Rates Falling, Budgets Shrinking: Work Harder!

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November 12, 2013 by absolutemotion

Times are tough. We read and hear that pretty much every day. And after 33 years as a freelance video professional, I have to admit that yes, they seem to be as tough as ever.

Back in the day video editing, graphic design and motion graphic creation wasn’t just a specialty, it was a black art. Besides good creative chops, practitioners needed highly developed technical skills on all manner of expensive (and exotic) equipment. And those of us who knew the secret spells were handsomely paid.

daffyduck

These days anyone with a Best Buy around the corner (and an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription) has everything they legally need to compete in just a couple of hours (cost is even less for those kids pirating Final Cut X). A few YouTube tutorials is all it takes to pick up the basics, and away they go.

With overhead dropping and the sheer amount of skilled talent out there (many of whom are happy to work for pizza and all the mountain dew they can drink) it’s no surprise rates in this business are drifting down.

Fortunately experience does count for something (Hey you kids, I’ve been doing this longer than you’ve been alive! And while I’m shouting at you, get off my lawn!). But still, there is enough good competition out there that when a client says take it or leave it, “leave it” isn’t as much of a choice anymore.

So these days I’m chasing twice as many projects and ending up with the same (or less)  dollars at the end of the day. But at least I know how to work fast and deliver high quality, which may be all the edge some of us have left.

I’ll have another Mountain Dew, please.

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