Need input to Purchase Glidecam V20 at

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Old April 14th, 2004, 11:06 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Duluth, Georgia
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Need input to Purchase Glidecam V20

I'm a corporate videographer, and I'm doing a number of MTV "Cribs"-styles shoots and live events of large stage productions.

We are shooting with Hitachi 3000's on Betacam SP backs. So, the weight is about 20-25 lbs?

I've been asking for us to purchase a Steadicam/Glidecam vest support system to use on these shoots. Any other systems out there that will support the camera weight?

The chief engineer has just assigned me to do a write up on how this would make our lives better, be more effecient, etc. Groan.

Has anyone out there had to validate a purchase like this? It's not easy trying to persuade non-creative types or bean-counters that a sizable purchase like this is useful. I'm having trouble communicating my objective points.

I KNOW how it would make shoots be more productive, have better shots and communicate stories more effectively (hey- I like that. Its going in the paper).

Input greatly appreciated!!
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Old April 14th, 2004, 01:35 PM   #2
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Location: Chicago, IL
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I "Groan" with you.

I cannot offer guidance with respect to this specific product. But perhaps I can offer some useful remarks concerning justification treatises, as someone who spent years doing this in the business world and who learned a few lessons along the way.

The first lesson I learned is to keep your eye on the "ball". In this case, and in most cases, the "ball" is money and margin. Technical staff tend to get juicy over the prospect of getting new toys. If you come off as a "techie" in toy lust your game is lost. If this MTV project has already been contracted on a fixed-bid basis additional late expenses mean that someone up the chain is going to lose money. So rather than sell the stabilizer initiative for the specific project, you may have to sell it on the basis of enriching your company's overall capabilities. Higher production capabilities lead to more work which leads to more revenue which leads to fatter paychecks up the chain. From a bean-counting perspective, when accounted for properly, equipment is depreciated over fixed periods of time (usually 3-5 years for little stuff like this). That depreciation is amortized over each billable project when pricing is properly established.

The second lesson is to avoid, to the greatest degree possible, selling to the "help". By that I mean sell major initiatives to those who sell the business, not to those who administer the business. The "help" (ex: administrators, technicians, etc.) lives in a risk-filled world. A successful day to them is a day when nothing bad happened for which they can be blamed. It's a waste of breath and effort selling to them. Sell to those who define a successful day as one in which they made money for the company. Sell them something they can sell.

The third lesson is an old adage that really applies in this instance: sell the sizzle not the steak. That is, don't sell the purchase of a "Glidecam V-20". Nobody will give a damn about that. Sell what it can do. Show demo reels. Sell the sex appeal of silky smooth motion control. Sell the potential time economies and the artistic freedom that intertial stabilizers can offer as opposed to conventional dolly tracks. Sell the concept of bringing the company up-to-date. But don't get to the techie details such as specific products and costs until they're well greased on the the concept. Then make them "pull" the details from you.

Good Luck!
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