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Old June 20th, 2005, 04:30 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2005
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Ways to put the money back into your camcorder?

Besides putting it in the tape mechanism :P.
What are some ways to make money with your camera, besides the usual weddings? I notice many people, do not do commercials, maybe because it's more of a "Professional Company" kind of deal. I know concerts are a big thing.
I can't think though of any ways to make money for video work.
Any ideas?
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Old June 20th, 2005, 04:43 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2002
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"I can't think though of any ways to make money for video work."

To paraphrase Yoda, "... and that is why you fail." ;-)

More and more stage shows are incorporating live video. The larger the event the more screens, and the designers need something to put on those screen. I was recently fortunate enough to participate in a retreat with some of the top designers working on big events like the Oscars, Olympics, Rolling Stones, corporate events, etc. They all expressed the sentiment that they're getting pretty tired of the ArtBeats catalog ;-)

These kinds of shows generally run on "media servers" that spew multiple streams of realtime video from RAID drives to different screens. As projectors get cheaper, more and more of them are getting put into these shows. Often the shows are thrown together on the fly during marathon cue sessions, and the designers like to have a lot of content handy just in case they need it. Would you want to tell Mick Jagger that he can't have a video of a waterfall (or whatever) when he demands it? ;-)

This is pretty specialized stuff, and not easy to break into. But I just mention it as something unusual that might not immediately come to mind. As far as how you would go about making money from this.... that will be left as "an excercise for the reader"...
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Old June 20th, 2005, 05:13 PM   #3
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the only limits are your skill level and your interests.
some people tape depositions. some do stuff like school plays, beauty pageants etc. (back in the day, i used to freelance for some of these types. they usually do weddings as their bread and butter but other events too.) local commercials can be great if you have the production skills, the creatilvlty, and you don't mind whoring your talents out to promote a used car dealer. i do a lot of stuff for artists- docs to accompany museum exhibitions, etc. you could probably get a school to pay you to produce dvd's of graduation ceremonies, etc. (these work best as multi-camera shoots.) the trick (for me at least,) is finding stuff that doesn't turn your favorite art form/hobby into a dreary chore. that's why i won't do weddings. (perhaps this attitude stems from my own bad luck with the marriage thing.) anyhow, the main thing is just getting good enough at it that people will pay. i used to do my own little 2 camera shoots (1 on a tripod, one handheld,) of local bands i like for free. i'd edit the shows, and give tapes to the bands. since then i've gone on to direct big 6-camera shoots for major label acts.

just about every weird hobby/interest probably involves something that someone would like documented. when i was looking for a dog, i used to go to dog shows. (talk about a bizarre subculture.) anyhow, i'm sure there are people who'd like to have dvd's of themselves prancing around the ring with fido. use your imagination. if you do enough stuff, people will come up to you. you're doing a school play, and some bored dad comes up and tells you that his older daughter is getting married in a few months, etc, etc. there's always some dude- they seem to always be male- who think they know a little bit about what it is you're doing. they come up and start talking to you when you're shooting. if you can respond in a way that indicates that you really know what you're doing, without indicating that you think he's an idiot, it might turn out that this guy needs an ad for his exotic fish emporium or whatever.

anyhow, good luck..
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Old June 20th, 2005, 05:35 PM   #4
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I helped someone film a dance recital (the dance school's annual recital). 200 orders X $30 = CDN$6000 (duplication and distribution can eat up like a third of that though). 2 nights and 1 afternoon shooting, 2 cameras 2 camerapersons (1 person to take orders), possibly long nights editing depending how you shoot it (ideally, you do it intelligently and maybe have a third camera on stage shot or shooting cutaways of audience reactions).
To guestimate things:
Dance schools have like 500-600 students.
Each parent wants a video of their kid. That's the only act they'll care about. Not everyone will purchase/order a video.

As far as finding those jobs go... not sure if I can help you out there. The way the guy got the gig was:
One of the instructors there held a breaking (break dancing) event at the studio. He got the guy to film for him for free.
When the time rolled around for the annual recital... he got the job because the last company did a horrible job at it and charged a lot more.

200 orders may be a little on the high side. One factor working in favor of the guy is that the previous year's video sucked. In normal situations, you'll get orders mainly because:
A- Parents want a video of their kid. It's either pride or being supportive.
B- How well you advertise. Nice packaging is good because then people will think you are the real deal and professional. Video samples may also be good.
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