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Old April 10th, 2007, 04:51 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Hartzell View Post
I guess I am spoiled and I am too used to writing in word with spelling and gramar check. I realize that most of the people on this forum probably wrote papers on typewriters. Being able to use english effectively is also part of being a professional.

Don't wrooy much though, I am more than capable of handling a joke.
My computer doesn't have a gramar checker just a grammar checker.

BTW: Firefox has a spell-checker that checks online forms while you type.
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Old April 12th, 2007, 01:26 AM   #32
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[QUOTE=Mike Teutsch;657362]Bill,

I would say that you are about 99% right, but I ran into an exception recently!

(SNIP)
the film school instructors asked me one day if I was a “Professional” or a “Serious Amateur?” I did not and do not at this time have a real business, nor do I seek out work. So I thought the term,”Serious Amateur” sounded good! So that’s the term I decided to use to describe what I do. I still do pro work, when approached by those who know me and my work, but most shoot films for others here locally.
(SNIP)
So, I guess if you really want to get paid to do professional work, weather you are any good or not, you better call yourself a “Professional!”

Mike



I think the real lesson here is not EVER to allow anyone else to define what you are or are not.

If someone asked me if I was a "professional" I wouldn't waste my time trying to figure out what he meant, precisely because that's largely UNKNOWABLE.

One person's definition of a professional might be someone with major motion picture DP experience. Another's might "professional videomaker" as someone who shoots 200 weddings a year. It's IMPOSSIBLE to answer a question without ever knowing the scale of the expected response.

So don't do it. Just politely say - "I'll send you a sample of my work" if you think it's the quality you're looking for, call me."

That removes all the subjectivity. If you do the level of work they want, you're hired. If not, you are missing a job that's beyond your current level of expertise, which prevents failure.

And the truth of the matter, is that if you just take the time to burn a damn DVD and send it off - rapidly and with a decently written cover letter - you're likely to find that you're getting call backs on a larger than expected share of work - even work somewhat BEYOND your capability - preciselly because so many knuckleheads can't seem to get their stuff together to even RESPOND to querys like this in a timely fashion. Trust me, the shooter who, given any opportunity, responds well and rapidly and shows INTEREST typically increases their success rate substantially.

AFTER THE JOB IN-HOUSE CLIENT DIALOG:
"I don't know if I hired the BEST person, but at least the they returned my calls promptly, showed up on time, brought what they needed, and didn't give me any serious grief - I'd hire them again."

For what it's worth.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 12:25 PM   #33
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This thread made me think some more on this question, so I'm back with another comment.

I don't really care what 'everyone' calls me, I just care that my customers think the product they purchased is the best they've ever seen, and that THEY think I'm professional.

I truly believe that it's like being a doctor, bed-side manner counts. With us, our demeanor and professional attitude is OUR bed-side manner, and it counts for a lot. I've worked for guys with WAY more experience, etc then me, but they've been asked to leave and never return to certain venues because of their UN-professional attitude.

Yeah, that's it...my ramblings boiled down to this...it's an attitude!

Mark
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Old April 25th, 2007, 02:25 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell View Post
LOL -- Greg, the lower case "m" may have been a typo, even English majors make typos! What was being referred to was the "I am sure I could shoot better video than I have saw so far."

That should read: I am sure I could shoot better video than I have seen so far.
The "so far" is also redundant as it is implied in "have seen," which would incidentally sounds better written as "I've seen," and which furthermore needs a qualifyer so as not to be an overgeneralization, such as "from other so called professionals."

Should read:

I'm sure I shoot better video than much of what I've seen from other so-called professionals.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 02:33 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch View Post
Bill,

I would say that you are about 99% right, but I ran into an exception recently!

Around my area I have done many projects and I am involved in groups that include film school teachers, actors and actresses, producers, directors, etc… I would show up with some of my equipment, to work on a project, and they would ask what I did, as in was I a prefessional. One of the film school instructors asked me one day if I was a “Professional” or a “Serious Amateur?” I did not and do not at this time have a real business, nor do I seek out work. So I thought the term,”Serious Amateur” sounded good! So that’s the term I decided to use to describe what I do. I still do pro work, when approached by those who know me and my work, but most shoot films for others here locally.

I replied to a listing to do a shoot in Orlando, not far from me. I was just simple product demonstrations. The gentleman asked if I was a professional. I responded that I would call myself a "Serious Amateur." I also sent him a list of the equipment that I have, which is worth well over $30,000. I also mentioned some projects I had done.

I got a reply from him which said he was looking for a professional….period” I replied that I do professional work, and he said but “you said you were an amateur!” In the end I did not get the work and never heard from him again.

So, I guess if you really want to get paid to do professional work, weather you are any good or not, you better call yourself a “Professional!”

Mike

PS: I was hired recently for an interview shoot. The guy that hired me has a production company locally, under a LLC, Limited Liability Corporation. He was contacted by a university in Iowa, who found him by looking for local LLC video production companies. They hired him and he hired me. The shoot went just fine and they complemented him on the work. The funny part is that he has business cards and an LLC, but does not even have a camera! Go figure!

Mike
"serious amateur" says "doesn't yet believe they're capable of being a professional"

This isn't the NBA or accounting or something, but rather for the most part low budget video work. I'm not saying by any means it isn't complex and doesn't require skill and knowledge, as it does; both in shooting and editing. However, what I am saying is, one won't be cast of society or laughed at, scorned, or stoned to death for calling oneself a pro when they truly aren't deserving.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 07:02 AM   #36
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This seems largely a philosophical discussion,

so I'll add my 2 cents to the pot.

In the world of communication studies, in whatever kind of interaction occurs between people, the idea of first impressions has been summed up thusly: "Perception IS reality." If your customer perceives you as a professional, then, in their mind, that's what you are. Do everything you can to preserve their perception. Just remember that it occurs from either the first moment they see you, or from the first words out of your mouth. If you're a professional in their mind, much of that is due to that first impression. And I agree that it's largely your "bedside manner" that creates that first impression.

Maybe this little story will encourage you: I've been shooting and editing as a business only a short time (just over a year) and my very first call for a job became my very first paying customer. After delivery of the DVDs, that customer was so happy, they made a comment about how "worthwhile it was to work with a professional." After hearing that, it never crossed my mind to correct them; that perception was already pressed into their memory and I saw no need to change that. One comment from one customer instilled enough confidence and conviction that I must be doing something right, that I've already shot, booked, or billed more this year than ALL of last year. I've even been asked to cover jobs by other indies when they weren't available. (Those occasions are as much a compliment as the customers' perceptions). While the amount of $$ so far this year isn't gonna' get me out of the debt I've taken on for equipment, it strengthened my belief that there is light at the end of the tunnel, but it's only backlighting, so be careful just how much you illiminate the subject! (pun intended).

Best of luck to you.
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Our actions are based on our own experience and knowledge. Thus, no one is ever totally right, nor totally wrong. We simply act from what we "know" to be true, based on that experience and knowledge. Beyond that, we pose questions to others.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 07:56 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch View Post
... So I thought the term,”Serious Amateur” sounded good! So that’s the term I decided to use to describe what I do. I still do pro work, when approached by those who know me and my work, but most shoot films for others here locally.

I replied to a listing to do a shoot in Orlando, not far from me. I was just simple product demonstrations. The gentleman asked if I was a professional. I responded that I would call myself a "Serious Amateur." I also sent him a list of the equipment that I have, which is worth well over $30,000. I also mentioned some projects I had done.

I got a reply from him which said he was looking for a professional….period” I replied that I do professional work, and he said but “you said you were an amateur!” In the end I did not get the work and never heard from him again.

So, I guess if you really want to get paid to do professional work, weather you are any good or not, you better call yourself a “Professional!”

Mike

PS: I was hired recently for an interview shoot. The guy that hired me has a production company locally, under a LLC, Limited Liability Corporation. He was contacted by a university in Iowa, who found him by looking for local LLC video production companies. They hired him and he hired me. The shoot went just fine and they complemented him on the work. The funny part is that he has business cards and an LLC, but does not even have a camera! Go figure!
I suspect it wasn't your skill level that kept you from getting the job. I think the potential client wanted some 'accountability' from a money standpoint. That's why the guy with a LLC and business card got hired, even though he owns no camera.

-gb-
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Old April 26th, 2007, 08:27 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
I suspect it wasn't your skill level that kept you from getting the job. I think the potential client wanted some 'accountability' from a money standpoint. That's why the guy with a LLC and business card got hired, even though he owns no camera.

-gb-
That's right! Perception is everything until your skills can be demonstrated. If you want work as a professional (to get paid) then call yourself a professional.

Mike
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Old April 26th, 2007, 08:44 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Eric Piercey View Post
"serious amateur" says "doesn't yet believe they're capable of being a professional"
"Serious amateur" doesn't say that to me at all, to me it says something different. It's a matter of interpretation and some will take yours. I don't call myself that anymore.

Part of my reason for not calling myself a "professional" at that time, was the people I was hanging out with. Most were Hollywood professionals, past and present, and I was simply not in the same category as these people.

Well, got to go see a client! Later.

Mike
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Old April 26th, 2007, 05:45 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Eric Piercey View Post
The "so far" is also redundant as it is implied in "have seen," which would incidentally sounds better written as "I've seen," and which furthermore needs a qualifyer so as not to be an overgeneralization, such as "from other so called professionals."

Should read:

I'm sure I shoot better video than much of what I've seen from other so-called professionals.
Why are guys continually picking apart my post? If you like proof reading that much, then by all means, peruse through this entire forum. I am sure you can find much to scoff at.

In response to my earlier post, learning how to work with people is very important in this business. Understanding the technology involved and being able to communicate your capabilities is also very important. I recently started working for an independent producer and he is paying me very well. I am making more money working less than half time than my brother is working full time (for the record he is a lab tech). My client is very happy with my work and my knowledge.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 09:21 AM   #41
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I did 7 years of full time, in-house video production for a large government agency. It used to irk the hell out of me when a client said "It's sooo professional looking!" I realize that they meant it as a compliment, but it seemed condescending!
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Old April 28th, 2007, 11:44 AM   #42
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Definition / Professional :

A professional works to receive payment for an activity (as a profession), which usually requires expertise and carries with it socially significant mores and folkways. That is to say, behaving professionally would indicate that the person's actions remain in accordance with specific rules, written or unwritten, pertaining to behavior, dress, speech, etc. By extension, the adjective professional can indicate that someone has great expertise or skill in a craft or activity.

Futher investigation lead to / THE PRO-AM REVOLUTION / THE NEW BREED !

http://www.demos.co.uk/files/proamrevolutionfinal.pdf

The term : ARTIST widely used in the film community also needs to be taken
in consideration.

My personall viewpoint / I see somebody as Vittorio Storaro (Cinematographer)
as an ARTIST.

Herman.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 12:43 PM   #43
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Not wishing to muddy the water even more, but the question could be "are you a professional professional?"

I know plenty of people making their living from the business, but some don't do it to a professional standard, I know others who do it part-time who do a better job. Here in the UK, I suspect that people tag themselves 'professional' when they carry out their work to a professional standard, with professional quality skills and experience.

Reading that back - it still doesn't really give it a proper definition!
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