Freelance – isolation – tips

Homebox Ask Life Freelance – isolation – tips

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Will Steer 2 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #610

    Snow leopard

    I’m a film editor (and sometimes animator) and I’ve just gone freelance. I’m living in quite a small village at the moment so sometimes feel quite isolated. Can anyone recommend any professional organisations I should join? Are there any I should avoid?

  • #640

    Will Steer

    I’m Will Steer. I’ve been working as a freelance editor, colourist and animator for the last four years. I run Good Hustle Films.

    I’d recommend BECTU. 

    It gives you a few things. It gives you some degree of legal protection. If a client refuses to pay up after they’ve agreed to, they can help you. They can give you legal advice or get lawyers involved to help you. They provide networking opportunities, as long as you’re willing to go and do some networking. And if you get to a certain level in the industry it’s good to be a BECTU member. It’s viewed as something that legitimises you as a working professional. 

    Membership is about £10 or £15 a month. I think as a video editor or animator, you’re going to be paying £50 a month for your Adobe Creative Cloud license anyway. So, £10, £15 on top of that isn’t a huge amount to pay. Even if you go a few years without using any of the services, I’m happy to support others so that they’ll be able to support me when the time comes.

    It started in response to the poor working practices in terms of long hours and not paying people enough money for what they do. Unfortunately, there are parts of the industry where very hard work is expected for poor pay. Hopefully things will change. They are starting to change a little. For the first time ever recently, visual effects artists are coming together and having meetings with the union.


BECTU has also been unionising cinema employees lately. There’s been a high profile campaign to unionise employees of Picturehouse Cinemas, for example. They started off with one cinema, the Ritzy in Brixton which became a part of BECTU. Then Clapham joined. Now two Mile London cinemas and one cinema in Brighton has joined, so something like one fifth to a quarter of all of their cinemas are now BECTU unionised. I’m very proud of what BECTU and what the employees of those cinemas have done.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  Will Steer.

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