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Taking Care of Business
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Old April 13th, 2008, 09:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Terry Lee View Post
This is very true, but you can't depend on luck. I'm not going to just sit around and wait till I hit the lotto.

The people who have these TV shows didn't start out with a few dollars in their pockets. Bam Margera had become a professional skateboarder prior to any of this pop culture fame that he has attracted. Bam already had a camera crew fallowing him around and filming him on tours. When he did the stuff that you see on the CKY videos, it was just him doing what he does. When these videos were sold to the public, people loved it and now he is famous for it.
I think you are forgetting one important thing here, the CKY videos and later Jackass had a concept not really seen before in the US, thus making it marketable.

Sure there were people in Europe doing the same thing but us dumb Americans over here had no idea lol.

Try thinking of a concept that someone will not say "Seen it before" and run from there.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 10:51 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Chris Burgess View Post
I think you are forgetting one important thing here, the CKY videos and later Jackass had a concept not really seen before in the US, thus making it marketable.

Sure there were people in Europe doing the same thing but us dumb Americans over here had no idea lol.

Try thinking of a concept that someone will not say "Seen it before" and run from there.
This is what I was getting at. If you have a gimmick, something different that hasn't really been done before, you could potentially make a lot of money off it with the right marketing and advertisement. There are too many examples of this happening all the time by people just filming what they love to do. I just remembered that guy the crocodile hunter, another prime example.

Jackass and Girls Gone Wild have already been done, but there are plenty of concepts out there that haven't been done yet. And I do believe there is room in the market for a really good travel video series. Just gotta find the right gimmick to market it with.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 10:55 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Stephen Boss View Post
This is what I was getting at. If you have a gimmick, something different that hasn't really been done before, you could potentially make a lot of money off it with the right marketing and advertisement. There are too many examples of this happening all the time by people just filming what they love to do. I just remembered that guy the crocodile hunter, another prime example.

Jackass and Girls Gone Wild have already been done, but there are plenty of concepts out there that haven't been done yet. And I do believe there is room in the market for a really good travel video series. Just gotta find the right gimmick to market it with.
Except there is a whole channel just for travel videos...The Travel Channel.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 04:22 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Peter Wiley View Post
There are two classes of video production companies.

The first are really camera operators for hire who specialize in niche markets like weddings or depositions etc. If one runs this kind of company one puts oneself at the mercy of those with program ideas or needs (e.g. brides, lawyers etc.). Without a client one is stuck. Outside very large markets, it can be a difficult way to make a living, esp. as a one-person band. When one goes to websites of these companies one finds equipment and software lists presented as qualifications.

The second class of video production companies focus on the creation, development, and production of original program ideas. Look at Original Productions -- http://www.origprod.com/ -- for example. These are the kind of companies that make very good incomes from their work because they control the intellectual property they produce. These firms often hire the best of the first class of production companies located in established production centers like LA, NY, Miami etc. When one goes to the websites of these kinds of companies one finds lists of completed programs presented as qualifications. Go to "the company" link at Original Productions and you won't find a camera, video format, or piece of software mentioned.

It's better to be the second class of company than the first.

If I were living in Madison, I'd be asking myself what kinds of stories or information would members of the UnivMadison community like to see and then what kinds of advertisers would like to reach that audience and then develop a program idea or two for distribution on the net that could be sold to those advertisers.

Unfortunately, with the economy entering a recession, wedding videos are not very likely to be seen as wedding essentials in the way that a reception, a cake and a dress are. My guess is the video would be among the first things to be cut. I think it's going to be very hard going in that market for awhile anywhere except among the very well to do.
Good points. The stuff made for the Discovery Channel type stuff is the high end for sure.

Also interesting point about not listing equipment. I don't think it really has much bearing on the product... it's as only as good as the user.

Thanks for the UW content tip. That's a good idea.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 04:26 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Chris Burgess View Post
You could yes, but (and this is a large BUT lol) I guess it all depends on your definition of profit. If you do this as a side gig then what you consider profitable is alot different than someone who does it full time (sometimes I miss those side gig days lol).

For myself, right now profitable means a decent profit margin on contract work, doing better than break even on my own projects, supporting a wife and two kids, paying my bills, and turning any extra profit into merchandising, advertising, equipment dollars.

Its all very subjective I guess...
it is subjective, and I suppose so is making a living (supporting the wife and kids). I can't imagine doing this full time... yet. Of course, I do at the TV station, but that doesn't really support the family 100%, hence the side-for-now venture. It's all much more brutal than imagined.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #21
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Ahw come on... There is lots of stuuf that gets rehashed. How many bike-building shows are there (even on Discovery) or how many car-pimping-custom shows. There are even several around 'extreme' survival.

If you want to make a show like that and have the 'inside' contacts, all you need is a good pitch to the right program manager.

Even if you have some other idea that could/would apeal to some audience, just pitch it! Take it from there.

George/

P.S. A 'gimmick' by itself may not cut it, there has to be some (sort of) original angle.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 03:33 AM   #22
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Hi Mark,

First thing you can try is to stick with what you know, maybe a hobby that you are alway spending your time on.

And second, take a few days and travel around Madison and Dane County, and keep a list of the thing that catch
your eye, that you think other people would like to know
about.

Terry
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Old April 18th, 2008, 12:12 PM   #23
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By day I am a 6th grade math teacher. When I started teaching it was my true passion. 4 years ago my principal asked me if I would be interested in building a digital TV studio in a spare classroom and teach video productions and create a live morning news show for our middle school. The nice part was he gave me a huge budget to do this. So I researched everything and built it over a summer. It was a blast! Through the process of building the studio and curriculum to teach video production, I started falling in love with video productions.

I slowly started getting my own gear. Then last summer a buddy of mine at Adobe told me about the new Production CS3 suite coming out in July. Now normally I would not spend that kind of money for software(wife would not be happy). However he was able to get it to me a much reduced rate. I had used lots of consumer video editing platforms(movie maker, pinnacle, ulead) but this thing was way above my head when I started. I sat at the computer all summer working and learning Premier Pro and After Effects. By the end of August I had a big break through where everything just seemed to click. It was at that moment my passion changed. I realized I could create high level video productions. Up till this point I had made video yearbooks for the school and videos for our spring musical as well as commercials for things going on in the school. I felt I had the ability (not just to use the software) to create video productions.

After many discussions with my wife, we decided to pursue this video business. Since then, we have our business set-up, we are currently building our website. We currently are working on 3 projects and just last week, inked a deal with a magazine to create a DVD for them.

When I started this last summer I was along the same thought line “Do Anything”. I have since changed my point of view to do the jobs I feel passionate about. I will meet with anybody about any possible project. However, unless I really feel like I am the right person for the job, I wont do it. I have so far turned down 4 weddings this summer as I don’t feel that is the direction I want to go. Friends and family weddings sure, but not weddings for hire video.

Sorry for the long post but what I am trying to say is...”Do what you love”!!! At the end of next school year, I plan to move from teaching to video productions as my full time job.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 08:46 PM   #24
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Excellent Thread

I'm a post-audio guy/still photographer and 2 years ago I fell in love with HD video and bought an XH-A1. My plan was to shoot enough stock nature footage to pay for the camera and hopefully turn it into a business of doing something I love to do.

Well I've finally come to terms with the fact that stock nature footage isn't really in high demand (too much supply) and I probably will not be able to make a living solely on it no matter how much beautiful outdoor footage I shoot.

So, I'm at the same crossroad. I imagine alot of people here are. I really am not interested in being a all-around videographer (weddings, corporate video). There's alot of things that I would love to do though: make documentaries, make video art, even short films. But, I have a wife and two kids and can't quite justify quiting the day-job yet.

Hopefully, one day soon I'll find a way to monetize making the sort of productions I want. Like the previous poster said : " Do What You Love"

anything else is just a job ~
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Old May 6th, 2008, 09:03 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Luke Tingle View Post
I'm a post-audio guy/still photographer and 2 years ago I fell in love with HD video and bought an XH-A1. My plan was to shoot enough stock nature footage to pay for the camera and hopefully turn it into a business of doing something I love to do.

Well I've finally come to terms with the fact that stock nature footage isn't really in high demand (too much supply) and I probably will not be able to make a living solely on it no matter how much beautiful outdoor footage I shoot.

So, I'm at the same crossroad. I imagine alot of people here are. I really am not interested in being a all-around videographer (weddings, corporate video). There's alot of things that I would love to do though: make documentaries, make video art, even short films. But, I have a wife and two kids and can't quite justify quiting the day-job yet.

Hopefully, one day soon I'll find a way to monetize making the sort of productions I want. Like the previous poster said : " Do What You Love"

anything else is just a job ~
Oh, one other thing to note here. Everyone should remember that video, photo is technically a luxury item. Bad economy + luxury item = something has to give ie - our work.

In certain markets DVD sales are down...way down. Like you stated the online stock footage deal is a joke, so how do you make money?

Two months ago I had enough work lined up to push me through this year into next...for various reasons the chips have fallen as such and I have lost 2/3 of my potential income. Think about that for a second, 2/3. Now I am scrambling to make up the lost difference, which has not been easy.

I totally agree with do what you love and all of that sentiment...but...I think the economy is going to separate the men (and women) from the boys (and girls). I have pushed until almost losing everything and would hate to see others make the same mistakes, because they are trying to do what they love...I don't think I would leave the day job anytime soon in this economy.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 11:51 AM   #26
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I'd love to make documentaries but I'm not sure that will put food on the table, esp. with fresh-faced kids half my age being churned out of film school by the hour.
I'm definitely a do what you love person - fortunately, I love all of this - camera, editing, creating...even graphic design. And I'm still starving because I can't figure out how to market.
My question is - who here is doing well in their business and what areas of the market are you in? If you left another area of the market because it wasn't doing so well, what was it? What's worked for you vs. not worked?
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Old May 9th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Mark Stuart View Post
I really enjoy making videos of my wife and I's vacations, but I don't foresee anybody wanting to buy them... unless... say, how much you wanna pay me?? lol
don't laugh. I think you need to sit down in a quiet place and think about that a bit more, expand upon it, extrapolate, brainstorm, seriously.

and while telling people what you have done is a nice and a bit of an ego boost, it's far more imortant to tell them what you CAN do for THEM. Solve their problems.
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