Hmm…I guess I’m looking for some general advice for a question that only I can answer...
However, any thoughts on the matter are greatly appreciated.
First, I work full time as head of a video and webcast department, which allows me a lot of freedom but not necessarily the most exciting subjects. In the past I have always hired out camera crews and then did the editing in-house. I’m the only person in my department but can hire staff to help out if the work load get a bit crazy.
So, I have been doing this for awhile and now I would like to take on a bit of a challenge – purchase some interview lighting and camera equipment and start to do the bulk of the shooting myself and perhaps hire a local sound guy/ gal.
So pretty much direct, shoot and edit the bulk of our work.
Off the top of my head there seems to be a lot of advantages for me: specifically learning more about shooting/camera work and composition. Negatives are the possibility of being over worked and the steep learning curve.
The company seems keen and is willing to front the cash since the level of incoming work seems to justify it.
So…is this a bad idea to pursue? Does any one else on the forum do something similar?
Well, having the stuff there means you will be able to respond quickly to any sudden instant requests for a taping. Is that something that's likely to happen a lot?
You doing more shooting does mean less time for editing. But you gain more control over the process creatively.
I like being the shooter, director, and editor all at the same time, because the editor in me will not leave the director and shooter sides alone until we're all three sure there is enough proper coverage and all the proper optional shots have been taken, the sound is good, etc...
As the writer/producer, I like to see the shooting done exactly the way I envisioned it. But, for standard bust shot sit-down interviews, is it really all that creatively complicated?
Kind of a threadjack, but tangentially related:
I do a lot of training shoots with lecturers talking while running their powerpoint slides. I really don't consider this the best use of the medium and I die inside a little every time I have to do it, but it puts food on the table.
But while daydreaming a little during a boring bit, I thought about what I could do to streamline the process, and what I would really like is a custom plate on the studio pedestal with two identical cameras on it as close together as possible. I would pre-set the lenses so one is a closeup and one the wider shot. I live switch these things typically to save time but it would be a nice rig to use in things that will be edited later as well, like interviews, because you have everything you need in one take, no need to go back and re-shoot a bit because of a blown line of dialog, and you have two angles to cut with.
In training video lectures I would put the dual cams behind a large 45-degree beamsplitter and prompter screen so the lecturer could just see their PPT slides yet still make perfect eye contact with the cameras. I kind of do this now with two tripods next to each other and staggered cameras but the eyelines are not quite right due to excessive parellax problems, and the ppt monitor is below the lens instead of in front of it. Works okay but could be better.
I've been in your shoes before. I've been a one-man video operation for a large global corporation. What I always preferred to do is hire a freelance crew to use our equipment. Give them direction and let the set-up, light, and shoot the video. You are the Director. You work with the internal clients.
Corporate video is all about perception. If you're perceived to be the camera person, you'll never be promoted. If you're the director, leading your crew, dealing with the client and even editing the video, the respect level of others will go up.
Sure shoot those small quick videos...but bring in good people to work with you on any time consuming projects. Once others start seeing the quality of what you're delivering, you'll get busier, and won't have time to light, shoot, edit, etc. Good luck
Many thanks for your thoughts
Its very helpful
One important concept to this is security. I'm where you want to be but it is not for those who are not prepared to be serious risk takers. If you worry about your mortgage payment, phone bill, obsess with having " cushion of money in the bank...
then this might not be for you.
You should add about 1500 / 2000 per month to your income requirements for GOOD health insurance
Now, if your wife/partner/ etc has a full benefit package and you don;t have to worry about heath insurnace , then go for it.
If you have about 30 - 40 K laying in the bank for the occasional neck, shoulder, back injury, gal bladder attack, knee operation, or heavens forbit.. worse ( and then you'll need a lot mor money..)
then youre good to go.
Me.. I have a diversivied income.. my wife has a govt. job. if I was on my own, I'd might just homeless right now! ( and she's the worrier, not me!)
just another perspective... but then again, if the work is there, and you are aware of being responsible enough not to loose your shirt over a medical issue.. then man.. Go FOR IT!!