Command+Edit Podcast

The post-production podcast that goes beyond the desk

Say No To Spec : Cmd+Edit 026

Nick MontgomeryComment
Command Edit Podcast Episode Say no to spec work freelancing

In this episode we answer a few questions sent to us by our listeners and share one editor's story of his first big gig. We love hearing those kinds of stories so if you'd like to share yours, please send them in and we would love to read them.

We've all seen those horrific requests posted on forums like Craigslist or that ask for editors with ridiculous terms attached (usually incredibly low payment or nothing at all for editing long-form projects...but you get exposure!). Check out this one in particular though and see if you can spot what's wrong with it.

Craigslist ad for feature film editor underpaid

A video making the rounds with the hashtag #SayNoToSpec got us talking for this episode. The idea of spec work may have made sense in video production at some point...but it's now 2015 and it's long since lost it's flavour. We are way past sick of hearing potential clients approaching editors with the usual lines:

  • "It'll be great exposure for you!"
  • "Give us a discount on this one and we'll give you more work later!"
  • ...and yadda yadda yadda. You know the lines.

An ad agency in Toronto, Zulu Alpha Kilo, produced a video that seems to capture honest reactions of other trade professionals being asked to do spec work (spoiler alert: they laugh and say no).

Spec work became a laughable concept among video production pros a decade ago. So why are some people still saying yes?