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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!

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Old March 30th, 2007, 02:18 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 238
Building your business


I am a newbie, actually still waiting for the camera to get in stock. Meanwhile, I want to get other things done not to waste time: Research the market, get contacts, learn all the non-camera stuff, get the legal department done etc. And of course I have tons of questions - (sorry).

I want to do trailers for theater and dance groups. I know some actors and dancers and have been told that they make a presentation video to sell the show to other theaters, and individuals may also want to create a video book. I think it would be fun to get their creative input and work with them.

How did you guys go about building your business? I mean having a camera may make you look pro, and for some that may be enough. (I often see when I go to the theater that these groups have someone with a consumer cam recording the show - that's when I thought, I can do that better).

But, I guess that most people would like to see previous work. Did you:

1) Did you use private shots you made before deciding to make a career?
2) Pay talent to make a private project?
3) Make initial projects at no cost or very low cost (say expenses only) on the clients accept that you use it in your portfolio?
4) Some other agreement, eg you pay if you like it, if not I destroy it?
5) something completely different?

I don't like to use 1), shots taken were not taken in a context where people thought this may be used for personal publicity. But also, private work I think does not truly represent what you would do on a professional project.

I think 2) is everyones dream, but starting out you probably want to keep costs low. Of course, I too have some ideas I'd like to work on.

Finally, with 3) I am afraid that word spread that I do it cheap so you later will have difficulty getting people to pay what you really want.

In my case, theater and dance groups might take an offer like 3 to save money for their own promotion. And if it is good, they may come back when they have a new show. That's when I fear the trouble: "Oh, sorry, while you were away price has tripled but thanks for spreading the word of recommendation."

One one hand I want to be nice, I need these people to come back, I need them to get others to come too, and further some are friends too. But I also need not to undermine my business.

The 4th idea obviously only work if the shot can be taken again. It's a way of saying, "ok, I understand that you really don't know what you get. Let me do it, if you dislike the result I won't charge you, but you won't get it either." There is no loosing. This could be an alternative to 3.

What did you do to get started - in whichever branch you are specializing?

Also, I assume you need to renew your portfolio continuously - do you give a discount if a client grants permission to use in the portfolio? or do you keep it as a standard term in the contract? (like: A total of 3 min. footage may be used for the promotion of the videographers services, bla bla bla).

Thanks, Erik
Erik Norgaard is offline   Reply

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