Developing as a Freelancer

This essay was completed for TV and Film (Extended Diploma)
The specialism that I would like to pursue in the Film and TV industry as a freelancer would be a director and editor, however I consider myself as an all round filmmaker. I have always loved film since a young age and have always made my own creations. My passion for directing doesn’t lie in the job but lies in the project, I love putting my own spin on things and creating things I am proud of. I also enjoy the job of editing as that is where the vision comes to life.

This report will contain an in depth analysis of developing skills as a professional freelancer in both the specific area and in freelancing general terms such as budgeting and social media status, and the importance of knowledge and information regarding the revolutionising speed of technology such as up-to-date equipment and the ever growing business networking sites and systems. It will also contain practises of self-assessments and client feedback based off of my own work ethics and experiences from a first-hand view.

Technology changes to meet new standards set by the viewer, to make it easier to use and to create a new medium for fellow users of said technology. An example of technology advancing in the industry would be the transition from using film and tape based cameras to digital. Keeping up to date is a financial problem on the technical side as especially with 4K emerging into demand, clients may require that quality of image that your camera may not have the functionality to do. New and updated versions of editing software with new features and upgraded tools will surface. This will affect me as I will need to keep up to date with the new updates and tools implemented therefore creating an extra positive for clients. It also increases of gaining work because of the amount of experience and skill obtained. Finding improvements is always a positive as that is the motive to achieve a better standard of professionalism working as a freelancer. Creating is the best way of learning to create. I believe that practical experience is the most important. When shooting my first webseries ‘Let’s Bring Back Sophie’ I came out of the process a much better filmmaker, after learning to manage a team of over 20 people at the same time and of course bringing a story to life. Although I really want to create more fictional content, I plan to enhance my skills further by trying new and different techniques through corporate freelance work as well as researching in my spare time for a better solution to problems that I usually face on set, making my work easier to do and faster and to gain a better reception and reputation for the high end medium expected in a professional film industry.

Networking is the main source for any freelancer to publicise themselves with the best results. Creating websites (I always use WordPress as I am a certified through working for Rushcliffe Borough Council, however other sites such as Webs and Wix are all fantastic free developers) show reels, portfolios and an expansion of accounts on different online media formats (Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube) are common for most freelancers to show what capabilities they can carry providing the viewer/producer to understand what they are hiring. Networking is important to keep the workflow moving swiftly and income steady to maintain living standards. I feel that YouTube and Vimeo are the two of the most important, as it fits my area of field more, especially as the majority of projects I create are my own. YouTube has it’s own feature where you can add projects uploaded by other creators onto your channel, so creating a professional playlist full of projects you have created and assisted in creation of will make you stand out from other freelancers. It’s great to have the professional requirements, that but extra attention to detail adds quality to your online profile.

Taking in feedback from others is often the best solution to find development and improvements to make. A client may find something that I may have done different or I haven’t done correctly, tell me either verbally or by social media with which I would take the feedback as something to look at and understand more in depth. Also, client feedback is great for freelancers to use on portfolios and other self-promoting material. Self-assessment is useful to any freelancer that would like to improve at certain points within an area. These areas could range from equipment, mental attitude and overall performance and skill. Keeping these checks in mind is necessary for the best outcome.

To obtain and maintain employment I will have to undertake as many projects as I can to get work under my belt, therefore not only getting better at what I do but networking around more with previous clients. I will know this has paid off once I receive a job thanks to a previous client recommending me. Recommendations are where a lot of work comes from, so having a lot of clients and impressing them can only open up opportunities but to get to that stage I need to work really hard as a freelance filmmaker and editor.

As well as networking, I need to be professional at all times. Online profiles should be largely professional, especially the dedicated freelance platforms such as Vimeo and LinkedIn. I will need to attend networking events and print off business cards to hand out whenever I get the opportunity or meet a potential client. For example, at a wedding video shoot a guest conversed with me about my equipment and I gave her my business card. One day she may need a video of some sort and she will know who to contact. I have attended a networking event in Nottingham called Tweet Up, run by Antenna and another freelancer who I have worked for but this time in the acting field, Tim Smith. I met a lot of fantastic creators at that event who I am sure I’ll work with.