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Is ‘exposure’ appropriate as a ‘pay’?

By FourFour 1 May 2014 31

I have heard all of the recent controversy about the 100 dancers that were asked to work for 11hours for a Video Clip filming – and then a selection would be asked to perform at The Logies – for free.

The basis of this would be that their pay would be the ‘exposure’ they would receive.

This controversy then seemed to extend to our local FashFest – where a selection of models were offered a paid role… and the remainder would receive ‘exposure’ and ‘experience’.

Is this common? …and is this appropriate?

What’s Your opinion?


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Is ‘exposure’ appropriate as a ‘pay’?
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rhino 4:14 pm 05 May 14

Mysteryman said :

“Who are we to tell them that they shouldn’t do it?”. WE are the creative professionals who know better. WE are the people who have to deal with clients expecting everything for free because someone else once offered them lousy, free work. WE are the ones who have to put up with our work being devalued because people like YOU can’t tell the difference between what’s should be paid for, and what shouldn’t..

So in other words, the complaint is that you don’t like that some people are doing it for more cheaply than you can reliably provide? Sounds pretty similar to complaints about immigrants being willing to work for less than locals and pushing wages down. Doesn’t sound like someone fighting for the rights of the worker who’s doing the work for the lower wage willingly and knowingly.

Ghettosmurf87 2:13 pm 05 May 14

Deref said :

It’s certainly common in the music industry. Sadly, particularly young musos are attracted by it in the hope that it may be of benefit to them. It never is, of course.

Someone posted a clever parody in the form of a reply letter to a restaurant that was looking for musos to perform, asking that they (the restaurant) feed a few dozen of the author’s friends “for the exposure”.

That was a very clever little letter too. Made me chuckle and puts it all in perspective a bit

Deref 12:32 pm 05 May 14

It’s certainly common in the music industry. Sadly, particularly young musos are attracted by it in the hope that it may be of benefit to them. It never is, of course.

Someone posted a clever parody in the form of a reply letter to a restaurant that was looking for musos to perform, asking that they (the restaurant) feed a few dozen of the author’s friends “for the exposure”.

Mysteryman 12:15 pm 05 May 14

rhino said :

That may be the case if they were deceived as to what the “exposure” would be. But if they were told to come model at fashfest, and they knew what fashfest was and what they’d be doing and how they’d be seen, then they’d know full well what kind of exposure to expect.

And if they know what they are doing and they aren’t tricked into doing it under false pretenses, then who are we to tell them that they shouldn’t do it? It’s their own decision to make.

And if you can get someone willing to do it for free, why would you pay them? haha. Nobody wants to spend more than they have to. If they’re misleading people, then that’s where it becomes a seriously bad thing.

“Who are we to tell them that they shouldn’t do it?”. WE are the creative professionals who know better. WE are the people who have to deal with clients expecting everything for free because someone else once offered them lousy, free work. WE are the ones who have to put up with our work being devalued because people like YOU can’t tell the difference between what’s should be paid for, and what shouldn’t.

Who are you to tell them? I have no idea. Clearly you don’t provide creative services so you’re probably not in a position to be commenting.

rhino 11:08 am 05 May 14

That may be the case if they were deceived as to what the “exposure” would be. But if they were told to come model at fashfest, and they knew what fashfest was and what they’d be doing and how they’d be seen, then they’d know full well what kind of exposure to expect.

And if they know what they are doing and they aren’t tricked into doing it under false pretenses, then who are we to tell them that they shouldn’t do it? It’s their own decision to make.

And if you can get someone willing to do it for free, why would you pay them? haha. Nobody wants to spend more than they have to. If they’re misleading people, then that’s where it becomes a seriously bad thing.

jasmine 5:59 pm 03 May 14

This is happening more and more where the enticement of exposure is offerred in lieu of payment. Personally if you are performing a service or providing a product of any sort you should be paid unless there is a personal agreement between two people. For example if I say to my neighbour I will mow your lawn if you trim my hedges (you get the picture).

The Logies and the television media can afford to pay top dollar for celebrities and news personnel, why not those undertaking work in lesser roles. It’s not a good look.

Roundhead89 5:17 pm 03 May 14

Grrrr said :

rhino said :

This sort of thing would happen a whole lot in Hollywood. Many people would want to be extras in just about anything so that they can build a portfolio of things they’ve been seen in to seem more impressive when applying for other jobs. Similar to work experience.

Hollywood Extras get paid – and if they’re a member of a union, paid quite well. Not sure who these “many people” are that believe being an Extra gets them exposure or a prestigious portfolio.

Work experience is vocational training. Fashfest modelling is not. They are not similar. https://www.fairwork.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/2221/Unpaid%20work%20-%20general%20fact%20sheet.pdf.aspx

I remember reading an entry in the book Working Class Heroes about the recording of Paul McCartney’s Mull Of Kintyre in 1977. After the song became a massive hit, the bagpipe players complained to the Press that they were just payed standard Musician’s Union rates for the recording session and didn’t receive any of the massive royalties. McCartney wrote to each one of them asking how much extra they wanted, they replied with a nominated amount and Paul duly wrote cheques for those amounts and sent them to each of the musos.

Grrrr 5:40 pm 02 May 14

rhino said :

This sort of thing would happen a whole lot in Hollywood. Many people would want to be extras in just about anything so that they can build a portfolio of things they’ve been seen in to seem more impressive when applying for other jobs. Similar to work experience.

Hollywood Extras get paid – and if they’re a member of a union, paid quite well. Not sure who these “many people” are that believe being an Extra gets them exposure or a prestigious portfolio.

Work experience is vocational training. Fashfest modelling is not. They are not similar. https://www.fairwork.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/2221/Unpaid%20work%20-%20general%20fact%20sheet.pdf.aspx

Mysteryman 3:55 pm 02 May 14

rhino said :

I think they should be free to make their own decisions.

It may put downward pressure on wages for people who are established and can receive regular income in the field, and if that’s the case, I can understand someone in that position not liking it, but if they can’t get any work and they want to gain exposure so that they can use that to help them get a leg up in the field, I can’t see how it’s an issue.

If they were misled or coerced in some way, that’s one thing, but making a conscious decision about what you want to do with your own time is your right as a person.

Except that almost universally, the promise of “exposure” is a crock. In the vast majority of cases it’s just the client’s way of getting free work. FashFest is a prime example. When there are so many models the “exposure” individual models get is useless, and the client knows it.

thatsnotme 3:46 pm 02 May 14

Mysteryman said :

Exactly. If the organiser is not a charity, they need to pay the talent. It’s as simple as that. I’m a creative professional and I don’t do work for free unless it’s for a charity, or unless I’m getting paid in trade. It cheapens the value of your work and encourages leeches like the organisers of FashFest to keep exploiting local talent.

Is it common? Unfortunately, it is.

‘Leeches like the organisers of FashFest’ may be a bit harsh given this statement:

goodguybad said :

Somebody familiar with fashfest here, last year no models were paid, this year three tiers were introduced depending on experience, models with previous runway experience are being paid $1000, those with some experience are being paid $500 and receiving some training and models with no experience received training prior to fashfest, this was all explained at the castings prior to any selections.

I do note that there’s no mention of how many hours of work are expected for that pay though, and I assume that any figures here are pre-tax. No breakdown of how many of the models taking part fall into each category either – if there’s only a handful being paid, and the rest are still working for no money, then not much has changed.

IF though, the training models working for free receive is more than an hour long workshop for 100 people, and IF the time commitment doesn’t reduce the per-hour pay rate to something less than an 18 year old gets for delivering pizzas, then it seems like a step in the right direction.

rhino 2:06 pm 02 May 14

I think they should be free to make their own decisions.

It may put downward pressure on wages for people who are established and can receive regular income in the field, and if that’s the case, I can understand someone in that position not liking it, but if they can’t get any work and they want to gain exposure so that they can use that to help them get a leg up in the field, I can’t see how it’s an issue.

If they were misled or coerced in some way, that’s one thing, but making a conscious decision about what you want to do with your own time is your right as a person.

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