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Old October 3rd, 2009, 01:46 AM   #1
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In your view what are the ingredients that...

make up a professional Videographer ? ( Videographer = able to do it all from pre-prod., prod. and post-prod.)

Put aside the notion that being paid makes one a professional am more curious about :

1) the essential core competencies needed
2) the professional attitude needed
3) Education needed ? formal ? apprentice/mentor ? lynda.com type tutorials ?
4) other attributes one must possess or develop
5) Is your reputation among peers important ? If so how do you build that reputation.
6) Is your reputation among clients important ? If so how do you build that ?
7) Does a true professional seek the friendship of other peers for encouragement or challenge-ment ?
8) How about physical well being ? Excercise, eating well proper sleep ... lets not forget good hygiene practices too.
9) Does personality matter?

Does the "it" factor play a role ?

The reason am posing this hopefully thought provoking question is that although I personally am extremely passionate about videography still feel woefully inept even mediocre at this craft.



Please share some of the things you do to elevate or motivate yourself in becoming a professional a true professional.
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 08:53 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Beals View Post
...I personally am extremely passionate about videography...
I think you've hit the key starting point. Without passion, and some innate ability this will be a tough row to hoe.

Becoming a professional at anything involves the same set of traits. Skill, diligence, integrity, knowledge and delivering a quality product to the customer are central to success. Your lessons were learned as a small child from your parents, school (maybe) and your peers when you were growing up. It's not really that complex.

A couple of axioms work for me. "Say what you mean and mean what you say." Be honest. People respect that and be comfortable working with you. Hidden agendas are difficult for people to accurately suss out so they don't generally want to deal with it.

"Under-commit and over deliver." Accurately setting expectations, especially when it comes to delivery times and costs are key. It relates to the first axiom as both deal with honesty.

I am completely self taught, but I wouldn't consider myself anything more than a mediocre producer. Others may rank me higher or lower but it's important for me to understand my strengths and weaknesses and work to strengthen my soft spots.

It's important to keep learning new things and trying new types of projects and approaches to them. That will grow your knowledge base. That will make you more desirable in the marketplace.

Let me quickly answer your questions by the numbers.
1) Be willing to work hard and learn from mistakes
2) Same as with any business. I covered this earlier in this message
3) As much as you can get from wherever you can get it. Never stop learning
4) If you want to work with people, you have to make them like you
5) Critical. See above.
6) Again critical if you want customers to refer you to others.
7) You want to be a "mensch". Look it up. Read a book on making friends and marketing yourself.
8) This is obvious. No one's going to hire you if you're a schlub or look like you're going to fall over dead.
9) Personality always matters.

Have you ever heard the expression, "people buy from people they like"? Have you heard it more than once. It's repeatedly said because it's true.

Having been locally world famous early in my life, I put very little stock in "it". "It" is a by-product of good ideas, hard work and the resulting success. "It" is not a destination. It's a sign of how well you're doing but it is always fleeting.

My recommendation is that you pay attention to the basics, work hard, be honest and learn everything you can. There are much worse starting points than that.

Good luck.
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 10:01 AM   #3
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The it factor is everything. Yuo can teach a monkey how to push buttons but you can't create passion for an art. Either somone has that or they don't. This is what makes the best shooter and the most tenacious networkers.
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 10:34 AM   #4
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I agree with everything above. In terms of skills (versus mindset) I'd add:
- composition (good visual composition is EVERYTHING)
- storytelling (a mix of visual and auditory - whether scripted or taking location sound and using it to tell a story)
- sequences Sequences SEQUENCES (a jumbled bunch of images does not a good edit make - create a story out of images that flow together - EVEN when there isn't NECESSARILY a story there initially)
- have an ear for good sound (sound is 51% of good video)
- know what you don't know (and either work on it OR bring in someone to help)
- know when to bring in the "pros" (if you're not competent in an area, bring someone in to look after that arena AND learn from them)
- until your dying day, you should be a student!
- look after business! (Set reasonable rates and stick to them. And bill efficiently. Most problems in videography come from cash FLOW, not from lack of cash generation! You can work your butt off 16 hours a day for 60 straight days at $500+ a day but if you aren't getting PAID, you're BROKE!)
- network! (Being a one-man-band can be boring. Spice up your life and either work with or communicate with as many folks directly or indirectly related to your field as possible and ENJOY it!)
- if you don't have a good accountant that understands video, get one! NOW!

And most importantly, have fun! NO ONE gets out alive!
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 10:38 AM   #5
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Oh, and from a business standpoint: if you've got a day job NOW, apply for as much low interest credit as you can get! When cash gets tight while waiting for cheques you STILL need to be able to do business (rent gear, buy tapes, put gas in the car, pay for parking, pay freelancers that have you on 15 day accounts, shmooze clients)

Most large banks won't offer you much service until you have proven yourself as a business so preempt financial disaster by having a mix of cash and credit reserves.
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 12:20 PM   #6
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Strong grounded voices, voices of experience is what I admire most about my peers in this forum !

Thank-you for sharing your insights....sobering, exciting and do-able insights !
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