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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old March 28th, 2009, 11:50 AM   #16
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Thanks for the reply's all. This is the information I want as I want to make as an informed decision as I can.

[David: My clients for film production are also my clients from my reno business. 20 thousand is a drop in the bucket to these guys. They aren't "holding off" on any production, they didn't even think about doing it in the first place until I sold them on it. They will proceed whenever I tell them they fit into my schedule. They aren't even investing in a film - they are investing in me.

The BP is based on the gear list budget I have submitted in this forum. If I can get members in the film community to give me advice based on their experience, I think that is a fantastic opportunity. Maybe my money is better spent elsewhere. (note: I am really just concentrating on the camera, lights,tripod, MAC and sound right now ---when it comes time I want to expand and do more things like shorts and doc's movies whatever - that's when the rest comes into play (letus, lenses, etc)

In regards to this field dwindling - Its not. You have to work harder to sell your service and set yourself apart from the other guys and also make first contact. I've never been the sit and wait to see if someone will call me kind of guy. I hussle to get every job. It's the difference between having a hobby business and producing an income.

You can ask yourself why it is that you are just as talented as the next guy - but the other guy gets far more jobs and makes 10x what you make... that isn't luck...It's because they are more hungry. You can't blame that on the economy - you have to blame that on yourself.]

Thanks for the reply's guys, keep them coming - im looking into that RAID storage now... What do you guys think of the RODE mic?
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Old April 6th, 2009, 10:30 AM   #17
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Trent, some of your original list, like the letus & rails, has a very 'specific' use. As a corporate shooter, I might want shallow depth of field, but rarely. It's really more something used in dramatic features.
Corporate video usually is shot quicker because your 'locations' are often other people's places of work and you are interrupting their space. Or you are interviewing an executive and he is taking time out of his busy schedule for this. Not a lot of time for adjusting extra lenses and hardware when your exec is stumbling, take after take.

I agree that c-stands, a roll of nd gel, flags, sandbags are always a good investment, assuming you have a crew. The EX-1, a good audio kit and lighting kit are good choices as well. But you might want to rent some of this gear, get a feel for how you like working with it before you buy. Rent for at least a couple of productions, crewing with people you will hopefully work with in the future and get a feel for what you might need and/or want in the future. (i.e., are you doing lots of outside work or inside, is it interview heavy, do you most often light large or small interiors, are your locations going to be noisy and does that matter, how quick will your shooting need to happen and will you have quick or more leisurely turnaround times for posting, will you need to have lots of grafx/motion grafx to compliment your live footage...?

This kind of experience can help you focus your choices quite a bit. And if you don't have to buy this stuff tomorrow, put a couple productions under your belt with rental gear, then go to NAB which is coming up soon, and ask about and play with the gear. That could help a lot.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 10:53 AM   #18
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I love your enthusiasm and I think that it will pay off for you. You dont have to always do things by the book in order to succeed. You mentioned that your client is investing in you and not just the project. This tells me that you have good people skills which can frequently take you much further than just skill alone. I wish you MUCH success.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 04:00 PM   #19
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I know this is a slightly older thread, was just wondering if there was an update on how the business worked out?

I'm also looking at getting a production company off the ground right now and this thread came up in a top search on google.

The only advice I'd throw in is to always buy used because you will need to stretch every dollar you can.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 12:25 PM   #20
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I know some folks just love their Macs (nothing wrong with that), but I just couldn't see spending 6 grand for one, when I could build a 4 CPU, 16 core beast of a PC for less.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 07:18 PM   #21
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Well, THAT got my attention. Can you share what motherboard supports the multiple processors? This is a new one on me...worth looking into! thanks /Battle Vaughan / video team
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Old July 8th, 2009, 10:33 PM   #22
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Server motherboards like Supermicro support multiple processors.

They often use Intel Xeon chips.

This type of setup will be my next rig once Windows 7 comes out and I have some more mileage on my current setup.

All of the processors, loads of ram, 64 bit OS and a SSD boot drive will make a great editing machine and will cost well under $6,000.

Trent, please update us on your progress...
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Old July 9th, 2009, 10:36 AM   #23
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This is an example of a board you can put 4 quad core Opterons on: - TYAN S4985G3NR Thunder n4250QE Quad 1207(F) NVIDIA nForce4 Professional 2200 + 2050 SSI MEB footprint Four AMD Opteron (Rev. F) 8000 series (dual/quad-core) processors Server Motherboard - Server Motherboa

Throw 4 of these in there (essentially Phenom IIs), and you're probably still under 6 grand for the system (they do have some lower cost quad Opterons also):
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Old July 9th, 2009, 11:13 AM   #24
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Here's how I got my start:

I wanted to do car and corporate videos because I felt my existing network could give me access to potential clients, so I went and bought a Canon XHA1, a new MAC desktop, lav, lights, backdrops, and a few hand held HDV cameras for car mounting and b-roll.

I spent a bunch on software, filters, plugins and support graphics packages for FCP. I bought a Steadicam and Jib. I continuously add equipment wherever possible and have networked with other videographers to get them working and filming with me.

I stayed up late at nights, often all night, learning the software, practicing, learning the equipment, reading the manuals. It took 2 years to get me comfortable and I still have much to learn.

That got me started.

I did a series called Bikini Driving School on spec. Those monies got me more equipment....and paid my bills. I was still working a regular job in support of my side business.

I landed a contract doing videos for a corporate client which was exclusively interviews at their place of business.

Quit my day job.

All the while, I continued to do car videos and build up my library of footage. Every time I went on vacation, I built my library.

This paid off when I started landing automotive clients to do THEIR corporate video.

On each new job, I always set aside a small portion to add new equipment, be it a hard drive, software, etc.

I still have to work on the cheap. My in-office interview videos net bring in about $1000-$2000 filmed, edited, released to web.

My car videos are about the same.

My more elaborate car videos (for DVD) are bringing me about $3000, but some of this goes back to other videographers I hire to help me shoot.

When the bigger jobs come, I rent equipment with about 15% of my profits set aside to buy more equipment.

I will probably never be a big production house, but I make a living doing what I love.

Living in So Calif is expensive, but there's a good roster of potential business.

I do this full time now and hope to continue to grow my business, so I have great respect for anyone who does the same.

Best of luck in your startup.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 11:34 PM   #25
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Great to hear of your growth Craig.

I wanted to ask what you mean by "car videos".

Are you driving or shooting the car?
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Old July 13th, 2009, 01:03 AM   #26
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Hey all,

That mother/board is pretty impressive.. only $500 for a 4 cpu quad core.. question tho, is it really a good video editing board.. or more of a server board? Meaning, if I built a dual-cpu system with 32GB ram and good matrox/nvidia card, would 2 extra cpus on my editing machine using this board be faster? I am curious if the FSB, the memory speed, and all that will be as fast as a dual-cpu setup or not. I also ask because most of the editing workstations I've seen are either quad-core or 2-cpu quad-core setups. Never really seen one with 4-cpus in it, so I wonder why that is? My guess is that the bandwidth on the m/b is less geared towards video editing and such and more towards the server market. I don't honestly know why there would be much difference.

Incidentally..Craig.. I am impressed, and jealous at the same time. I wish I could find a way to get into this business. I think it takes not only knowledge of how to shoot video and edit it, but marketing/salesmaneship that at least I don't possess. I wouldn't know how to sell my service to someone to hire me for a video shoot.. and even if I could, having not yet done one I don't know how to set one up. Do you just go in with your camera (say your first couple gigs), maybe a soft-box light or two, a tripod, and film. Then go home, edit and present the results? I am curious how the first couple of clients work out, what they may expect, did you ever go in and someone was like "That's all you brought.. what are you a beginner..". Those kinds of things would be good to hear from you guys.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 09:49 PM   #27
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Hey Kevin,

I would like to know the same. I have a single processor right now (Intel Quad-core) and the system edits fine but is a little bogged down when I have multiple cameras and such.

When Windows 7 appears in October I plan to update the motherboard & processors but don't know how much to go for - two for four processors.

My only concern is heat buildup and noise to keep it cool as I have enjoyed how quite and cool my current system is.

Regarding the business. I think finding a need or filling a niche is the best way to make work for yourself. I really think of it as making your own work as there are not that many people who will just hire you enough to make a living.

Be creative, confident of your abilities and go hit the pavement.

A friend of mine used to say, nobody else will market your services.

It is true. It does take some guts.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #28
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I've never built a multiple CPU computer, and I don't plan on it anytime soon. Multi-CPU machines certainly have uses, but cost effectiveness (in terms of number crunching power per dollar) is just a whale of a lot lower than with single (quad core) CPU computers. Unless you have deep pockets (a lot deeper than mine) and/or a very compelling need for better performance than an i7 975 can give you, it doesn't make much sense to build a 4 (quad core) CPU system. Realize that a single i7 975, for about $1000, can give you roughly twice (probably a little more) the performance (for H.264 encoding), per core, that a "cheap" $1000 Opteron can.

Memory speed makes almost no real world difference for codec performance as far as I can tell. I've tested cutting memory speed in half, with a number of codecs, and found no significant difference in speed. As long as a server board has enough expansion slots for a video card, firewire card, etc. (most don't), it's probably okay for desktop use (although not really designed for it). You do need an OS that will support the (physical) number of CPUs on the board though. I don't think Windows XP will support more than two (physical) CPUs. I don't know if Windows 7 will or not.

While natural talent certainly doesn't hurt, marketing and sales skills are quite learnable. Knowledge and practice will take you much further than natural talent ever will. There are some good professional training courses out there. There are also a lot of excellent books on the subject. Harvey Mackay's "Swim with the Sharks" is one that comes to mind. I'd also suggest "Magic in Practice" (by Richard Bandler and John Grinder). It's not specifically written as a sales and marketing book (and likely nothing like anything you've read before - unless you've studied NLP), but if you lock onto the concepts, you'll have gained knowledge that is profoundly useful in marketing and sales (among other things).
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Old March 16th, 2010, 04:18 PM   #29
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Starting a video production company...

Hi, my name is charlie. I started a corporate video production company up in 2005.

My advice here would be to not purchase anything at all. Hire it all in when you need it.

Develop good relationships with

We have been able to stay one of the most competitively priced video production companies in london, without owning anything.

here is my video production company,
Dragonfly Productions UK ? Corporate Video Production London

often, video production freelancers come with gear too!

good luck with it!
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