I was a recently graduated animation student looking for work. A potential client reached out to me to make a 15-second promotional clip for a documentary they’d made. The job had a tight turnaround and let’s just say the offer was… minimal. Offensively minimal.
That’s fine, I thought. A lot of people don’t realize how much work animation takes. I’ll write back and explain how many hours I’d have to work for that seemingly small project, and why I need to ask for more to do it.
This was the response.
Client: No offense, based on your portfolio, we figured you’d be grateful to accept this job from us to gain exposure because you’re not a real professional artist.
Frustrated, disappointed, and full offense taken, I declined the oh-so-generous offer.
Two weeks later, I animated for someone who was willing to pay me a fair wage. The work was hard and the deadline was tight, but it turned out pretty well and my client was very satisfied.
This project ended up being so successful that it went viral online and got millions of views across multiple platforms. It exponentially increased the amount of exposure for both my client and me. We were thrilled.
Since then, business has been booming. I’ve gained a sizable following and am bombarded by inquiries; my clients pay me what I ask.
So yeah, good luck with that obscure Netflix documentary nobody’s going to watch.