(Freelance) Life Is Beautiful

May 3, 2011

Riccardo has been freelancing since 2001. His company, Blitz Entertainment, produces a variety of video projects, from music videos to commercials to feature films. He’s happy to tell his freelancing story and really, really likes what he does. For me, the most rewarding aspect of freelancing is the freedom. The word “free” is beautiful, and it’s right there in what we do. My partner and I have had our company since 2001. We choose what projects we work on. If I had a 9-to-5 job, I’d never have the time to be creative. Freelancing lets me be creative. Now, I work for a client, but it’s always something that’s limited. I know they’re not going to be my boss for a long time.What can be hard about freelancing is you have to create your own income. You have to hustle. You can’t just wait for the clients to come to you. Sometimes you don’t get paid. You can ask for part of the money up front, but they don’t always pay you afterwards. It happened to me once. It was in another state, which just made everything more complicated. We had a lot of money that we paid out of our own pockets that we just lost. We didn’t get paid. No one who worked for them got paid. That’s why I recommend always have a contract, and why I used the Client Scorecard to rate them. What I’ve learned is that the most important thing with a client is communication. It’s better to email a hundred times so that we both agree. You want to make sure that nothing is taken for granted or assumed. When I came to this country, I had student health insurance. For a while after college I had a company in Italy that paid me if I went to the hospital. In Italy, health insurance is different. I never had to worry about what I had. Freelancers Union gives me more security and options for doctors and hospitals. I do most of my work at home. I have a two-bedroom apartment so I have an office at home with all of my editing equipment. On the one hand, having an office at home means I’m working all the time. But I really love what I’m doing. For me, working is more fun than getting a drink or going to a movie, because who knows, the movie might be bad. - Riccardo