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Old 03-08-2013, 11:09 AM   #1
TheCook
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The dark side of freeism

My god. After what happened with Rhythm & Hues, when people started talking and all... and I'm not sure if it's even related in any way, but suddenly it seems like it's EVERYWHERE.

Freeism is the new disease of the 21st century art industry it seems. People are willing to work for free, for a slim to no-chance to get "a foot in the door", but without realizing (or maybe they just don't care...) that they are killing this industry.

I mean, anybody who went to art school knows this from day one -- plagiarism = bad. If anyone here get caught plagiarizing, he might lose his job, lose his reputation and might never be able to work in the CG industry for a long long time. Yet all those schools, these classy high-end education academies of the arts, who speaks so eloquently about morality and ethics, they promote Freeism themselves, and ether push students into free internships or even worst, they facilitate and organize them into a free workforce for the next lucky Michael Bay wannabe who "just wanna play but don't wanna pay".

Plagiarism is so hard to pull these days, with the internet and globalization, people will be on to you in a day if your work gets somewhat of attention. With freeism it's just fine. Either the employer who can't pay you with money but will make sure "your name gets out there" or the groovy-o`-student who lives off his parents and "living the dream" of killing CG jobs.

I'm not talking about China or India or whatever. If these guys are charging enough to make a decent living then all the power to them. And I'm not a business expert for sure, but I do know that underbidding is considered a cutthroat financial strategy, in any business. It's basically making your business lose just enough money to kill the competition, so you can make more later.

I hope this subject gets more attention then it had so far. freeism is unethical. Maybe not as much as Plagiarism but far more deadly as I'm sure people would agree.

Thoughts are welcome.
 
Old 03-08-2013, 11:53 AM   #2
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"Freeism" isnt a new thing. Im not sure why you think it is. People have been working for free to get into a specific industry since jobs were first invented (i wouldl imagine).

Its also not killing the industry. No one is doing free work for a big commercial/film.

And i know im a minority in here with this opinion, but i see nothing wrong at all in doing a bit of work for free. I started in a small company in soho with 0 experience. They took me on (didnt pay me) and i learnt so much in those first 6 months that i didnt care that i wasnt being paid.

Its obviously a fine line between doing some work for free experience and being taken advantage of.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:13 PM   #3
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I wouldn't blame the people that accept these deals, or the shops that offers them, but instead burn down the studios that take advantage of such places. But somehow they seem protected by the "it's just business" while others are not.
 
Old 03-08-2013, 12:21 PM   #4
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I don't know if it was Einstein or Shakespeare, but a wise man once said,
"if you're good at something, don't do it for free."
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:34 PM   #5
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you pay for your education, your expensive equipment, you sacrifice your personal time and energy to produce high quality work and then you apply somewhere and you work for free? you must be a f*ing idiot.

and then i read stories where you're the one asked to pay to work for them. you must really be a special kind of f*ing idiot.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustique
I don't know if it was Einstein or Shakespeare, but a wise man once said,
"if you're good at something, don't do it for free."


It's the Joker! ha he ha hu hu ha he he ho ho ha he hu ha
 
Old 03-08-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethule
No one is doing free work for a big commercial/film.
I bet the artists at Rhythm & Hues will beg to differ. But that's a whole different beast
 
Old 03-08-2013, 01:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Its also not killing the industry. No one is doing free work for a big commercial/film.


@thethule - Look into Academy of Art University students working on Oscar nominated "Beasts of the Southern Wild". Pretty damn decent VFX work => 0 compensation. Also, those of us who aren't working on big commercial/films are part of this industry too. Freeism hits this side of the map pretty damn hard.

I do agree with you that it's not black and white. Working for free a little bit in exchange for experience can be a valid thing (I politely declined 6 years ago an offer like that -- couldn't afford it). But dude, it is EVERYWHERE; it's an industry of it's own; it's massive. I know a little bit of freeism was always around but now it's a norm, everybody does it.

Quote:
I wouldn't blame the people that accept these deals, or the shops that offers them, but instead burn down the studios that take advantage of such places. But somehow they seem protected by the "it's just business" while others are not.


@Sthu - I don't blame those people either but, they are at least partially responsible IMHO. It's like watching an old lady getting robbed and just look the other way.... well this example may be too extreme but you catch my drift.

@fablefox - Haha! Joker was no joke m8!

This is good stuff people! good conversation
 
Old 03-08-2013, 01:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustique
I don't know if it was Einstein or Shakespeare, but a wise man once said,
"if you're good at something, don't do it for free."


Another wise man, Mark Twain, said "Write without pay until someone offers pay..."

Freeism isn't just in this industry. Didn't you hear? Free is the Future of Business! Some guy from Wired Magazine even wrote a book about it. Whether it works or not is another story, but without question, people are doing it.

One thing to note, though, is that nearly all versions of freeism are a form of advertising. Authors give away their books for free. Musicians give away songs. Even the big anime companies in the US were giving away anime episodes. When a person works on a CG project for free, if it not for the experience, then they are advertising themselves.

If you worked on a project free, and that project went nowhere, but you put the material in your reel and it gets you a job, was it worth it?
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teruchan
Another wise man, Mark Twain, said "Write without pay until someone offers pay..."

Freeism isn't just in this industry. Didn't you hear? Free is the Future of Business! Some guy from Wired Magazine even wrote a book about it. Whether it works or not is another story, but without question, people are doing it.

One thing to note, though, is that nearly all versions of freeism are a form of advertising. Authors give away their books for free. Musicians give away songs. Even the big anime companies in the US were giving away anime episodes. When a person works on a CG project for free, if it not for the experience, then they are advertising themselves.

If you worked on a project free, and that project went nowhere, but you put the material in your reel and it gets you a job, was it worth it?


Actually, there is no such thing as free lunch. I know a lot of 'services', on the surface, is free. GMail, Facebook, etc. But it not 'free'. A company that offer free services without a way of monetizing it would last long. IT boom is the example.

And some of the limited free is not 'free', it actually a matter of saving cost in advertising.

Example is how much do you spent on advertising? How frequently you do it? What it the cost per year? And if you provide limited free so that it's widespread usage become an advertising in itself, how much you save? What is the customer conversion rate?

There are limit and there are changes. For example there are portion of google app that previously available for free is now only available for paying customer. That what happened when people realize that some things are popular, revenue can be improved, and decided something that is free is no longer free.

That's my rant for now.

EDIT:

Why didn't I read your link first instead of later? That was basically my whole point, kinda...
 
Old 03-08-2013, 03:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCook
@thethule - Look into Academy of Art University students working on Oscar nominated "Beasts of the Southern Wild". Pretty damn decent VFX work => 0 compensation. Also, those of us who aren't working on big commercial/films are part of this industry too. Freeism hits this side of the map pretty damn hard.

I'll bet that the school does receive some compensation (and perhaps the professor). Just not the students
 
Old 03-08-2013, 04:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fablefox
It's the Joker! ha he ha hu hu ha he he ho ho ha he hu ha


But he took the money and burned it!
His payment was creating chaos and getting arrested, not earning a decent living. In the end he let the state pay for his room and board. lol
 
Old 03-08-2013, 05:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelgy
But he took the money and burned it!
His payment was creating chaos and getting arrested, not earning a decent living. In the end he let the state pay for his room and board. lol


Which made me asking why billionaires join the 'giving pledge' but not increase the salary of the people that made them billionaire in the first place.

I understand Bill Gates since (up to the information I have) he does care about his employees. If I remember correctly, Microsoft is one of those early company that help their employees to actually become billionaires and millionaires. And when they close the 3d software division (what was it?) nobody was fired. Everyone absorbed into different departments.

It's like having your worker applying for food stamp while you use your money for charity giving food to, let say, 3rd world kids.

I have my personal conspiracy theory regarding this, but its one of those thing that you should let it stay inside your head.
 
Old 03-08-2013, 05:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethule
No one is doing free work for a big commercial/film.


Couldn't be more wrong. Some VFX houses pay overtime, most don't (except weekends).

So take a stroll around many of the big shops after 6pm, and you'll find plenty of people working for free on big commercials and films. In return, they're more likely to get noticed and promoted over those who go home on the dot, and the downside is that they're hugely devaluing themselves and their fellow artists.

This is coming from someone who's done more hours of unpaid overtime than I'd care to mention, but being a hypocrite gets me off the hook in this instance, since I get to slag off huge swathes of the VFX community under the guise of self-loathing.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:22 PM   #15
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Freeism?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=freeism


Looks like you are hijacking a word that has been taken by another definition.

Taking the conversation to a new level of sillyness indeed...
 
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