Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street. - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Area 51

Area 51
We can neither confirm nor deny its existence.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 23rd, 2013, 05:00 AM   #16
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 176
Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post

The flange issue on the BMCC to the best of my knowledge is caused by a spring,
Which proofs, that your "best of my knowledge" isn't worth much.

How could a spring cause backfocus issues? Come on?
The BMC was dead on shimmed to the official Canon specs.
As it turned out, that Canon cameras and glass (also compatible glass) in reality use much looser specs.
Now they re-shim it and all is just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post

Rubbish!

The Emperor has no clothes on!
If the emperor has no clothes on, and the whole thing is rubbish anyway, how could it be a menace to your business in the first place?

And as I said before, camera cost or rental is only a tiny point of the overall budget - way below the line.
Even if cameras would be free from now on, you still need the same crew, transportation, grip, actors, lights, catering andwhatnot.
Frank Glencairn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2013, 05:21 AM   #17
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,721
Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

To the poster who talked about it earlier--

Are you saying it's near impossible these days to get a reasonable rental rate for your gear? When I quote someone a rate, that consists partially of my labor, and partially of any gear I bring along. Where cameras are concerned, I've found (and someone who used to work at the local Plus8/Panavision told me it was more complicated than this) that rental rates for cams generally fall in the range of 3-5% of the purchase price for a day's rental (e.g. a camera costing $6000 would rent for around $300/day), and I've generally followed suit. By that logic that 20K worth of gear you mentioned should be around $1000/day

To the person who mentioned owning several cams but having to rent many others-
Do you try to be "clever" and hide the fact that you're renting (i.e. pretending you own everything) from the client? I've been advised to do this by quite a few folks. . .there's some kind of stigma attached to not owning whatever is needed, like you're not really a true professional unless you have everything ready to go all the time. I certainly see many ads on Mandy, Craigslist (and yes I know what many of you guys think of those sites to begin with!) specifying that they are looking for a videographer/DP/whatever who "owns his own gear." I've never understood that. . .why do you care if I own or rent? Is the gear more important than the operator? Do you think you're going to get a great deal on price 'cause I own the gear vs renting? I might go a little low compared to a rental house but you're not getting a 75% discount on the gear fee. Curious about your experience with all that.
Josh Bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2013, 07:05 AM   #18
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 1,327
Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

I am saying that with a fairly complete Scarlet package going for $100 a day in my area, it has become more difficult to charge 'sustainable' rates. Sure, part of the price can be our labor/expertise if we go out with the gear, but as I said in my previous post, just as happened in the AUDIO industry, it became the huge well equipped companies ($10,000 a day), companies with lots of cheap gear and poor engineers ($400), followed by kids willing to work for $100 a day with not much between.

Your mileage may vary. I hope anyone reading this is able to get lots of good gigs that not only pay your bills, but enough extra to pay the cost of the equipment you use. :-D

However, I do caution those who are new to the biz, and are planning on taking out a huge loan to buy a bunch of gear in the hopes of getting work and being able to make the payments. That's all.
__________________
Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
Jacques Mersereau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2013, 01:43 PM   #19
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,721
Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

I wonder if anyone has any experience with "do clients ever learn?"

Typically when people work that cheap, it's cause they're starting out, or don't know their own value (which usually comes with being inexperienced). It's possible it's a pro/veteran who's just desperate that week/month/year, but often there's a good reason people are that "affordable." What I'm getting is, I wonder how often it happens that someone hires someone for cheap, is totally appalled at the resulting footage, and learns for next time that there's a reason everyone else is priced much higher?
Josh Bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2013, 03:57 PM   #20
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 176
Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

Guys look outside the box, it's not just our industry. We are living in the middle of a depression.
The money just isn't there anymore.

Cities such as Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Baltimore were all teeming with economic activity. Good jobs were plentiful and a manufacturing boom helped fuel the rise of a large and most vibrant middle class. Detroit once actually had the highest per-capita income in the United States.

Once proud cities are being transformed into poverty-stricken hellholes. The exact same thing that is happening to Detroit is happening to cities all over America. Detroit is just ahead of the curve.

And it didn't happen because some company throw a cheap steel press on the market and now the kids in the neighborhood pressing car doors and bodies for 50ct a pop.

I hate to say this, but you have to face it. This is not going to get better anytime soon.
And yes, there will be blood and things in our industry will probably never go back to the way, they where before. Work harder for less, or having a plan B (aka exit strategy and something totally different) are your options. But the easy, cozy times, where clients pay your gear off, and - having 2 gigs a week- was making more than enough money for a comfy life are over. And it has nothing to do with cheaper cameras.
Frank Glencairn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2013, 06:35 PM   #21
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 1,327
Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

I respect what you say Frank, but and I agree with some of it, but disagree with other parts.
Yes, we - the 98% - are in a depression and our wages haven't gone up in many decades.

That said, believe me, the huge companies are still doing well. In fact, when some of the lesser ones went under at the height of the depression, they were scooped up for cheap, the weak were bought out = less competition = good money & more biz for a few - the 1%. Meanwhile, many medium and small biz are still hurting. Why? Because the 98% is hurting.

American biz is holding on to $1.7 trillion in cash. There is tons of money, but it is held by a tiny percentage of biz and they and the 1% already have what they need. They are rich, not because they spend money, but because they don't.

Year ago, corporations went overseas for cheap labor and made a killing. We got layoffs and cheap goods in exchange, but most commodities continued to rise: gas, education, cars, energy and housing, but our wages flatlined about 1980.

Meanwhile, as I said previously, cheap gear in printing and audio has HURT the industry. People have bought gear cheap and flooded the industries. Who pays for printing these days? Almost no one.

If you took a poll, I'd bet there were very few people shooting video and film in 1980 because a rig cost $50K-250K. I wanted to get in back then, but the prices were way beyond what I could afford - and that was just for a camera. Today, with $10K you can get a broadcast quality camera, a few lights, laptop and put out great content. The supply has gone up and the demand too, but the supply of people with the capability has outpaced demand and driven rates down.

You are right that it isn't going to change soon. The audio biz is still what it was when I left a decade ago. The band biz sucks worse. The printing biz is tough. And yes, NOTHING is easy. One hopes that talent will make the difference, but - hate to say it, I am not so sure any more. However, doesn't mean I am going to stop.
__________________
Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
Jacques Mersereau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2013, 12:43 AM   #22
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Port Townsend, WA
Posts: 444
Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

An interesting thread. Jacques is right, I'd say. And the OP was onto something. Our industry right now is like the Goldrush. Only the equipment manufacturers are getting rich selling to the chumps heading to the 'gold fields'. Remember, Seattle was built on that model! It's the same as it ever was, though.

I started back in the 70s, ran a small studio doing both advertising stills and multi-projector speaker support and slide shows, which required all the same production work as most film productions (scripts, pro narration, multicamera shoots that closed down major arteries of Seattle on Sunday mornings,etc.). Point being, there were cheap folks working then too. I left that world, for better luckily, and returned a few years ago to this crazy video worldwind. But it seems like the same that it ever was. Difference is now the cost of entry to this world is ridiculously low. (good news!) But it's that way everywhere, not just video production. Gear is cheap. And because of the depression, cheap HD gear and a flood of skateboard videographers, you have another glut on the market, just like when I got my degree in commercial photography in 1978. Another difference? A real global market. We are no longer competing with the West Coast, or the East Coast. It's that way all over. Just ask the FX companies falling right and left. My question to that debate was, "did those folks really know how to run a business?" Or was this really the screw job by Ang Lee that folks say it was.

What doesn't change is that this business is about relationships. They come, they go. Some folks are cool, they gain big businesses, they win the Microsoft and Amazon (or get sucked inside), or production work in the big cities. Look at Chase Jarvis and what he's doing. More power to him. He's doing great work and building his brand. Personal brand building is harder than ever because there are so many outlets! I have no doubt he is working his ass off to keep all these balls going, yet it's the same as it ever was. He looks like every cool studio I apprenticed in in Chicago and gripped in Seattle with in the early 70s, except with video cameras added. There was the three competing 'Mr. Bigs' in Seattle back in 78, getting all the great higher budget work. The young up and comers with a full plate of relationships and business. Even then a lot of work went off to SF, LA or NYC for the Boeings because the prestige was there.Now it's exotic locales everywhere.

You guys are living it and I'm not. I'm just having fun in the sticks. But it's still the game. You guys know the real daily problems and I don't pretend to. But you still gotta find the work and schmooze the clients. You gotta deliver on time and under budget. The 'kids' may or may not know how to do that. I've gotten good paying work because clients have realized that even though I don't have a huge reel of decades of work, I know how to deliver, and do solid lower budget work. That hasn't changed one bit, IMHO. Some of that work is still around.

The "kids" still have to fund a business that needs to make even a one person payroll work every month. They likely have to either have deep pockets from a family connection, a second job, or know how to do work with their banker, a harder task than ever. Does any major client pay in net 30? Unless something has changed that I'm not aware of, it's the same as it ever was.

Anyway, it's been fun. I'm just hacking away and getting interesting work. For those that are talking of throwing in the towel, I understand. I did myself a long time ago. And likely will again when I can't lug the gear. It's ok. There are jobs that aren't 7 days a week out there. (G). Have fun. You only live once. This isn't a scripted show.
Al Bergstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2013, 02:16 AM   #23
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: South Island, New Zealand
Posts: 532
Images: 2
Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

Beautiful post Al, thanks very much...and all the very best.
John McCully is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Area 51

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:07 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network