Freelance survival

How to survive as a Freelancer

Freelance News Freelance Opportunities

If you are a freelancer or are thinking about becoming one there is a lot you need to know. How much should you be charging? What gear should you be purchasing? How should you be marketing yourself? If you’re a freelancer these are all questions you need to answer. The answers to these questions have never been easy, and today they are harder to answer than ever. I’m going to attempt to shed some light on answering these difficult questions, but I certainly don’t have all the answers. I can only provide advice through my experiences and those of fellow shooters that I know. This article is bound to go down a few rabbit holes, but eventually, all paths will hopefully lead to the exit! In the first part I will give my thoughts and views, and then you will get to hear from a collection of freelancers. A bit of history There is no doubt that the Canon 5D Mark II, that was introduced back in 2008, was a major market disruptor. It’s also fair to say that even cameras such as the Panasonic AG-DVX100 (released in December 2002), the first affordable consumer digital camcorder capable of recording video in 24p paved the way for what is now available in 2019. In 2019 we are spoilt for choice, and the price of professional gear have never been cheaper. I always find it interesting to hear people (and this is especially true of younger shooters) complaining about the price of cameras, lenses, and other equipment. It wasn’t that long ago (less than 10-15 years) that if you wanted to shoot professional video you would have had to invest around $100,000 USD to buy the equipment needed. Sony ‘DigiBeta’ Digital Betacam In 1993 Sony introduced Digital Betacam (we all used to call it DigiBeta) and in a lot of places around the world, it was the defacto camera you had to have if you were a freelancer. For shooting freelance news you needed something like a Sony Betacam SP, which again was almost the industry standard in the ’90s. If you worked in television in the ’90s or early 2000s and didn’t have a freelance kit that consisted of a similar camera to what I just mentioned then you would never be hired. There weren’t any shortcuts. If you wanted to be a freelancer you had to either pony up for a full kit, rent one, or agree to be hired without equipment. A large proportion of freelancers at this time were shooters that had prior experience working for broadcasters or production houses. Getting hands-on experience with professional equipment could only be done through working at a production house or broadcaster. If you didn’t have any prior experience you weren’t going to go out and spend $100,000 USD on a kit because you decided you wanted to be a cameraman or camerawoman. Even though you had to spend a lot of money back in the day to go freelance, there […]

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