back-up camera & marketing a new video business...
I have the following questions:
1. I am entering the field of event videography and have not yet purchased a DV camera. I have been renting a PD-150 to shoot weddings. However, I am planning on purchasing a camera in the near future and assume that I should probably purchase a camera with HD capabilities, as this seems to be the next progression in this industry. My main concern is the need to have a back-up camera. Most videographers have stated that you need to have a second camera in case your main camera fails during a wedding or other one-shot event. Does this mean that I need to purchase two HD cams (which will obviously run around 10k)? Or is there a more cost-effective way to accomplish this? Also, it seems like a waste to have this second camera mainly going unused as it is a designated "back-up" model. I was thinking that maybe a camera like a Canon GL2 might be a good back-up model, if I don't need two HD models. If a problem occurred, I could tell my clients that I was unable to capture in HD, but at least I would still have their wedding covered. I plan on hiring another videographer to be my second camera at all my weddings. He/she would have his own equipment. Any suggestions regarding this issue are greatly appreciated.
2. My next question is in regard to marketing (probably the biggest task any new business must face). Do you have any suggestions as to the most effective way to market a new video business? Thanks for your reply.
Your first question can actually be answered with marketing answers as well.
Namely, you should always tell a couple before they book you WHAT will happen if something happens to your main camera at their shoot. That's a marketing choice, pure and simple. It doesn' matter what you say, just remember that the sale is probably riding on it.
I offer 2 and 3 camera packages. I tell the 2-camera people about the 3rd camera and say I have it with me in case something goes wrong. I tell them that in the AMAZING chance that something happens to two of them I will continue to shoot with 1 camera, they'll still get a very nice video, and they'll get 50% off at the end. Obviously, nothing like that is probably going to ever happen, but they feel better knowing there's a plan.
My 3-camera package gets the same deal, it's just SLIGHTLY more likely that there'd be a problem since only one camera would have to go down to invoke the deal. It's never happened, though.
You have to decide what you'd be willing to give up. If have to tell people "A problem with my main camera will result in 'X' and for that you would get 'Y.'
As long as you tell them up front you can make 'X' and 'Y' whatever you want. Just remember that they have to make the client comfortable enough to hire you. A better 'Y' can allow more latitude in 'X' and visa versa. It's up to you to balance thm.