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Thread: Worth It Anymore?

  1. #1

    Default Is It Worth It Anymore?

    I started in the video production business in 1986 at the age of 16 working for two well established companies in my area. I`m now 41.

    I got very lucky at the time to get the both jobs by sending out cvs (if thats what you can call them when your 15 years old)over a one year period.

    Obviously I worked for free with the first company for 6 months so they could try me out and then I ended up working for them for 5 years.
    They produced event and sport videos for football clubs, speedway etc.
    There was issues though. Money was only coming from the sale of copies and only sold when teams did really well e.g. won by 3 goals to 0 etc.
    Some jobs would not generate any income at all and also with theives (which they are) making illegal vhs and beta copies, this put the company in a very bad situation and they ended up closing down.

    I then moved on to the second company 3 months later with the knowledge I had gained from the previous.
    They were producing mostly corporate productions. Very good company to work for, 8 years in total.
    They were producing programs on High Band umatic sp and betacam sp systems. Very expensive at the time and then suddenly everything went digital.

    Ohh nooo....! This is when it all started to go wrong!

    The company had invested alot of money in their equipment.
    They had long lease problems and as digital equipment was now cheaper to purchase, the one man band was established and started to jump on the band waggon.

    The company ended up closing down due to corporate budgets falling, so I thought thats enough for working for companies lets join the wonderful world of self employment and the freelance minefield.

    What a hard stressful mistake!

    I should have learnt from the companies I worked for.

    Ive now been in the video business from the age of 16 to the age i am now (41) with all the marketing knowledge, expertise and equipment you could need.

    I can tell you it has not been easy.

    Its been difficult all them years trying to get jobs with good pay to keep my head above water and to feed my family.

    There seems to be no value anymore in professional video services anymore.

    Most companies have pcs with free editing software and a 150.00 video camera and will point, shoot and upload to their website and be done with.

    The most annoying thing is that I am now trying to compete with university students.
    They go out and do videos for free on the equipment that i have paid for through my taxes. It should not be allowed.
    I understand they have to learn the craft somwhere but why not just do it on campus. If it carries on there will be no companies left to work for.

    Actually I think it is happening now.... Yellow pages advert had 1 video company advertising this year...Last year there were 12.
    Will obviously see more adverts next year then gone the year after.
    Oh well.... This industry has gone to the dogs..... May as well sign on. at least I will feel worth something.
    Last edited by andymchere; 05-12-2011 at 06:17 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2


    Anyone else feel that doing videoproduction as a full time profession (not part time for pin money as most so called video experts are doing). You know the ones. The useless people who call themselves professionals doing videos on the side, putting out terrible work and giving our a industry a bad reputation.

    Im sure the industry has changed dramatically.

    Most of my contacts have dried up due to companies getting one of their employees to do a terrible video without any creativity, using 150 camcorders and free editing and burning software downloaded off the web.

    Their attitude is" might not be fantastic but it gets the message across"

    This is the way the industry has gone in my opinion.

    Also I have hell of alot of marketing experience within my industry. It would not matter if you tried to promote yourself these days using gold paper and saying they can keep it. IT WON`T WORK!
    It will obviously still end up in the B1N file.

    How do you all feel about it?
    Last edited by andymchere; 05-12-2011 at 08:26 PM. Reason: spell

  3. #3


    I am on the slow road to easy street, also starting Photography from 14 and am now 52, a different world now, Training is working out well for me know.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Queen's Park NW6


    Aha, this explains this bitter and twisted man's other post about professionals, he's not doing well so believes no one is and now gets his kicks trying to insult other people, sad man.

    Video Production Services Company UK London

  5. #5


    Yip, this does expalain the previous outburst, but I'll give anyone a second go if it wont be putting me out.

    This is a massive issue in the video industry, budgets are dropping, standards are (in some cases) lowering and people are being expected to offer a wider range of skills over longer working durations for the same/or less money. But it's happening and those who are strong enough to survive are starting to show.

    I see it a like a few years back, when the online poker comunity mixed with the long time live poker pro's in tournament play. The pro's had been looking down on them until that mix happened and many of them couldn't adapt as the new game evolved.

    What did Darwin say:

    "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Queen's Park NW6


    @david, well said, it's true that we have to adapt and learn new skills, in the past you could be a cameraman or an editor or a compositor, colourist or whatever, now we have to learn as many of these skills as possible and doing so will help us survive.

    Video Production Services Company UK London

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    This is true with lower end video work, but when you get to the high end film and TV video, companies aren't looking for a jack of all trades (master of F**k all!), an editor is still an editor and a D.O.P is a D.O.P. My philosophy is stick to one trade and get as good as you can. There's plenty of kids out there with cameras and final cut pro that can undercut some of the bigger companies but what they produce is very rarely the same quality, it's just down to what people are prepared to pay, and very often the difference in quality will show. Basically what I'm saying is there is a place for both kind of video producers but as usual it's all dependent on money and what the final product is designed to do.

  8. #8


    This is true with lower end video work, but when you get to the high end film and TV video, companies aren't looking for a jack of all trades (master of F**k all!)
    I have no pretences and don't claim to work with the higher end film/TV production companies. But I do keep a close eye on what they are doing and sadly the above quote is what's changing as we speak. The lower end has been like that for a long time and the higher end is going that way.

    It started off with producers needing to change their skills fund raising and it's also showing in post production.

    The main thing that we (at any level) of the industry needs to adapt to is getting used to risk. The top of the chain is no longer willing to take it on alone.


  9. Default

    We have a job going out tomorrow and I'm here (23.00) still dealing with the changing kit and changing logistics. Which I guess we arn't being paid overtime. For a job bloody miles away, while the client wants a dolly, now doesn't want a dolly. Then says can't you just bring it anyway. On and on it goes. It's rediculous. Not only tons of kit but only wants one of us to go on the job. Eh? With enough kit for a small drama (its a simple corporate). This was never the case a few years ago, clients nowadays are out of control

    wedding video London by wedding videographer London

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Warsop, Nottinghamshire.
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by molo78 View Post
    ..while the client wants a dolly, now doesn't want a dolly. Then says can't you just bring it anyway...
    Simple answer - a proper contract, signed, sealed with extras costed and rates set. Stops all that dead in its tracks - or at the very least you get paid appropriately for the extras. It sounds to me like sloppy prep has gone into this job. If the client feels they can chop and change their mind at such a late stage, whoever went and costed and contracted this job needs firing.

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