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Pat HughesForum for Newbie?
by on Jul 6, 2015 at 6:28:10 pm

I want to videotape elderly people and terminally ill people giving their memoirs, etc., for their children and relatives. I have so much to learn and am anxious to learn and getting started. I only have a Sony camcorder that is about 8 years old. I don't see a forum for newbies. Are their any suggestions in where I can get the training needed to do this. I do want to do this as a business but am thinking I want to do it on a sliding scale so that if people don't have much money it would be a lot cheaper where if people have a lot of money it would cost more. Thank-y'all very much.


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Tim WilsonRe: Forum for Newbie?
by on Jul 6, 2015 at 9:38:56 pm

Hi Pat,

Thanks for coming to the site and diving right in today! I confess to running a bit behind, but I'll get to all of your posts as quickly as I can.

(And thanks for the kind words to me too!)

Here's the thing. As you can see by the ads around these pages, Creative COW is built by and for folks who are already working in TV, film, and corporate video in particular.

We certainly also have a meaningful contingent of other folks, including owner-operators and hopefuls like yourself. I think we do a really good job at not distinguishing between those, too. Everybody has questions, everybody has answers. The tools humble us all in the end. LOL

But speaking perfectly honestly, we really don't have much to offer on the breadth of questions you have. Absolutely no disrespect intended!!! I love the sound of what you're trying to do. We also have a TON of people who are doing EXACTLY what you're talking about with oral history -- they just tend to be doing it in the context of careers in television or documentary filmmaking, rather than trying to make THAT the business. Make sense?

So, the more specific the questions you have, the more likely you are to find answers here, but I have to confess that we may not be your best fit. The folks at Videomaker.com, for example, are dear friends and colleagues. No shortage of technical knowledge or creativity there for sure, but their business and career (or post-career) orientations may be of more use to you.

As you poke around the web, a phrase to keep your eye peeled for is "event videography." The titular "events" are primarily family oriented -- weddings, bat mitzvahs, etc, but I also knew a number of people specializing in memorial videos, sort of a mini-documentary on the recently passed loved one that includes lots of family reminiscences. As a result, the event videography field focuses discussion on professional and personal skills for human contact (rather than primarily technical operation), and on building a self-owned or family-owned business (rather than operating within an established one) are core values.

I don't visit as many event videography groups as I used to, but I was always intrigued that they were largely family-run, quite often with dad in his second or "retirement" career, with mom and a grown child or two taking part as well. I love that! In any case, certainly very entrepreneurial, and very sensitive to sliding-scale business models.

I want to underscore that I don't think your work is at all "beneath" us, or that newbies aren't welcome at Creative COW. I'm only speaking about aligning priorities, in order to suggest the shortest possible distance for you between your questions and the best answers.

So, if you see a place to ask a specific question here, by all means do. But do consider communities like Videomaker.com and event videography communities that are more specifically focused on the questions you have.

And by all means, feel free to follow up here, and I'll do my best to help you. As long as it's nothing too specific! LOL I've been out of the game for a while, and am really mostly just doing forum stuff these days.

All the best,

Tim Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW


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