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Working on Spec February 13, 2013

If you work in the creative arts or are looking for a career in the creative arts, here’s a little secret: You aren’t always going to get paid for what you want to do, what you love to do, or what you do best.

 

Did I burst your bubble? Good.

 

Now, clean up the pieces around you and I’ll tell you another secret: Working on Spec.

Working on Spec means you work on something, speculating that in the future someone might be interested in paying you for it. AKA: Working for free.

Now, I know working for free sounds HORRIBLE but remember what I told you at the beginning of the blog? You aren’t always going to get paid for what you want to do, what you love to do, or what you do best. Not only is working on spec creatively satisfying, it also gives you an opportunity to keep your skills sharp and give you more experience in writing and production whether someone is paying you or not. And, there is always the possibility you get paid for it.

The Doritos Crash The Superbowl Commercial Contest is a great example of working on Spec. I guarantee you the people behind this commercial weren’t looking at marketing analytics or what was trending on Twitter. They came up with something that made them laugh and they had the talents to pull it off.

So, work on Spec. Do things you love to do and get better at what you love to do because even if you don’t get paid for that project,  you’ll be prepared and just the right person for the job when the opportunity arises.

PS – Here’s a spec commercial I wrote and directed for those newfangled Nokia Camera phones back in film school. That may or may not be me in a dress…it is.

ourtroublesareoverco

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