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  1. #1
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    Are people willing to "work for free"?

    I'm asking this because I want to get a legitemate team together to work on an animated pilot. I have to tell you it is not easy. So, instead of blatently asking people to sign up for it. I'm asking if it is even plausible that it can happen. Of course I'm not saying "do this" and that is that. There is credit given and if the pilot is picked up for a series I intend to have the people who worked on the pilot be the team for the series.

    I know this is a gamble to do and my be wishful thinking, but I think there is always a possibility to succeed.

    Please give me your thoughts. Would you work on a project for nothing more than a chance? Do you think others would?

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortBus View Post

    Please give me your thoughts. Would you work on a project for nothing more than a chance?
    No

    Do you think others would?
    No

    -We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

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  5. #3
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    yea ive thought about the overseas work too. but i dont see why its not possible to do elsewhere. i do realise the workload, ive worked well over 40 hours and i have countless more to go. i figure it will take me about a year to do alone and it wont live up to its potential because im just not as skilled as some other people. if i actually had a team it would take roughly 3 months.

    maybe my priorities arent in order. or maybe i just dont share the same priorities with anyone else.

    i guess ill just keep plugging away at it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortBus View Post
    maybe my priorities arent in order. or maybe i just dont share the same priorities with anyone else.
    Maybe people just want to eat and pay their bills. Just a thought.



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  8. #5
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    Yea, its possible here or wherever man, just don't be an ass and pay the artists, other wise, good luck finding someone who is willing to work that much time for nothing...

    Think about it, you want talented people for your pilot animation or whatever right? well, why would they work for free when they could get some good money, using they artistic skills which they spent a lot of time and hard work developing, working for some big company?

    -We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

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    im sure the people who do art for a living would want nothing to do with this. but what about the people who want to do it for a living but simply dont or havent had the chance? i consider doing something like this is a way to do this for a living. sure, it could be for nothing of monetary value, but it surely isnt nothing. its the experience for one and im sure it will fit nicely into your portfolio. besides we've all worked for free anyway. has everything uve ever worked on made you money? have you worked long and hard to accomplish what you have now? i could still be seeing this all wrong though. my method might be a little unorthadox but i think the result should still be the same.

    here is another way to look at it. do you think someone like stephen king got paid to write his 1st book before it finished? you need to have results before you get started. i know its an ass backwards way to look at it. but its true.

    honestly i dont know any other way to get started. i mean you cant just say "i can make a really good painting" and have someone buy it before the brush touches the canvas. you have to actually do the work (for free) then if your lucky the right person will come along and buy it for what its worth.

    my situation is the same but on a much larger scale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortBus View Post
    my situation is the same but on a much larger scale.
    But 3 months like you said is a much much larger scale. Sure people have to build up a folio and stuff to get noticed but your asking for too much imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortBus View Post
    its the experience for one and im sure it will fit nicely into your portfolio.
    Ah, here you've finally dropped that stupid phrase. Repeat with me: EXPERIENCE IS NOT COMPENSATION. Repeat once more: EXPERIENCE IS NOT COMPENSATION.

    Nor is "looking nice on your portfolio".

    besides we've all worked for free anyway. has everything uve ever worked on made you money? have you worked long and hard to accomplish what you have now?
    You seem to fail to see the difference between "I worked hard to make myself succeed" and "I worked hard to make ShortBus succeed". You're asking people to make your dream come true? Good. What are you offering them in return? Your eternal gratitude?

    Look at it this way. What are YOUR qualifications on this project? Are you qualified to lead a team of animators? Can you prove that you can obtain funding for your production and see it through to release?

    What are you saying? You don't have funds? You are dredging the internet for suckers to give you man-months of freebie work on speculative premises?

    Well then, prove your worth as a producer by getting funds and then you'll be able to hire your people. And if you can't - tough love, baby.


    Otherwise, I dunno, you could enter a college with an appropriate curriculum and make this project your thesis - then you'll be able to engage other students. (Who aren't working for free either; they'll be working for their degree.)

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  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortBus View Post
    but what about the people who want to do it for a living but simply dont or havent had the chance?
    Considering how frequently people post ads online looking for free work, for credit and future royalties when they make it big - good luck fining people who are willing.

    It's not us you need to convince the idea is plausible - all you have to do is find people who are interested and willing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortBus View Post
    im sure the people who do art for a living would want nothing to do with this. but what about the people who want to do it for a living but simply dont or havent had the chance?
    So basically you want a group of complete amateurs? That probably don't have proper experience or skills to actually work as a group or do a fullscale animation? Yeah, I can see how professional or good it's going to look like.

    do you think someone like stephen king got paid to write his 1st book before it finished?
    I'm pretty sure that Stephen King didn't also try to grab bunch of people to write his first book for him for free, you know.

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  16. #11
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    Have you actually contacted animation studios to find out their policies? Usually for pitching a property you don't need an entire animated pilot.

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    These kinds of threads are the reason I signed up for this message board :p

    Darn I love it when people speak their minds, even on so called "sensitive" subjects.

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    Refer to this thread, and replace "Big Phil" with "ShortBus":
    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Hey Big Phil, read this. And then read this. And finally, read this.
    That's why you won't find anybody to help you with this, and shouldn't. It's the height of selfishness to ask somebody else to work for no compensation (and don't fool yourself, there will be no compensation) in order for you to make your dreams come true.
    Also, see where you fall on this flowchart:
    http://shouldiworkforfree.com/


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  22. #15
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    Shortbus

    Seems to me you are pitching this project to the wrong people. Surely you should be pitching your idea to animation studios be they large or small. How you do that i've no idea except for there probably needs to be some sort of story/script to sell/pitch to the studio. Maybe other CA members are more than willing to help you out with advice on that free of charge .

    Last edited by Charlie D; September 12th, 2011 at 07:40 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortBus View Post
    maybe my priorities arent in order. or maybe i just dont share the same priorities with anyone else.
    No no, I totally share your priorities. That's why I'm working to finish MY project instead of running around offering free labour to everyone too dumb to fundraise.

    So why aren't you raising funds to pay a team? And if you're lousy at getting money why would a team ever trust in you to actually get paid for their work?

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  24. #17
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    And one more thing, just in case you decide putting together an animation is too labor intensive/time consuming and you'll just do it as a comic/graphic novel instead (because then you'll be able to sell the cartoon and the bucks will come rolling in!), read this: http://srbissette.com/?p=13107


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  26. #18
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    I wonder how many restaurants started with this premise.

    Have a bunch of chefs and cooks come in and work for free, and then when it's successful, you'll get paid.

    Nevermind the out of pocket expenses like utilities and supplies for getting the restaurant working....

    For artists, apparently these materials come out of thin air!

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  27. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabbit run View Post
    Have you actually contacted animation studios to find out their policies? Usually for pitching a property you don't need an entire animated pilot.
    We were discussing that the other day. Most backers don't want full animation, because they want a say in what they're investing in. A pitch package is usually stories and character designs, and maybe a couple of short test animation clips, not a full episode.

    This is from a group of studio heads, so I'd be inclined to take it seriously.

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  28. #20
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    It's not unheard of for projects made by teams of people working for free to be completed. Game mods spring to mind. However, successful projects are far, far rarer than projects that end up abandoned.

    Keep in mind:

    A. People willing to work for free are, by definition, amateurs. While there are skilled amateurs out there, you can't expect the same quality of work or reliability you'd get from a professional.

    B. You have to give them some reason to work on your project instead of their own idea. Without giving people money, this is very hard. Having a good idea won't cut it. The trick, I think, is to allow people to do what they want without having to worry about all the other stuff they'd have to deal with if they were doing their own project. Let animators just animate, and not have to worry about modeling and rigging, and so on. Of course, this creates something of a catch-22; you can't offer this until you have a full team, and can't get a full team until you offer it. Building up a core team from people you know personally then supplementing that with outsiders is probably your best bet.

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    Thanks for your comments. for those of you who thought my intent was to pitch my idea to you guys im sorry you were misinformed. i was merely asking about the concept of would people be willing to join in on a project for almost no gain. i do know for a fact that there are people out there because i am one of them. iv'e worked on a number of indie games and short films. i started out as a 3d modeler and kind of worked my way up. for me, my gain was the experience and education. i learned a lot by being a part of a group and working hands on rather than reading it out of a book.

    i do realize that a pilot is not necessary, but it will help. i know how much work goes into actually pitching the idea. the character/script bible itself can get extremely in depth and tends to be lengthy depending on what your writing about. ive done a bunch of research on it and it seems like there is nothing in my corner. the networks really dont take risks at all and they usually tend to rehash the same types of shows over and over. i think that is clear to anyone who watches tv.

    the reason im so adamant about the pilot is because the result could be extremely powerful. there can be a fan base before the series is even pitched to anyone. another reason i want to make the pilot is because sometimes words dont do justice. have you ever told someone a funny situation you were in and once you were done telling them the story you end it with "you had to be there"? you can argue that point of course by saying "well you must not be a good enough writer" but there are certain ways you have to write a pitch. if its too long they wont even bother reading it. its kind of like presenting your portfolio. you start with your best stuff 1st because if the viewer or your client gets bored they wont even finish the rest of your portfolio.

    btw its not that i dont want to pay anyone its that i just dont have any money. down the road i will look for investors but right now ive only finished scripting the pilot and im about 3/4 the way done storyboarding it. i do have plenty to get started. i have a big plate in front of me and i could use the help. if i have to go it alone i will but id rather not. im sort of stuck here and thats why i asked the question in the 1st place. are people willing to work for free? not, will u guys work for me for free?

    your posts are very helpfull none the less and i dont think this thread is over. hopefully this will go on a few more days. i would like to read more points of views.

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  30. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    So basically you want a group of complete amateurs? That probably don't have proper experience or skills to actually work as a group or do a fullscale animation? Yeah, I can see how professional or good it's going to look like.


    I'm pretty sure that Stephen King didn't also try to grab bunch of people to write his first book for him for free, you know.
    That was his third book, after he'd gotten the check.

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  31. #23
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    ShortBus,

    I know you're excited about your idea, and you want to get going on it now without putting in the time first to get investors, or work on a pitch plan (because that's so much work, unlike a fully animated pilot episode!!), but this is part of the work you have to do if you want to see your dream come into fruition. It's gonna take way more than 40 hours of prep-work on your part, and people will want to see you've put your own blood, sweat and tears into it before they commit theirs. Get down to business, and instead of asking people for voluteer hours, find forums and websites where you can get advice on what preliminary work you need to have done before you approach investors and/or networks. You also clearly need advice on how to pitch an idea, and I know I've seen several books on the subject. Learn how a pitchbook is put together. It's also going to take charisma, confidence, and some practicing your acting skills in front of a mirror. If you can't make people laugh/cry/whatever when you explain your idea, then you aren't doing a good job, or it isn't a good idea.

    Don't get sad about the advice/responses you are getting - that's the last habit you want to get into if you want to be successful at pitching your ideas.

    If you really want your pilot, you're going to need investors, which means you'll need a pitch. The amount of work that is required to put together a 23 minute animated episode is not going to come free no matter how sweet or sure of yourself you sound.

    As for your question, "are people willing to work for free?", it depends. You will probably find that a lonely vegan artist who is approached by a super cute PETA guy who asks her to design a couple cute chick and piglet stickers Pro-Bono (with credit) may be won over. However, whether you intend it or not, anyone who agrees to do the amount of work you are looking for based on your interest in your own idea, is going to be not only incredibly naive, but mostly likely also the victim of a scam.

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  32. #24
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    m. iv'e worked on a number of indie games and short films. i started out as a 3d modeler and kind of worked my way up. for me, my gain was the experience and education. i learned a lot by being a part of a group and working hands on rather than reading it out of a book.
    There are lots of people that get education this way. I don't know of many game designers that haven't gotten a copy of Unreal engine and gotten together with a bunch of artists to make mod levels and stuff like that.

    But the difference between stuff like that and what you propose is that you are in control. They might have someone who has has control of the master level and he/she incorporates all of the assets from the other people, but there probably aren't too many modders out there that are working FOR someone for that experience and education. They work TOGETHER.

    If you want to collaborate with someone, then collaborate and share the property equally. But if you are trying to HIRE someone and get anyone to do things FOR YOU, then that is going to be difficult to find.

    And if you do find that person, it will be from someone who is around 14-15 yrs old.

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    ShortBus, have you read the articles by Mark Evanier and Steve Bissette that I linked to?


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    I'm often amazed at the amount of projects my own mind can come up with to work for free on.

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  36. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortBus View Post
    i do realize that a pilot is not necessary, but it will help.
    Which is funny, since just a few days ago I was listening to four studio heads saying that's exactly the wrong thing to do and that it's a waste of time, money and effort.

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    Aahhh...thank you, Elwell.

    I just got an idea of how we can put a poll up for this thread...

    I can't tell you the subject choices up front, of course, bit I'll need a few volunteers (absolutely NO compensation) to write the thing up, post it and verify the results when it closes. Just make sure my name is on it...

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  39. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilaekae View Post
    Aahhh...thank you, Elwell.

    I just got an idea of how we can put a poll up for this thread...

    I can't tell you the subject choices up front, of course, bit I'll need a few volunteers (absolutely NO compensation) to write the thing up, post it and verify the results when it closes. Just make sure my name is on it...
    Oh, me! Me! Me! I'll help you out! Anything for my postcount! What do you need exactly? Do you want me to...

    ... waaaaaaait a minute!



    Just "Dirk" will do!
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    Oh, lookee! It's the start of term... can't think what makes me suspect that animation students are hedging their bets against the future. Not that I've lived long enough to be cynical or anything, but I predict a lot of "how do I without trying" posts...

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