Hi everyone! After 20 years in the business I decided to write a book to help producers trying to grow beyond solo-working and into running their own production companies. I’m 99% there, with publication in June/July - but I’m looking for some extra input to fill some of the gaps. Really hoping for community input, with attribution of course! What are your thoughts on any/all of these questions -
1. How do you find new business? - Paid advertising, business networking, or just pursuing cold-contacts (LinkedIn, social media etc?) I recently spoke with some film students who were finding video production work for influencers via Instagram and Twitch... I learn something new all the time!
2. Has the ‘gig economy’ (freelancer.com, guru.com, upwork, or fiverr etc) impacted the way you work? Do you find clients there? Positive or negative experience?
3. Do you pitch for work via aggregation sites (Movidiam, Genero) and have you had any successful commissions?
4. What advice would you give to someone new to the business? (Mine: Charge realistic money from the outset, making videos for the love of creativity is great - but that’s a hobby, not an income).
Thanks in advance for any contribution you might care to make, I’ll stay in touch with contributors and set them up with an ebook/PDF version of the finished book to say thanks.
"What advice would you give to someone new to the business?"
Welding school. The money's better.
More seriously... this is, to my mind, a new Golden Age of production; so much more content being produced and so many more platforms to show it on, seems like a lot more people can break into the biz and make a go of it. That's not exactly true, or, more accurately, that's only -partly- true. There's more production, there's more content, but it's fighting a lot more competing content, all of it competing for the same original number of eyeballs, on lower budgets than historically considered "normal". this drives profit margins into the basement, so only mega-hits pay off their startup costs and make profits. Then everybody slavishly copies a recent "winner", ignoring other potentially better properties and ideas because they're risk-averse. That's always been the case in Hollywood. But now, the tools have made everything cheaper to do, IF you know what you're doing. I wonder at how much more a young Roger Corman could do with the tools of today, versus back in his prime. There's more content out there, but more of it is also of relatively lower quality, technically or creatively, because the "money barrier" of production costs used to filter out those wannabees who weren't competent enough to arrange enough money and technical talent to do a job right. Maybe "Golden Age" isn't the best name for it; it's a new "Wild West". We as consumers benefit from having more choices. For producers, it's less expensive to make a show but harder to get it to pay it's way.
Thanks Mark. Yes - I agree, I’m sure some people think the road is paved with gold, but having a solid understanding of the harsh realities of doing business is one of the keys to success in such a very crowded sector.