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Taking Care of Business
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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:59 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Kevin Spahr View Post
They make the appointments, send me the script/shot list so all I have to do is show up and shoot SD and then send them a log sheet of the shots and the tape - there is no editing. CGI pays all the expenses - tape, postage, and mileage. Most shoots are close by so I can run out and shoot it and come home to make an invoice and send the tape out the door. The time that CGI figures it would take to do the shoot is accurate and usually more than is needed.
THIS is a respectful business model where the shooter is being paid for his/her time and doesn't assume any of the risk of a production, much like freelancing for a video production house.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 10:37 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Something else entirely - TurnHere is primarily focused on short online yellow page video clips for businesses to use for advertising - actually a pretty good idea if integrated with the other marketing efforts of a small biz.
Thanks for the clarification, Dave -- much appreciated.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 10:09 AM   #33
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I recently attended TurnHere's webinar and after reviewing my sample videos they replied that my samples only showed talking heads and no b-roll, so they were not confident that I could shoot a TurnHere commercial.

I replied to them with a link to one of the videos in my sample list that was at least 50% b-roll (cut aways). Was it an actual commericial? No. It was more like 10 commercials!

I am not a professional. Although their video samples were good considering all the restraints, they were not what most would call "pro." I truly believe I can meet or beat their standards. What I question is whether they actually have enough work to go around when you live in larger cities where there are literally hundreds of qualified videographers.

They did offer to let me go out and offer their free video campaign to local businesses, and if the customer requested me, they would allow me to shoot it, edit it etc. and IF they liked it they would pay me. By the way, I don't believe the free video campaign is without a hitch....there are special conditions to it.

In all honesty, preparation time, drive time, the 1 1/2 hrs on location time that they believe is sufficient, the complete edit time (if you value quality about 2 hours), plus a possible re-edit which you have to do if they request, could for some people (like me) take more like 6 to 8 hours. Perhaps after you have done a handful of these you learn to shave off some time.

What they are offering is $200 for the complete project. For me, I believe that would realistically be about $25 an hour.

I replied to their email that I would continue to grow my portfolio shooting paid videos in my area and that I would keep my profile updated with them.

From what I have read on this forum and others, TurnHere seems to be legitimate. Probably not very desirable to most professionals, but a good way for people like me to get some experience as well as deliver a decent product.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #34
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Well, here's my take. I got a call from them and they offered me $225 to shoot a 1 minute web spot. I had nothing else going on and I accepted the assignment. It was not a big pain, they expect very simple stuff, something pretty much any 'slap it together with
a couple sequences' news shooter does two or three of every day. They pay promptly
which is more than I can say for many of my REAL clients. However, I DO think it is
below standard wages.....I did one to see what it was like and that was that. They liked
what I did and told me they would send me all the work in my area (but I of course
have the option to say NO to any of the shoots). Which hasn't been an issue cause they
haven't called me back in 6 months. I DO live in an isolated town in Alaska so that
is probably one issue. However, I got a call from another similar company (BizClip)
which was basically doing the same thing. This time however, I was booked at my
'normal' day rate for basically the next two weeks. I told them that I could not get to
their 'low pay' job for another couple weeks. They asked what day I could schedule
them in, and I gave them a day. About three days later they called and asked if
I could squeeze them in as the business owner was leaving town for vacation before
I could get to it. I politely told them that unless they could pay me 4 times what they
were offering, that it would be financially reckless on my part to take the job when
I had real, paying work. They then tried to get me to refer them to someone else. I told
them that I did not know anyone that could take a job that paid that little, on that short
of a notice.....I don't think it ever got produced, and I wonder how they looked to the
business owner as they usually tell the business owners that they have shooters
'everywhere.'

Anyways, the spot I DID do for Turnhere, I knew the people that I did the spot for and it was
one of these 'freebies' which Turnhere is now promoting. The business owner told me a few
days later that they were offered a 'risk free trial spot. So, the one thing I will say
about this, is that YOU are taking NO risk. You go out and tell the business they can
get a 'free no obligation video' produced, and then if the business goes for it, you shoot
and edit the spot. You get paid your $225. Turnhere, then has to convince the business
that after their free trial offer is up, that they should PAY to keep the spot up online.
Many times, I am imagining that the business takes the 'freebie' and then CANCELS when
they would actually have to start to PAY. So Turnhere just paid you $225 and got a
big fat ZERO out of the deal. That's what happened on the one that I did, I got my money
and the business cancelled after the freebie period was over.

All I am saying, is that there is a little bit more to this story than meets the eye.
In theory, it should be easy for a shooter to go out and sell 'free' to a business
in the current economy. And for every 'free' spot they sell, they get $225.
Turnhere meanwhile, is taking the risk that they can convince the business to
stay online, which is a much riskier proposition.....with a big reward if they do
convince them. It's the 'risk takers' who make the money.....which is why
most people who work for a TV station don't make much....even when the station
is making good money. You have to decide for yourself what is 'worth' your time
and skills. For me, I just do the same thing Turnhere does, on a local basis and
charge a good deal less than Turnhere charges the end business,.....which still nets
me a LOT more than their measly $225. I just have to buy cheap web hosting and
put together a website. I just figured that I had all the skills to do what Turnhere is
doing, so why not just cut out the middleman?
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Old December 15th, 2009, 06:56 PM   #35
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So, to be clear - YOU send YOUR prospects to THEIR online application so that THEY can pay YOU a pittance?!?!?
That is what I was thinking.... whaaaa? Rip off. It might only be worth it if THEY send you clients, not the other way around.
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Old December 15th, 2009, 07:00 PM   #36
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... I got a call from another similar company (BizClip)
which was basically doing the same thing.
I have also shot two spots for this company. The pay is terribly low (about $30-40 per hour for a full gear shooter once all the time spent is actually totaled up) but there is ZERO post production. Shoot, mail tape. Done.

Granted, I have yet to be paid for the two spots I shot for them. We shall see if they follow through.
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Old December 15th, 2009, 07:15 PM   #37
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Turnhere, Bizclip, Globetrotter, Yellow Taxi, they're EVERYWHERE, I tells ya!

Also something I keep coming across called Genius Rocket, but I think that's a different, though equally weird business model.
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Old December 15th, 2009, 07:17 PM   #38
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Note.... I have no idea if the final productions are any good from Bizclip. and since I have no control over the final edit, I told the clients that I'm just the shooter. Anything can happen in post to change the final product.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 01:52 PM   #39
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I checked out turnhere. It seems like a good way for some folks to pick up some extra cash.

Their videos are not very hard to do. The quality just has to be good enough for web use. That's pretty easy. You don't need thousands of dollars worth of gear. A $200 miniDV cam with a mic-in, $20 tripod (which can also serve as a poor man's steady-cam), a $20 lavaliere mic from Radio Shack, and a $6 mic extension, plus a tape and editing program is pretty much all you need to produce an online yellow pages video.

$30-40 per hour is pretty good pay IMO. I don't know what the actual average pay per project is. I would guess that it depends on your travel if any and if you are fast or slow. I think there's a big problem with many video people. They have the notion that they have to get paid hundreds per hour. Don't get me wrong. It's a great gig if you can get it and more power to you if you are getting it. Just because you spent more on your equipment though doesn't mean you should get more money for a job. Remember, the quality has to be good, not super great. The content and message is what the viewer is going to be focused on. They won't give two s**ts what gear you used.

Jeff
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Old December 17th, 2009, 07:58 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Jeff Emery View Post
I think there's a big problem with many video people. They have the notion that they have to get paid hundreds per hour.
HEAVEN FORBID I should ask for fair remuneration for the professional skills I went to media college for ($10k on my education) and the skills I have picked up in the 30 YEARS I have been taking photos, the 22 years I have been messing with sound and the 20 some-odd years I have been playing with video cameras, professional AND consumer.

Oh, and then there's the $330k invested in gear that I've spent over the past 12 years (albeit some of that is now obsolete and/or retired) that I might want to recoup the cost of.

You're right - I should just sell my gear off, buy a $300 camcorder and shoot and edit crappy video for less than a living wage. What was I thinking?
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Old December 17th, 2009, 10:06 PM   #41
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Shaun, Couldn't have said it better myself. There are many people he in Alberta that feel the exact same way and are sticking to their guns. The problem is the ones that have been laid off and still want to work in the "industry" so they take these gigs.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 10:23 PM   #42
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OK so you spent a bunch of money. What is your point?

The turnhere videos are quick turn-out, low production cost and value commercial spots. Do you really believe that because you have an overkill of gear needed for a shoot and more experience and qualifications than needed that you are somehow worth your cost to produce a turnhere spot?

I'm not calling into question your ability to produce some great video. But I don't think your skills are what's needed for turnhere. I don't even understand your point in posting regarding this turnhere issue. No one is asking you to produce spots for turnhere or turnhere level pay. But you sure seem to be ticked and defensive about it.

By your reasoning, if I read you right, a highly skilled chef with years and years of experience who takes a job flipping burgers at McDonalds, should get paid hundreds of dollars per hour.

I'm not going to drop a challenge but I know for a turnhere spot, I can use a panasonic gs120, cheap tripod and lav mic, and produce a turnhere style and quality spot every bit as good as what you could with your $330,000 gear.

Of course if you really want to challenge me in a turnhere style yellow pages spot, I'll accept. If your gear is so great and your talent is so fantastic, the differences in the quality of our work should be very apparent.

Jeff
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Old December 18th, 2009, 03:34 PM   #43
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Actually TurnHere has a basic equipment list that's a "little" higher, although you're right that a GS120 qualifies as a "3 chipper"... <wink>. Talent beats gear anyhow. Gear depreciates and is replaced with newer and better - talent you've either got or you don't and age and experience are always helpful. Doesn't mean that technology and economics won't obsolete you TOMORROW, so good idea to keep your eyes and ears open, lest you join "the last typesetter" on display in a dusty museum.

I think the point is that they offer a basic product at a basic price (McDonalds is a good analogy), someone has to shoot and edit these, and it really doesn't require a huge investment in equipment or time, if you've got some spare time and the gear and edit chops, couldn't hurt to pick up some extra $$...

IF you're a "pro" and are shooting in that market, great, the fancy steakhouse needs someone to "cook" too... market yourself and stick to that market. We're not talking filet mignon for a quarter pounder price OR vice versa.

At least we've heard from people who have actually worked for TH, and are happy. Being in the middle of nowhere, I am not surprised TH hasn't tossed many "jobs" direction... but I'm ontheir list, and might look into trying to promote their "special" locally myself, although the "local" economy is pretty lousy.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #44
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Jeff, I'll choose to ignore the fact that your last post is blatantly aggressive toward me and borders on Internet Trollism and respond simply to a "question" you facetiously proposed - if companies like TurnHere DIDN'T exist to make money off OUR backs, the market would be forced to search out professionals (or rank amateurs for that matter...) to do the work at a price point AT LEAST equal to the sum of what TH pays PLUS what TH collects as their "percentage" and I would argue that THAT dollar figure would be a LOT less insulting and less prone to undermining the hard work of those of us who do this for a LIVING, and not just a hobby that we decide to charge "beer money" for.

I won't accept your challenge to shoot and edit a spot, nor will I call you out to "meet me at the flag pole at 3:30" like the bullies did in my Junior High School.

I wasn't bragging about my gear but until someone is willing to put REAL business practices into place (such as "right tool for the job"), they aren't running a business. I'm tired of people trying to "fool" their way around broadcast standards and I'm tired of people undermining the long term viability of my chosen PROFESSIONAL field. Would you go to a "mechanic" that only had a pair of pliers, a hammer and an all-in-one screwdriver? Probably not. I'm suggesting that no company should be looking to someone with a $300 handicam with oncamera mic to do anything promotional.

I'm proud of my back catalog of work and even prouder of the mentoring and sharing of LEARNED knowledge I have provided to many just starting out, both in terms of video production as well as running a BUSINESS that provides video production. I ask everyone to ask themselves what THEY have contributed to the community as a whole.

I am FAR from the most talented person on this forum and readily admit that. I do think however the bar has been lowered significantly in the last ten years as to who can call themselves a "videographer" in terms of OVERALL skill set.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 08:02 PM   #45
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Shaun,

I too have a have a professional education in broadcasting (mine from Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts) I've worked in large market radio and television stations using big time gear. I've also run my own audio and video production company. I have produced hundreds of projects including TV spots, training videos, promotional videos, marketing videos, and demos. I do have examples of my work in those areas and others to support my claim. I'm sure you have samples of your work.

Your focus is in a different area than mine was. While I certainly respect your expertise and ability, I believe that when we talk about the type of video for turnhere productions and the quality (or lack of) required, your work isn't necessarliy better than mine or anyone else's simply by virtue of how much money you've spent or what kind of gear you are using.

Now if we were to have a match off for some really high tech, in-depth stuff, you would probably win hands down. But the topic of the thread is about turnhere. It shifted around a bit but the focus of my postings has stayed pretty much on topic.

You don't have to have expensive gear to produce turnhere projects. Just take a look at some of the videos on their site. $400 worth of gear will work. I know that just as sure as I know that if I drop a rock, it's going to hit the ground. Turnhere may want you to have more expensive gear, but how are they to know what you really used?

You mentioned how you are "tired of people trying to "fool" their way around broadcast standards". We are not talking about BROADCAST standards. We are talking about WEB quality standards for turnhere productions. There is a huge difference. You know that. I would not use a little cheap camera for broadcast TV production, although in some instances it will work quite sufficiently for the local cable outlet. A couple car dealers do it a lot around here.

I doubt turnhere is trying to attract video people of your caliber. But why bash them or anyone who may do work for them. They aren't competing for the same customers as you, are they?

If someone is content to work for less than you (or beer money) does that make them any less professional than you? Is there a dollar amount that is the dividing line between professional and amateur?

I think it's great that you are making a living from video. I do not. I make a living from writing, consulting, producing audio and video projects, creating and selling tutorials, and a real job in management. I live in a very rural area. If I were to rely on only one talent or capability, I would have a hard time supporting my family and lifestyle.

I don't expect to change your mind or make you see things my way. And, I will not suggest everyone jack their prices sky high to help maintain the integrity of the "video industry".

By the way, I would go to a mechanic who only had a hammer, pliers, and screwdriver IF those were the tools needed to get the job done. But if he was going to charge more because he was going to use a gold-plated hammer, pliers, and screwdriver that he spent a huge amount of money on, I'd probably tell him forget it and look for someone who could meet my needs, not have my wallet meet their needs.

Jeff
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