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Old June 8th, 2011, 09:27 PM   #1
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Bizclip - anyone done any work for/with them?

I was contacted by someone from Bizclip yesterday to see if I could do a shoot about a week from now. 10 minutes away from home, estimated 30 min. or so of raw footage, no editing, just straight upload to them for post.

By all appearances, VERY simple, straightforward footage. Nothing fancy needed for lighting, audio etc. Seems to be a well organized set-up, minimal demands technically or creatively for end product.

Pay is $125. flat rate. IF it's as simple and straighforward as it appears to be, not great, but not bad for a couple of hours work.

Has anyone done any shooting for them? What impressions do you have that you'd share? I've agreed to do the shoot but I'm just curious about anyone else's experiences
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Old June 8th, 2011, 10:18 PM   #2
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Re: Bizclip - anyone done any work for/with them?

I've been wondering the same thing...

I'll definately be watching this post with interest....
Are there any contracts to sign??
They seem not too picky on what equipment to use..I'm guessing they don't have any strict formats to use..
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Old June 8th, 2011, 10:57 PM   #3
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Re: Bizclip - anyone done any work for/with them?

Sounds like one of the many new businesses that use that model. . .yellow taxi, turnhere, etc.

The rate isn't the worst, I guess, if they don't make you edit too. Some of those businesses included an edit within 48 hours in their lowball rate.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 11:24 PM   #4
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Re: Bizclip - anyone done any work for/with them?

yeah they have a pretty basic release of rights contract. Format is pretty open and they favor direct FTP upload of data.
I wouldn't touch it for that rate if there were ANY edit required...it's marginal rates for straight shooting for an hour, close to home. They indicate upwardly adjusted rates is the work meets their needs, as well as additional work as a relationship develops, if indeed it does.
I'm viewing it with a very open mind; could be good, could be....well....
we'll see. I will keep everyone up to date
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Old June 8th, 2011, 11:51 PM   #5
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Re: Bizclip - anyone done any work for/with them?

They still dealing with standard def? Maybe I'll give it a look.
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Old June 9th, 2011, 01:36 AM   #6
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Re: Bizclip - anyone done any work for/with them? - My experience...

Over the past few years, I've shot more than 80 such web spots, both video and photo, for BizClip and other companies. I know there are some here who think shooting for such low pay is only for the scum of the earth, but the clients know they are paying a low price and most don't expect Spielberg, Lucas, etc, and if that's the only work available at the moment, I'm seldom in a position to refuse it. (I've also found it's been good exercise/training for low-level directing and a chance to try out new approaches, and, if the client likes you, these shoots can lead to other work for you).

Of the companies I've shot for, BizClip pays the least. (WIth rising gas prices, that's something to consider if the job is far away).

Yes, I did sign an agreement; nothing unexpected, e.g. they own the footage, you are insured, you may/may not get more jobs from them, you're not an employee, etc. (That's an important point, because often, you're the only person the client meets face-to-face, so you can expect to be asked questions that you cannot answer with much, if any, certainty, such as about editing, etc. Even though I explain that I'm a freelancer hired only to shoot, I'm still asked some of those questions). Most are small business clients who know their business and NOT yours.

Bizclip requires everything be shot from a tripod, with lighting, and a lav if audio is required. (Sometimes I use wireless, sometimes wired direct to camera. Most shoots are 1 mic, sometimes 2, rarely more, though I have had them).

No, they do not want you to edit. They don't even want you to "touch up" footage or audio. Just send them the raw footage.

The process is: Call the client the day before to confirm appointment, arrive 15 mins early, set-up, white balance EVERY shot, shoot, get signed releases, leave, submit the footage, signed releases, and your invoice, and you'll get paid approx. 30 days later. They don't cotton to paying more than the normal price, though under extremely unusual circumstances or client demands, they may, but I've NEVER done a job for Bizclip and not gotten paid. It just takes some time. One other company has, on occasion, taken more than 3 months to pay, (though they pay the same hourly rate as BizClip, they reimburse for mileage, and tape cost), while another pays a flat fee without any reimbursement, and usually pays in 2 weeks of less. I kind of think of it as "deferred income".

While it seems pretty basic, BizClip does not provide a storyboard, they do not reimburse for mileage or storage medium, nor anything else, really, it often turns out to be a sort of "indoor holiday" for those employed by the client, i.e. it's something out of the ordinary in their work day, so THEY are usually willing to cooperate and seldom rush, while YOU are "working" and looking to get as much done as you can within the allotted time frame and get out. Of all the shoots I've done, I'd guesstimate that I got out "on time" from about half the shoots. (Though I have also done as many as 3 shoots - 2 video and 1 photo - in a single day).

I use either an HVX or an HMC, lav, lights, and tripod. (Most places are too tight for a traveling dolly).

I'd say anyone with some experience COULD do the shoots in the time they estimate, i.e. 2-3 hrs for video.
I emphasize "could" because what I've found to be the hardest/longest jobs are those where both video and audio are to be recorded by the client or a client-rep. Clients almost never have a script prepared, and if they do, it's often changed multiple times mid-shoot. (For one such shoot - not for Bizclip - I've had to do as many as 12 takes for a client). People stumble over words, try to memorize, etc., and look to you for input/auditing.

If you take these on, know that the client most often looks to you to direct the shoot and decide if another take would be best. (I don't know how many times I've heard the line: "You're the pro...what do you think?"
Even with that, some will try to take over the shoot thinking they know what's best. Even though my philosophy is: "it's their business, and if that's what they want, then I'll shoot that", go in there with a shooting plan. Many of these are cookie-cutter 30, 60, 90 sec. spots, but each client thinks their business is unique, and wants you to think so, too.

Also, be aware that Bizclip solicits client opinions about the shooters. If you dis a client, or get them angry, you could get a bad review, and that could be your last shoot.
AND, I believe their in-house editors also have input to your "performance appraisal". SO, while you may be well-liked by a client, if the editor has to do too much work to your footage or has too little to work with, that may hurt your chances of getting more offers from them. I also suspect they keep in-house reports on their shooters, so their coordinators know who they can rely on and what kind of footage they're likely to get.
I've never told a client "No, I won't shoot that".
Shoots I've done have ended up with anywhere from 17 to 46 mins of footage for the editor to work with.

For me, the bottom line is that I take each of these jobs seriously, even though they are small, because the client is paying for it, and they deserve a job well done for their money, and because it can - and has - led to some additional work at higher pay.

Note, too, that most clients will be ill-prepared on the day of the shoot. e.g. cluttered desks/offices/workspaces, or poor wardrboe choices, e.g. an attorney in "business casual" attire..Expect most places to have bad lighting, either too many/too few windows, or bad flourescent lighting.

However, keep in mind that BizClip requires only standard def, and it will only be seen on the web. These are NOT big-screen shoots.

Will answer questions if I can.

I hope this doesn't lead to another thread with intense arguments between those looking to fill empty time and those who have been fortunate enough to not have to take these low-paying shoots.(If any of those higher-paid shooters need help, please keep me in mind).
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Old June 9th, 2011, 02:12 AM   #7
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Re: Bizclip - anyone done any work for/with them?

I did some work for Bizclip in the UK in 2008/9.
Generally speaking I found them good to work with except for one problem.
Their original terms and conditions contained some statements which gave the impression that after an initial trial period that the amount of work would increase rapidly. But it remained very low.
We can all be too optimistic, which is fair enough. After I had been working with them for a while I discussed this statement with them and they apologised.
But a year later they asked me to sign up again and sent me their T and Cs. Which contained the same statements. At which point I said that I no longer wished to work for them.
I had been getting occasional work from them. Once every couple of months, something like that.
In July 2009 I got three jobs from them and another which fell through. On the basis that work was picking up I bought a monitor and an LED light in order to improve the quality and speed of my work. But I didn't get any more work for the remainder of the year. So that was not a good investment.
They told me that I was their best cameraman (in the London area) so I believe the lack of work reflected the state of their market ie they weren't giving the work to someone else.
I was shooting B roll and interviews, which was taking me 2 to 3 hours, sometimes more. It would have been possible to do three shoots a day in optimum conditions. Which would have given me the same as my standard day rate.
There were a couple of other niggles, but I don't want to be too negative.
Overall the relationship was positive except for the fact the I felt that I had been misled about the amount of work I would get and that, despite what they said, they were continuing to give that impression to new shooters a year later.
I was a probably a mug for spending the money on kit. It was my decision. I didn't discuss it with them first.
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Old June 10th, 2011, 10:06 AM   #8
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Re: Bizclip - anyone done any work for/with them?

Thanks for all the thoughtful, in-depth answers. Much of what was said are things I'm anticipating; I've sent the client for the shoot an email asking them some specific questions about lighting, scripting, etc. so they at least have an IDEA about what I'm going to be looking for, and need to make things painless.

I'm not expecting too much from the client, nor do I have any optimistic ideas about being swamped with work from Bizclip. I'm going to do this shoot with a very open mind, and see where it goes. Ideally, it may turn into a good relationship, picking up a few easy jobs a month and a little extra cash, which I can always find a use for.

I guess I look at these type of shoots a bit differently...first of all, they're EASY. No editing is a big deal for me ( I have everything I need to edit, it's just a time eater, and if you're not being paid for it....you know...)
Clients are clients....very few have any real understanding or appreciation of the intracacies of what we do, and maybe that's not a bad thing.

In any event, I'm looking forward to seeing how this all plays out.
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Old June 11th, 2011, 11:46 PM   #9
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Re: Bizclip - anyone done any work for/with them?

I did a couple of these before...not for Bizclip, but for similar
business. If I can, I will not do one again. Pay is low, and they
ALWAYS underestimate the amount of time it will take you to get done
what you need to get done. Then after you do the shoot, you end up
waiting for a month to get your fairly small check. And frankly,
they are competing with me and my business!! Can you imagine a
restaurant owner 'helping' another restaurant make good food
on his 'free time' because he needs the money? They pay me about
$100 and they charge the client about $1000 typically.
I'd rather do the shooting AND editing myself and get all the money,
especially since the quality of their editing is NOT something
that would take 10 times your shooting time. They are getting
the lions share of the money for doing about the same amount
of work you are......except for the VERY important fact that they
got the client. So I instead put my little free time into
trying to get these clients in the first place, instead of making
another company some money. Of course, if you need money to pay
the bills, you do what you need to, to keep food on the table.
In my eyes, its not worth it for the money, but that's just my
opinion. Everyone has to figure out their own rate and what they
are worth and make that call for themselves, every market is
different. But be sure to take into consideration things like
gas money, money for batteries for the wireless mic, things like
that if you do this, to come up with what you are REALLY making!
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Old June 12th, 2011, 01:34 PM   #10
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Re: Bizclip - anyone done any work for/with them?

Generally I agree with Gabe.
Basically they're finding you leads and probably making the bulk of the money.
A key thing to learn is how to find your own leads.

Think about what you'd charge if you were finding these shoots on your own. Even as small jobs and low rates you might charge something like $400 for half a day shoot and maybe $600 for one day of editing. You'd be making $1000 for each of these jobs for a day and half's work. Instead you're getting $125 for what could be half a day's shoot. That's a rate far lower than even base equipment rental.

Do just two of these $1000 jobs a week and . . . you're working 3 to 4 days a week and you're grossing $2000 each week. That won't get you rich of course but it's a business model worth exploring.

Basically what they're doing is hiring freelance shooters with gear for very little, doing their own quick post job and charging the client significantly more than what you're making. Certainly a great business model for them.

What is worth pondering is how are they finding these leads and not you. Examine their marketing and learn from it.

Another lesson, to use the previous restaurant analogy, you don't have to have a gourmet restaurant to have a successful business. I think too many people try to target that market, thinking the expensive menu is more profitable. There are many successful fast food restaurants and local diners as well. Sometimes making a good affordable "burger" is a good model.

The key is marketing and managing the business so you can actually make money using that model. The rate must still be profitable. The turnaround should be fast and good enough.

The mistake people make is when the expensive menu items don't sell, they lower the price. That's not profitable. If you can't sell caviare one should consider selling burgers.
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It might be worth doing a few BizClip jobs if you need the learning experience but what one should be learning is how to pull in these jobs on your own.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 10:40 PM   #11
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Additonal considerations.

Garnering clients for yourself would seemingly be great, but is. admittedly, something that must be carefully considered., Bear in mind that companies such as Bizclip also provide easy means and methods for posting the "commercial" to the web, i.e. they do it for their client, so the client doesn't have to be an HTML guru. (Most want to concentrate on their business, not spending time adjusting a web page or coding HTML/CSS).

Sure, they have "canned" processes for that, but how many freelance video folks/OMBs can provide that to a client and relieve the client of that headache? In addition to shooting and editing, where will you post the footage? YT, perhaps, but Bizclip gets its listing under one of the well-known web phone directories. How many freelancers can provide a client with that?
I suspect that may be the single, biggest selling point to an SBO. With all due respect to Gabe and Craig, they make no mention of that.

I know of 1 other company that builds entire portals for a town, then makes the video spot for a small business available in 2 ways: both through the portal for the town, and directly from the small business owner's own site. (Clients have intimated what they pay for such a service, and I'd LOVE to make that kind of money, (better than merely "decent" bucks), ...but I can't provide the front-end/portal, nor can I supply the support staff, e.g. sales staff/network, script writers, storyboard writers, producers, assistant producers, an editing staff (not just a single person), and more.

While I've picked up some additional work from these jobs, it has mostly been for DVDs. I, for one, do not want to add "web master" to my resume. I spend enough time and have enough difficulty getting my own video on the web. (At least I know how my HTML is structured. I don't want to get into wrestling with someone else's).

However, I am curious what Wayne thought/experienced about that shoot.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 04:18 AM   #12
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Re: Bizclip - anyone done any work for/with them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis Danatzko View Post
Garnering clients for yourself would seemingly be great, but is. admittedly, something that must be carefully considered., Bear in mind that companies such as Bizclip also provide easy means and methods for posting the "commercial" to the web, i.e. they do it for their client, so the client doesn't have to be an HTML guru. (Most want to concentrate on their business, not spending time adjusting a web page or coding HTML/CSS).

Sure, they have "canned" processes for that, but how many freelance video folks/OMBs can provide that to a client and relieve the client of that headache? In addition to shooting and editing, where will you post the footage? YT, perhaps, but Bizclip gets its listing under one of the well-known web phone directories. How many freelancers can provide a client with that?
I suspect that may be the single, biggest selling point to an SBO. With all due respect to Gabe and Craig, they make no mention of that.

I know of 1 other company that builds entire portals for a town, then makes the video spot for a small business available in 2 ways: both through the portal for the town, and directly from the small business owner's own site. (Clients have intimated what they pay for such a service, and I'd LOVE to make that kind of money, (better than merely "decent" bucks), ...but I can't provide the front-end/portal, nor can I supply the support staff, e.g. sales staff/network, script writers, storyboard writers, producers, assistant producers, an editing staff (not just a single person), and more.

While I've picked up some additional work from these jobs, it has mostly been for DVDs. I, for one, do not want to add "web master" to my resume. I spend enough time and have enough difficulty getting my own video on the web. (At least I know how my HTML is structured. I don't want to get into wrestling with someone else's).

However, I am curious what Wayne thought/experienced about that shoot.
Well, with due respect to you, from everything I can gather, from talking to business owners I do this for,
being listed in some 'well known' or otherwise web phone directory is not that big of a selling point.
The selling point, is having a promotional video online for potential clients to see. In fact, the one time
I did a shoot for one of these Bizclip type companies, the client was already listed in the online
directory and was just going to have a video added to their listing. See, if the company already
has a video, they can just add it themselves. Bizclip and it's like, of course try to sell the company
on the fact that they will produce a 'professional' video.

I have two kinds of clients in this area. One type does not even have a website yet, and wants
me to create them a website, with a video promoting their company. So I offer an end to end solution
to them, create the website, and put the promotional video on it. The business owner can then submit
their business to plenty of 'well known' web search engines, phone directories and so forth
for FREE. They can also submit their video to many other sites, such as yellow page sites that already have
them listed, since they have a business phone number after all. I can help them do that as well, if needed
(and yes I charge for that as well.) So the answer to the question you asked is I post the video on the client's website!
this website with it's video can be linked too from many of the same places that Bizclip and the like will link to for them
....if you do a little research, you can find out how to do this as well.

The other type of client already has a well known website with lots of traffic and wants to add video to it.
In this case, I just make the video and give their webmaster the video in his preferred video format. In the first
case, yes I have to build a website. I have a program to do that, which is very simple......it's not
dreamweaver, and it's not iweb, but it's pretty powerful and very simple. Sorry, I'm not going to
share all my secrets here, but a little searching around will do wonders.

in short, i feel i can provide my clients with a much better experience (and way better quality video)
than that they get from bizclip, turnhere or any of those types, at pretty much the same price.
the difference is i actually make the money instead of letting some company pay me next to nothing
while they keep the lions share. you may feel different and not want to dig into being a web master.
initially i didn't either, but i like to make a living. since this is not my hobby and i am not a
'weekend warrior' i did what i needed to keep an edge and found a solution to being an end to end
web video provider. i value myself and my work too highly to do any different. if you value your
work at 100-200 dollars for a shoot, that's up to you and your business model.
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Old July 18th, 2011, 01:43 AM   #13
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Re: Bizclip - anyone done any work for/with them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe Strong View Post
... i am not a 'weekend warrior' i did what i needed to keep an edge and found a solution to being an end to end web video provider. i value myself and my work too highly to do any different. if you value your work at 100-200 dollars for a shoot, that's up to you and your business model.
You've been successful at "...being an end-to-end web video provider". That's an enviable situation that I, today, can't claim. Good for you! However, you seem offended by my most recent reply. No offense was intended. I wasn't attacking anyone's methods, marketing, technique, or value that people place on their work and/or time; neither did I intend to extol the benefits of companies who use such a business model, nor claim they are "better than sliced bread". I was merely pointing out that shooting for such companies does not require the full gamut of what you - and, I suspect, many others - provide, i.e. editing, encoding, uploading, HTML work, etc. My intention was merely to point out to the OP, (who is considering some of this work), an additional reason why pay is so low for such shoots. No one else had made a specific point about getting the video on the web; I merely intended to emphasize that was a consideration, in the hope of broadening the OP's understanding, particularly if he were to pursue "end-to-end" production, as you do.
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Old July 18th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #14
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Re: Bizclip - anyone done any work for/with them?

Honestly, it's not too hard to be an end to end web video provider. I promise! Say you have a client who
comes to you and wants a website, highly dependent on videos showcasing their company (those are the kind
of websites I do.) Now, I have done a bunch of research in the past and will share
just a little. Several well known web hosting companies will let you be 'web hosting resellers.' You
pay a certain monthly fee, and can use their company to host websites you create. I look for ones that
give me unlimited bandwidth ideally, as multiple video views can eat through the bandwidth for your client. You also want one with a good reputation. Anyways, because of the research, I know how much per month it costs for web hosting. I also know how much it generally costs for a domain name. I run a quick search for the company to find out what domain name I can get them. Then I give them a quote. There are three parts to this. The first part, is the production of any videos they want. The second part is creating a fairly simple website which shows the video and has a couple other pages (like 'About us' and 'Contact us'.) The third part is the hosting costs, domain name charges, and some markup for me to handle all that for them. The good thing is, once you get some clients like this, you have some residual income, as they pay you monthly, yearly or twice yearly, however you want to set it up, for the hosting and domain name.

The biggest part of the work is making the video. Setting up a domain name and web hosting can be done
in less than 10 minutes online with a credit card. Building the website is very easy with the right
program, but it is definitely a little work. It's not as intensive as 'building' the video itself,
I guess, maybe I'm lucky, because I taught myself how to make a website because I wanted one
for my own business (www.gforcevideo.com). Anyways, yes, it's more work than just showing up
and shooting a video. However, I will tell you, if it's what you are doing for a living (by that I mean
you do not have another job to make ends meet) it's well worth it. One of these jobs will pay you
20 to 30 times what Bizclip will pay you, easily! Not to mention, when asked, those business owners
tell other small business owners at chamber meetings that YOUR COMPANY was who did their video
and web stuff....they refer YOU not Bizclip!

So, no offense taken....if you or anyone else wants to do Bizclip shoots, be my guest. You are correct,
doing what I do is more work....including editing, graphics creation, music scoring, uploading via FTP to
a web server, creating a website (I know almost NO HTML, but have programs that I drag and drop
pictures, text, and video onto), and encoding video into good looking web video. Again, I have an
advantage perhaps, in that I was trained in video encoding by Bruce at ENGFTP.com, so I know that
side of things very well. However, that being said.....I can not recommend HIGHLY ENOUGH that if
this is your business and source of income.....that you don't become stagnant! Learn these new
things! Learn about video encoding for the web and how to create a website! These skills will
serve you well, trust me. Video camera operators are a dime a dozen, and sometimes, it seems
like that is what they are paid. YOU need to stick out! You need to have a 'competitive advantage'!
You need a reason for a business owner to choose you and not the company down the street! With the
advent of these 'universal' video production companies like Bizclip, you need a reason for a local
business owner to hire you and not them! If you can provide more than other local business owners,
and provide the same thing as Bizclip, BUT be a local that they can actually interact with...
who do you think is going to be hired? It's hard to make a living on $100 shoots.

One more thing before I sign off. As far as I know, I am the ONLY independent (not associated with
a TV station/cable company) full time video production person in my town. However, there are a LOT
of talented 'hobbyists/weekend warriors'. One of my BIG advantages over them, comes when a business
calls me at 2 in the afternoon and needs me to come shoot a TV commercial. I can do it. They can't,
as they are at their 'real' job. Periodically, I get calls from these 'weekend warriors' wanting to know
if they can hire me to shoot something for them, that they can then edit. Of course, they want to
pay me a small amount (like Bizclip) and keep the lions share for themselves for editing and producing
it on their weekends. I always quote them a price of say 3 grand to shoot for them. If you want to pay
me, I'll do it. Otherwise, I am just cutting my own throat! Why would I help a competitor have an
easier time competing with me? It's just not smart business! And make no mistake about it, Bizclip
and it's like IS competing with you! I understand, you do what you need to do, and if you gotta pay
bills, maybe you take one of these shoots. But I am here to tell you that it is a HORRIBLE idea in
the long term to do these shoots if you want your business to substain itself. More of us video
guys (and I am including myself in this) need to learn more about business, and not concentrate so much
on the tools and creative aspect if we want to actually make a living doing this! Lucky for me, my
wife runs a very successful business, and she has beaten some things into my head by now.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 10:06 AM   #15
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Re: Bizclip - anyone done any work for/with them?

Hey Wayne:

I've done a handful of shoots for Bizclip over the past few years. We almost parted ways over the FTP upgrade last year, because it took a 5 minute trip to the DHL office to send in the tape, and turned it into hours of time tying up my computer to sloooooooowly feed video through their FTP site. Currently, I am back on a "send in the tape" basis, despite my attempts to upgrade them into taking delivery of a thumbdrive with raw files.

They do pay promptly, but it is by far the lowest paying job I do, and I never turn down other work or block a real paying job in favor of a Bizclip booking. I primarily enjoy meeting mom and pop business owners who have never been on TV, and are really nervous about it. It's often a lot of fun playing with them for an hour or two...and that's about all you really should be spending for this amount of work.

Business model wise, as I understand it, these videos are a freebie that goes along with signing up for a larger internet "Yellow Pages" kind of listing...so unless you are prepared to go into a full website marketing production model, it might be difficult to engineer a workaround to do this kind of internet marketing yourself.
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