Is Working for free a No No?

Is Working For Free A No No? (Or Can It Be Good For You?)

December 5, 2013

Is working for free a huge professional mistake? Not necessarily. Learn how to handle these requests like the video professional you are.


Day 5: 20 Insights in 20 Days Holiday Marathon

Is working for free a big mistake?

It’s a fact. An undeniable truth of our industry – if you work in post-production long enough at some point someone will ask you to take on a job Pro Bono or worse yet you’ll find yourself in the middle of a Pro Bono job and you didn’t even it realize it. For those of you who haven’t brushed off your Latin in a while, Pro Bono means doing a job for FREE.

When it comes to being a colorist, it seems we’re asked more frequently than others in a post pipeline to work on a job for free. This is usually because color is an after thought, a nice-to-have service for many micro to zero budget projects. It’s also because when a small budget project does have some money, its often been exhausted early, for other services liked editing and graphics.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you probably like getting paid for your time and efforts, but are there times when it’s worth it to accept a Pro Bono job? How do you avoid 100% Pro Bono jobs and still help out people and projects you believe in? How do you still feel compensated when no money exchanges hands?

Well, in this article I’ll explore these questions as well as give you some other ideas for when Pro Bono jobs come – and they will come!

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