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Old March 29th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #1
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New Reel and Website - Suggestions & Advice Welcome

Hey guys, I just got my new reel together and I am pretty happy with it. I also created the music for it.

I am looking to do less weddings and MORE films and commercials and work for corporations.

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If you have any advice or suggestions, I will gladly hear it. Please check out my website too,
Thanks!
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Old March 31st, 2012, 06:24 AM   #2
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Re: New Reel and Website - Suggestions & Advice Welcome

The showreel looks great but when I load the page I would prefer an image rather than just a Play icon. Maybe it's my machine but it doesn't work in Chrome (it's just black) although it's OK in Safari. I would also suggest that you don't use the Flash Player as the video cannot be viewed on an iPad/iPhone/iPod.

Last edited by Nigel Barker; March 31st, 2012 at 12:53 PM.
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Old March 31st, 2012, 07:51 AM   #3
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Re: New Reel and Website - Suggestions & Advice Welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Barker View Post
Hey guys, I just got my new reel together and I am pretty happy with it. I also created the music for it.

I am looking to do less weddings and MORE films and commercials and work for corporations.

Watch Video

If you have any advice or suggestions, I will gladly hear it. Please check out my website too,
Thanks!
If you are looking to increase your commercial work you will want to remove any and all references to wedding videography from your reel and your commercial website. You need to pretend that part of your life doesn't exist to your customers in the commercial arena.

Its a serious turnoff to people wanting to hire a professional cinematographer to see they do weddings. It shouldn't be that way but it is that way.
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Old March 31st, 2012, 02:33 PM   #4
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Re: New Reel and Website - Suggestions & Advice Welcome

Thanks guys,

@Nigel: What would you suggest for playing the videos so that it works on the iphone, etc ?

@Chris, I'll definitely be getting the wedding stuff out right away!!! LOL I want more commercial and film jobs. Do you think its ok to have the "Events" page though? or does that seem to close to weddings? I know some commercial clients have events sometime.
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Old March 31st, 2012, 02:55 PM   #5
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Re: New Reel and Website - Suggestions & Advice Welcome

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Originally Posted by Silas Barker View Post
Thanks guys,

@Nigel: What would you suggest for playing the videos so that it works on the iphone, etc ?

@Chris, I'll definitely be getting the wedding stuff out right away!!! LOL I want more commercial and film jobs. Do you think its ok to have the "Events" page though? or does that seem to close to weddings? I know some commercial clients have events sometime.
I would consider making your multi-camera shoots (instead of events) another of your commercial offerings and combining them into a single page. You can divide the "types" of commercial offerings by section on your page to show that you have the flexibility to do jobs from a single camera interview to multi camera shoots such as conferences or theater productions. Make sure your examples directly connect with your commercial customers.

Also check and see if your rates are reasonable for the area. From what I see on your website they are much lower than the commercial rates here on the East Coast. Believe it or not charging too little will also loose you business. Charging too little for services is a clear sign of an amateur to the pros.
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Old March 31st, 2012, 05:35 PM   #6
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Re: New Reel and Website - Suggestions & Advice Welcome

Interesting, I'll definitely explore those possibilities.

Regarding my rates, I have a base rate (camera and operator), and then with lighting, steadicam, etc, its usually around 600-800 a day depending on the job requirements (what gear I need).
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Old April 1st, 2012, 12:35 AM   #7
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Re: New Reel and Website - Suggestions & Advice Welcome

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Originally Posted by Silas Barker View Post
@Nigel: What would you suggest for playing the videos so that it works on the iphone, etc ?
Hosting the video on Vimeo & embedding their player is the simple solution. If for whatever reason you want to host yourself then JW Player: Overview | LongTail Video | Home of the JW Player supports both Flash & HTML5 (& thus iDevices).

BTW It's working in Chrome on my machine this morning so yesterday was probably just a glitch with Flash at my end.
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Old April 1st, 2012, 11:21 AM   #8
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Re: New Reel and Website - Suggestions & Advice Welcome

Silas,

I think it looks very nice and wouldn't remove the wedding clips, it shows a good range and not sure why anyone would be put off by their inclusion. Update the date on the home page like your others. (2005-2012, on the front page it just says 2010.) Great job!

Chris,

Went to your site and really like the boat picture on the home page. I think it would be nicer if you told people more in the "about us" section, something about who "we" are and what area of what country you operate in. Usually a person can find that out in the "contact us" section but since there is no address or phone number it's impossible to figure out. The one way that most customers, and corporate customers in particular determine the working status of any business is the inclusion of phone numbers. Many people are turned off by not having the option to call, I know I am. (Even if they get voice mail) I think doing what Silas did listing his home and cell are better than leaving them out. Just some thoughts.

Cheers!
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 11:30 AM   #9
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Re: New Reel and Website - Suggestions & Advice Welcome

Silas,

I enjoyed your reel. A nice mix of work and an impression of a large amount of work completed. I also agree that the wedding clips seemed out of place in this context.

As far as rates, maybe you can differentiate more between freelance rates and commercial rates. A person looking to hire you from a company only wants to know what your services will cost for their project. I like the rate ranges as projects differ and it also encourages a dialogue to be started, but you do have some confusing overlaps.

Film & TV $400 per day but then your day rate is listed as higher. We know why this might be but your customers probably will not. Some more 'meat on the bones' so to speak for each type of pricing might help your visitors know what their needs will cost. I think of website as a great way to pre-explain stuff for customers. Pricing is complex but having your rates often saves you time by getting the right customers to contact you and the wrong to stay away.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 03:02 PM   #10
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Re: New Reel and Website - Suggestions & Advice Welcome

Thanks guys!

@David - I am not sure where the 2010 copyright is? I don't have any dates on the homepage that I know of. Thanks though!

@Tim - Excellent idea - I listed the Tv/Film rate as starting at the half day rate - but I see your point I think. Hopefully the day/hourly rates give an idea for freelancing and the "typical" rates are more for a company that wants to create a commercial, etc, and just needs a ballpark figure. I can see how this could be confusing, but also every project requires different gear and stuff so its difficult to list it. I'll see about trying to make some of this more clear I think. Also do you have a website as well? I always enjoy checking others websites to get an idea of how others do things, thanks!
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 09:53 PM   #11
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Re: New Reel and Website - Suggestions & Advice Welcome

I just finished a re-vamp of my site to add some more examples and make it more user friendly.

Video, Photography & Websites in the Dallas, Ft. Worth & Arlington Area
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 11:29 PM   #12
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Re: New Reel and Website - Suggestions & Advice Welcome

GREAT demo reel and I also took a look at your Corporate Videos section with the Granito's commercial and the Guerilla Drum promo... both very good.

NEVER use flash on your website. Vimeo is a good solution as suggested above. Think about cross-posting to YouTube (don't embed your YouTube videos, though) for SEO purposes. In fact, I would look into using not only a sitemap, but a video sitemap as well. It will really help your Google rankings/SEO.

While your video work looks great, I would consider hiring a web designer to redo your site to reflect that. Plus, I would lose the " 's " on Silas's Videography and go with "Silas' Videography"

No pressure, take this all FWIW if it can help you at all.

Deborah
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Old April 4th, 2012, 10:05 PM   #13
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Re: New Reel and Website - Suggestions & Advice Welcome

Great information guys, thanks!

@Deborah
Vimeo would be high quality and allow a non flash viewing method, I'll definitely consider that!
Also, I don't know what field your in (events or corporate) but I appreciate knowing you like the Granitos and Drum Clips, do any of the other commercial/infomercials on my Gallery page seem good? I was considering having less videos on my website and just leaving the best ones up. Thanks!
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 03:53 PM   #14
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Re: New Reel and Website - Suggestions & Advice Welcome

Tweaked my demo reel

Watch Video

Still have not changed the videos over from flash yet, but the demo is better thanks to your suggestions guys, thanks!
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