I've done some good work -- now what? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 24th, 2010, 12:48 PM   #16
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: London, England
Posts: 969
Having worked in the film and television industry for over a quarter of a century my advice is stick to what you are good at and concentrate on providing for your family. Get involved with some local film clubs, write some scripts in your spare time, but don't jeopardize your family by getting involved in a business you so clearly do not understand. This business is full of deluded dreamers who can't make ends meet as it is - it certainly doesn't need any more. I don't mean to be harsh, but everything you've written in your opening post tells me you are better off staying in your current business.
__________________
Writer-Director-DOP
www.liamhall.net
Liam Hall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2010, 01:09 PM   #17
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
Liam -The OP wasn't planning on going into the "movie biz"... he is exploring doing wedding & event video - entirely different animals.

Weddings and events aren't "scripted" for one... one take, one shot to get it "right", and you are the cameraman, editor, chief cook and bottle washer. You may want to re-read the OP's post... the responses aren't from "dreamers" hoping to make the next Avatar, but people who are building or have viable small event video operations, as the OP is thinking about doing.
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2010, 01:55 PM   #18
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Posts: 522
Liam is absolutely dead on and should be commended for his honesty.

There's way to much "just go for it, everything will be fine" advice on this forum. When I speak to film/video students I lay out the realities of this profession and whether you're shooting weddings or feature films this business has never been tougher. Just because someone doesn't say you're wonderful and should "go for it" doesn't mean it's bad advice. If you've got work as carpenter or an aerospace engineer right now keep your job. I know plenty of talented network cameramen, videographers and production companies that have closed their doors in the last 2 years.
__________________
"The good thing about science is that it's true whether you believe it or not." Neil deGrasse Tyson http://nautilusproductions.com
Rick L. Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2010, 02:23 PM   #19
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: London, England
Posts: 969
Thank you Rick. I too have seen a lot of people struggle in recent years across all sectors of the industry. I keep busy by being versatile or is it because I'm cheap - take your pick:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Liam -The OP wasn't planning on going into the "movie biz"... he is exploring doing wedding & event video - entirely different animals.

Weddings and events aren't "scripted" for one... one take, one shot to get it "right", and you are the cameraman, editor, chief cook and bottle washer. You may want to re-read the OP's post... the responses aren't from "dreamers" hoping to make the next Avatar, but people who are building or have viable small event video operations, as the OP is thinking about doing.
Dave, I can read. I know exactly the industry the OP is trying to get into, if you read the post again you'll see the OP asked for our opinions and suggestions. I gave mine.
__________________
Writer-Director-DOP
www.liamhall.net
Liam Hall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2010, 03:00 PM   #20
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, TX
Posts: 2,230
I think the key is doing something for employment that you do not want to retire from...
Tim Polster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 25th, 2010, 10:11 PM   #21
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chattaroy, WA
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam Hall View Post
Thank you Rick. I too have seen a lot of people struggle in recent years across all sectors of the industry. I keep busy by being versatile or is it because I'm cheap - take your pick:)



Dave, I can read. I know exactly the industry the OP is trying to get into, if you read the post again you'll see the OP asked for our opinions and suggestions. I gave mine.
And, Liam, I appreciate your perspective. You're entirely correct. It'd be a complete fluke if I could compete with either yourself or Rick. No matter which way I look at it I'd always be way behind the experience curve compared to you guys and in the years I've got left couldn't pull together the kind of productions you do. That said, I can see nothing wrong with striving for your level of quality.

Looking back at my OP this is what may have given you and Rick the impression I was going to make an attempt to compete at your level: "....and enter the business of video production". I agree, attempting something like that for me would be both unrealistic and stupid. Your comments reinforce that for me. I meant that in the more general sense where producing a wedding video is also a video production.

But Dave is right. You suggested I write scripts in my spare time. I have no interest in writing a script or directing talent. I don't see an entry in the local film festival in my future. In other words my aspirations are completely out of the market you're obviously most familiar with. Weddings are something my wife and I enjoy doing and I believe doing those and other events is being realistic.

But this is not what I was asking about. Nor is it what this is supposed to be about. The title of this forum is "Taking Care of Business" and several have responded in that vein pointing out that if I want to run a business I'd better learn how including all the stuff from bookkeeping to marketing. I interpret that as doing so before being fully committed.

Yes, I'd like to do a corporate video or two and maybe a short documentary but I don't see those as bread and butter, pay the bills type of work for me. Here's what I wrote as my goal: "Where I want to end up is a small business with two or three crews shooting weddings and corporate stuff." My mention of two or three crews may have given the wrong impression as well. My motivation for that is recognizing that whatever I do it won't be even close to a twenty year run. My vision is to create an exit strategy where I can hand over the reigns and gradually bow out and maybe even have a company someone else would want to buy.
__________________
http://pineforestmedia.com
Steve Isaacs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 25th, 2010, 10:40 PM   #22
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chattaroy, WA
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Weddings and events aren't "scripted" for one... one take, one shot to get it "right", and you are the cameraman, editor, chief cook and bottle washer...
I'm sure, Dave, that what you said about weddings not being scripted is not entirely what you meant. You have a lot more experience than we do so you may want to set me straight. From what we've experienced so far weddings are, at least for our unobtrusive style, actually planned chaos. We have a checklist of shots that we consider "must get" shots. Among these are the rings, the dress, the parents, the vows, the wedding party, the cake, the photo shoot, the toasts and so on -- not necessarily in that order. Our unobtrusive style means we don't setup the shots and the couple forgets we're there. Like you say, Dave, at least for us there's only one opportunity to get the shot -- the real shot. So far we've been able to fill our checklist every time but doing so required forethought, planning, anticipation and a lot of repositioning mixed in with a bit of luck. From the experience we've gained so far we know we can do it.

In your experience do you think it would be possible to approach a local and established event videographer to ask about the business side of things? I hesitate to do that partially because of my social skills I mentioned and partially because I'm afraid of creating the impression I'm after secrets so I can take business away. As far as taking business that would be nearly true since I'm planning to enter the local market place that's already divided up. I'd sure like to buy someone lunch or dinner to discuss questions like: How do you attract business? Using Facebook? Has that Flash website paid off? Do you have a recommendation for an accountant?
__________________
http://pineforestmedia.com
Steve Isaacs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 26th, 2010, 06:23 AM   #23
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Posts: 522
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Isaacs View Post
Looking back at my OP this is what may have given you and Rick the impression I was going to make an attempt to compete at your level: "....and enter the business of video production". I agree, attempting something like that for me would be both unrealistic and stupid. Your comments reinforce that for me. I meant that in the more general sense where producing a wedding video is also a video production.
Steve at some point all of us, Liam and myself included, started where you are with little or no experience and/or skills. Over decades we have built viable production companies through hard work and experience. Having "been there and done that" we know what we know and also to some extent know what we don't know. Our comments to you are based on our real world experience, not fear of competition. We see way too many starry eyed filmmakers get into this business and then fail miserably. Unfortunately, this forum seems to encourage that sort of behavior. Our point is and was that if you have a decent job you should keep it because jeopardizing your family's economic security with a full scale switch into the video biz at this moment in time is probably not a good idea.

Also you replied to Dave Blackhurst;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Isaacs View Post
In your experience do you think it would be possible to approach a local and established event videographer to ask about the business side of things? I hesitate to do that partially because of my social skills I mentioned and partially because I'm afraid of creating the impression I'm after secrets so I can take business away.
But that is exactly what you are doing. You will be asking a competitor to give you the benefit of his experience and local knowledge so that you can compete against his business. I occassionally get calls like that and you can guess what my reaction is.
__________________
"The good thing about science is that it's true whether you believe it or not." Neil deGrasse Tyson http://nautilusproductions.com
Rick L. Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 26th, 2010, 11:31 AM   #24
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Southwest Idaho, USA
Posts: 3,063
Hi Steve,

This "social skills" problem you've mentioned more than once should be your starting place, in my opinion. Attracting, selling, and keeping business is a social event.

First thing I'd do if I were in your shoes is a bit of reading to give you more insight into the business side of things and more importantly, what type of salesman you are, what you can work on, etc.

I'm sure there are a lot of great books out there, but for general insight these remain on my shelf; the first one being the most valuable for me:

Selling the Invisible, by Harry Beckwith
Thinking for a Change, by John C. Maxwell
Sales Dogs, by Blair Singer
__________________
Lorinda
Lorinda Norton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 26th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #25
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: London, England
Posts: 969
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
Our comments to you are based on our real world experience, not fear of competition. We see way too many starry eyed filmmakers get into this business and then fail miserably. Unfortunately, this forum seems to encourage that sort of behavior. Our point is and was that if you have a decent job you should keep it because jeopardizing your family's economic security with a full scale switch into the video biz at this moment in time is probably not a good idea.
Exactly right Rick. My comments weren't based on worrying about competition - not only do I help and encourage many newbies to film and video, but I work in a completely different sector of the business and in a different country!

I don't want to dash anyone's dream, but do want to give solid advice.

Jeopardizing his family's financial security seems a bad call to me. Maybe Steve should start his business part-time, as others have said and if it takes off then run with it.
__________________
Writer-Director-DOP
www.liamhall.net
Liam Hall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 09:42 AM   #26
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chattaroy, WA
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
.... Our point is and was that if you have a decent job you should keep it because jeopardizing your family's economic security with a full scale switch into the video biz at this moment in time is probably not a good idea.
Point taken and a good one. One thing though is we're empty nesters and have been for quite some time (kids are in their thirties and doing well). Another is I am a bit of a risk taker and want to figure this out before getting to the short side of my "bucket list". I don't play the slots or craps tables or even the lottery but like to be in situations where I have some degree of control over the odds. That's where yours and Liam's advice, along with a few of others, I believe is strong advice. Working at it part time and keeping the "day job" is a great way to improve the odds. Which, by the way, is what I've been doing. Now, however, I need to figure out how to monetize that effort and seem to be a stuck on that. (back to my poor salesmanship/marketing)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
But that is exactly what you are doing. You will be asking a competitor to give you the benefit of his experience and local knowledge so that you can compete against his business. I occassionally get calls like that and you can guess what my reaction is.
In a competitive world I -can- imagine what your response would be and although I suspect it may be a bit strong I can't argue it would be inappropriate. I now consider those waters tested and won't approach that pool.

That said I believe my neck of the woods may be a little more friendly. I've learned there's a local small business association where the members get together and "network". Businesses do offer each other advice and refer business to each other. The objective is to maintain a strong local economy, not dominate it. I'll definitely be contacting this group.

And in my personal experience one of my previous bosses (a different life in the construction supply business) helped save a direct competitor who was in serious financial trouble and in risk of closing the doors. It can happen. To be honest though I believe part of the motivation was this competitor would take business my boss didn't think was all that profitable and my boss didn't want that business coming to him.

Also, I've learned that local wedding photographers, typically being just a photographer and an assistant, do pass business to each other when they're overbooked or unable to meet a contractual commitment because of illness or other unfortunate circumstance. I don't think this would happen if they were in the habit of blowing each other off.
__________________
http://pineforestmedia.com
Steve Isaacs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 09:50 AM   #27
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chattaroy, WA
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorinda Norton View Post
...what type of salesman you are, what you can work on, etc.
That triggered some thought. I wasn't thinking in terms of salesman types or which type suites me. This could be a key clue for me. It could explain part of my discomfort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorinda Norton View Post
I'm sure there are a lot of great books out there, but for general insight these remain on my shelf; the first one being the most valuable for me:

Selling the Invisible, by Harry Beckwith
Thinking for a Change, by John C. Maxwell
Sales Dogs, by Blair Singer
Thanks for the reading suggestions -- I wonder if I can find them for my Nook. --- pause --- Yep, in ePub or ePDF among other formats at: www.diesel-ebooks.com
__________________
http://pineforestmedia.com

Last edited by Steve Isaacs; March 27th, 2010 at 11:59 AM. Reason: add link to ebooks
Steve Isaacs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #28
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Posts: 522
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Isaacs View Post
Also, I've learned that local wedding photographers, typically being just a photographer and an assistant, do pass business to each other when they're overbooked or unable to meet a contractual commitment because of illness or other unfortunate circumstance. I don't think this would happen if they were in the habit of blowing each other off.
Building relationships with colleagues is huge. I've got group of friends locally and nationally that I trust to pass work to and who will pass work back to me. We hire each other on occasion and share or rent gear back and forth when needed. These are professional relationships and friendships built over long periods of time with other freelancers who have a reputation for solid skills and integrity. There is also a group of guys that none of us will work with under any circumstances and they've earned that reputation as well.
__________________
"The good thing about science is that it's true whether you believe it or not." Neil deGrasse Tyson http://nautilusproductions.com
Rick L. Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 10:36 PM   #29
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chattaroy, WA
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
Building relationships with colleagues is huge. I've got group of friends locally and nationally that I trust to pass work to and who will pass work back to me.
Looks like this is important to succeeding - thanks. Ok, another of the social skills to develop. How did you first get in contact? Besides this site are social sites such as Facebook and Twitter important to you for developing these relationships? Did you meet at trade shows? Bump into each other at production sites or rental stores?
__________________
http://pineforestmedia.com
Steve Isaacs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2010, 03:19 AM   #30
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 444
Steve, I'm going to suggest that maybe you look at doing something completely different to what your thinking of doing - and that's this: Move sideways into the film and video industry while continuing the full time job you have.

By move sideways, I mean there is no reason for you to start at the bottom of videography, if you can take some of your existing skill base and apply that to the videography world, and also start to use your growing videography skills in your existing role.

What does your role as a BIOS engineer actually entail? - what makes you really good at it? Are some of the skills you have as a BIOS engineer transferable into the myriad of videography related technical jobs out there.

For example, would you be good at programming plug ins for the various non linear editors out there. Or would you be a good fit if you developed your skill set towards camera technology or chipsets for video, is that the sort of thing you could study or make personal growth towards.

Simultaneously do you have some knowledge about your existing industry that you think could be better documented in Video rather than in paper and PDFs and emails. Someway to better explain what it is you, your department, or company does/needs/wants.

Doing some videography for your company internally may at first seem like a waste of you as a resource to your company, but if you spin it so that it's clear that this is something you feel needs to be done to improve both your working situation, and the situation of your co workers and employees then you might find your company quite receptive.

Even if it's just suggesting you come in and document a day at your office, or part of your business - and you do a half decent job and you show it to someone in marketing or your boss or whatever then you may find you get supportive feedback to expand upon it, oh and next time they will pay some of your costs.

Suddenly you have flexed your creative muscles a little bit, expanded your skill set, expanded your client list (from 0 to 1, your existing employer) and figured out a bit more if this is something you really want to do. From there, start to figure out if there is something in your existing industry that you can do freelance for a good amount of money, but leave you enough time to expand your work as a videographer - but most importantly IN YOUR INDUSTRY. Having knowledge of your existing industry will instantly increase the likelihood of someone hiring you to video part of the process, or to create a training video or an industrial video - because it will be easy for you to make contacts and talk shop with them.

These won't be high paying jobs, but they will not only increase your skill base in videography it will increase your contacts and potentially opportunity for freelance work in your existing industry. Maybe you'll become a consultant, or a trainer, or something else that does videography on the side, which also allows you to do the odd wedding etc.

The key thing is getting people to co operate with your goals and dreams, and doing everything in incremental steps so you don't jeopardize your existing situation too much.

If people can't get to co operate in the first step - e.g doing video for your work place and/or using your existing skills in the video industry, then you should take a step back and re-think, because videography is all about getting people to cooperate with you to allow you to film them, or creatively solving problems (like what you want to achieve can't be done with existing equipment/software - so you need to find someone to program/build it or do it yourself.)
__________________
www.afterglow.co.nz
Craig Parkes is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:48 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network