Hi. We are FREE THE WORK. We are a global nonprofit working to level the playing field for underrepresented creators behind the lens. As part of our mission, we're working to improve how the film, television, and advertising industries operate.
For better working conditions, to benefit everyone in the industry.
We conducted our first global census of directors last year. We focused the census on directors’ experiences of the pitch-and-bid process for commercial and branded content because for many years, creators in our community have talked about the many ways this process is broken.
In this report, we share our key findings about industry practices, compensation, work-culture, and ethics. Despite a limited sample size, the patterns we observed can help us address industry practices and shift some problematic norms.
While some findings were surprisingly hopeful, others confirmed many of the dynamics that we’ve heard about from creators and witnessed ourselves as industry professionals: unpaid labor, stolen IP, rush deadlines, and unpredictable schedules among others.
All of these dynamics are amplified for people in marginalized identity groups, who are often tokenized in the bidding process only to then be turned down despite their qualifications and despite that they generally work longer hours for less money.
These norms diminish quality of work, quality of life, multiplicity of perspectives, and creativity. So actually, creators and clients both lose.
Based on our findings, we dreamed up what a more equitable, more just, more conducive-to-creative-magic industry could look like. We hope you’ll help us make a better pitch-and-bid process a reality.