Working for 'Free' / by Glenn Dixon

It is a pleasure to share with you a short documentary film we have just finished crafting. This film is a personal project and a collaborative initiative between filmmaker and sculptor. There was no budget available which creates many challenges by nature. The principal challenge in that I strive to live a life in which I make a living from my filmmaking. A profound learning for me was that it's not necessary to equate a financial profit against every film I make - the profits can average out over time. This does not mean I ever work for free. The notion of 'free' is deeply unsettling and seems nothing short of exploitation. I will on some occasions work for no financial compensation when there is an overwhelmingly beneficial reciprocity of value and honest exchange in the mix.

I met Conrad at the Brunswick markets toward the end of last year and we began to scheme. I enjoy these projects as they provide me with a chance to play and make something very different to what I would usually craft for an external client. I can practice a technique or test a piece of equipment in a low pressure environment and take those learnings into my commissioned work. In return, Conrad receives a short film which he can distribute freely. Wonderful exchange of value.

To thrive as a 'creative for hire,' it is advantageous to exercise that same creativity in the way you pursue projects and partnerships - just be careful to evaluate the value in the exchange before you commit.

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