Copy the link below to share this page:
You'd be surprised how many calls/emails we get though... :)
Karina, I believe in professional conduct, courtesy and respect at all times. I always respond courteously. Usually the person asking believes they are not asking for free work. They believe the "experience" is of value equivalent to the work being generated, which is not true, of course. You can't blame them for asking. It's really just ignorance of the difficulty and complexity in creating film-worthy VFX. If they had any idea how hard it is, they probably wouldn't even consider asking.
The funny thing is (Nicholas Boughen) that if they ask enough people, someone might say yes!!
The same thing happens in the composing world with the line "this film will give your music great exposure", can't tell you how often I hear it.
Have to add - It's the same with screenwriters. You wouldn't believe how many people will give me 50% if I do all the work. I don't mind helping and have written some full spec screenplays for people, but at the end of the day, I might as well write my own and get 100%.
Yes Mark and Tom I agree and get that often, I just tell them to download my songs and credit me if they use it. It is good to do free scores though for practice, that way you are better prepared when a real paying composing gig comes around I think. That is only if you need the practice and have the free time though. If you don't then don't bother. :) -Chris
Hey Mark - how about this one..."I thought you would do this for free in order to establish a relationship". Relationships in this industry can be cruel mistresses.
Establish a relationship in which I give you $50,000 worth of work and you give me.....nothing..... ?
Hey....give the guy A for effort and YOU A+ for standing for yourself!
Great article. What I need help on is budgeting for vfx work. I know you have to to pay something. Any advice?
Hi Martin. Find a VFX producer in your area, that's the best advice I can give.
Thanks. I will do that.
OK. I see your point. I have two questions. If someone asked, would you provide an estimate for the cost of VFX for a budget for free? (I saw your suggestion above for contacting a VFX producer. To be honest, I strongly suspect that you get a hell of a lot better estimate from people who actually do the work.) Is it reasonable to ask a VFX artist for a sample of their work? Thanks.
looking for 90 min animation pieces email@example.com Middle East Distribution
@ Douglas Eugene Mayfield. Sorry, I somehow missed this question. Yes, it is customary to bid projects for free. A VFX producer IS the person who actually does the work. If you mean that one should ask VFX artists directly for cost estimates, that would be a huge mistake. Most VFX artists and TDs are terrible at cost estimating, believe it or not. The producer is the one who is accustomed to bidding and tracking actual costs across an entire project from beginning to end so you are much more likely to get a realistic costing. Frankly the concept that VFX artists do the work and VFX producers don't reveals a fundamental misperception of the nature of collective production workflow. If you are contracting with a VFX company, it is not reasonable to ask for samples of work from individual artists on the crew for a wide variety of reasons. It is reasonable to ask to see the company's demo reel. If you are looking to hire an individual to do a small contract, then yes, it is completely reasonable to request a sample as in so many other industries.
Nicholas. Thanks for answering my question. So it seems that if I am looking for an estimate, I would review a company's web site and direct my inquiry to the person on their corporate hierarchy who produces.
I think you'd ring up a company you've selected ( get more than one) and ask for a salesperson for VFX. It's similar to how you'd buy anything. Check a couple of places to make sure you're getting a good price, then make a decision.
On a recent project I came across some knowledge that a few editing groups have given away graphics as a part of their package while bidding lower than others. Due to this several other editing studios have had to add on graphics for little or no cost as distributors grew accustom to getting it for free. I think it's one thing to try and push to close a deal and another thing all together to change the industry norm to free services. Ultimately none of it is for free. Someone always has to pay for it whether it's the producer/client or the artist who also has to work to pay the bills while they do FX or graphics for free to little cost. I would say the norm needs to shift to those who can afford to pay but choose to treat it as a cost rather than an investment in substantial work and skill.
Nathan. I admit that I am fairly unfamiliar with the FX/CGI business. When you say that ' editing studios have had to add on graphics for little or not cost', do you mean that they are doing titles for nothing in order to get the FX/CGI work for the project itself? Or....? Presuming that a company had some 'on the shelf' graphics inventory which suited the project, it's not clear to me how giving that away to get the creative work for project is an error.
Fantastic share and great discussion. Thanks for posting, Nicholas.
Douglas, the business model would never support "free" work. The studios offering graphics "for free as part of the package" are still paying for it and are still taking some sort of profit margin on their package. Either that or they're going out of business, and the others won't have to worry for long. Plus, he's talking about "graphics" in an editing studios (not vfx) which usually means text titles, still images etc. Or motion graphics, which is simple CG. Visual Effects could never be tacked onto a job in any substantial amount. It's really, really expensive.
Nicholas. Thanks for clarifying.
Hi Nocholas, I know the pain. I used to own a t-shirt in two different colors that actually spelled out "No! I will not fix your computer" Can you imagine doing this elsewhere? Hi Dominoes, I'll have two pizzas, send newest delivery boy, my payment will be his experience, and I'll give him a slice when he gets here. ;)
I guess it depends on what all gets pulled into the realm of CG and VFX. If motion graphics are becoming a part of the edit package for a smaller combined price when does that happen to VFX and any other post work. Yes text and title isn't exactly VFX until you consider it as a character in the piece and deal with rotoscope, color matching, and several other attributes of VFX knowledge based needs. It's a danger for more and more services to be combined for a smaller price. I'm hoping that eventually price demands will raise over seas and we'll even out to get more work back in the states. But that seems a long ways off.