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Old December 20th, 2011, 12:47 PM   #1
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Booking agents for DP/Videographers?

Does anybody use one to get work? Any success or failure in this realm? Are they even used in this career?

I'm starting to get some bigger-paying jobs, but not many... producers seem to like my work, but I'm far better at photography than marketing and sales. Wouldn't mind paying somebody 10-15% to secure more work.
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Kevin McRoberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 20th, 2011, 04:43 PM   #2
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Re: Booking agents for DP/Videographers?

What part of the business are you in?

I pay a pretty healthy referral fee (10% of the first invoice), and it seems to sweeten the pot. I had an out-of-work TV salesperson on 10% commission for a while, but I pretty much told her I didn't think she could bring me enough business to sustain herself, but if she could swing the same 10% commission with other (similar, but non-competing) businesses, she could probably make a living. She never sold a cent for me (not for lack of trying), and found a full-time gig elsewhere a few months later.

I will say I attend pretty much every filmmaker event in town, I go to a FCP user's group, I am a part of several CDC groups and business groups, I buy a lot of beers and a lot of coffee and a lot of lunches, and it seems to pay off. If you can stop looking at it as marketing, and start looking at it like drinking beer, coffee, or eating lunch with potential friends, it is less painful and brings more business.
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Old December 21st, 2011, 06:30 AM   #3
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Re: Booking agents for DP/Videographers?

Contrary to popular belief, below-the-line agents don't generally find their clients work. Their job is to handle the negotiations more than anything else. I avoided signing with one in my Steadicam days but now I have to have one for my DP career because I can't be getting into the kind of knock-down stonewalling that comes along with the negotiation process in that capacity (I have to work more closely with production as a DP than as an operator). It's a bit of a bite, paying out that 10%, but it is what it is.

There are exceptions and I don't really know how it works in smaller markets. But as Mike indicates, the more networking you do and the more visibility you have, the better your chances of getting work. Within reason. I have a few associates who take the "personal branding" thing to epic lengths and I find it a turn-off. However, when I'm crewing up, I tend to think of the people I've interacted with most recently, and sometimes those are the ones who sent a text/email/voicemail letting me know they are around and available for work.
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