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Motion Graphics Questions

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Dan Swift
Motion Graphics Questions
on Jan 13, 2016 at 3:53:39 pm


I was wondering if I could ask the people of Creative COW some questions about being a freelancer in the Motion Graphics industry! (College project)

1: How do you get work?
2: What would be the hourly rate you charge a client?
3: What problems can you get into as a freelancer?
4: Does the company you work for handle your money for you, or do you have to sort through taxes and such?
5: What advice would you give to someone starting in the industry?

Thank you in advance!

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Chris Evans
Re: Motion Graphics Questions
on Jan 14, 2016 at 12:01:43 am

1: Friends and people I know and then acquaintances through those people. It's all about knowing people. That's the case for me. I have a friends, he doesn't do as much graphics, more shooting and editing, but he is really good at finding people to work for online or through random people he knows. He just goes out and finds it, talks to people, posts on websites, etc.

2: I don't charge hourly. I recommend never charging hourly for anything in this field. I charge per project. I have an hourly rate that I want to make, which is about $30 per hour for motion graphics. So, when I discuss a project with someone, I try to get a sense of exactly what they want and then I guess how long that's gonna take me in hours and I tell them it's gonna cost them that much, roughly. I usually round up to the nearest 5 hours for longer projects. If I take longer, it's my fault. If I'm efficient and finish it quickly, then I made more money. I don't feel bad for this because really they are paying for the product, not my time, so if I was fast, the product is still as good. I think of it like this, if I was less experienced, I could create this in twice the time, but I'd charge half as much.

The actual dollar value really depends on where you are in the country. Where I'm at, if I charged more than that, nobody would hire me around here because they can't afford it. Plus, it's enough for me to live in the area too. If I lived in a more expensive area, I'd charge more.

3: Biggest problem is probably clients not paying. I've never had this problem because I've only worked with people I trust quite a lot, but I've heard to many stories. Always have a contract. Always. Other problems could be people using your work in a way not intended, or stealing it from somewhere, but those are probably less common.

4: I worked as myself, so I never had a company to handle money. I did it myself. I filled out a w9 (in the US) for each company or person I worked for and when I filed taxes, I reported that as my income. I didn't do enough that it was a significant portion of my total income, but if it is you can itemize your taxes and get write-offs for things like gas for driving to a job or equipment you had to purchase to do your job. I never did that, so I don't really know much about that. ALWAYS KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU MAKE. You'll have to pay taxes on it because unlike a job, it doesn't come out of your pay.

5: Meet people, do work. Go out and find people who you can do work for. Ask everyone you meet. You may have to do stuff for free so you have some work to show, or just do fun projects for yourself to get practice and to show. But don't keep doing stuff for free, after you're at least competent, start charging as soon as you can. The most important thing is to just do projects. Collaborate with other people and work hard and produce good content. Find more people to work for and with. The more people you work with, and the more you work with them, the more they'll think of you when the topic comes up and that's what you want. You want people to think of you and motion graphics (or whatever you do) together. Meet people, do work.

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Dan Swift
Re: Motion Graphics Questions
on Jan 25, 2016 at 9:20:05 am

Thank you so much for your amazing response!

Not only has it helped with my college project, but also my future career!

Once again, thank you so much!!


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