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Old May 2nd, 2007, 02:56 PM   #1
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So How Do You Describe Your Company and Your Title?

I guess it's all a matter of semantics and personal preference, but I was wondering what some of you call your own production company---not so much the identity name, but do you refer to it as:

A Digital Video Production Company
A Video Production Company
Multimedia Production Company
Is the word "Independent" in the name?

And what are you called on the business card--especially if you do a little of everything---from movies to you-name-it.

Independent Producer
CEO
Director
Owner

When your company is in its infancy, these names/thoughts come to mind---especially as you begin designing business cards....
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 07:40 PM   #2
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I'll take the first stab at this.

Right now, my business name includes the words "Video Services", which could be all-encompassing. I certainly don't provide every possible service, e..g film transfer, and others, but I've gotten calls asking for things I don't have equipment for. If I can't do a job, or don't have contact's who could help me do it, I tell the caller and try to lead into what I DO offer that might help them.

I avoid "production" and "producer", because, at least in my mind, that involves EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN and I don't have that much experience or that many contacts yet. I try to avoid "event production", and concentrate on "video production."

My present business card lists my title as "freelance videographer" though I'll probably start carrying 2 business cards: one specifically for event video, (which I'll change to "Independent Videographer"), and another specifically for legal video. I purposely chose my business name so I can "play" with the wording and hopefully attract clients from either market.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 06:29 AM   #3
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I guess it's all a matter of semantics and personal preference
My business card reads "Director/Editor", which kind of deals with a multitude of sins (company Director? Editorial role of a publishing entity?).

I toyed with videographer (which is probably more accurate) but in the UK at least, there seems to be a feeling of unease with the term.

UK Broadcast have come up with the 'DV Director' - somebody usually working alone who edits what they shoot. Whilst this sounds better than videographer, I'm getting vibes that it's been tainted as a bottom rung camera job, one step up from Intern or Jobfit Trainee.

Then it gets tricky as a one man band when you also freelance. I do my own productions, but also regularly work as a freelance - both as an editor and as a camera operator. Most clients know me as one or the other, and I feel they'd be uncomfortable if I fessed up about the other side. I've considered getting separate cards, but as most freelance work comes from referral, there seems little point.

What doesn't seem to cut much mustard is the CEO, Managing Director, Owner, or whatever tag is relevent. When a company grows to a certain critical mass, then perhaps one of those monikers describes what you do. People don't seem to like "Managing Directors" being behind cameras or driving edit suites.

Multimedia was uber-hip in the early 90s, then became an embarassment. Now, it seems to be perfecty acceptable in polite society. Everyone knows what it means. I (ahem, "our company") produces 'multimedia' of which video production is one angle. It means we can discuss interactivity, web delivery, video units embedded in training and presentation material, as well as re-version video assets into podcasts, webcasts and so on.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 07:21 AM   #4
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When I was growing-up (I'm almost done, ahem), "filmmaker" meant you worked with motion picture film---35mm, 16mm even 8mm (remember Super 8?)--exclusively.

In 2007, I was wondering if the term "filmmaker" represents a broader area--like digital video (assuming one does short and long form productions and movies). I suppose "digital filmmaker" or even "filmmaker" alone is all encompassing today. Thoughts?
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Old May 4th, 2007, 10:57 AM   #5
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Coming up with the proper and appropriate wording (for, say, your letterhead w/logo) is a creative process in itself.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 05:16 AM   #6
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title

I titled myself 'videomaker' on the card. I guess it would somwhat correspond to 'videographer'
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Old May 8th, 2007, 08:01 PM   #7
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Dale:

I have never put any kind of title after my name, and I don't allow any of my staff to do so. My opinion, for what little it's worth, is that a title limits people's perception of you. And to be honest, I don't think many clients are impressed with titles like CEO or President when there are only one or two people in your company.

Company names are tricky. If they are too descriptive, they tend to lock you in to specific services in an industry that is always changing. I learned this the hard way. If I had it to do over again, I would have chosen a more "generic" name for our business.

Mark
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Old May 9th, 2007, 01:09 PM   #8
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I like the title "founder" or "co-founder". It's not as arrogant as CEO or president, nor as limiting as "left-handed DV camera operator". The title works whether you founded a micro-operation or a Fortune 500 company. The best part about the title is that people know that the buck stops with you.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 09:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Nicholson View Post
When I was growing-up (I'm almost done, ahem), "filmmaker" meant you worked with motion picture film---35mm, 16mm even 8mm (remember Super 8?)--exclusively.

In 2007, I was wondering if the term "filmmaker" represents a broader area--like digital video (assuming one does short and long form productions and movies). I suppose "digital filmmaker" or even "filmmaker" alone is all encompassing today. Thoughts?
Dale,
I used to wonder the same thing, about whether or not to call myself a "filmmaker", but then one day I was on the DGA's website and noticed they use the term universally, no matter if the director is shooting digi or film. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 12:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Nicholson View Post
I guess it's all a matter of semantics and personal preference, but I was wondering what some of you call your own production company---not so much the identity name, but do you refer to it as:

A Digital Video Production Company
A Video Production Company
Multimedia Production Company
Is the word "Independent" in the name?

And what are you called on the business card--especially if you do a little of everything---from movies to you-name-it.

Independent Producer
CEO
Director
Owner

When your company is in its infancy, these names/thoughts come to mind---especially as you begin designing business cards....
Dale,

Part of this is just tongue in cheek, part is the way it ought to be.

I feel like having TWO business cards. One for thems that are potential clients with some vague understanding or at least appreciation for how expensive video production can be (for the video business owner) and another card for thems that want a hollywood production for $200 dollars.

It would be nice if there was some way to ascertain which potential client is deserving of which card in advance.

The client with a reasonable expectation and understanding of fair costs would get a card that tries to convey a professional attitude and demonstrate to the client that my business is commited to serving their needs. (Of course, for a worthwhile price that I wouldn't put on the card.)

On the hand, the bozo who wants me spend the day/night to shoot their crappy little event in some dive joint and do it for $150 of which they will have to finance would get a card from me that says, "WTF. Did you wake up this morning and crap out your brain? Let me see if I got this right. I bring out $8000 worth of gear to your shindig, spend all day/night shooting, then another week or so editing. After that I prepare a nice DVD package for you and deliver it. And for all my time, effort, equipment, skill, and creativity, you willing to pay me a whole $150? Does the phrase 'eat sh*t and die' mean anything to you? I didn't think so, you moron. Visit my website at gostraighttohell.com.

OK maybe that card might be a bit bold. And perhaps the price of $150 is a bit low. But I have had potential clients who thought $150 was a reasonable price. After all, they can get the latest DVD from Hollywood for only $14.95 at Walmart.

Now I'm not bitter. But if I can ever figure out how to sort out the dirtbags from the pay dirt in advance, I'm going to patent that system.

Jeff
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Old May 12th, 2007, 10:29 AM   #11
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if I can ever figure out how to sort out the dirtbags from the pay dirt in advance, I'm going to patent that system.
Jeff
Here's what worked for me, I doubled my rates!
Which quickly separated the wheat from the chaff.

I also set a minimum shoot time.

For example... Joe Dirt at Agency-X calls, "Hey Dave, can you run over to the stadium and shoot Bank President-Y for a commercial open & close, it will only take you 15:Min"

Joe, we have a two hour minimum.

"Oh, then do you know anyone that might be able to shoot for 15:min?"

I then give Joe Dirt the Name & number of a top freelance shooter and a high-end Pre-Post house, and wish him good luck with his project.

I also set a Day-Rate-Special.

For example... "Hey Dave, we need you for project-X, that will take at least Y-hours"

Great, we also offer a Day-Rate special, if you book an 8 hour block in advance the rate is only X-per hour, that's a savings of ___.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 12:39 PM   #12
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In South-Africa the local trend evolves around juicy company names /

Purple turtle productions / Red Chilli Productions / Blue Banana / etc. etc.

My company is called Alienbrain Productions.

Title's is a diffrent story / Entitle yourself to what you are capable of doing.


Some foreign input /

Herman.
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