This blog, brought to you by UPP Studios, discusses valuing yourself from a business perspective. Time is money. This is a long lived expression that most know, and it remains as true today as the day it was first spoken. Whether one is just starting out, or one is far along in their career and established, time holds great value.
Unfortunately, most things aren’t black and white. I say unfortunately, because that would make one’s decision making process much easier. You see, there comes a time when a creative type crosses paths with a project for which they are willing to make sacrifices. For Jonah Hill it was “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Most in the entertainment industry would give an arm and a leg to work with the great Martin Scorsese. Time and time again, Martin Scorsese has marveled audiences with his fantastic cinematic storytelling techniques. He has a body of work on his resume that puts most others to shame. When Jonah Hill got the opportunity to be a part of the cast of a Scorsese film, he jumped on the opportunity, and he wasn’t going to let anything hold him back. It is for this reason that Hill decided to take the minimum wage for a sag actor. At $60,000, this was a several million dollar pay cut for Hill, but believing in the artistic integrity of the project, he felt confident that he was making the right move.
Another actor who took a pay cut for a film was Matthew McConaughey. McConaughey dropped well below his industry quote to star in “Dallas Buyers Club.” It served as a major turning point for his career as his performance won him the oscar for best performance that year. Valuing yourself is not a concept that is foreign to Hill or McConaughey, but the two found fulfillment in the work and felt that they were properly compensated just by being able to participate in the making of each respective film.
The bottom line though, is that one cannot predict how well a film is going to turn out. One also cannot predict whether working on any given film is going to be a good experience. One can only make an informed decision based on who is attached to the project and whether or not the content holds merit. For those starting out, there comes a time when one must assess the level of work one is capable of putting out, and make a determination as to the cost that such work warrants. Being a beginner doesn’t necessarily make one a novice, and a smaller body of work doesn’t always mean a smaller quote. Valuing yourself is about making sure that there is a sense of fairness in what was gained from an endeavor.
UPP StudiosUPP Studios has learned the hard way that valuing yourself is important from the moment one’s company comes to fruition. When we first started taking on work, we were under the false impression that, because people may not have been aware of us and of what we were capable, they could pay us less money for quality work. Make no mistake, we take pride in everything that we create. Whether we are getting paid $2 or $2,000,000, we believe that anything we have a hand in is a reflection of our capabilities and, therefore, we are determined to always put out the best product possible. That said, we are learning that valuing yourself is important if you want to succeed as a business.
Like Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey, it is perfectly acceptable to take on work at a lower rate than usual if one is passionate about the project, but the proper time must be taken to assess whether or not the reward is worth the risk of giving up one’s time and energy for a lesser return. As valuing yourself goes beyond money, the best thing one can do from a company perspective is to make sure there is a contract for every job. This ensures that both parties will ultimately get what they bargained for and not feel slighted in any way.
Thank you for your interest in UPP Studios. There is a new blog every Friday and an original new media sketch comedy video every Monday right here at uppstudios.com, so stay tuned!