Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Where's the extension?
I had intended to go on a lengthy rant about job-teasing Creative Resources Managers, their unwillingness to return phone calls or emails, and their shady day rate negotiation policies. But, other bloggers have covered that territory and frankly I've never experienced any of the aforementioned and have always found Creative Resource Managers to be the kindest, most generous, most professional people on the planet.
That's not to say that my dealings with these super-dooper, uber-ad people have not changed.
You see when I first started freelancing eleven years ago, when I was 33, I was working with industry legend Jean Robaire. He had connections in NY and would often loop me into a gig that would go 2-3 weeks. We'd finish one assignment. And then an hour later, we'd get a call to start another.
When Jean went back to NYC, I went back to my alma mater, Chiat/Day -- even though I had been fired two years earlier -- where they still found a need for a writer who could complete a proper sentence.
Here again, one job got extended into another. And I quickly found myself putting out fires on multiple fronts. One month got extended into two. Two into three and three months into a year. Before I knew it, one year had almost become four.
In the world of freelancing I had struck the jackpot. I was an eternally extended permalancer. Earning more than the staffers, yet going home with half, correction, none of the stress they regularly brought home to their spouses.
"…And then the planner tells me the campaign doesn't seem to capture the voice of the brand! Voice of the brand? As if people sitting in their living room can tell a god damn difference between the Triscuit voice of the brand and the Wheat Thin voice of the brand. They're fuckin' crackers!!!!"
Following Chiat/Day I found myself with long extended gigs at RPA and David & Goliath.
Lately however, it seems the freelance extension has gone the way of the AOR. It's just not done anymore. At least for me.
Either I'm a victim of my own success, that is my ability to work fast and efficiently.
Or I'm too expensive in this current era of Bean-Counter Driven advertising.
Or I need to switch my brand of toothpaste.
Because more often than not. I'm shuttled in for a week. Or three days. Or even one day. A brief is quickly turned into a manifesto, a bevy of spots, or a laundry list of ambitious half-baked digital ideas that will never see the light of day. And that's it.
Wham-Bam-Thank You Old Man.
"Thanks Rich. We'll call you again soon."
Maybe I should start flossing three times a day?