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Most profitable type of videography

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Rick Ward
Most profitable type of videography
on Mar 16, 2012 at 6:51:20 pm

I've been considering getting into wedding videography. I would like to produce weddings with quality that deserves around $3000 (eventually), but with all the editing involved, I'm wondering if this is the best bang for buck. I know from research and experience that editing a wedding requires around 40 hours. Would I not be better off producing 10 - $300 web commercials for local businesses that would require less editing?

In other words, I'm looking for opinions on what field of videography is the most lucrative per hour.

Thanks,
Rick


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Most profitable type of videography
on Mar 17, 2012 at 6:12:50 pm

Legal depositions. Sometimes $250 an hour (I've heard of more) with almost no editing - just a finished DVD. Profitability is up to you. What are you making on a $3k wedding gig? The $300 webmercial? The higher the number, the better the chance for profit. A $300 job can only make you $300, but a $3000 wedding video can make you up to $3000.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Rick Ward
Re: Most profitable type of videography
on Mar 20, 2012 at 5:10:57 pm

I think you're right about the legal depositions, if only it weren't mind numbingly boring.

The point I was trying to make about a wedding job versus webmercial is that a wedding requires much more time. If you factor in editing, attending rehearsal, 8-10 hours day of, you're looking at 55-60 hours. So if you charge $3000 and net $2600 after expenses (second shooter, transportation, etc.) Then $2600/60 = $43 / hr. But if you can crank out a webmercial in 4 hours then you are looking at more like 250/4 = $62.5 / hr.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Most profitable type of videography
on Mar 20, 2012 at 7:14:04 pm

Yeah but...now I'll play devil's advocate:

I like the idea of a web commercial for $300 (I charge more for mine), but where is it costing you $50 out of pocket? I would think gas (at almost $4 a gallon and up), food (those prices are going up, too), and equipment (not even counting crew) would wind up costing you more, but you can't be including your equipment amortization, insurance, rent, office, software, hardware, etc.

Breaking it down hourly isn't really gonna help you decide which is more profitable. If you do 10 web videos a month, you have at least 40 hours and you make 2500 profit. If you do 1 wedding video, you make 2600. I'm betting you do way more than 4 hours of work on a single web video, though. For me, its the pre-prod planning with the client (storyboards, sketches, sample graphics, research), writing up a script if needed, getting it all formatted and timed in the teleprompter, lots of emails and phone calls, 30+ min of driving both ways, setup and teardown, 2-4 hours of shooting, then its transcode the footage, edit the footage, add info-graphics, graphics and lower-thirds, sync the audio, add music, export, convert to display format (web, DVD, BluRay, etc.), upload and/or burn to disk. Wait, forgot to get client approval! Backtrack, backtrack...

Whew. I'm into the video for about 8-16 hours already and that's assuming everything went well with no problems, mistakes, equipment failures, or just plain Murphy's Law. Most of the time isn't really billable hours (like emails, processing, driving, etc.), but its still time you have to spend working on the project whether you get paid or not. I find the less gross pay I get, the less I'm apt to take the job. I just think 10 web videos are way more work than 1 wedding video. Web videos are a great way to get started though and once you have a few to show, it makes it easier to get commercial work, corporate work, etc. so there's that.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Julie Conroy
Re: Most profitable type of videography
on May 21, 2012 at 3:48:49 pm

You have to factor in your sales time as well. You need to find the brides. Meet with the brides. Marketing costs in both time and dollars. Same with the commercial clients. You need to work out what and how you will be shooting. You will need a storyboard and a script. It is way more time than the day of shooting and editing. Whatever you choose, you should above all really enjoy what you are doing.


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