Monday, December 07, 2009
I saw LEMONADE MOVIE (yet left extremely pissed off).
A few hours ago, I had the pleasure of watching a screening of a movie that I could personally relate to. Lemonade is about what happens when people who were once paid to be creative in advertising are forced to be creative with their own lives.
With so many people working in the advertising industry in this city, I was really amazed at how few came out. I would have bet (especially since the screening was free) that it would have been a packed house yet only around 100 people were in attendance.
At roughly 40 minutes in length, the film was extremely well done. Music, direction, etc., all came together beautifully to tell people’s stories without any unnecessary, boring filler.
It got straight to the point. Everyone got laid-off, got over the hurt and feelings of being unwanted, and moved on after discovering what was truly important in their lives. If you have ever worked in this industry, hell, if you have ever worked in ANY industry, you should be able to relate and it is really worth seeing the film. Many (myself included), left inspired and questioning what would truly make us happy in life?
So now you are probably wondering why I left steaming mad (as my title suggests)?
The organization that sponsored/screened the film (that will remain nameless) made some announcements after it ended. One of these announcements was about an open "website design contest” they will be holding in the near future. The winner of this contest will get $1000.
Just so we all get this straight…an organization that just screened a film moments earlier about creative people being laid off in the ad industry is throwing a contest that de-values the livelihoods of creative people working in the industry.
We all know how I feel about design contests. I could feel the blood boiling in my head. I bit my tongue trying so hard not to explode when the organizer asked if there were any questions?
I decided to confront her when it was over.
I walked up, introduced myself, and flat out asked how an organization can be so hypocritical that they would hold a design contest after screening this film?
Amazingly, her response was “I know, I know” and she tried to explain how they still consider the contest a “good idea”.
I asked her how it’s a good idea? It’s no wonder people are losing their jobs. If every company that needed some creative work decided to hold such a contest (and it seems as if they are), why would anyone ever need to hire an ad agency? I tried to make her understand that what her organization is doing is contributing to the demise of our industry.
She replied with an authoritative “everyone that submits a design will have their link featured on our website”.
This is a classic line that I hear often. It translates into “do all our work for free, and we promise you’ll get a load of business out of it because we know a lot of people”.
Anybody that has been on the freelance side of this industry will tell you that this line is the standard ‘biggest-load-of-crap’ that you will hear often as justification for free work.
There was something one individual (featured in the film) said that stuck with me.
“Companies don’t need to go to an ad agency anymore. There are plenty of people out there that are great at what they do and are not only willing to do the work, they actually love doing it”.
I quoted this line to her. I asked why they won’t consider hiring a great out-of-work designer to build them a website and pay them the $1000? What I got in return was another justification for the contest. “I believe there is room in this industry for both” she replied.
Why is it so difficult to understand that by holding this immoral contest, they aren’t (as they believe) giving an opportunity to recently laid-off creative people. What they are actually doing is taking advantage of their vulnerability.
Lemonade (and those involved in the making of it) - I give you an “A”. I really enjoyed it.
Organization that sponsored the screening - in my books you should really be ashamed. Go through with this contest and you deserve a big fat “F”.
Now, go hire a recently fired creative that can use the money to feed their children.