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Demand for corporate video production

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Markus335Demand for corporate video production
by on Jan 28, 2007 at 11:58:45 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to get a handle on how much, or how little opportunity exists these days for an independent video producer in the corporate field, especially mid and small businesses. Along with my plans to speak with as many business owners/managers as I can, I thought I'd ask here. I come from a post production background (promos, interstitials, news magazine style shows, cable, satellite) with a decent set of DV gear (DVX 100A, lights, mics, Avid etc.) and I want to establish myself in this field.

In this age of affordable cameras, computers and edit software, do you think that there's a viable market for producers, especially one man shops (produce, direct, write, edit)? Or, has this market been diluted by business owners/managers who feel they can cut the costs and do it themselves? Or, do they even want or need video at all?

Thanks in advance for your input.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Demand for corporate video production
by on Jan 29, 2007 at 2:31:22 am

In another thread I said I believe the trend nowadays for mid to low level companies is to outsource everything. That's good for you.
There's lots of opportunity but it is all in a small circle, is the problem. And yes, you will be competing to a point with "Bob" in accounting, who has a Pinnacle card on his spreadsheet computer, some shareware NLE app, and a Dv camcorder with no mic, lights or tripod. but the kind of jobs "Bob" can get from his boss are almost never high-stakes enough to warrant a level of pay worth your time anyhow.

The bulk of the good jobs are based on referrals and repeat business with established "known quantities", which is a barrier to you. The people hiring for these things are risk-averse, and you have an uphill slog convincing them they are right to risk their job and company money on your performance. They will also use the asymmetrical nature of your business relationship to try and grind you down on your price, while raising expectations unreasonably.

Typically how someone like you might break into this is to first get sub-contracted for a part of a job being done by someone else, someone bigger perhaps, who is swamped and needs added temporary capacity. You'd want to get on as a shooter or editor for one of the more established people doing this in your area. You can make contacts thru the local gear rental places as well as by attending local association meetings and the like.

Otherwise you'll be competing at a disadvantage against established guys. In that arena your only likely clients are businesses who have never done anything like this before at all.

This is not the kind of job, I feel, where you can go door-to-door cold-calling, saying; "Hi, I'd like to make your next training or marketing video!" Unless you're well-briefed on the company and their needs and wants and resources, you have little to offer to sell yourself to them, from their POV.

I do feel though that if you don't mind concentrating on a narrow field, you can get a foot in the door.

What I'm getting at is, if you get familiar enough with one particular industry, meet and befriend the people in it, you eventually develop the right contacts to get hired for a lot of projects.

Let's say you love hang gliding. You can map out a strategy of going to the fly-ins and conventions and association meetings shooting stuff "on spec" and showing it and making contacts, all the time dropping the hint about what you do.

Comes the day the guy at ABC Rogallo wings wants to make a dog and pony show video for a sales booth, he's likely to first check his mental Rolodex for people he knows and trusts that he could work with. At that point, you can flog yourself as a producer; the intermediary that understands and connects what they want with what the technology can deliver, and mediates that process for them.

For a very reasonable sum;-)

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Markus335Re: Demand for corporate video production
by on Jan 29, 2007 at 4:28:45 pm


Thanks for your reply. This is the second time recently that I've been advised to "go narrow", to find a niche market and work it specifically. It kind of goes against instinct: I want to cast as wide a net as possible in the hopes of catching anything that flops into it :)

You said you believe that there is opportunity especially since "outsourcing" is such a trend. In a way, all I need is some indication that the work is out there. I'm willing to do what it takes. And as for the DIY'ers,thanks for pointing out that Bob in accounting would be doing jobs that I wouldn't want to do anyhow.


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Mike_SRe: Demand for corporate video production
by on Jan 30, 2007 at 9:08:15 am

Hi Markus

At a guess, the camera side might be tricky for you. If I were a prospective client, I'd want to see a great reel. Mark has offered great "getting started" advice - pick a niche you love, really master it at "subject" level, made a great piece of video - that could both launch you into that market and open the door to you for wider work.

But we all find it hard to listen to advice which "goes against instinct" .... good luck with it.

If you can come up with a good answer to the inevitable client question "why would I work with this person?" - and back that up with solid evidence - then you have a shot.


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Tim KolbRe: Demand for corporate video production
by on Feb 2, 2007 at 11:35:42 pm

I think the biggest hurdle has been well identified.

If you have production experience as an employee somewhere, you may want to attempt to leverage that.

Also...I would not start a video business with standard definition would be like opening an LP stamping facility. Yes, most of what you would deliver would be standard def for the forseeable future, but having HD capability (probably HDV) is going to present the widest possible scope of opportunities in my opinion...

Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,

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adamtspvideoRe: Demand for corporate video production
by on Feb 23, 2007 at 9:41:02 pm

Hi Markus,

Send me your resume. We can talk.

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Markus335Re: Demand for corporate video production
by on Feb 23, 2007 at 11:59:48 pm

Adam - Where would it be sent?


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