I'd like to start this article by firstly saying I absolutely love my job as a freelance camera operator. I've been working in the Film/ TV /online content industry full time for the past 5 years and wouldn't change the freedom and variety of work for anything.
There are however a few things that aren't that glamorous and I thought I'd jot them down here for fun:
- Bags, Cases and boxes - A large portion of my job is loading/ unloading bags and boxes from vans, cars and lorries. Through rain or shine, up and down stairs, those flight cases protecting my valuable camera gear have got to be shifted from location to location. There are never enough hands to help out so make sure you're fighting fit for the job.
- Service station food - I've visited almost every motorway service station in the UK and have had more than my fair share of meal deals. Fast food and coffee to go are the standard for most crew members living on the roads.
- Never having enough change for the parking meter - parking in extortionately priced multi-store car parks is the usual for freelance crew. Thankfully you can pay by phone in a lot of major cities but there are the occasional small towns that still require change for the meter which you inevitably don't have on you.
- Long anti-social hours - My longest shoot was 22 hours plus travel. It's safe to say I was ruined afterwards but what a great experience it was. If you're prepared to work long anti-social hours then you'll never struggle to find work as a freelancer.
Never fear however as almost every one of these 'first world problems' can be fixed or avoided with proper planning and healthy living. Little things like prepping food/snacks the night before and going to the gym once a week will have a huge impact on your well being as a freelancer.
I hope you enjoyed this article and feel free to message me with more niggles that get your back up about being freelance.