Schoolhouse Flock: Freelancers Union Gets Animated

By Jordan Teicher November 11th, 2014

Last week, the Freelancers Union released a short animated video—”The Work Revolution: How Freelancers Got a Union”—styled with playful visuals that will make you nostalgic for Schoolhouse Rock! videos and the bliss that was the second grade. Life was much simpler then; instead of filing taxes and finding health insurance as a self-employed worker, you could dream about chasing around your crush on the blacktop during recess.

As an adult, I’m always looking for ways to make my life simpler. (Also, as an adult, don’t chase around your crush outside anymore—that’s weird. Instead, talk to him/her and ask to go on a date.) When I was freelancing full-time, a lot of work-related stress came from a lack of infrastructure. Who can I turn to for tax questions? Who can tell me about my contractual rights? Since 1995, the Freelancers Union has tried to provide that community resource for the self-employed.

In the video, which runs just under three minutes, you can find out more about the Union’s mission and origin story. The narrative focuses on a kid learning about the organization from a man with a purple mustache, orange beard, and multi-colored geometric torso. The viewer learns, for example, that founder Sara Horowitz decided to start the Union after being denied benefits during her time as a labor lawyer.

In addition to the singing and dancing and Schoolhouse whimsy, there’s also some corporate-speak in the clip, but the Freelancers Union wisely pokes fun at itself in the narration. For example, the kid says lines like: “I like whales—not just as animals, but as metaphors for a large yet adaptable infrastructure constructed by like-minded individuals…”

While you reminisce about second grade, you can check out the full video below:


Image by Freelancers Union
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