Onegai shimasu (おねがい します) 🙇
When you are looking for your next gig don't sell yourself short, be smart and honest with yourself. There are many people out in the industry who want to take advantage of someone who needs a gig, AKA will work for free. Some will actually adhere to what they say and get you money or a job after their product ships and success comes their way, passing it on to you. There are others who are merely looking for free labor. There are predators.
Sometimes its difficult to know the difference. My advice is the following:
Do your research!
If you can find out who it is that wants your work. Seek them out in some fashion via your network. What is their reputation like? Have they made anything before? Are they legitimate? Do you know more about the project than they do? Don't be afraid to ask about them questions. The more you search for the truth the better prepared you will be for anything.
Talk to a mentor!
Mentors are more likely to have seen a great deal. They can guide you on whether or not this gig sounds legitimate. They can think of questions that you may not have thought of and can give you advice from their experience.
Weigh the risks!
Remember my Rule #1: Cover Thine Ass. You have to look out for yourself before you can help anyone else in this industry. Will this gig impact you financially in a negative sense? Will it take up valuable time (especially if you have a family)? Will you be able to show off the assets you worked on any time soon? Will you retain ownership of anything?
Basically ask yourself: What are you willing to risk? And be truthful to yourself.
One thing that many people have in this industry is a sense of desperation of others. People can smell it on you if you are not careful. Some will take advantage of that desperation, to advance themselves and not care about you. That's not to say that there are not good opportunities when it comes to giving away work, not at all. What you need to do is be realistic with yourself and ask the hard questions you may not want to answer.
Too bad. This is a tough industry. Don't make it tougher for yourself,