practice and gaining experience? work with small salary - best way to inter in gamedev.

    0

    DenKuzn

    ·a year ago·
  • Ghostlag

    It's easy for an established artist who can draw work to say that. But for people starting out and wanting to create a portfolio of some sort, free work is the only available avenue for them. Of course you should work for pay if the project you're applying to is making a profit off of your work. But what if there's a modding project you'd like to work on or create yourself? Does that still "devalue the industry"?

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    Ghostlag

    ·a year ago·
  • Anonymous user

    Folks sorry if this is too long, but I have to say it.

    I totally agree with Fausto.
    Everybody deserves to be paid for the work they do. In my opinion doing for free is like disrespect yourself and disregard all the hours, nights you sacrificed to get to a certain level.
    If you look around anywhere you go globally, there is this lack of value towards people or their profession. I have noticed a lot of that in this industry during my 2 year experience. Everybody wants a cinematic shot and pay as a cheap vignette.

    Folks you have to trust yourselves and recognize that before being an Artist you are a Human Being and value more, much more. Don't let a name or a brand deceive you. I understand all of us need money and most are short of it, but don't think that working for free in a cool project will get you new submissions or pay your bills, 99,9% it wont. I have received many propositions from freelance cinematographers to directors in Sao Paulo and Rio to work for free in their cool projects and I have constantly rejected the idea. Not because I'm the best artist but because I recognize what is value.

    I'm working as freelancer for 2 years now after abandoning a very successful carrier as IT engineer in very known Corporation. I risked all from ground zero to follow my passion and dreams. It´s been a crazy ride since then and much learning curves to achieve an opportunity in this industry, but something peculiar I never left behind is the understand I Value More. I wish you all great success.

    Fausto, thank you to bring this up. You are an unbelievable artist.

    0

    Anonymous user

    ·a year ago·
  • Kim

    Couldn't agree more!

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    Kim

    ·a year ago·
  • jme

    Working for free for the big screen is a joke. I though this touched the subject of ambitious modding or something along these lines.

    0

    jme

    ·a year ago·
  • Anonymous user

    I couldn't agree more with you. I noticed that usually, these people are also beginners and don't know the reality of a production nor what it takes to create great art.

    0

    Anonymous user

    ·a year ago·

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Working For Free: Is That A Good Thing?