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Re: Legal Videography Business

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Michael McCune
Re: Legal Videography Business
on Nov 11, 2014 at 6:02:33 am

Anecdotal evidence, as it were: I trained for legal video depo work as a new career path. Had lots of video and audio tech background, so no problem there. I also thought I would use much of this equip to also get into something like corporate or wedding videography, perhaps as a second shooter.

Learned: the very friendly and helpful person who spent many hours training me in his method did not seem to have upcoming work sufficient to keep me even somewhat busy. But here is the real lesson: the equipment needed -- no substitutes -- was ancient.

That is, as mentioned above, an old (really obsolete) video camera which has SD out, a cassette (yes, cassette) recorder, a DVD recorder (household type), not great mics, some rigged-up cabling to connect it all, including headphones for the shooter and the court reporter. None of this equip was good enough to use for other ventures, such as wedding video. And just finding a cassette recorder or DVD recorder meant going to Radio Shack or eBay.

Why this equip??? This guy worked for another larger legal depo company and it was they who REQUIRED that a DVD and cassette be given to their court reporter on site at the end of the depo. No chance to duplicate it later.

In sum, it might have been a few thousand thousand dollars of old (unreliable) equip that could not be used otherwise. Compare the required setup as described here with some current camcorders that allow dual (redundant) recording as HD MP4 files with excellent digital audio. Just hand them an SD card. But not a chance.

He also made it very clear that in his years doing this work that the source of clients has shifted to larger companies who in turn hire the shooters. So the money is less and they call the shots. This means that a new shooter would likely have to connect with such a larger company to get work.

BTW, I did not find this work totally boring but one certainly had to stay awake: absolutely no nodding or looking sleepy even after three hours of droning by the attorney.

So that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Best wishes,

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