Harlan Ellison says Pay the Writer
This vitriolic rant by author and screenwriter Harlan Ellison (from the upcoming documentary about him called Dreams With Sharp Teeth) really hit a nerve with me. As someone who works in creative fields, I’ve encountered countless people/employers who think because I enjoy art and writing, I will be happy to do it for free. A friend of mine who I showed this to said, “I work on children’s cartoons. People think I work in a puffy cloud where bunnies do the work for me.” In a post-2.0 media landscape, companies think that anyone can write, make films, draw pictures, and do graphic design, so they are less willing to pay for quality work. I’ve known some web publishing companies that, when the recession hit, cut their editorial staff before anyone else, assuming that editing and writing aren’t real work, and not vital to a publishing company. I’ve also known videographers who used to make a living doing internal corporate videos but now can hardly find such work as YouTube has convinced companies that they can easily produce videos themselves. Any of you creative types encounter the same sorts of frustration?