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Re: Demo ideas for a starter who has no product video footage.

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John Schroeder
Re: Demo ideas for a starter who has no product video footage.
on Dec 22, 2002 at 11:16:20 pm

I should have qualified my last statement when I quoted a friend in the biz, "get out while you still can" (only half jesting). At the time when he told me that I was pretty green, I also was also coming from a background in music, musician side and I thought Corporate video would be a great way to make money and still be creative. The truth of the matter is video production is a great career, its fun, its ever changing and challenging but those are the good aspects of the biz, on the darker side, creativity at least at the industrial level is stymied quite often by budgetary constraints and close minded people. Often times a great production idea gets really watered down by the clients ideas and it ends up being only a shell of its concepted self. Unlike most mid-level music recording, in industrial production, creativity almost always takes a backseat to purpose and in fact that is how it should be. Its a business that revolves around the client and often what the client wants is very different than what you want to give them. But of course the right choice is to do whats best for them. Then theres the marketing, depending on your area you could have one hell of a time breaking in and as you're breaking in you will first pick up the clients that run around looking for bargains or the ones who have no idea what they want and switch production companies to try and find it. They're tough clients and its hard to stay motivated and if your in a tight market you will deal with hostile competition, whether you agree with it or not, its a fact in certain markets. I think my friend saw the idealism in my eyes and gave me a word of warning, albeit in a slightly tactless way. Was he looking out for his little piece of the market, hell yes! Did I appreciate the advice? Well actually I wondered what exactly he meant by it. I didn't get an explaination but over the past 4 years I found out what he meant. What he really wanted to say was, "John, as rewarding as this business can be it is also a very difficult business. You won't get rich and you'll work long hours but if you love to create and you love a real challenge then by all means, GO FOR IT!"

If you just chalk up this POV as coming from someone who is afraid of competition, or doesn't like video or isn't good enough to compete, that is your choice but you asked for opinions and info I'm giving you some from my experience. When it comes to trying to discourage you, if you're gonna make it in this biz a few e-mailed messages won't stop you from pursuing what you enjoy. I know because tough advice didn't stop me, in fact I wish they'd been a bit more specific, it would have saved me a couple of headaches and some money.

In regards to the demo, are you targeting non-profits or corporations?

When I started I used whatever I could throw together at the time. You can kill yourself trying to create the perfect demo the first time around. As long as the footage you currently have is of good quality you should be able to cut something together that will work. Clients don't always need to see a perfect comparison of the video you're pitching for, often they just want to make sure you produce a good quality product. Try repurposing your current content.

John Schroeder

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