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robertbec
how do i start
on Oct 23, 2005 at 8:16:51 am

Hi there
I am a wedding/special events videographer that would like to get into the corporate video side of work but dont know where to start has anyone got any info on how to get my foot in the door


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Mike_S
Re: how do i start
on Oct 25, 2005 at 5:10:02 pm

Hi Robert

One approach might be to imagine yourself in the position of a buyer in the corporate video field - they are amazingly varied, but mostly want a good job, well done, at a fair price, by someone pleasant and professional. Then, some want specialist subject knowledge or at least empathy with their field; some want glossy effects; some just want a technician to record and edit under their direction.

So what would convince you, as a buyer, that you as a potential supplier would fit the bill? When you have a good answer to that, and can support it with the kind of visual material / showreel / whatever that you think might help, you could try contacting potential customers and pitching what you have to offer. Advertising will help, too, once you have enough business to justify it.

Oftentimes people (corporate video buyers) buy on price and confidence, without even asking to see showreel - so what do you need to do / have / offer, so that you can you build that confidence?

Good luck with it; now how would you advise a specialist in another area on how to break into weddings and special events ..??!!

Mike


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Mark Suszko
Re: how do i start
on Oct 27, 2005 at 4:09:25 pm

I'm joking, but do a wedding for someone in a corporation you want to work for?

On the serious side, start by not calling yourself a wedding guy but an events video producer. If you have contacts at a hotel where you video wedding receptions often, ask them to give you referrals for corporate meetings at the hotel. Some will say no because they have an in-house or full-time contractual account for this already. But maybe they don't. That could be a big break for you. You could offer to tape seminars and meetings at the hotel, and turn-around fast copies and editing. The next step would be to move up into IMAG gigs for bigger projects/budgets. Then you start marketing yourself as a corporate event producer. From there marketing yourself as available for in-house work would be easier. The funny thing about hotel shoots is, they can often be low-rent, easy-money gigs with one talking head at a podium and some powerpoints, or at the other extreme the can be really plush, multicam high-roller affairs with CEO's and fancy staging, IMAG, satellite feeds, theatrical effects, etc. needing big crews, fancy gear and costing thousands and thousands.


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robertbec
Re: how do i start
on Oct 29, 2005 at 7:59:28 am

that's for the info Mark just one thing what does IMAG mean
also i am looking at buying a wireless mic i see they keep talking about iriver mp3 what are some good systems out there that i can have a look at and what type of on-camera lights are good

thanks for you help
Robert


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debe
Re: how do i start
by
on Oct 30, 2005 at 4:46:59 pm

IMAG= Image Magnification.

Fancy word for shooting the stage at an event and putting it up on a screen on stage so the audience can see what/who's on stage better.

debe


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Tim Kolb
Re: how do i start
on Nov 7, 2005 at 2:07:23 pm

I think that the biggest hole in many corporate producer's skillset is being able to learn, and then handle, content. If you want to work for General Electric's Jet Engine guys, it wouldn't hurt to bone up a bit...

Keep in mind that as you get new clients, you will have to acquire new knowledge. But knowing what their competitive position is and who their competitors are will help you if you are making a sales video, the industry's major safety concerns if you're making a safety video, etc.

Google and the web are the best weapon ever devised for this purpose...

I would start with smaller companies where you may have to do something for free or absurdly discounted to start your reel. Approach these jobs for small clients as you would a large one. You can't pull in large clients with projects that look like they are low budget (even though they were).




TimK,

Kolb Syverson Communications,
Creative Cow Host,
2004-2005 NAB Post Production Conference
Premiere Pro Technical Chair,
Author, "The Easy Guide to Premiere Pro" http://www.focalpress.com
"Premiere Pro Fast Track DVD Series" http://www.classondemand.net


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Steve Eisen
Re: how do i start
on Nov 8, 2005 at 1:50:56 pm

Qulifications for a wedding videographer. Know how to turn camera on and press record. No experience necessary!

Corporate world, experience needed. Get educated.

G5 Dual 2.5 160GB System 400GB Media Drive ATI 9800 256MB 6 GB RAM
Dual Gig Quicksilver 1GB RAM 80 GB System drive (3) 250 GB internal media storage
15" Al Powerbook 1.25 1GB RAM
OS 10.4.2 FCP 5, DVDSP 4, QT 7.02, Boris Red 3GL 2.45 TB External Stor


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Tim Kolb
Re: how do i start
on Nov 8, 2005 at 3:30:40 pm

[Steve Eisen] "Qulifications for a wedding videographer. Know how to turn camera on and press record. No experience necessary!

Corporate world, experience needed. Get educated."



I'd be careful about this sort of characterization. Many wedding videographers I know make more money than I do and do very artful production. Most of what they shoot is a one-time thing and most of what I do can be repeated until it's right.

I've also seen my share of corporate videographers who don't have the foggiest clue...




TimK,

Kolb Syverson Communications,
Creative Cow Host,
2004-2005 NAB Post Production Conference
Premiere Pro Technical Chair,
Author, "The Easy Guide to Premiere Pro" http://www.focalpress.com
"Premiere Pro Fast Track DVD Series" http://www.classondemand.net


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robertbec
Re: how do i start
on Nov 9, 2005 at 4:23:48 am

thanks for the feed back
So tell me how can i get educated what type of courses are out there. do they expect you to use apple or is pc fine
i see Steve has put info down about apple is this a requirement

thanks


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Mark Suszko
Re: how do i start
on Nov 9, 2005 at 5:38:29 am

Robert:

The question you're asking doesn't have an easy answer. Not the way you're asking it.
"Corporate video" is a very wide term, covering so many different kinds of work, performed at various levels of budget and craft. It encompases everything from copying a canned powerpoint slide show onto DVD's and videocassette, to lining up and overseeing far-flung live satellite feeds, special effects, etc. for a gigantic live show in front of thousands of people, or travelling to exotic locations to shoot product photography. Or trying to get images of the invisible, in some lab or workshop. It could involve many aspects of production, or be confined to one narrow area, such as DVD authoring. Or animation. Or sound. And even there, to do that one job right, you need to have experience in a lot of overlapping disciplines. You can be doing training tapes, or commercials, or public relations/news work, or forensic documentation, teleconferencing, or web video/streaming... just to name a couple things. There isn't one book, one teacher, one "right" way to learn "everything" about it. "It" is too big to be contained that way. Most people only think of TV as broadcast TV, news and entertainment. Corporate covers not only those, but everything else too! I got into it back when it was called "Industrial" video, and was considered a secondary or tertiary part of the overall "business". The name change reflects the expanded universe of possibilities.

For people wanting to break into it, I advise you read as much about it as you can from various sources, decide which aspects of the field appeal to your talents and creative inclinations, then work towards that part specifically, while learning as much as you can stand about all the other puzzle pieces of the business. Production courses at a community college or community access station might help if they concentrate on the key areas you're interested in.

Me, I like to write, produce, direct, and edit. Writing and directing and editing I feel are my strengths; producing, I do because I have to, to get the writing done my way. But I don't always get to write, sometimes I get stuff handed to me and my job is to polish it up and make it all work somehow. Shooting, I can do fine, but as time goes on, I feel pulled more in one direction than another, and I can let shooting go, let someone else cover it if I'm concentrating more on something else in the production.

I still like to be the all-around generalist "Renaissance Man", don't get me wrong, but when the stakes get sufficiently high, I am willing to expand my team of one to working with a crew, where each can do their specialty better than I can. And it's getting ever more difficult to BE a competent generalist, with things like authoring, streaming, compositing, animation, etc. If you were really good at just ONE of these, you could make a good living at it, somewhere.

I think maybe one way to look at it is: generalists tend to be full-time on-staff hires, and specialists are brought in most often as freelancers to do a specific job only, then split. Though they may get called back to do that one-shot gig many times for the same company, they typically work for many places, where the generalist hunkers down at one place to handle the most common jobs they have full-time.

So, what part of the business attracts you most, Robert? Start reading up on it at sites like this one and others, check out books in your library that relate to it, peruse the more obscure categories at Amazon for even more sources, read some of the trade magazines. Then start building a resume', reel or portfolio of stuff to show when you interview, any way you can.

You may or may not get a lot more specific recommendations than that, because to many people's way of thinking, the first step in seeing if you're cut out for this is: do you want it bad enough to self-direct your research, show initiative? Corporate work is part of business, and business is cutthroat and unforgiving; you need to be able to stand on your own feet most of the time, have more answers than questions. Also, Corporate people specifically want to hire people that come "pre-trained", because frankly, they mostly don't know anything about how to do these jobs themselves - they are looking for people that solve their problems, not learn a job on their time.

Makes for a "chicken/egg" situation, for sure. You beat that by starting with one specialty you can master, and you build up skills as you go on from there over time.
This is why I suggested the hotel shooting gigs for you as a good entre' to Corporate work. I got my first corporate gigs after 4 years of college learning the craft and some practical experience thru hands-on internships, so even though I had no resume, I came into the interviews with training.

This is why I suggested the hotel AV stuff for you as a logical beginning: At the start, the entry-level versions of those jobs only require you to be a good shooter and manage good audio, plus understand basic connectivity of A/V gear - how to set up laptops, projectors, etc... You have a head start on that with your wedding work.

After you shoot a bunch of these, get repeat business from the hotel and other hotels in town, you branch out as a freelancer, make contacts, and you can maybe find work on larger corporate theatre type productions: multicamera jobs where you might be the IMAG camera guy, or run a mixer and wireless microphones, or the light board, or a character generator, etc. As the jobs get bigger and the people that hire you build a trust (and you add to your skills), the time will come where you get a break on some project, doing more than you ever expected. You will have switched from being a simple hired hand techie to a producer. Then many doors can open for you, if you play it smart.

It's not fast. And not immediately exceptionally lucrative.
But it's one possible path. You start down that path by picking a direction.
What do you like to do best?



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robertbec
Re: how do i start
on Nov 9, 2005 at 8:17:45 am

firstly thanks for your great response.
My main passion is editing and when i am shooting a wedding i do like to be in control of what is being recoreded not just follow the photographer and hope he sets the scene
I will take your advise and get in contact with hotels and hopefully i can provide my services.

Thanks once again for your advice

Cheers
Robert.


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