Alessio Bertotti is a Visual effects artist from Turin, Italy.
- Hi Alessio, tell me who you are and what do you do as a freelancer?
I was born in Italy and always loved the world of visual effects, computer graphics and videogames, so after studying at the university a course in “Graphic and Virtual Design” and a CG master in Turin and a Compositing one in London (and many many nights studying by myself at home) I got to enter the VFX industry
Basically as a freelance I work now for various companies, mainly on project basis. The project lenght can vary between a couple of weeks for a commercial to some months for a feature film or TV series.
- How long have you been working as a freelancer now?
About 10 years, with some interruption for some contracts a few times.
- Why did you decide to become a freelancer? Did you think about it for a long time or did your decision come suddenly?
My first real big job was in Pixomondo Hamburg. Obviously when they contacted me I accepted without thinking too much about it, but it was not the typical contract, instead it was a freelance position. I had to open a VAT number and invoice them, not sure at the beginning of the pros and cons of this.
- What is your competitive advantage, which makes your clients hire you?
I have a lot of experience in various roles and in various kind of companies and teams, so from a very small team of 2 or 3 people to a big team of about a hundred. Also I worked in all kind of projects, from commercials, to music videos, films, tv series, etc.
- Who are your competitors? What do they have that you don’t?
I mainly do compositing, but I know also about 3D and motion graphics. I am not into programming or scripting, preferring the more artistic part of this job.
- Are there a lot of freelancers in your business?
It depends on the company and on the state, but yes, there is quite a lot of freelance to do!
- What do your clients expect from you?
A lot of problem solving, flexible hours, quick changes and adaptation to new work environments and most of the time immediate availability (that in most cases involves relocation to other countries).
- Who are your typical clients?
VFX studios of movies and commercials.
- How has your business changed over time?
The daily rate gets a bit higher with the experience, but after some years of work and after knowing the companies that you work for, the main advantage over time is that I get longer bookings with much more notice, so I can plan my life much easier, especially the relocations.
- How did you gain your first customers?
I was still in school and I started helping out a friend that was doing his internship in an architectural studio and they needed 3D visualization.
- John Wanamaker said: Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I do not know which half. Do you gain your clients by advertising or in another way?
I do not advertise, I just try to keep a constant presence on the social networks like Facebook and Linkedin by sharing all the new projects I am working on. It is also very important for me to have an updated portfolio/showreel and website, so people can see my work easily.
- Do you hire outsourcing service providers for services, which you believe are a waste of your time?
It happened on a few projects, but normally I work in a bigger team, so I don’t have to care about this.
- How does your typical working day look like? What do you do when you are not working? How many hours/days per week are you working?
In my job hours are really flexible, normally I tend to start around 10-10.30 and finish at 19. In most cases working hard during the day can allow to avoid overtime, but there are days when things go slow or sudden changes, so it can happen that the finish hour get postponed. Usually I work 5 days a week about 8 hours, but when the project is about to finish this can increase to 7days and many many hours.
- What would you do differently if you would start again?
I would try to do less overtime!
- What would you advise someone who has an idea, but no money?
Get the money first doing what you can do easily.
- What was the best business advice you received?
To ask more money and don’t worry if it seems a lot.
- Do you have an online resource which you use regularly? Which one?
At the beginning of the career yes, but nowadays not really.
- What do you often dream about when you’re not working?
Going around on a mororbike and doing long trips.
- The place where you find your peace?
For the everyday peace I go to the gym, but I really find it when I go in some great place like the end of the road on top of a mountain with the motorbike
- Top 3 mobile apps on your smartphone?
Whatsapp, Camera, Myfitnesspal.
- What do you do in your free time?
I train hard, I go out and care about motorcycles.
- Your last vacation?
A trip around Italy through Sardinia.
- Business plans for the future?
Maybe opening a studio some day.
- Your plans for the future?
Travel as much as possible and having fun.