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A freelancer is self-employed and will do occasional work for different companies, on different projects. The television and film industry has a very high number of employees working freelance, especially in production. In the film career path, Skillset found that 91% of the average film production crew works on a freelance basis. In television the story is similar, with about six in ten people working freelance in production.
Some areas of film and television have fewer freelancers, such as in film distribution or in departments of major broadcasters. However, with the right experience or contacts, many people within these creative services can set themselves up as freelancers and work independently of an agency or company.
Payment for freelancers varies hugely; many will charge an hourly or daily rate or will earn on a per-project basis. Some have adopted a value-based pricing method which is payment based on the results of the work completed.
Unfortunately, the television and film industries are becomingly increasingly competitive for job places, and without experience salaries can be very low.
There may not be a 'regular' income but freelancers may enjoy the freedom to choose their own work schedule. Gaining lots of freelance jobs leads to a broad portfolio of work and a huge network of contacts and clients. Networking is all-important in the freelance areas of film and television, as who you know is equally important as what you know.