anyone in smaller rural areas making a go at video? at

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Old August 14th, 2006, 10:39 PM   #1
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Location: Spokane, WA
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anyone in smaller rural areas making a go at video?

I would like to introduce myself, My name is Richard and I would like to return to the world of A/V. I had some formal education in the broadcast technology field back in 1997-98, did some volunteer time at the colleges PBS station. I had decided to drop the program as working for a newscrew seemed ,well, not me.

I am looking into introducing Video services to my old hometown. Where I do not currently live. I have been reading and piecing together answers, but I need some advice.

here are some of the demographics of home.

I can not find one videographer in a 70 mile area. and these areas have a much higher population density. I would assume that that would keep them in their own back yard.

there are 81,000 people in the county I would be serving. Median household income is 36,000. average homes are going for under 100,000.

It seems that with a population of 81,000 for the county, I could get this to work. But here are my concerns. Why has now one set up shop? These are also frugal folk where walmart reigns supreme. I have read many of threads about pricing. no need to go into that. You know the median income level, I expect that asking for 2k for a wedding video will not work well for the demographic.

I do not plan to only do weddings, but become part of the scenery. aka shamless self promotion. Although I am not sure about industrial/commercial ventures as of yet.

I am really drawn on this. It could give me the first to be an only fish in a small pond. but i could also be the fish out of water.

thank you for your insight and any other ideas you may have.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 12:26 AM   #2
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Location: Scottsbluff, NE
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Wow, its my demographic's clone.

I have a very similar area, 65,000 population for the county. $45,000 median income. Rural style, corn field between Target and Staples. Farming isn't the only thing here, but a big thing.

Why hasn't someone else come in already? They probably tried. A lot of people try for a year, don't make the millions they want, and move on.

I guarantee you that people in your area want video. They see it on the internet and watch TLC's Wildest Weddings. They won't know a single thing about what it is, what its' worth, or what you actually do. And like you said, you're gonna have to make friends with everyone you can. Also get in friendly with the churches. They will have a lot of influence (pray for young Catholic priests). Of course get in contact with the Chamber of Commerce and the yellow pages. Being the only video guy in the book is a boost.

As far as things other then wedding videos; real estate videos, training videos, commercials, quinceaneras, barmitzvahs, birthday/retirement parties, baptisms, funerals. I'm sure I'm missing a few but all of those are possible venues.

I've ran into a lot of roadblocks. Mainly convincing people the benefits of having a wedding video far exceed any cost. Few photography studios even want to acknowledge my existance. They seem to think I'm going to replace them, plus they're very "traditional".

You may put your name out for a month and then be booked for 3 years. You may have to push and prod for 6 months+ to find the right balance for your demographic. But I say go for it, being the only guy has its ups and downs.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 06:19 AM   #3
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thank you, Aaron.

I did find one person who had tried but now they do work for their church. and apparently are in syndication. seemed odd but rather cool at the same time. If there is anyone else they are being hard to find.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 12:16 PM   #4
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Location: Juneau, AK
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Well, I am in a little different situation but it's definitely rural. 30 thousand in Juneau, and NO road access....gotta fly in or take the state ferry so there's no drive thru traffic to keep some businesses going. That said I have been doing video production here for a few years. You do have to be careful and not expect to much at first. I do TV spots for local businesses, PSA's (these can be good if your local groups are good at getting grants), weddings, events, web video, DVD's, freelance news for stations in other parts of the state, even a couple legal depositions. Of course the average single family home in this town is over 310 thousand dollars. That said I run into the same problems of people not wanting to pay for video services looking at it as a hobby. It's hard not to lower your rates when you need to make some money but I refuse to do it. I am lucky in that I can make money working for the local PBS station, enough to keep me afloat if I need to. But if you are the "cheap" guy that's kind of how people start to define you and believe me you don't want that. I try to keep my production values higher than local TV stations to justify my rates. And I've recently got some contracts to produce stuff that airs statewide so it seems to be working somewhat at least. I think you need to be in it for the long haul to make it work.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 12:24 PM   #5
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Location: Charlotte, NC
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Richard, I think one thing to consider is create your own opportunities. If they have no video services, they may not think they need video services for whatever reason. Your job is to 'tell and sell' them on the idea of video, whether it be for broadcast, DVD, internet,etc.

Diversify what you do, know how to build a DVD, put video to the internet, maybe even find a web designer to team up with and create a partnership.

I think you will have a period of education to the market before they see the value.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 07:58 PM   #6
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i concur that I need to create a market. It is just that this area seems to have a tough time with new buisness. I thank you all for the advice
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