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Thread: Starting out advice

  1. Default Starting out advice

    Heys guys and girls,

    Just wanted to run something by everyone and open it up for for a general discussion to see what the videographer's general opinion is - I'm sure there are many others who are in my position and would be interested in the consensus?!

    Basically, I'm about to launch an internet video company aimed primarily at the commercial market in my area. Initially, due to having a young family, big mortgage etc I can't risk losing my full-time job so I want to run the business part time from home until hopefully such time that I can quit the day job and run the business full time.

    Being completely honest, my actual video experience is quite limited, I have dabbled in the past but I have come up with the idea first and am hoping to learn the art of video and editing as I progress. I have worked in desktop publishing for many years so hoping this won't be too much of a difficulty (we all have to start somewhere).

    I am spending approx 5K on equipment, which I know is not a massive amount, but I hope this will see me through. If I get a big job I'm planning on hiring kit in.

    I just really wanted to hear what videographer's views were on the market out there at the moment for this type of work? You guys are probably more in the know than me - does this sound like a viable business option, do you think I'm taking on too much, is there a thriving market out there for internet video for businesses, is my budget a pittance etc etc?!

    Maybe I should start a blog detailing my exploits but until then I'd really appreciate some honest views and discussion on what is undoubtedly an exciting and relevant subject for many readers here!?

    Cheers

    Matt (Goldfinger)

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    You havent said what your idea is...

    And I would suggest that if you are not a skiiled filmmaker and you are doing all the work yourself your films will be dissapointing to customers.

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    Default

    I strongly suggest you do a hell of a lot more learning first before you start to think about setting up as a videographer.

  4. Default

    The idea is nothing too new to be honest - it's just that it isn't really being done in the area I live. Just basically making web videos for local businesses who want to promote their business online.

    With regards to the learning post; can I ask what learning you suggest? Do you mean videography experience? If so, surely all businesses start out with a bit of a risk factor but hopefully the enthusiasm / mindset of the business owner ensures it is a success? I can't think of too many peope who go into a business knowing absolutely everything about that particular field.

    I've always belived businesses are an organic process that develop as the skills of the owner do.

    Just another thought !?

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    A taxi driver has to learn to drive, then they have to do the knowledge - this can take years - same to become a competant film maker I would argue...

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    I would certianly agree with Mark. When I call out a plumber, I expect them to be able to fix a leak for example. I don't expect them to be learning through experience at my expense. It may sound harsh, and we may well be accussed of 'unconstructive critisism', but you really have to take a reality check every now and again. Put simply, just because there are few percieved barriers to entry into the market, doesn't mean they don't exist.

    I would sugggest that there are plenty of video companies servicing your area - you just don't see them advertised on the internet. And i would suggest that there isn't a market for providing video services to online firms. The larger firms will employ from a pool of approved suppliers, whilst smaller ones tend to want to do this themselves. Of course, I'm sure that you will find businesses looking for such services, but what makes you stand out from the crowd?

    I would summarise your position as follows:

    1) Your proposed market is small and there isn't really a concept of 'local' on the internet. This website was designed by a German chap, the site hosted in London Docklands, operated by a company with offices in American and read by people all around the world. Sure, most of the readers are Brits, but that's not to say that just beacuase I'm based in London that I source work by people in London.

    2) You underestimate the skills and experience required to operate a successful video company. You simply can't learn on the job for the kind of work you've described. You'll drive down prices in the market and you risk giving yourself a bad name.

    Rather than investing the 5k in equipment, start by reading a few well chosen books. On film making in general, and on the specifics. If you still think you can make a go of this after further reading, come back and show us some samples of what you can do.

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    I reccomend ' Basics of the video production diary' by des lyver for the basics of a video company and - I think i am rigt - ' single camera video production ' -cant remember who wrote that nad cant find my copy just now - will add later - for BASIC filming techniques.

  8. Default

    Thanks for the comments guys - I do respect and appreciate them. I'll have a look for those books on Amazon or something, or if you can remember the name of the author Mark, if you could let me know that would be cool.

    As I said, I do completely see where you're coming from - hence my initial query. Using your plumber and taxi driver analogies, are we saying therefore that videography is a technical position rather than an artistic one? Maybe I'm sitting too much on the artistic fence at the moment?

    What I may do is go-ahead, read the books, spend the 5K on equipment (which I will need to get anywhere of course) and then maybe use a few well-placed contacts who have businesses in the trade to do some practise videos using their businesses and build up mu own portfolio.

    Rest assured, I have no intention of driving down prices or giving myself a bad name. I have had a long career in design, publishing and the media and have always strived to the highest standards. I would hope that I could carry these ideals into my web video project.

    Does that sound more feasible?

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    Sounds cool.

    I wouls say that film mamking is the most challenging creative / technical thing in hte world - except for being an architect.

    It requires vast techinical knowledge as well as artisitic skill and talent to do well. It also demands an ability to communicate complex ideas to others who do not share your wisdom - and for drama a direcotor needs to understnd the other disciplins and people they must advise.

    That is why great film makers are gods!!!

  10. Default

    Just to let you know I'm taking your comments seriously, I just spent 80 on Amazon getting both the texts you mentioned plus a few others (lighting / audio etc).

    See you in 12 months when I emerge from my darkened lair a self taught video Guru !! :0)

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