I’m a freelance video producer/editor. Recently I took a meeting at a small-ish business who was interested in producing a series of documentary-style videos about their company. The meeting went great and I felt confident I had just landed a new client. They even gave me a free sample of their product to take home with me as the meeting was ending.
Or so I thought.
As I was leaving, one of the people in the meeting handed me a sheet of paper which they described as an ‘editing test’ that they wanted me to complete, with a deadline the following week.
I thought this was pretty weird, but thanked them and left their office. Looking over their ‘test,’ I quickly realized it wasn’t so much a test as it was a full-blown, narrative commercial they expected me to cast, produce, shoot and edit for free (featuring the free sample they gave me). All in one week.
The concept was fairly elaborate, involving action, lots of sound design, fire and at least one actor (and it had absolutely nothing to do with the projects we had discussed in the meeting).
The kicker was that the script specified that the whole thing took place outside in the woods, and at the time it was winter in the northeast.
Needless to say, I’m not working with them.