More and more little critters have been popping up on t’Internet over the last 12 months, so I thought I’d gather them together and let you know what’s going on!
Sound designer and composer David Kamp set about a project called ‘Sound Creatures‘ this time last year and asked artists and animators from around the world to visualise his “collection of disembodied sounds recorded from the undergrowth”.
Unique style is hard to come by nowadays in a world of video-sharing websites and accessible software, but this surreal short film cut-through and grabbed my attention. Using a wide range of mixed media from paints and pastels, plus software such as After Effects, Blender and even Windows 3D Movie Maker (remember? from 1995!), Dan Jacobs has created a piece that is interesting on a number of levels.
As many of you will have noticed the last article called How To Get Hired – 6 Essential Tips for The Motion Graphics Freelancer created a bit of a stir, garnering many interesting & worthwhile comments. As a follow up to that I thought it would be only fair to present a post from the freelancer’s perspective – what do they look for in an agency when they get hired…?
After speaking to over ten experienced mograph freelancers, I have complied this Top 8 list of things that they would like design companies to think about….
1) Be honest about the job in hand – is the job going to be a tough one? Is the client demanding the earth but needs it in 3 days? When agreeing a job with a freelancer try and have a meeting with them or a least a phone call to make sure both parties know exactly what they are entering into.
In one example a freelancer told me she was booked on a specific job the week before, but when she found out she had been put on a totally different job when she turned up on Monday, without any advance warning! Bear in mind the job might not be suitable for the freelancer’s skillset. Also make sure each party knows how many hours they are expected to work for the quoted day rate.
2) Payment. If your Freelancer has delivered your job on time and budget, then they should never have to wait longer than a month for payment. If you are a having problems with payments then someone should let the freelancer know – they certainly shouldn’t have to chase.
Some freelancers have a sheet of written terms and conditions that they send off to the agency before they start work – or at the very least an email. These tend to deal with issues like – payments/fair costs/ hours/non completion of work due to cancellation and how to deal with scope change eg a change from a 2D to a 3D project. Many Freelancers also ask for 50% of fees upfront and 50% on completion.
3) Creative Input – make it clear if you want a freelancer’s creative input or not – very early on. Also state if it is the kind of job that needs to be done on the freelancer’s equipment at home or in the design studio. This touches on the point that not all freelancers do design or creative so asking the right questions before the job starts is important here. For most, a job isn’t going to be so attractive if it requires some creative director sitting on your shoulder all day… Also its good to give plenty of time at the beginning of the project to create style boards and experiment a little before going into production.
An interesting topic came up in a meeting I was in recently and that was – what does a production company look for when they hire a freelancer? The sort of people I am talking about are motion graphics generalist, animators, compositors and that sort of thing. Anyway I had chat with a range of producers in all sizes of companies to get their top 5 tips.
1 – Be honest about what you do – the no 1 thing that was mentioned by all the people I spoke to is be honest at what you are best at. Nothing annoys your new employer more than you saying you are brilliant at everything when you excel at one skill or program and have a passing knowledge in others. Sit down with your showreel and explain exactly what you did for each job. When the pressure is on and expectations are raised no one wants any nasty surprises! One producer gave an example of a mograph designer who colour coded their showreel and gave a list of skills and to what level.
2 – Listen to the Creative director. There is no doubt that you have been hired for your talents and artistic skills – but don’t forget that you are not working for your own company. By all means give opinions, but don’t try and overpower the creative director whose responsibility is to hold the final creative vision. He or she will want to work with the same client again, whereas you will not be so bothered