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Top 4 Tips for Freelancers in Video Production

The Top 4 things every Freelancer needs to know about Video Production

History of the Freelancer

The word freelancer comes from medieval times– when a fiefdom needed an extra lance or two for the defense of their city or for the attack on someone else’s city, the would hire an extra knight or two to bring their sword and lance along.  A “free lancer” did not belong to anyone or any fiefdom.  Today, a freelancer is usually not employed, but works job to job, gig to gig.  And they usually make more money for working less days than someone employed.

And it’s easy to start a freelancing career in corporate video.  You can begin at the entry level– a production assistant.  And this goes all the way up to directors and producers.  How you set yourself apart will determine how often you get called and what rate you’ll get paid.

Corporate Video Freelancer Tips

corporate video studioWhen you start working as a freelancer in video production, it’s a great opportunity to work for several companies and hopefully catch the attention of those video production companies,  by showing them just how professional you are, so that they continue to want to ask you to come back to work for them.

  1. COMMUNICATE.  When you are contacted to work for a production company as a freelancer,  it is important to respond to phone calls, emails or texts  from the production coordinator of that company as soon as possible.   Sometimes the person who contacts you has plenty of time to schedule crew for a shoot, but often times,  productions pop up fast and scheduling crew can be tedious.  If you do not respond in a timely manner, the coordinator may need to start looking for another freelancer to book for the job.
  2. BE ON TIME – Honestly, “On time” usually means “Be Early” in this business.  Being consistently late to set,  can result in not being asked back to work for that production company. Go ahead and map out the directions to the shoot and check to see how long GPS expects it will take for you to arrive and allow for extra  driving time to get there.  Always plan for bad traffic, because that can pop up at any moment.
  3. Dress Appropriately.  Remember you are representing a production company when arriving on set, and more importantly,  yourself.  Wearing something casual is often appropriate, but you could also be asked to dress in “Business Casual”…something a little nicer for certain clients or business locations, or Dress Blacks for more formal occasions.    If you aren’t sure what you should wear, then you should ask.
  4. ATTITUDE. Always have a friendly and professional behavior on set.  Keeping a good attitude is always appreciated , even if the shoot becomes fast paced or a little intense.   Talking with your peers  is fine, but don’t let it interfere with getting the job done.  Respect the client’s time by doing your job efficiently.  And… It is the Director’s place to talk with the client and discuss thoughts or suggestions about the shoot.  Unless you are directly asked for your opinion, you should let the director and client make the decisions.   Listen to your instructions from the director, follow through on your tasks, and always be open to new ideas and suggestions.

Keeping  these tips in mind next time you step on a set , will ensure that the director sees you as someone who is giving 100%, and wanting to be a team player.