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Thread: Videography- making a living from it

  1. #1

    Default Videography- making a living from it

    Hi my names Chris, firstly ignore the username I dunno what I was huffing when i came up with that.

    Anyway I am really really keen on surf videography and am seriously considering moving into that field to produce a video.
    I was doing architecture until a few months ago, but I wasn't passionate about it, but videography really gives me a buzz.

    Unfortunately I fear that it will be near impossible to make a living from. I'm not sure if any of you are video producers or also keen to get into that field of work, but are there any tips and advice you could pass onto myself.

    Also I have saved up a bit of money and set it aside for a camera. My budget is around $7,000 I guess thats about 3-4,000 UK. What camera should I be looking at getting.

    Thanks heaps if you can pass a bit of info on.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    My advice to you is don't spend it all on the camera.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Way too many questions to be answered if you are truely 'just beginning' but what the heck.....

    1) Don't quit your day job yet, video 'goodness' is subjective (eye of the beholder thing) - you may be naturally talented, or your work may suck - only the critics can let you know the answer to that. You have also chosen a 'limited audience' field (surfing). Not a whole lot of major surfing flix out there. Maybe try and make a 'documentary' style or a 'day-in-the-life' style video first.

    2) If this is your first foray into the 'field' - buy a cheap DV camera (used, e-bay, etc) and GLUE it to your hand - shoot, shoot, shoot. Develop a style, learn your lighting, learn how to shoot a steady shot, learn how to pan and zoom, annoy the hell out of your friends cause you ALWAYS have that damn camera running Only when you have an acceptable shooting style/technique (ie. your friends don't say 'that sux' every time you show them some work) should you move to a more expensive/permanent camera.

    3) You don't say if you are computer literate. Are you going to do all your own editing and post-production? (my video editing computer cost more than your whole budget). If you can't do this yourself I would reccommend marrying someone who can because post production can be very expensive

    4) shoot, shoot, shoot, practice makes perfect.

    5) don't expect the uber-instant-profit thing (refer to step 1) - unless you get REAL lucky and make the 'blair witch' of surfing vids. look upon your failures as learning experience and keep on shooting.

    6) Don't quit your day job yet, and keep shooting.

    7) be open to shooting things other than surfing stuff, once you have an acceptable style offer your services/equipment/post-production skills for weddings/funerals/birthday parties/ and those intimate times with the girlfriend - This is where you can make your money to live on while pursuing your dream of producing the perfect wave video. (don't let the GF find out you sold the intimate video to that on-line amateur video site).

    Be not afraid - if you build it they will come. (as long as you don't suck big time )

    9) never give up, and don't expect instant gratification

    10) enjoy
    My System Specs:

    Cameras: 2 x Canon XL1s
    Computer: Dual Intel Xeon 2.8Ghz processors (hyperthreaded) - Intel SE7505VB2 mother board - 2 Gb PC2100 RAM kingston -Adaptec FireConnect 4300 -2xseagate 10K scsi hdd 150G ea -2xseagate 7200 ide hdd 200G ea - Plextor PX-708A DVD burner - ATi Raedon 9800Pro video with Dual SUN 21\" monitors - Sound Blaster Platinum live!
    Software: Windows XP Pro with SP2 - Pyro Pro (adobe\'s premier pro, encore DVD, and audition bundle)

  4. #4


    very nice reply but again: any camera recommendations?

    i already started making money, not much though, but im getting a lot of practice every day and clients and friends like my videos


  5. #5


    The type of camera would be determined by the type of videos you make.

  6. #6


    like this, except conditions wont be so dark:

  7. #7


    This was shot with a Canon 5D MkII. SO If you want a camera that you can take into the water, like in this video you would, for practical reasons, be better getting a similar camera depending on your budget. The water cases can be as much as the cameras depending how deep you want to go. OR you could just get your self a Go-Pro Hero with a water case. It's much less money but it's much less of a camera as well.

    These are the sort of things you have to way up yourself.

  8. #8


    hey thanx! how do you know which camera he used?!! the price for that one isnt so bad... i mean with time i can eventually save the money; i already have a couple of pentax lenses so maybe i can find a similar pentax one

  9. #9


    You can see him putting it in the water case in the video. BUT I got it wrong it's a 1D which is the 5D's big brother. You also have to consider the price of the lens which would be another 1200. You could look at used versions on Ebay.
    Last edited by Midnight Blue; 03-28-2012 at 10:13 PM.

  10. #10


    hmmm yea... the 1d mk3 doesnt have microphone .... and the 1d mk4 is too expensive.... the 5d might be fine, i read good comments (surf video) about it in another forum,

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