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Old September 20th, 2013, 12:33 PM   #1
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How to kill our videography market

I've been seeing more and more of these type of ads in video forums, craigslist, etc. Has professional videography spiraled downhill so much that we now have to work for almost nothing???? How can any video company compete against a non-profit video organization? This is getting ridiculous, and they are trying to compete in your neck of the woods!


Are you a videographer with your own equipment looking for a gig? If so, we'd like to hire you for occasional gigs. VIDART is an up and coming, not-for-profit, videography organization that has a need for videographers for various projects throughout the country. All proceeds from VIDART go towards charitable causes, including grants for aspiring artists to help produce documentaries, educational videos or features that enhance awareness of environmental and other social issues.

We pay $25 an hour for filming basic events such as weddings, corporate or legal meetings, anniversaries, retirement parties and even birthday parties. TV commercial and other big budget projects such as indie feature films can pay up to $100/hour or more if you have the right skill set.

Equipment needs to be professional: a DSLR or equivalent (capable of shooting 1080p HD) and also a professional sound microphone (Rhodes, Opteka or equivalent). We prefer videographers with their own lens kits so each project can have a magic look and feel to it (rather than just using basic lenses that come with the cameras).

How it will work is when we have a booking, we'll email you, see if you have an opening on your schedule, and if you do, once confirmed, we'll book you for the event. All you have to do is record it, upload the footage to dropbox and then get paid.

College students and recent college grads with photography and videography experience welcome to apply. Potential for advancement to management positions for regional markets.

To apply to join our team, please email info@vidart.org with your resume.
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Old September 20th, 2013, 02:06 PM   #2
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Re: How to kill our videography market

I wouldn't sweat a service like this. Have you ever checked out vidart.org? It's just a placeholder. Having a company that can manage a videographers all over a large geographical area, and deliver content to a client's satisfaction, requires a lot of startup capital. I think doing stuff like this is an idea that only seems workable on the surface: if you actually spend any time thinking about the logistics, you realize it's not quite the easy money-maker that these founders probably considered it to be.
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Old September 20th, 2013, 03:26 PM   #3
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Re: How to kill our videography market

It's best to ignore them, for they'll probably disappear when they can't get someone with $10,000 worth of gear to work for $25/hour (actually, much less when you take into account their time for pre-production, travel, file organization, management, paperwork...etc). I've seen similar ventures come and go. Good riddance.
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Old September 20th, 2013, 08:10 PM   #4
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Re: How to kill our videography market

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Originally Posted by Gary Huff View Post
I wouldn't sweat a service like this. I think doing stuff like this is an idea that only seems workable on the surface: if you actually spend any time thinking about the logistics, you realize it's not quite the easy money-maker that these founders probably considered it to be.
The problem here is that they're advertising their lowball rates for everyone to see, all over the country. A new, prospective video client has no clue what "real" video production costs, and when they see rates like these, they may think it's a normal ballpark figure. When the prospective client shops around and finds that everybody else is too high by comparison, they may "take a chance" and go with the lowballer, based on the half decent samples they see online. Once lowballers are hired, it's another nail in the coffin for professional videographers.

The other problem I see is that their "company" is a non profit organization. These companies are obviously set up by college kids. When and if they rake in whatever money they can, they'll "donate" it back to their film school college buddies who need capital to start their own productions.

What they don't realize is that they're shooting themselves in the foot (and everyone else in the industry) by lowballing like this because the damage has already been done...the new "advertised" rate for videography can be acquired for $25 per hour.
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Old September 20th, 2013, 11:25 PM   #5
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Re: How to kill our videography market

Haha, I'm just imagining somebody coming home from a wedding shoot and trying to upload 100GB+ of footage to Dropbox.
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Old September 21st, 2013, 12:37 AM   #6
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Re: How to kill our videography market

Hey, I'm doing brain surgery and knee replacements for $25/hr. too!! And I work fast... any takers? Anyone??



These sorts of "idealistic" business models pop up because it's cheap to float crazy ideas on the internet...

In the end, if anyone is stupid enough to hire a lo-ball outfit, they'll probably get about what they paid for... and wish they'd paid for a professional. Might even have to spend twice to get it done right if they are serious about results.
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Old September 21st, 2013, 02:39 AM   #7
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Re: How to kill our videography market

Beat me to it.

I would say something along the lines of "water finds its own level." There are going to be folks who want polished videos and have some idea of what that should entail/cost, and there will be those that are clueless and may learn a hard lesson if they hire folks like this and see the work produced.

Notice also how the ad is targeted toward "students/beginners/etc." That tells you who they're aiming to get working for them. They know folks are out there with much higher rates and they aren't trying to get 'em.

What I'm getting at is you're not REALLY competing with those folks. Chances are you're not truly competing for the same jobs. . .if one of you is a serious competitor for a gig, the other is likely not for quality/financial reasons.
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Old September 21st, 2013, 07:06 AM   #8
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Re: How to kill our videography market

I love how they spelled "RØDE". :)
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Old September 21st, 2013, 07:33 AM   #9
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Re: How to kill our videography market

And don't know who Opteka is but they don't appear to have anything to do with microphones. And indie feature films? Really?
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Old September 21st, 2013, 09:12 AM   #10
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Re: How to kill our videography market

To be fair though, I started out charging peanuts. It was the only way I can get a portfolio up and going ... But that doesn't mean I stuck to those prices I charged back then. No way. I change my prices as and when I need work.

Doing something for free is just straight up taking the mickey out of the pro's in the business. How can people expect a good salary in life if some one just comes along and offers the same services for next to nothing ... that's the whole reason why the UK is in such a state with such low wages being offered by companies. They know they can get some one to do it cheaper at the click of a finger! likewise with these event services!
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Old September 21st, 2013, 03:53 PM   #11
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Re: How to kill our videography market

I thought they wanted someone to bang out the music track on an old Rhodes piano!?

Bad spelling, bad business model, seriously, what could go wrong?!?

I suppose there will be some suckers who "bite", I'd just hate to be the suckers who answer the "editors needed" ad! They prolly only get $12/hr...
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Old September 21st, 2013, 07:06 PM   #12
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Re: How to kill our videography market

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
I suppose there will be some suckers who "bite", I'd just hate to be the suckers who answer the "editors needed" ad! They prolly only get $12/hr...
I once was in talks with an outfit that turned out to be like this. They couldn't get anything together on their end, so they were constantly calling me asking about my schedule. After three times of them trying to book something and never remembering the info I was both telling them over the phone and emailing them, I figured nothing would ever book, and I wasn't surprised when it didn't.
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Old September 22nd, 2013, 08:47 AM   #13
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Re: How to kill our videography market

I would have to agree with Warren on this one. When people see these rates on various websites or places they go a baseline of what things cost to them is created. "Well if a lowball video guys is going to charge $200 for a wedding, I am going to pay up and get a good one for $400"...

It is a false impression of what things really cost in our world. I have been giving Thumbtack a shot over the past year and the pricing is all over the map. I am not giving up yet because they are still tweaking their processes, but I get the overall impression that this is the way things are going to be. Pricing power is slowly slipping away

Sure, our industry is not dead but I hestitate to invest in equipment nowdays as I am not as sure about the recoupe as I once was. It seems to me that a respect has been lost between client and vendor. By respect I mean a client entering into a project with realistic cost projections for an industry and not crossing over a social boundry for a lower or lowest price. This appears to be gone.

We will all keep on, keepin' on because that is what we do, but I am not as excited about the business side as I used to be.
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Old September 22nd, 2013, 12:53 PM   #14
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Re: How to kill our videography market

I get a kick out of some of the things I read on Craig's list nowadays.

I'm seeing the same around here. Groups will to pay from 20-25 an hr to 100-400 a day for weddings and they are even starting to break into corporate video. But they are still trying to charge the customer top billing.
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Old September 22nd, 2013, 03:10 PM   #15
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Re: How to kill our videography market

Thumbtack is a bizarre one. I got some free credits (cause they charge for sending quotes) which is the only reason I pursued any of my leads (of which I get MANY). I got one job out of it and many instances of people simply ceasing to communicate with me after a certain amount of exchange, or other instances where I was forced to stop communicating with them because of Thumbtack'ss Byzantine rules about how you (vendors) may only ASK questions, and can never ANSWER. So if you start asking "how long will this gig last, how many people are on camera" etc. etc., and they say, "can I call you and give you those details", you can't respond, "sorry, thumbtack doesn't allow that until I send an official quote." You just have to sit there like a lump and do nothing and not respond at all and move on with your life. Especially frustrating since they don't require the prospective client to enter any details at all in their initial requests/leads that you see.

And yes, there are still folks out there with real budgets. Some people actually pay me to JUST run teleprompter on gigs! That's right! I am a professional prompter operator! So yes there are also folks with real money to pay cameramen legit industry fees etc. I can say personally it's my own failure as a businessman/salesperson for my own services that work is not more plentiful, because it is out there.
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