Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Silver Spy

2009 Motion Graphic Census Survey Results????

Recommended Posts

...So here is my list of abilities and you tell me what the proper name I should be given.

 

-I do video editing

-designed packaging for broadcast shows and specials

-rebranding and logo redesign

-Directed, shot, and produced commercials and image campaigns

-I have experience directing talent in commercial shoots

-Sound Design

-Web and interactive knowledge

-a million other misc. crap that comes with the territory

 

So if I do this on a regular basis what would you call me?

 

"Resident Genius"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting and I'm sure helpful. Thanks for putting this together.

 

I found the overtime section to be of particular interest as it's come up where I work recently.

 

Just curious if anyone else has any experience or legal knowledge regarding FLSA overtime exemptions for salaried employees. Particularly whether or not "designers" tend to be classified as "creative professionals." The language of the exemption clauses is, at best vague, and I've read differing interpretations of it.

One interpretation, that seems to be the prevailing precedent in California, is that one must be the creative decision maker (ie. not just a designer, but more of a CD) in order to be considered an exempt "creative professional." Just curious if anyone has any thoughts, experiences, or insights with regards to this.

 

Again, thanks for putting this survey together!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
but my job title is along the lines of "Promotions Editor"

 

Preditor (yes, an actual & common title)

 

 

I had the title of Multimedia Developer at my last Fulltime "jack of all trades" position.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Preditor (yes, an actual & common title)

 

 

I had the title of Multimedia Developer at my last Fulltime "jack of all trades" position.

 

 

See thats what I am talking about. Forgot about the "Preditor". A co-worker of mine had this weird one before they anointed him "Graphic Designer". I think it was called "Creative and Multimedia Specialist"

 

When they had title appointing going on along with business card setups, I had asked to be called Art Director.com. Another one of my co-workers asked to be labeled "Princess Awesome".

 

 

 

*Edit. And with this post I am no longer a Newbie. I can finally cross off "Graduating from newbie status at Mograph" off my Mograph.net bucket list.

Edited by C-FU

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in a similar boat, cfu

 

I just put Senior Designer

 

The sad thing is I make much less then the median animator or designer on this survey, and like you said, we do it all...

 

But as our company grows, I am purposely pigeon holing myself into motion graphics and art direction, in order to refine my chosen craft.

I avoid editing at all cost, no more script writing, no more directing/producing.

 

I believe the low paying predator position is a reaction to small or newer cable channels, hiring younger/newer people and tasking them a huge variety of the work, as there isn't a large team or any budget to speak of.. Any other predators out there feel like the survey was accurate? or gave them hope of making more money?

 

I think a lot of people on these forums are so good at what they do, they're doing jobs for the best agencies/houses/companies, so they are bring home the bucks, and don't realize how many people work for the cable channels, that are jack of all/master of none, and they don't pay very well...

 

A big factor must be the type of work you do... An animator working on a gatorade spot, is going to get paid more then a smuck making promos for a hunting show :(

Because in the end, if I was good enough to be doing work for gatorade or nike, I wouldn't be doing what I do...

 

I would try to be a bit more specific than 'designer'. Especially in the world of motion / broadcast.

 

Understandably, job titles in our industry are a bit loose and rarely required. However, I suggest that if given the opportunity to title yourself, you give it considerable thought because it plays a major role when looking for a different job when the time comes. Usually we deal with talent scouts, head hunters, and agencies - or people that lack a solidified understanding of what exactly it is we do, all of whom base their first impressions of how qualified you are solely on your previous job titles.

Edited by AromaKat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm telling you, there's too little info on location and quality of work, or client demographics.

A few weeks ago i got the actual 'complaint' that i was too cheap.

 

We'll see if that 50% ratehike will be accepted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting and I'm sure helpful. Thanks for putting this together.

 

I found the overtime section to be of particular interest as it's come up where I work recently.

 

Just curious if anyone else has any experience or legal knowledge regarding FLSA overtime exemptions for salaried employees. Particularly whether or not "designers" tend to be classified as "creative professionals." The language of the exemption clauses is, at best vague, and I've read differing interpretations of it.

One interpretation, that seems to be the prevailing precedent in California, is that one must be the creative decision maker (ie. not just a designer, but more of a CD) in order to be considered an exempt "creative professional." Just curious if anyone has any thoughts, experiences, or insights with regards to this.

 

Again, thanks for putting this survey together!

 

I would seriously recommend following VFXLaw's blog. Take a look at these two posts:

http://vfxlaw.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/where-is-my-overtime-pay/

http://vfxlaw.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/what-is-exempt-vs-non-exempt/

 

Also if you're an employee, you should be being paid on a W2 and your time should be calculated hourly. If you're an independent contractor, then overtime doesn't really apply and you have to get your contract in writing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would seriously recommend following VFXLaw's blog. Take a look at these two posts:

http://vfxlaw.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/where-is-my-overtime-pay/

http://vfxlaw.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/what-is-exempt-vs-non-exempt/

 

Also if you're an employee, you should be being paid on a W2 and your time should be calculated hourly. If you're an independent contractor, then overtime doesn't really apply and you have to get your contract in writing.

 

Thanks for those references.

I'm guessing that designers/animators fall into the same category as VFX artists so long as they are not supervisors/team-managers.

In fact I think Illinois' FLSA (maybe even the FLSA in general) was updated to specifically mention "animator" as non-exempt.

Now the awkward process of trying to broach the subject with the company...

Thanks again for those links.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would seriously recommend following VFXLaw's blog. Take a look at these two posts:

http://vfxlaw.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/where-is-my-overtime-pay/

http://vfxlaw.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/what-is-exempt-vs-non-exempt/

 

Also if you're an employee, you should be being paid on a W2 and your time should be calculated hourly. If you're an independent contractor, then overtime doesn't really apply and you have to get your contract in writing.

 

 

These links were great. I'm not sure why the person who posted them, deleted them. Maybe they got a death threat or a "you'll never work again in this town / industry" threat? -Neither would surprise me.

 

Basically, the linked pages highlighted the laws regarding OT pay and the fact that you're not exempt from OT compensation as a commercial artist.

 

They also encouraged people to base their rates on an 8 hour day and charge for OT, which is in fact, the law. They also gave a breakdown of how much money you're getting cheated out of by not being paid OT compensation.

 

I've been doing this sort of thing for awhile now: whenever I'm asked what my rate is, I always say that it's $XXX.XX for an eight hour day.

 

If it's a place I really want to work at for one reason or another, I may say 8-10 hour day to soft sell it. 8-10 hours, means including lunch so it ends up being 8.5 or maybe 9 hours tops of actual work, because I will take a lunch and not sitting at my desk either.

 

I find that when I soft sell it as an 8-10 hour day I still end up leaving by 7:30 pm for the most part. So it ends up being 10 am - 7:30 pm with an hour lunch between 1 pm and 2 pm.

 

When I base it on an 8 hour day, I still take a lunch, but don't bill for that hour, i.e. I work a full 8 hours and the ninth hour is lunch or in other words: 10 am to 7 pm with a lunch from 1 pm to 2 pm.

 

I'm at the point where I don't really care to stay until 8 pm or after. I don't care how great the work is that the shop turns out or how "rock star" they are as a (sweat) shop.

 

I also don't do MBO / Yurcor or any other EOR scheme. I'm not into paying a fee to work and then paying Employer and Employee taxes.

 

If that gets me less work for wanting to be treated fairly with regard to regular work days, not wanting to pay a fee to some third party company just so I can work, having an employer contribute their share of taxes to my compensation and getting over time compensation when over time is worked, then so be it.

 

It won't take much for the industry to change if you stand up for yourself as a freelancer.

 

Stop working 10 or more often 12-16 hour days for Blind, Stardust, BNS, Logan, Imaginary Forces, etc. without OT compensation and tell places like Superfad, Roger and BNS who all use EORs, to take a hike with their lack of ethics.

 

In fact, here's a link to a list of shops using EORs- UNETHICAL

 

Unlike the places I mentioned above, there are other shops and networks out there that work people normal 8 hour days and don't use EORs. They also do good work. These places also typically pay in 2-3 weeks or less. I know, because I seek them out and work at them.

 

I think it's great that people in our profession are communicating on boards like this about this and other problems in our industry. However, you can bitch all day on this board and other industry sites about getting low balled and not getting paid OT, but until you start standing up for yourself when you're asked what your day rate is, by putting 8 hour limits as what you base your regular hours and rate on and telling these places you don't do EORs, you'll continue to get screwed. -That, and write to your State and Federal Representatives about all this crap.

 

If everyone stands up for themselves then the problem will go away. Until then, it won't and the people who run the shops I mentioned by name and others like them, are just laughing their asses off at you and this board while they're counting the cash they're screwing you out of.

Edited by tvp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These links were great. I'm not sure why the person who posted them, deleted them. Maybe they got a death threat or a "you'll never work again in this town / industry" threat? -Neither would surprise me.

 

Basically, the linked pages highlighted the laws regarding OT pay and the fact that you're not exempt from OT compensation as a commercial artist.

 

 

 

The links don't work anymore. It looks like the author has deleted the blog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tvp, I agree 100% with what you're saying.

 

VFXLaw looks like he deleted his entire blog and twitter feed. He was running it anonymously, so I wonder what happened. Too bad, though, because he was posting some incredibly useful information.

Googled has cached versions of those pages now, so seek them out while they're still available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tvp, I agree 100% with what you're saying.

 

VFXLaw looks like he deleted his entire blog and twitter feed. He was running it anonymously, so I wonder what happened. Too bad, though, because he was posting some incredibly useful information.

Googled has cached versions of those pages now, so seek them out while they're still available.

 

Yeah, I was able to save the cached page of the last time it was cached, but not the entry where he gave a detailed breakdown of how much money a freelancer is losing by not charging OT after an 8 hour day, which is the law in the State of California.

 

I would like to know why he deleted it, so if you're reading this VFX Law, please let us know somehow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, the last few posts on this thread are more revealing than the results of the survey.

 

I didn't realize how crazy it is out there in the real world. Just reading up on these EOR's now – is it true that most of the "rockstar" studios won't hire you if you're not part of an EOR? I've been "true" freelance (in other words: work off site, using my own equipment, setting my own hours, working on agreed upon terms, on non rockstar projects) for the past 3 years so I had no idea this was a requirement for A level studio work.

 

I was aware of the permalance scheme, even experienced it myself early in my career (although after a few months was hired as full time staff), but this EOR thing really takes it to the next level of shadiness! So not only do I have to work on site like an employee but receive no benefits or vacation and pay the entirety of my taxes like a independent contract – on top of that I must also pay some random company another 5% just cause?

 

W

T

F

 

 

I'm still trying to comprehend what's going on here. But it's clear that the low rates in the survey are equal to even lower yearly salaries if many people are working in studios but paying full taxes and EOR fees.

 

Other question: What can you deduct when you're working on-site at a studio using their equipment? It seems legally you wouldn't be able to claim any of your own equipment/software since you're not using it on site? Or do you bring your own workstation to the studio?

Edited by Fred Camino

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, the last few posts on this thread are more revealing than the results of the survey.

 

I didn't realize how crazy it is out there in the real world. Just reading up on these EOR's now – is it true that most of the "rockstar" studios won't hire you if you're not part of an EOR? I've been "true" freelance (in other words: work off site, using my own equipment, setting my own hours, working on agreed upon terms, on non rockstar projects) for the past 3 years so I had no idea this was a requirement for A level studio work.

 

I was aware of the permalance scheme, even experienced it myself early in my career (although after a few months was hired as full time staff), but this EOR thing really takes it to the next level of shadiness! So not only do I have to work on site like an employee but receive no benefits or vacation and pay the entirety of my taxes like a independent contract – on top of that I must also pay some random company another 5% just cause?

 

W

T

F

 

 

I'm still trying to comprehend what's going on here. But it's clear that the low rates in the survey are equal to even lower yearly salaries if many people are working in studios but paying full taxes and EOR fees.

 

Other question: What can you deduct when you're working on-site at a studio using their equipment? It seems legally you wouldn't be able to claim any of your own equipment/software since you're not using it on site? Or do you bring your own workstation to the studio?

 

Well, if they're 1099 you illegally, which a lot of places still do and is the lesser of two evils between that and EORs, then you can still write stuff off.

 

I've found that if you're freelance, it works out best if you have W-2s and a few 1099s to get some write offs. That way, you pay some taxes, get some contributions to your FICA, Medicare, etc. from temporary employers and get to write some stuff off that you wouldn't get to write off if you are strictly W-2.

 

These days though, I'd rather be all W-2 / I-9 (in California) and not have to worry about an audit. When I say W-2, I mean NOT UNDER AN EOR. EORs are BS, in case anyone missed that. :)

 

Still though, in LA, I work mostly on site for shops and networks. I don't go direct with clients, yet. I just may start though.

 

All the shops I mentioned have been screwing people out of OT and / or Employer tax contributions by either misclassifying them as 1099 or the more recent use of EORs, since day one.

 

Regarding the "bring your own work station" phenomena:

 

I've seen ads for places that want you to bring your own work station, yet work on-site under their direct supervision. That isn't the norm and it's a bunch of crap. Moreover, it's something I would avoid. Who in their right mind would want to cart around a tower, monitor, etc and leave it at some shop with people you hardly know? How can you not know that is going to be a rotten deal from the beginning? If they don't have a box for you to work on, then they can rent one and pick up the cost themselves. They should have known enough to know they would need an extra box or two when they bid for the job. If they did know and are still asking people to bring their own box, then you can bet they're probably not that scrupulous. They probably won't pay you in a timely manner either. If they didn't know they would need an extra box when they bid for the job, then there's a good chance they don't know what they're doing and that's a nightmare for those of us who do, should we be working for them. Even then, it's no excuse. Know what I mean?

Edited by tvp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rockstar studios will hire you if you aren't a part of an EOR, but you have to be willing to walk away from the project to stay 1099 and you have to make a case for why you ARE 1099. Read up on it and learn to defend yourself and you should be good. I haven't lost a single project for being 100% 1099... that I know of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rockstar studios will hire you if you aren't a part of an EOR, but you have to be willing to walk away from the project to stay 1099 and you have to make a case for why you ARE 1099. Read up on it and learn to defend yourself and you should be good. I haven't lost a single project for being 100% 1099... that I know of.

 

Sure.

 

The line they typically tow is that if you are incorporated they will 1099 you.

 

That's been discussed in detail on this site and Motionographer. So, I'm not sure what your point is by mentioning that.

 

If you're on site, using their equipment or equipment they rented and you're under their direct supervision, they should be paying you via W-2 (I-9, for State in California) and contributing their share of Employer taxes and paying you OT beyond 8 hours in a day.

 

As stated in other threads, the truth is that the Feds don't give a crap if you're incorporated or not, if you're working on-site, with the employer's equipment, under their direct supervision.

 

YOU'RE NOT AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR IN THIS SCENARIO WHETHER YOU'RE INCORPORATED OR NOT. YOU'RE A TEMPORARY EMPLOYEE IN THE VIEW OF FEDERAL LAW.

 

Typically what the shops do is lie on their taxes and say you were off site, etc. They may even have you sign some twelve page contract stating you were off site, which is basically forcing the freelancer to sign something that is lying to the government because they know the freelancer needs / wants the work, so the contract is signed under duress.

 

It's tax evasion and evasion of paying compensation. Pure and simple. That's why, safe to say at this point, it's pissing off most of the freelance community in this industry, especially with regard to the EOR schemes and not paying OT.

 

But like I said earlier, people can sit around here and discuss it all they want. Until you call one of those whistle blower numbers and do something about it with how you respond when you're asked what your day rate is, it will continue.

 

To reiterate, the only way it will change is if 1.) Freelancers start quoting their rates based on an 8 hour day and with OT compensation, if the day goes over 8 hours. 2.) I think the Feds and the State need to step in and make shop owners obey Labor Laws. 3.) Freelancers need to call those Federal and State Whistle Blower numbers and report every shop that's screwed them out of OT and made them sign up with an EOR. Many have already done this, so let's hope it continues. I personally would love to see all the shops I mentioned get a letter from the State and Feds telling them their illegal business practices need to cease with regard to OT and EORs and 1099 misclassification and they need to pay back pay and taxes to / for all of the freelancers they screwed out of both over the last decade.

Edited by tvp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What the hell? am I in an argument I'm not even aware of?

I'm just sharing my experience.

 

No, no- sorry, monovich, I didn't mean for it to "sound" like that.

 

All I meant was that if you're on site, with 1099, aside from being illegal misclassification, they really aren't doing you any favors.

 

So, in my mind, who cares if they hire you as a 1099 if they aren't going to pay you OT for all of the hours beyond 8 that they will expect you to work, i.e. 10 to 16 hour days.

 

If you're off site and working on your own equipment, setting your own hours and you're not under their direct supervision, then that's a different story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...