I’m a character modeler. I responded to an ad to make models for an animated series based on a series of children’s books.
Turns out, the client was the author of these books. He sent me some art samples and they were fairly simple – easy enough to render in 3D.
Me: I’m definitely interested! Where should we meet?
Client: Why don’t you swing by my studio?
His “studio” was his house garage, 30 miles outside of town. When I arrived at his house I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuffed toys, paintings and other paraphernalia based on his series that was jammed into the space.
Then he ushered me into the studio itself: a cluttered garage with two all-in-one computers back to back. He seemed to think we would work while facing each other the whole time.
Even worse, as soon as I arrived he gave me a custesy nickname and then refused to address me by anything else, including my real name, from that point out. Even in later emails.
Anyway, when discussing payment the client raved about how he had several government grant offers and access to a full studio that he’d turned down so he could retain “complete control” over the project.
Client: So what I’m saying is there’s no payment up front. And I can’t give you a pay cheque. Once the show is launched I’ll have more than enough to pay you.
Me: (in disbelief) And how long would that take?
Client: Oh, you’ll get paid. Once I go you’d just have to teach my daughter how to run the company.
The client was in his 70s or 80s.
I politely declined.