“Are you for surreal?”
Beyond the day-job, in these testing times there’s always the inclination to engage in some freelance. For friends and topics close to my heart, more often than not, money isn’t the incentive. But for anything rolling with a corporate juggernaut behind it, I want to repeat the quoted-to-death but perennially relevant “Fuck you, pay me”. Marketing budget slashed? Fuck you, pay me. Advertorial commissioned as a gesture of goodwill? Fuck you, pay me. Event funding siginficantly less than promised? Fuck you, pay me. Assuming I grin on some Louis Armstrong shit and forsake all fees when I see my name in print? Fuck you, pay me. You get the idea. Oh yeah, and on the third chat about work, telling me that “…promises were made that weren’t kept” by a third party unknown to me? Once again, four words – fuck you, pay me.
But it’s an entirely internalised, obscentity-driven, call and response, because more often than not I’ve been victim of a yes-man reflex agreeing to some dumb assignments Financial self-harm, and still I’ve been somehow wowed, magpie-like, by offers of shiny free product over fees. Now that’s some dumb shit, aided by the safety net of a day job. Time to get on some ‘Network’ Howard Beale flex.
The moral of the story for budding freelancers out there? Keep your invoice hand strong. Don’t follow my lead, or that of the screen’s lamest freelance negotiator, Mark Focus, in Robert Downey Sr’s ‘Putney Swope’ – the ad man satire to end them all.
This is a race-relations satire that makes Spike’s ‘Bamboozled’ look even more heavy-handed (if that’s possible – maybe we need to create a whole new measurement system, maybe even a new set of numerics to gauge Mr Lee’s 00”s sledgehammer approach) in comparison. To be fair, this isn’t exactly subtle in conveying it’s message, but the 1969 tale of a black employee who inadvertently rises to the top of an advertising firm thanks to the racism of its board and instigates a revolution within its ranks is hugely entertaining, and necessarily uncomfortable.
Plus the poster is a work of art in itself, and the soundtrack by Charley Cuva isn’t too shoddy either. Tony Stark’s old man’s choice to dub the titular hero’s dialogue because of a line recall issues just gives it a more offbeat, dreamlike feel. Still deeply valid, don’t be paying those white devil Amazon marketplace DVD prices and get your YouTube on, or your torrent boys involved. The truth still hurts.