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Taking Care of Business
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Old November 16th, 2008, 05:33 PM   #16
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This is a topic that people are certainly passionate about and I can understand the points on both sides.

I wonder if the opinions stated here differ based upon one's longevity in the business. Those of us who've been doing this for a year or two might be a little more flexible because we're looking at all options to kick start our business. Veterans have long since passed this point in their business development and have learned very personally (and probably with some scars) what works for them and what doesn't.

We all react to life's situations according to our gifts and experience. My goal is to learn from everyone, particularly from those will longer resumes than mine.
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Old November 16th, 2008, 05:33 PM   #17
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Back to the topic...

I am a student. I am also a commercial videographer. Nevertheless, sometimes the two cross paths and I see the act of preying on students regularly. At least once a week, I get an inquiry from some mailing list or another about the need for a videographer. It might be event coverage, it might be editing footage, it might be whatever. Point is, I know what I'm doing (or at least like to think so!) and invest substantial time and money in the development of my business. Most people don't realize this so it comes as a shock to them.

A recent example of this was someone looking for a 2-3 minute promotional piece. I got an email. So did the school's film alias. My email spoke of a paying job, the film alias spoke of a "group project." I support working and learning together by producing videos, but the idea of a network of similarly-interested students becoming a service for hire made me nauseous.

Another example: Recently I was contacted about the possibility of producing a 30 minute television program about the local police and fire departments in the town I go to school in. Upon contacting the person heading up the project and learning a bit more about its complexity, I offered up two scenarios: that we could do this through my company at our standard rates of $300-500 per finished minute, or that it could count as an internship necessary to my degree. I bet you can figure out which one he chose.

I'm not saying that I'm unhappy with this, as it works out for me this time, but there comes a point when the words "showreel," "good experience," "practice," and "fun," just don't cut it anymore. Honestly, I don't know where I would be if I was never asked to produce countless free videos in high school for the pure enjoyment of others. The practice in filmmaking and development in personal skills were invaluable. Therefore it's great that people (like the innkeepers) want to help establish the next generation of professionals, they just need to know what to expect in terms of quality. A 2 minute youtube clip is very different than a 30 second TV spot. Therefore, none of us are really in danger of being affected by the call for cheap student videography. The client doesn't ever want to pay more than X, and the talented (and most likely intelligent) student comes to realize what he or she is worth very quickly.

With my tuition approaching $43K a year, sometimes it's difficult to pick a side, with it being cheap work or no work, but there is a line not to be crossed. Accepting peanuts as a student would only hurt myself as a businessman, so I've learned to be firm. I've dealt with cheap clients - it's more pain than it's worth. I work hard at what I do, and I'm proud of what I produce, so when I'm trying to be nice and quote $400 for a 2-hour event and never get a call back, I know where I stand, and won't cut myself from what I'm worth.
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Old November 16th, 2008, 11:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
This is a topic that people are certainly passionate about and I can understand the points on both sides.

I wonder if the opinions stated here differ based upon one's longevity in the business. Those of us who've been doing this for a year or two might be a little more flexible because we're looking at all options to kick start our business. Veterans have long since passed this point in their business development and have learned very personally (and probably with some scars) what works for them and what doesn't.

We all react to life's situations according to our gifts and experience. My goal is to learn from everyone, particularly from those will longer resumes than mine.
Well put Tripp.

It's easy to get heated when debating topics as emportant as your livelyhood, and even easier to fuel the fire when talking about it over the internet.

I've removed the more personal posts, and references to them. Let's let this one cool off for now.
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