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Thread: Video Business

  1. #1

    Default Video Business

    Ok i am trying to build my hobby into my business, ie video editing. Is there anyone out there that has done this before and can they give me any advise as to how to make this grow.

    At the moment i am getting enough work to pay for all my new toys, but not enough to live on. All my work is coming from word of mouth and i haven't advertised as yet. I have done a few weddings(Which are alot of work for very little reward), music videos for local bands and birthday video which seems to be very popular.

    I am getting involved with our local tv station, but they are being a complete pain in the a*se as to what can be in the video and what can't. This is more to get my name out there as the video man ect.

    I also have a web site that is at the moment work in progress but close to being finished.

    Any advise is welcome

    Thanks
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  2. #2
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    Sounds like you are doing very well already !

    I dont know much about this but I suggest making sure all your work is as good as you can do and keep at it.

  3. #3
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    As to the studios being a pain in the backside about what can be included sound awfully like copyright issues to me. And they are correct to be concerned about the content and so should you be. To air your work it must be fully owned or licenced by you.

    There's been plenty of threads on this type of subject in the last. You should have a read up. They are not just putting blocks in front of you. They are covering their asses AND yours.

    But on a positive note, I agree with Mark, you're already doing great it seems. You could try asking for proper fees for your work from now on and see how things go from there. Your comment about lots of work for little gain for weddings certainly implies you're not asking enough.

    Plus you need to consider the proffessional aspects of this as a business. At the moment it sounds like your work is all cash in hand. As a business you will need to pay tex, get an accountant and all that stuff. A very big step.

    If it were me I would wait until the amount of video work would take time out of your current proffessional life before considering the step. In that way, you know you are getting in enough work to keep you busy.

  4. #4
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    Got to go with Alan on this one. It sounds like the TV companies are just being careful. My missus is an artist and recently one broadcaster used a thirty second excerpt of her video work without asking... It's now paying for our holiday in Scotland next week.

    There are all sorts of dangers: music, posters, photos etc. etc. which have to be considered. There are occasions when you'll need "releases" from those appearing, occasions when you won't. As an autor (not a mis-spelling, Autor in the sense of someone who creates the entire video) you really need to know your stuff, which is why you charge the big bucks.

    As for weddings, if done correctly, they should be a lot of hard work for a good financial reward.
    If that's not the case.... you're doing it wrong.

    Remember the old adage "Any fool can work for nothing, and many a fool does." It's just as true in the television/video industry as any other.

    I'm not trying to stop you having a go, I just don't like it when someone is...
    (a) Ruining the price for the rest of us
    (b) Ruining the reputation of autor videographers for the rest of us
    (c) Ruining their enjoyment of what should have remained a hobby.

    My advice is... either do it properly, or not at all.

  5. #5
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    To back up what the other guys are saying about copyright, I'll relate this story (without name dropping).

    Recently, Channel 5 did a documentary about a close friend of mine. His son is pretty well known and on the wall in said friends house was a montage picture I had made from various TV grabs. It was among a whole collection of pictures, not just on its own. It was just made as a Christmas present and was one of two I had done.

    Friend had to remove the picture as I had not gained permissions from the TV stations before I had made the image. A researcher on the programme called me up to ask if I had them before they started filming.

    That's how picky they need to be. Shame really, because it was a bloody good picture too.

    Incidentally, the second one is on the friends sons wall now, so I hope they don't film there, or I'm potentially screwed.

  6. #6
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    Setting up in business and seperating hobby from work is essential.

    When I first went into pro photography, I drew up a simple plan of what my costs were and what my goals were. I have applied this way of working to all my businesses and now own five.

    One of my key points to make is business is business. Dont mess about with friends discounts and freebies. Your business while it plays for 'toys' should be invested into the development of the business not on 'toys'.
    Most businesses fail because people dont seperate themselves from the business and the income/profits that it creates.

    IN the first two years of your business, exspect to spend around 18 hours a day working on it from next to no cash/wages. You will find that advertising is catch 22, you need to pay out lots for it to get a good return, but then do you have the money to pay for the advertising in the first place.

    My Photography business started with an investment of just 20, In 6 months I made 22,000 In the ame time period I paid my self only 400.00 from that business. The remaining money paid for business things that were essesntial.

    Obiously you need to invest in more advertising, equipment and stock items (capital plant) The remaining amounts should be your retirement fund holidays and mortgage payments together with bills.

    You need to work out your costs for your life. (exc all business related costs)

    Once you work this out, work out how much work you will need to do to afford a basic way of life.
    Next work out the costs of doing the work, tripple it and add the cost of living to this and you will have your day rate. (not forgetting to ad some wages to this)

    If your working for less than your day rate, you should not be in business.

    There are many funds and training that is available if you want a full business profile and plan drawn up for you with all leading areas and funders for your project. Visit my site and request an appoinment.
    Need Pro Computer advice?

  7. #7
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    Regarding copyright - I jope to learn more about this soon but everyone does now seem to tkae the better very safe than sorry route. Personally I think it is getting all out of hand at the mo, like all these accident claims. I would have thought it reasnoble to accept that 'documentary' use, as in filming the real world where copyright material may only incidentally appear without deliberate use should NOT be a problem. It clearly is for many rights owners / broadcasters as we see all these blurred logs on the telly.

    I think this has gone too far really but it is keeping editors in work I suppose, boring work.

    As for starting a business, I know little but the more I learn the more cutious I become, as said above I think planning and determination is key.

  8. #8
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    With copyright Documentary/ editorial is fine, I know that if I take a picture of some one and sell prints, I need a release form, if I do it for the news paper I dont?
    The extremes of it all is that if you take a shot of some one in designer clothers, do you need the permission of the clothes designer??
    Need Pro Computer advice?

  9. #9

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    OK the copyright issue is not why these idiots are being a pain in the a*se. It is an "offene channel" ie local tv station that sends only between the hours of 17.00 to 20.00. The issue was that if i do not do a documentary type report about the event i want to film then it is deemed as an advert for the event.

    Now i understand this but the definition that the guy said was very rocky. He said that if the event takes money to get in then it is an advert. I quoted a few other things that were on the channel that i know took money and he could not justify him self.

    To cut it short this guy i think was using the rules to suit himself. But i am at the moment adopting what i have done into a documentary report, and on monday will go back and see what he says.

    By the way the report is of a band contest which runs once month with 5 bands each night. 2 go foward to the semi finals until the final which is held in may next year on an open air stage in the middle of the town. I am hoping to post the episodes on my web site once i have time. But sorry guys its all in german.
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  10. #10
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    Okay, but the points which were made about copyright still apply, the autor of the video is responsible for clearing any copyright issues, not the client.

    I think it's also important to explain the "Open Channel".

    In Germany, the majority of people have cable television with about 30 channels. There is legislation (as a result of WW2) which says that the public should have the ability to publish their opinions, and this is taken to include television. The government doesn't want to spend a penny on hearing the public's views and would rather just ignore it. To get around this the state gets each cable provider to "give" one channel over to the public. Since the provider has no interest in this whatsoever it usually gives the running of this channel to the local video society or school with a "media studies" department.

    The rules are that the "Open Channel" cannot be run for profit, can't broadcast any advertising, can't be used for commercial gain and must be accessible for anyone to broadcast. Most clubs object to non-members using what they see as "their" channel and make it as hard as possible for the general public to air videos.

    Germans (no offence meant to you FNG) are inflexible when it comes to "rules". The concept of interpreting, challenging or changing a rule is unknown. So a videomaker questioning the club's rules, or suggesting that they be changed is unthinkable. Since the club makes the rules, as FNG says, the non-member can't win. A lot of people make money out of the "Open channel" usually by making "donations" to the video club or media school, but the ordinary punter has no chance.

    An old friend of mine now makes money by broadcasting "documentaries" on the O.K. (open channel) all over Germany and he's given up trying to make the videos impartial and now just pays the clubs a bit of cash for them to approve his production.

    Which town are you talking about FNG? I might be able to help (I'm not promising anything, just offering).

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