No work around?

  • James Ian Gray


    Hi All,

    this is my first year of freelance, and I'm just wondering if this is normal as I've not had a job for a whole month now and just wondering if this is normal? or should I be panicking? as I'm slightly twitching at the moment and sending out my CV like mad.

    Or is this normal at this time of year?


    James Gray

    • 19th Jul 2011
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  • User Deleted

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    Welcome to the real world.

    I know of people who haven't worked in the last twelve months.

    • 13th Oct 2010
    • 1
  • Tim Hirst

    Lighting Cameraperson

    Im afraid it is the way things are these days. A couple of years ago I could work 5 days a week, but these days it is more like 2 or 3. There is plenty of production, but shooting AP`s are used increasingly and a lot of production companies want to use the cheapest labour they can, equating the drop in the cost of camera`s with a comensurate drop in the cost of hiring someone to operate it

    • 14th Oct 2010
    • 2
  • User Deleted

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    I'm not going to go down the road of saying; that's showbiz, or it can be hard, of course it is! I started in theatre as a carpenter, but wanted to work as a technician, so I learned all about sound and lighting, as luck would have it, the same theatre I built sets for were looking for a trainee sparks, as i knew the gaffer, i was given the chance. Spred your skills around, i have found that helps, I taught myself film production, I hired equipment and facilities to complete projects.

    Recently, I was the lead actor in a student production, but they also welcomed my input as a AD/DOP.

    I respect your skill, think about work as an extra on productions, don't think of it as beneath you, it gets you noticed, it helps other professionals as yourself, and in this business, it still works on who you know!

    Keep your diary alive and your address book full of friendships.


    • 19th Oct 2010
    • 3
  • User Deleted

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    They took our JAWWWBB :P

    Yeah times are rough right now. I had to take up working in a kebaab shop because had no other choice :(

    • 22nd Oct 2010
    • 4
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    As above - keep looking for work but it certainly doesn't help to have a PT job in the mean time to pay bills, something simple and something you can drop at a hat should a good position arise.

    • 24th Oct 2010
    • 5
  • User Deleted

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    sorry - i mean it DOES help! =)

    • 26th Oct 2010
    • 6
  • User Deleted

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    That all depends on the part time job neil.. LOL.

    • 26th Oct 2010
    • 7
  • Sharon Harris

    Camera Operator

    This is a very competitive profession, therefore, it is normal to be out of work for long periods. My advise if needed is to try and find a job that will pay for your day to day living like food, rent the dreaded council tax etc, then continue to advertise your freelance skills. Once you have a client base, things will gradually pick up but it is a long and hard process and only your love for your profession will give you the motivation to continue.

    • 16th Nov 2010
    • 8
  • Daniel Butterfield

    Production Assistant

    best thing to do is get experience, paid and unpaid the more experience you get the better it can get.

    • 21st Nov 2010
    • 9
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    It's a hard business, probably because it's perceived by the masses who flock to it as such a desirable business to be in - which causes a bottle neck effect.

    My advice is to try not to give away your hard earned skills for free - even if it means turning down work. I think we all need to set a precedent because as freelancers we invariably determine our own pay scale and if we continually accept £ low/no/deferred, then, that is what we will forever be expected to work for.

    • 7th Dec 2010
    • 10
  • User Deleted

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    I totally agree with you David. I had a friend she worked days and nights for over 24 months when they have promised to her that she will get a better and paid job she was left with nothing. They just using people and it is not fair! It is tough business but what can we do!? We have to fight and somehow get there! The question is how to do that and who can help us if education and big passion for it seems to be not enough...

    • 13th Jan 2011
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  • Denis Golovniov


    Hi Guys, well after NY, its kind of dead at least in corporate world any way.

    Things will pick up shortly, Feb March 2011 looking more alive!

    However, keep yourself covered.

    In terms of skills vs work, well if you actually have good skills and have something to offer, you will find eventually a job. Just a matter of talking to the right people really.

    Doing shotgun e-mail aproach sometimes might not be the best way. Try more targeted version, as to: select particular companies you think will be interested in your services and give them a call, see what people have to say - might help.


    • 29th Jan 2011
    • 12
  • Chris Atkinson

    Production Sound Mixer

    I have been in the business quite a few years,but these days I seem to be out of work more than in work. Part of the problem is,most if not all the good documentaries(bread and butter jobs) have disapeared under the 'one man band operators'.We are flooded with reality TV programmes that are not crewed up properly, doesn't it show,the camerawork is dreadful and the sound is on the verge of untransmittable. But they keep making these programmes and they still get transmitted.THEY ARE CHEAP and that seams to be what counts.

    • 10th Feb 2011
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  • Tim Hirst

    Lighting Cameraperson


    I agree with your comments, these days it seems that most production companies want to hire shooting AP`s etc and are not interested in hiring craft cameramen.

    • 10th Feb 2011
    • 14
  • Simon Hornett

    Sound Recordist

    I also concur with David's comment. Can everyone please stop working for free? You may get some experience out of it but the real winners are the dubious employers who will promise you future paid work and then hire the next wide eyed experience hungry person and offer them the very same once you are out the door.

    In a world where crew need to be paid there is plenty of competition from the skilled sector without creating more competition and then cheapening the rates by offering these skills for nothing but a cup of tea and your bus fare home.

    I encourage everyone to apply for the numerous jobs that state they want something for nothing. However when you get the call confirming you for the shoot, please don't roll over and say thank you. Tell them your rates regardless of the offer for the riches to be showered down in education, credits, deferred payment, or (as I was recently offered) "a listing on a web site that has nothing to do with the industry I work in but gets a lot of hits".

    By having the balls to ask for fair pay you will come across as someone of worth and confidence in your abilities. You will send a clear message to the industry that people expect to be paid a fair days wage for a fair days work, and you will set a precedent that can only better working conditions for everyone.

    • 2nd Mar 2011
    • 15
  • User Deleted

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    O there is no business like show business!!.. how did the song go?

    Fellow professionals,

    I have found, that this industry is so full of recent grads who want to be the next Steven Spielberg.. ( no disrespect to the gentleman).

    We all want to be known for what we can do, it is a joy to see your name on a credit listing, even more so if the production is a bafta/oscar winner..

    (look mum, I did it!)

    It is hard to make it, all the talent shows tend to paint a pretty picture, and this is what wanabee film makers live off,. I know that production budgets can be tight, I know from experience! And yes, as a producer, you would love the chance to work alongside the highly regarded professionals of their craft, but is it not also good, to offer genuine work to those who want to at least prove to us, that they are competent, even if at the end of the days shoot, all they receive for their devotion to your project, is a pie and a pint down the local.

    I assume this reply, will be judged in some way or another, I wait with bated breath

    • 7th Mar 2011
    • 16
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Well it quite true what everyone has said about. The point here is website like this should educated people about no budget shoot or £50 for sound or camera kit and do something about it. This will only erode the industry.


    • 11th Mar 2011
    • 17
  • User Deleted

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    I agree and disagree with Darren...

    Although yes there are many interns supposedly getting all the jobs out there leaving experienced pros without any work, it is also the other way round - well at least from the experience I've found.

    I've tried to get on many different productions of varying types and keep hearing the same old names being on board the project, and no matter how many times I try to get involved - there's just no getting in. So it seems to be a bit of swings and roundabouts - well at least from my point of view...

    • 17th Mar 2011
    • 18
  • Matt Price

    Sound Recordist

    The best thing i did was to only apply for jobs in film and not get a normal part time job or any other distraction and within a few months i was getting jobs abroad.

    Deperation spawns insipration.

    - Matt Price

    • 18th Jul 2011
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