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funded for production. Not only was I not getting paid for those expenses and I
wasn’t getting paid for the work I already completed. Plus there was no work
coming in so I had no income. It was just a bad time for lots of folks. But I
learned a valuable lesson and that was not to front money to clients. This gets
annoying when corporate clients want you to subsidize them by fronting expenses.
I’m like no you can cut me a petty cash check right now just do it.
Her narrative of being left holding her client’s expenses after September
11th,
is a
cautionary tale but one that comes from a place of power because she recognizes that
many people were hurt including large companies and that now she must ask her clients to
cover their upfront costs. Carol’s sense of purposeful “self-agency” allowed her to act in a
way that was liberating and open to a conversation which permits her to partner rather than
feeling like a pawn with clients (Anderson H. and Gehart, D., 2007, p. 172). Carol’s story
is a powerful reminder for all freelancers that they have the right and ability to ask for what
we need in advance without apologies or subterfuge.
Carol candidly reflects about the impact of the recession and how it was exacerbated by
rapid technological changes:
This recession has been longer, deeper, and more profound. It also coincided with a
lot of technology shifts. If another client mentions the world Flip camera to me, I’ll
throw up. It’s like now any idiot can make an HD movie. They don’t understand that
Flip cameras have terrible audio and they have a fixed lens that can’t do anything.
It’s great if you want to shoot your baby learning to walk. It’s not appropriate for
large-scale productions that are going to be on a huge screen. There’s the
perception with all this kind of instant technology that everybody can get Final Cut or
Avid Express on their desktop and they think they’re an editor. They have a
handycam and think they’re a shooter. I’m all for making technology available to the
proletariat. On the professional side, nobody would think of picking up a musical
instrument and playing it within two weeks. People are accepting less on the
production values side and they want to push the budget down. There’s an erosion
of rates because they devalue your work and level of expertise.
She flips off the accessible Flip camera, which was recently bought out by Cisco, and then
suffered an untimely death as described in the New York Times article by David Pogue in
April 14, 2011 (http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/the-tragic-death-of-the-flip/).
Kodak, considering picking up Cisco’s share, did not live long enough to see that dream
realized and filed for bankruptcy in January 2012. The Flip’s demise demonstrates the
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