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Thread: Are there too many people offering video servives?

  1. #1
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    Default Are there too many people offering video servives?

    I have been working with video, although not the way that most on here are, for over five years now and I have seen the meteoric rise in its popularity online. The explosion of broadband, and the ever-increasing popularity of sites such as YouTube have opened the masses eyes to video.

    That said, I there are still huge brands in the UK that are not using the power of video properly in my opinion. There would seem to be huge opportunities for video professionals to make compelling. commercial videos.

    Ever since I bought a pro camera and started experimenting this year Iíve become hooked. It makes me wonder if I could ever make a living shooting video? I canít think of many other things that would be more enjoyable, assuming my career as a porn star is in fact now dead ;o)

    In my career, I am about to leave one huge UK media owner to work for a video network, and I canít wait to be in the centre of brands, publishers and content owners/ producers. It is a fantastic opportunity as Head of Content to make some really cool deals. But I am never happier than when I have some time with just me and my camera/ Mac to edit said video.

    My question, I guess, for those people out there who are lucky (gifted) enough to make a living out of video is do you think that there are too many videographers for the market today? If not, do you think we are in danger of seeing that soon?

    To be honest, I am a salesman of 20 odd years and I have already blagged a job shooting video, albeit on a small scale. I think that anyone with a half decent camcorder could blag some jobs, because the vast majority of people that Ďsort of would like a videoí wonít question the output.

    This makes me worry that the market is already flooded with people offering video services, and that maybe this passion will never be more than that.

    Rant over. :o)

    Iíd be interested to know where you guys see the market though.

  2. #2

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    I don't think the whole market is saturated yet. Especially the wedding side of things as it is a very specialised job to shoot weddings well. Like a lot of industries where you see some people being successful and others think I could do that.

    Take the industry I'm in, couriers, most people would thing anybody could drive a white van and deliver a parcel, well that may be true but would as a customer choose a company who runs off a mobile phone, has no back up if things go wrong. Has no real experience travelling around the country, will only be in business until his van breaks down etc. OR would you choose a company who has been in the business for over 25 years, has been there, seen it, done it and has all the contingencies to hand for any emergency. Has the back up of over 200 other experienced courier companies and a prov-en track record of excellent service. Ok I'm going on a bit I know.

    My point is there will always be the man and a van but they come and go, BUT an experienced company who can really do the job time after time who charge the right rates, makes happy customers etc. will stay around. I believe the video industry will have a similar future. There is a saying the cream will always float to the top. I think this is true.

    I have done many unpaid "favours" for people but don't think I could make a living from making videos, well not to the manner I have become accustomed BUT I have set up a video company and will look for paid work BUT only in the realm of what I think I can produce to a satisfactory standard, I would never consider doing weddings, BUT a music video for a small time band or things of this nature would be ideal for me right now.

    Answering more on topic. I think geographical location has some bearing on the number of companies ie London has loads as usual.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    There is a saying the cream will always float to the top. I think this is true.
    Midnight,
    We have another saying back in WV: Life is like a septic tank; the big ones always float to the top.

    (Of course, that is not the original Appalachian translation.)

  4. #4
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    I've gotta agree with the septic tank analogy. There could be a zillion videographers out there - but if they produce utter shit they'll very soon die off and quality providers will prevail.

    As a salesman you are aware I'm sure that most buyers are savvy and will spot a charlatan with ease.

    Your thought that "That said, I there are still huge brands in the UK that are not using the power of video properly in my opinion. There would seem to be huge opportunities for video professionals to make compelling. commercial videos." I completely agree with - large and small business alike seem to assume video is a luxury they cant afford.

  5. #5
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    The questions been asked for as long as I've been running the forums. And no doubt long before that too. With such small perceived barriers to entry, you're always going to get an influx of incumbants to the market. Some fear this drives prices down and lowers standards, others see them as a lower tier market.

    We've had analogies to other markets, and they're all very true. There will always be a high turnover of one man band video services, just as there will always be a core of established pros. You don't often see the latter, as generally they rely on word of mouth and reputation.

    The new starters generally all chase the same business, which is what's left of people either not really wanting a video and or not being recommended one.

    It's hard to get established, harder still to make a decent living. But as we've all said, talent shows. Combine that with good business and client relations, and you'll rise to the top.
    Posted via Mobile Device

  6. #6
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    Video has a problem in that most people do it for fun.

    Very few people do plumbing or building as relaxation. Nor do you get many home-dentistry clubs or television repair societies. However nearly everyone has a camcorder or knows someone who "does" amateur video. As such it seen as a "hobby" which can be done to earn money.

    It's also subjective. By that I mean that every parent thinks that their footage of their offspring is charming and entertaining. Therefore it can't be that difficult to make a video. Dads's brother belongs to a video society and has a decent camcorder so, for the company's image video, why pay top rates for a cameraman?

    When it comes to weddings, they have filmed stuff from their mobile and all their mates loved it, their best man has a camcorder and his holiday video wasn't too bad. The brides father filmed some really good stuff as she was growing up, so why should they pay good money for a videographer?

    On the production side. Nearly every media student and hobby video-maker thinks that they can make decent videos and they sell themselves as such. The punter, who knows no different, gets one of these idiots to make a video and sees the mediocre result. He is now convinced that "professionals" are no better than his mate with a camcorder and that's the message he gives to his peers.

    On the plus side, bad videographers tend to go out of business relatively quickly, the minus side is that they leave a number of dissatisfied customers behind them who would never use a "professional" videographer again.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 09-09-2010 at 08:56 AM. Reason: To appease Tim Stannard who is being a pain in the rectum.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rembrandt Rob View Post
    Every media student and hobby video-maker thinks that they can make decent videos and they sell themselves as such.
    I demand that you replace the word "every" with and alternative. Maybe "many" or even "most".
    Our club occasionally get requests to video weddings (admittedly, I suspect these requets are from people who won't cough up the going rate) and members always turn these requests down, knowing fiull well that they wouldn't produce stuff they, the members, are happy with.

    Funnily enough (or perhaps not) it's the less capable hobbyists who think they have what it takes. I see this all the time at the club. There really are people who won't listen to advice and genuinely believe that 5 mins of unedited shots of the backs of people's heads following a guide around a building is in the same league as a BBC tour of St Pauls with Dimbleby.

    I do think that widespread ownership of camcorders makes it easier for punters to understand the difference between a recommended pro, "a one-man band no experience start-up", and a hobbyist, as the parallel with photographers is now clear.

    How many guests at your wedding will be carrying cameras? - About half - So why are you hiring a pro photographer?

    The exchange is the same as far as videos go.
    Tim

  8. #8
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    Okay Tim, just for you, it has been amended to "Nearly every" and actually it was aimed more at the media students, as you know I'm a great fan of video clubs.

    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    ... genuinely believe that 5 mins of unedited shots of the backs of people's heads following a guide around a building is in the same league as a BBC tour of St Pauls with Dimbleby.
    ...
    We obviously know the same types of people!

  9. Default

    Guess it depends if your working in a specific market too - there arnt a load of people doing what i do on the same scale. Yes there are a far few people doing Motorsport TV, but the like of the F1 coverage etc is no concern of mine, my customers are more 'Clubman' events for coverage on Motors TV, and there are only a handful doing that here

    The lack of Cameramen is more of a concern than amount of people doing it, myself and 2 others i work with on all of my events actually work for a Handful of other producers on their projects, so even the jobs we dont get ourselves we still end up getting work out of

    Reputation is everything, and in 18 months of doing the TV stuff we are getting as much, if not more interest than others that have been doing it for 18 years, and the difference is that i am still learning and changing what i do, they are stuck in their ways, so it will only improve too

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynegoldring View Post
    the difference is that i am still learning and changing what i do, they are stuck in their ways, so it will only improve too
    Keep remembering that so that you don't find yourself in their position 18 years.
    Tim

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