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Expectations of a Freelancer (Cost of working remotely)

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John Grote, Jr.
Expectations of a Freelancer (Cost of working remotely)
on Oct 10, 2011 at 12:14:18 pm

Hello all,

I have an interesting situation that I am dealing with a Freelance graphic artist. This person is working with us on a year long project and as we are in the beginning stages of the project, expects our company to supply him with our software and plugins, so that he can work remotely.

I am having issues with this because these plugins are pretty much the industry standard for use in After Effects. I feel if you would like to work remotely as a freelancer you should be responsible for your own tools of your trade. Just as a carpenter or plumber would be responsible for their own tools. They wouldn't show up to your house and ask to use your wrench or saw.

I'm trying to find a (for lack of a better term) polite way to let this person know that they will have to purchase their own licenses for these plugins. I freelance as well and I own all the plugins so that I am able to work remotely.

Cheers,

btveditor@yahoo.com

J. Grote, Jr.


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Steve Kownacki
Re: Expectations of a Freelancer (Cost of working remotely)
on Oct 10, 2011 at 1:20:55 pm

How did you hook up with this guy? You should have known his tool kit in the first discussion and that he was qualified and outfitted to do the work. Hopefully no more than discussions have taken place.

EULA says you can't share your software and there is no way you should buy him anything. If you do buy it for him (which you're not going to do) that would make him a remote employee not a freelancer.

I'd simply tell him that he has to provide the finished materials as requested at the price discussed and no tools will be provided by you. The IRS is really cracking down on what constitues an employee vs independent contractor.

Steve






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Richard Herd
Re: Expectations of a Freelancer (Cost of working remotely)
on Oct 10, 2011 at 3:01:29 pm

The rate he is being paid matters too. There's two kinds of freelancing.

One type is I do work on my machine. I charge a lot more.

The other type is I do work on your machine. I charge less (and don't have to deal with client egos).

If he is the first type, then he is responsible for his software and plugins.

If he is the second type, then you are responsible for the software and plugins.


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Nick Griffin
Re: Expectations of a Freelancer (Cost of working remotely)
on Oct 10, 2011 at 9:15:11 pm

I agree with Richard and especially with Steve. You and your production really need to protect yourself from having this person deemed an employee. That will end up being a much bigger financial hit than the cost of some plug-ins.

If he's off-site and providing work on his own schedule, even if it's to a set deadline, than you should be able to argue that he's a legitimate freelancer. If he's using your tools probably less so. If you're telling him that he needs to work on your project Monday to Friday and turn in his work product every Friday afternoon, you have an employee -- along with all the withholding, Social Security, etc. payments that go along with that.

And let me add... in addition to not being a lawyer, I'm also not an accountant. (But I'll bet that the majority of them would agree with the above.)


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walter biscardi
Re: Expectations of a Freelancer (Cost of working remotely)
on Oct 10, 2011 at 9:32:31 pm

[Nick Griffin] "And let me add... in addition to not being a lawyer, I'm also not an accountant. (But I'll bet that the majority of them would agree with the above.)"

The big key here in Georgia is who sets the schedule if they work on your equipment. I've put multiple people under long term contracts who work out of my shop and we have worked with our CPA to ensure we're doing everything correctly per the state of Georgia.

In particular, I do not set a firm schedule because I'm not allowed to do that with a freelancer. Want to take a vacation or time off? Just let me know what days you're taking, I cannot refuse to allow them to go. We set a range on the schedule for when they arrive / depart depending on the task at hand and whom they are interfacing with. Obviously if a client wants to work 9-5, well the freelancer has to be able to accomodate that. But just bringing in a freelancer working on your own gear does not make one an employee, at least not here.

Now that we've grown a bit, we have full time staff, but still keep a rather large roster of freelance talent we call on as needed for projects.

Definitely want to speak with your CPA and attorney of choice to ensure you are working within the guidelines set forth for your area.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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walter biscardi
Re: Expectations of a Freelancer (Cost of working remotely)
on Oct 10, 2011 at 9:34:34 pm

[John Grote, Jr.] "I'm trying to find a (for lack of a better term) polite way to let this person know that they will have to purchase their own licenses for these plugins. I freelance as well and I own all the plugins so that I am able to work remotely. "

No need to tell them politely. Just tell them straight up, you want to work with me remotely, you supply your own computer and all the necessary tools to do the job. Period.

All the freelancers I work with remotely either have all the tools they need for a job or they purchase any additional software / hardware needed themselves.

Under no circumstances do you supply the freelancer with those tools unless its in your contract.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Gav Bott
Re: Expectations of a Freelancer (Cost of working remotely)
on Oct 10, 2011 at 11:14:49 pm

All the wise words have been said already - for me I'd also be hearing alarm bells that would make me question using this freelancer at all.

Either you know what you are doing and can do it, or not..........

Gav

The Brit in Brisbane
The Pomme in Production - Brisbane Australia.


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Sam Cornelis
Re: Expectations of a Freelancer (Cost of working remotely)
on Oct 11, 2011 at 3:00:40 pm

... Or he can take adobes monthly subscription plan for after effects - just for the duration of the project. Don't know if this is possibkle for the plugins.

- I have read the entire internet, and I am feeling a little bit bored, so I started to reply to interesting forum topics.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Expectations of a Freelancer (Cost of working remotely)
on Oct 11, 2011 at 3:09:43 pm

As a freelancer, I would expect the guy to buy his required tools and charge a rate that pays for them. That may require a hefty advance investment on his part he's unwilling to risk.


A long time ago when i was a freelancer, I had a corporate client that needed a series of shoots done, and I was fresh out of school and had no money for gear. I talked them into buying an inexpensive (to them) set of lights and owning them, and I would come to their place and use the lighting kit on their projects. This allowed me to keep my rate lower. Because of accounting magic, the arrangement was perceived by them to be cheaper than having me raise my rate to pay off the light kit over a series of jobs. In retrospect, it would haev been better for me had I done that, but I was just a kid.


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Sam Cornelis
Re: Expectations of a Freelancer (Cost of working remotely)
on Oct 11, 2011 at 7:33:59 pm

Mark, you're right.
I'd like to add that, when you are a starting freelancer: buy the stuff, the moment you are starting on a project where you are going to need it. There are a lot of nice things to buy - but if you don't have a real project waiting for it, don't buy it yet. Eh, does that sound to obvious ?

- I have read the entire internet, and I am feeling a little bit bored, so I started to reply to interesting forum topics.


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