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Staying Hungry - And Humble - As A Freelance Post Producer Specialist

Staying Hungry As a Freelance Post Producer | Post Producer
Kat Shepherd
Kat Shepherd
May 24, 2022
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Preparing the final edits for videos to go into production are all in a days work for post producer specialists and with more of a focus on animation and video content than ever before, freelancers have been kept busy on production projects. Freelancers like Ben Spalding who have been working as a Freelance Post Producer for nearly 12 years, and using YunoJuno since 2016.

We spoke to Ben about how he kept creative during the pandemic, how he copes in between projects and what his advice would be to someone considering post production as a career.

As a rather fast-paced and evolving industry, film and video production requires ongoing development and a real interest in the job itself. We first asked Ben how he keeps up with industry changes;  

I keep abreast of industry developments and attend conferences like BVE when I can or attend webinars to learn.

With production being very much outside the ‘9-5’ working day, it can be hard drawing a line under work or ‘stepping’ away from the laptop particularly during the pandemic with everyone working from home. Ben shared with us how he maintained a work/life balance over the last two years;

This has been tougher in recent conditions, separation has occasionally got blurred. Sometimes as a producer, you are really spinning plates and work is all-encompassing, other periods can be quieter so you have to take advantage of those. I find running and football help me detach mentally and get some space.
Example work: Lumon - Post Produced

In an industry where creativity and feedback is essential, we asked Ben about the common challenges he faces with clients and how how he handles feedback on production projects;

One issue that is prevalent for me is end client feedback - either they’re not shown the work early enough or don't comment in a timely fashion. It's hard to go down so many post phases and have to go back several steps for schedule and budget management.

And his advice for clients looking to prevent this in future projects is a simple one;

Look at the work and be pro-active participants if you want to have an opinion. Don't leave it right to the end or it risks missing project delivery and costing extra. Feedback quickly to material shared. In post it's sometimes hard to hit fixed points with multiple processes and render times but when you do share, getting quick feedback is really helpful.
Example work: IDENTS - Post Produced.

Ben’s own career path in freelance post production hasn’t been all plain-sailing, as he explains;

As with everything in life, things get easier as you add experience and make more connections. I had a 3 month break in my early freelancing days and that’s quite scary as you don't know when next job will come in. I was cooking a very large special fried rice dish and eating it every day to save money. I've always had a bit of a phase to myself; 'Stay humble, stay hungry'. It has served me well both in terms of getting repeat business from existing clients but also generating new leads.

We asked Ben what the best advice he’d been given during his post production career so far and he quoted Carly Parris, VCCP, "It's only advertising, we are not saving lives here."

Sometimes it helps just to have a little perspective. In this industry, everyone wants their say and there are hoops you have to get through to get to a complete project, such as the director, agency and client all wanting something different.

And finally, what it meant to Ben to be a finalist in The Freelance Awards 2021;

It was nice - freelancers in general don't get much recognition but we certainly keep the cogs turning for post production

Want to work with Ben on your next production project? Book him here today.

AspectEmployeeIndependent Contractor
Control and supervisionDirect control over how, when, and where to workFreedom to set their own schedules and methods
PaymentRegular wages; taxes withheld by employerPaid per project; responsible for their own taxes
BenefitsHealth insurance, retirment plans, paid leaveMust arrange their own benefits
TerminationOften requires notice and may include severanceCan usually be terminated at any time without benefits
Tools and equipmentProvided by the employerTypically use their own tools
I am an expert in short form post production with over 15 years of experience managing short form commercial projects. Can manage projects from start to finish incorporating offline, Grade, VFX, GFX, 3D through to delivery of clocked masters. Also highly experienced in versioning for international adaptations.
Ben Spalding, Post Producer
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