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J Montreuil

Computer advice for freelancing work?

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i'm starting a freelancing gig next week that requires me to bring my own workstation. I am working with a Macbook and I am considering upgrading to a Pro in the future. Before, I was looking at getting an iMac for my own use at home but if I were to do that, I would be relegated to transporting this tiny ass 13 incher to jobs that require me to bring my own computer.

 

Is bringing your own computer common for freelancing gigs or is it rare? I'm not quite sure what path to take.

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It all depends on the company really. The smaller companies sometimes require you to bring your own workstation in depending if you are the type of artist they normally don't have. But to go along with smaller companies, they may not have all of the software needed to accomplish the goals they feel as if you will set, however with this...There is nothing wrong with having a workstation at home you can work outside of their office.

 

How often are you going to this place a week and how long will you be staying there? Because if you do have a station at home, just ask if you can do this work at home and do weekly meetings to see the project timeline of how it is progressing. I only know this from back when I mainly did graphic and web design since they were small advertising agencies I was working for.

 

I hope this helps!

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i'm starting a freelancing gig next week that requires me to bring my own workstation. I am working with a Macbook and I am considering upgrading to a Pro in the future. Before, I was looking at getting an iMac for my own use at home but if I were to do that, I would be relegated to transporting this tiny ass 13 incher to jobs that require me to bring my own computer.

 

Is bringing your own computer common for freelancing gigs or is it rare? I'm not quite sure what path to take.

 

 

While I can see bringing a laptop in to fill in any gaps in software and plugins the place might have, there is no way I would transport a tower or an iMac or whatever, to an onsite job, just because the shop didn't put the cost of renting a box for the job into the bid.

 

That just tells me that they under bid the job and / or they're insanely cheap and / or they don't know what they're doing. And if anyone of those is the case and it probably is, I'd be worried about if and when I would be paid.

 

Sorry to be a downer, but I've seen jobs like this posted here and on Motionographer and I just roll my eyes and think "fuck off".

 

If they don't have a work station on site and you have one at your home office, then I agree with the other person that responded here- they should be willing to let you work remote and just do weekly meetings over the course of the job's production timeline. None of this: "bring your own tower / monitor work station to our studio". That's BS.

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yeah, if a studio can't afford to rent/buy a workstation there is a good chance they are gona drag out the payment if they pay you at all.

 

so i'd stay away from those jobs.

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Agreed. I did once take my G5 into a place, and everything was fine. But I never did it again, it's unprofessional of them and you if you do.

 

Ages ago I freelanced with a white Macbook for a while and it was ok but nobody else ever had one. If you're going to freelance I think you're expected to have a MBP. Then you're doing the best you can. Actually any Mac laptop isn't really up to hardcore mograph work, so it's annoying that you have to spend that cash just to look right, as it were. I actually think that most production staff would only notice whether it was silver or not, so you could always get an old refurb or something.

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Definitely try to charge an additional equipment rental rate on top of your day rate. I too have been seeing a lot of this, which raises concerns.

 

When charging the additional fees, keep in mind the costs of software. The costs of software usually is far greater than the hardware. Total up what your system is worth (hardware and software) then find a camera / tape deck / etc that costs around the same to purchase, and charge what that piece of equipment rents out for. I would also suggest separating out things such as raid arrays, monitors, etc. to keep the pricing fair to the client.

 

This is just my opinion, and don't know how well it would actually fly over. There may be an abundance of people willing to provide their own equipment for the job free of additional charges because they are desperate enough to basically undercut themselves, or use pirated software so it doesn't really hurt their bottom line. In which case, its just a sad reality that we are going to need to deal with. I think these requests are becoming more commonplace, so I guess only time will tell. I also see agencies requesting personal equipment to be brought in at rates that are no different than jobs that have equipment on-site, which doesn't help the cause.

 

 

Another thing to keep in mind, assuming you are supplying your main workstation, is how much it is going to affect even the potential of other jobs (assuming you work both on-site and at home, with projects often overlapping)

Edited by AromaKat

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If they're not providing you with software or hardware or anything then why-tf do they expect you to go into their office? That's not freelancing. That's the worst aspects of being a freelancer and an employee combined. You're taking on all of the overhead of being a freelancer and giving up all of the control over your time like an employee, while gaining none of the benefits of being an employee.

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If they're not providing you with software or hardware or anything then why-tf do they expect you to go into their office? That's not freelancing. That's the worst aspects of being a freelancer and an employee combined. You're taking on all of the overhead of being a freelancer and giving up all of the control over your time like an employee, while gaining none of the benefits of being an employee.

 

 

On paper (IRS, payroll vs vendor status within the company), a freelancer is essentially a day-by-day staffer, and a contractor is a 3rd party service providing entity. A contractor is obligated to have the necessary tools to perform all required tasks (ie. construction contractor), so there is very valid reasoning behind the "supply your own equipment" mindset. Its actually one of the key distinctions behind being able to 1099 a service provider.

 

This rant, for me, is directed to the peers within our industry and not to the client companies, because the the validity of charging more to provide such equipment is being beaten down by non-incorporated people and non-union agencies. Non-union agencies themselves 1099, but people like us w2 with non-union agencies - which is a huge problem. They are actually driving down our value by simply adding the bring-your-laptop / software clause as an "oh, you have it anyway" requirement for the job. It could also be said that the ability to hire "temp staff" employees at rates comparable to what a full-time hourly employee would get, whether they be from a non-union agency or otherwise is significantly driving down our value. But lets not spin off on too far of a tangent right now.

 

Here is a good and clear read on the distinction between agencies, employees, and independent contractors, ripped from an independent contractor agreement and edited to remove mention of actual company / vendor names:

 

 

(Rev. 10/04)

 

 

 

 

An independent contractor under Chapter440.02(13)(d), F.S.:

 

a. Maintains a separate business withhis own work facility, truck, equipment, materials, or similaraccommodations;

 

b. Holds or has applied for a federalemployer identification number, unless the independent contractor isa sole proprietor

 

who is not required to obtain a federalemployer identification number under state or federal requirements;

 

c. Performs or agrees to performspecific services or work for specific amounts of money and controlsthe means of performing the services or work;

 

d. Incurs the principal expensesrelated to the service or work that he performs or agrees to perform;

 

e. Is responsible for the satisfactorycompletion of work or services that he performs or agrees to performand is or could be held liable for a failure to completethe work or services;

 

f. Receives compensation for work orservices performed for a commission or on a per-job orcompetitive-bid basis;

 

g. May realize a profit or suffer aloss in connection with performing work or services;

 

h. Has continuing or recurring businessliabilities or obligations; and

 

I. Is successful in his business whenhis/her business has receipts greater than expenses.

 

 

 

 

Payee Name: If an individual,he or she must generally provide the name shown on their social securitycard. However, if they have changed their last name, for instance,due to marriage, without informing the Social Security Administrationof the name change, please enter their first name,the last name shown on their social security card, and their new lastname.

 

 

 

 

If you are a sole proprietor, you mustfurnish your individual name and either your SSN or FEIN. You mayalso enter your business name or "doing business as"name. Enter your name(s) as shown on your social security card and/oras it was used to apply for your FEIN on FormSS-4.

 

 

 

 

The Payee Address must agree with thePurchase Order.

 

 

 

 

The Payee Signature and Signature ofApproval must be original signatures. A facsimile will be accepted tobegin the approval process, however, original signaturesmust be provided before payment is made. The Signature of Approvalmust be made by an individual who has the authority toapprove payroll certifications.

 

 

 

 

TEMPORARY PERSONNEL AGENCIES which arecorporations or partnerships only:

 

1) The agency will only fill out theworksheet once;

 

2) The employing department signaturewill NOT be required;

 

3) Purchasing will keep a copy of theworksheet on file and will only issue purchase orders to corporationswith the form on file;

 

4) Purchasing will NOT have to attach acopy of the worksheet to each Purchase Order; and

 

5) Accounts Payable will assume thatPurchasing has a worksheet on file and will not need a copy in orderto process payments.

 

 

 

 

NOTE:

 

Any payment made to a person who is anemployee must be made through Payroll. Approval to pay dualcompensation is not approval to pay an individual as an independentcontractor.

 

 

 

 

Examples of Persons That Are CompanyEmployees:

 

1. Persons performing services that area key aspect of the regular business of a Company department.

 

2. Former employees that return on apart time basis to perform duties similar to those performedpreviously for Company.

 

3. Individuals performing services forCompany that do not perform those services for otherbusinesses.

 

 

 

 

Examples of Persons That May BeIndependent Contractors:

 

2. A person who is not a Companyemployee that is in the business of providing a service to thegeneral public and provides the same service to Company.

 

3. Individuals performing services forCompany that are performed for other businesses. Individual shouldhave business cards and/or a listing in the yellow pages.

 

 

 

 

ANY TAXES, INTEREST OR PENALTIESASSESSED BY THE IRS DUE TO MISCLASSIFICATION OF AN INDIVIDUAL AS ANINDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR WILL BE PAID BY THE DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZINGTHIS FORM. THE EMPLOYMENT TAXES, INTEREST AND PENALTIES WILL BEAPPROXIMATELY EQUAL TO THE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR PAYMENT MADE TO THEINDIVIDUAL.

Edited by AromaKat

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A contractor is obligated to have the necessary tools to perform all required tasks (ie. construction contractor), so there is very valid reasoning behind the "supply your own equipment" mindset. Its actually one of the key distinctions behind being able to 1099 a service provider.

 

That makes sense. I think the on-site/offsite distinction is more of a grey area though. Obviously there are jobs like construction which have to be performed in a specific location. But things like "Maintains a separate business with his own work facility, truck, equipment, materials, or similar accommodations;" and "controls the means of performing the services or work;" imply that they can't make you come into their office to work.

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i'm starting a freelancing gig next week that requires me to bring my own workstation. I am working with a Macbook and I am considering upgrading to a Pro in the future. Before, I was looking at getting an iMac for my own use at home but if I were to do that, I would be relegated to transporting this tiny ass 13 incher to jobs that require me to bring my own computer.

 

Is bringing your own computer common for freelancing gigs or is it rare? I'm not quite sure what path to take.

 

Wait, you are freelancing in general with a 13" Macbook? Not even a Macbook Pro?

Hopefully you are just saying that when you travel you use your Macbook but you've got something bigger and more powerful in your home office. Or maybe you work 100% onsite and they supply the machines normally.

 

If you are working 100% on a macbook, you SERIOUSLY need to invest in a real workstation with a real monitor and real speed. It will change your life.

Edited by monovich

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Wait, you are freelancing in general with a 13" Macbook? Not even a Macbook Pro?

Hopefully you are just saying that when you travel you use your Macbook but you've got something bigger and more powerful in your home office. Or maybe you work 100% onsite and they supply the machines normally.

 

If you are working 100% on a macbook, you SERIOUSLY need to invest in a real workstation with a real monitor and real speed. It will change your life.

 

Will you talk to my wife?

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Will you talk to my wife?

 

Tell your wife it will make you work 8 times faster, earning you more money in general plus more time for going out to dinner with all that cash ;)

 

I do have an admiration for people who can do 3D on a laptop, I feel so handcuffed on one even using photoshop just because of the screenspace, and rendertimes must be through the roof no?

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Definitely try to charge an additional equipment rental rate on top of your day rate. I too have been seeing a lot of this, which raises concerns.

I second that. I did bring my own Mac towers to onsite jobs quite a few times but i always charge between 30 and 50 Euros a day on top of my usual rate.

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Actually buying more powerfull hardware not always grant you better perfomance.You may need to install akeylogger to improve your productivity or analyze your mistakes.......

Using a keylogger to improve productivity is really really unconventional...

Edited by EmmaL

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This is an odd bump but now that you mention it, I finally did get a new computer and it's amazing how much faster I work. Not counting the increased speed, just the shear fact of having a larger screen allows me to work so much faster.

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Missed this thread the first time through. Two late points:

 

1. Will a mod please delete the comment by Versus on page 1? The one with a link to a keylogger.

 

2. Sweet fancy jesus, you were seriously doing mograph work on a Macbook non-pro? ;)

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