Friday, 15 October 2010

How A Freelancer Really Gets The Work.

The picture below is of my business card drawer. I guess all freelancers have one, a place to put all the little fernickity pieces of contact information that people thrust at you from time to time. My drawer is now pretty much full and anyway, really important contacts are in my big book of contacts and on my computer. Triple logged and stored in case something nasty happens.

Contacts... never discarded.

So why do i tell you this? Well lately, things have been a little slow on the freelance news cameraman work front. Broadcasters are hoarding their money for the tough times yet to come and us freelancers are the first to get it in the neck.

So it was a ray of sunshine when a cameraman friend of mine called to see if i could cover a documentary shoot for a crewing company working for a major production company. He couldn't do it and they were pretty desperate to get a man on the ground as time was critical.

You see, this is what the freelance camera world is all about. one bloke who knows another, who passes on the details to someone else, in order that they can work for another company. Three, sometimes four levels of contact hot swapping saw the job come my way, resulting in three or more gladly received days of work for a major outfit, on a filming job that turned out to be a pleasure to work on. So not only do i now have four more work contacts in my book, i am known to two more people in a position to hire cameramen for their services. All thanks to a mate of mine who i am normally competing with on the ground to get the best pictures for our respective news outlets.

So next time i'm on the road and we meet, i shall be a little gentler with my sharpened elbows in the press pack, and try to avoid setting up shop in front of his tripod, just for the hell of it. Hell, i might even buy him a coffee.