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" Worth It Anymore"??

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Andy jackson" Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 1, 2011 at 8:50:57 am

I started in the video production business in 1986 at the age of 16 working for two well established companies in my area. I`m now 41.

I got very lucky at the time to get the both jobs by sending out cvs (if thats what you can call them when your 15 years old)over a one year period.

Obviously I worked for free with the first company for 6 months so they could try me out and then I ended up working for them for 5 years.
They produced event and sport videos for football clubs, speedway etc.
There was issues though. Money was only coming from the sale of copies and only sold when teams did really well e.g. won by 3 goals to 0 etc.
Some jobs would not generate any income at all and also with theives (which they are) making illegal vhs and beta copies, this put the company in a very bad situation and they ended up closing down.

I then moved on to the second company 3 months later with the knowledge I had gained from the previous.
They were producing mostly corporate productions. Very good company to work for, 8 years in total.
They were producing programs on High Band umatic sp and betacam sp systems. Very expensive at the time and then suddenly everything went digital.

Ohh nooo....! This is when it all started to go wrong!

The company had invested alot of money in their equipment.
They had long lease problems and as digital equipment was now cheaper to purchase, the one man band was established and started to jump on the band waggon.

The company ended up closing down due to corporate budgets falling, so I thought thats enough for working for companies lets join the wonderful world of self employment and the freelance minefield.

What a hard stressful mistake!

I should have learnt from the companies I worked for.

Ive now been in the video business from the age of 16 to the age i am now (41) with all the marketing knowledge, expertise and equipment you could need.

I can tell you it has not been easy.

Its been difficult all them years trying to get jobs with good pay to keep my head above water and to feed my family.

There seems to be no value in professional video services anymore.

Most companies have pcs with free editing software and a £150.00 video camera and will point, shoot and upload to their website and be done with.

The most annoying thing is that I am now trying to compete with university students.
They go out and do videos for free on the equipment that i have paid for through my taxes. It should not be allowed.
I understand they have to learn the craft somwhere but why not just do it on campus. If it carries on there will be no companies left to work for.

Actually I think it is happening now.... Yellow pages advert had 12 video companys advertising last year. This year there is only one. Will obviously see more adverts next year then gone the year after.
Oh well.... This industry has gone to the dogs..... May as well sign on. at least I will feel worth something.

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Noah KadnerRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 1, 2011 at 1:54:53 pm

Yeah it's tough- really depends on the market, etc. And also finding clients that value a specific level of service over bottom-line pricing. Competing with a kid with a DSLR and a MacBook will put ya right out of business.


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Mark SuszkoRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 1, 2011 at 3:48:40 pm

[Noah Kadner] "Competing with a kid with a DSLR and a MacBook will put ya right out of business"

So don't. You can't afford to compete with that. The "answer" is to work harder to find the clients that will pay you what your work is worth. They could be in other fields, in more specialized niches. You have to concentrate on the things you do, that the college kid can't do. You can't compete in an arena where the work is commoditized and price is the only consideration. They call that a "race to the bottom". You have to find high-margin work, and it may involve acquiring new or additional skill sets to enable you to play in that arena. When you can't find the job you want, you may have to first create it. No, it isn't easy, it is simple to say stuff like this, and much harder to DO it, and I don't for a second envy your situation. Most of us would much rather work at our craft than take time away from it to be salesmen and marketers. But without patrons, you die a starving artist. The alternative is to quit the biz and go into something else with higher margins and more opportunity, for less stress.

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Andy jacksonRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 1, 2011 at 6:03:01 pm

If it does not pick up by the end of the year I may just do that.

Long time since I`ve had a guaranteed monthly paycheck.

Could do any brain dead job for the minimum wage and get some tax credits on top. Could earn around 250 week.
Better still become a binman 350 week.

Will probably earn more than I`ve done over the past 2 years.

It seems that creatives are in the worst paid jobs at the moment and no one values it.

When i get a call for a job (probably about 1 every 3 months) and thats with marketing in all types of sectors their first question is "how much will it cost" not can i see your work.

Most companies now want videos done in-house on the cheap by a geek employee who likes to play around in his spare time. Does not matter if its professionaly put together, all they want is the message to get across and then posted on their site or crappy youtube.

They will buy a cheap 150 camcorder and use some free editing software of the web or better still purchase the FCP 10 software if their mac based now for 190 pounds.
Apple have reduced their software prices as have Avid.
This either proves they are struggling or the market is oversaturated with so called video experts who now have the market monopoly on the prices they will pay.

More people are starting their one man band video companies.
Clients are now playing one against the other because they know there is so many of us in the business to get the best deal.
Ever video guy wants the business so they will bid the lowest rate and so on.
I hear the sentence alot that not all video producers will play the lowest bid game but in reality they do...I know!

Have you checked the site "people per hour"-- This will prove my point.

Funny enough i lost a job today due to a school wanting to film their show (which was booked 5 months ago)but at the last minute copyright issues from the writers put a stop to it. Made 150 deposit but also lost 1000.00 in orders. Its disheartning.

In this business you can never plan your future.
You never know what or when work is coming in.
Most jobs are one offs then you have to look again for more work.
Never any solid guaranteed contracts.
No guarnteed salary.... Shall I go on?

Most video guys I know now do the business part time and get a proper job to pay the bills.

I think i will be doing the same.

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Noah KadnerRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 1, 2011 at 6:30:43 pm

Learn iOS programming- those folks are making a killing.


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Andy jacksonRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 1, 2011 at 7:10:28 pm

Taken me years to learn what i know now.

Might take the easy option and do a no brainer.. Give me a rest with less stress.

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Noah KadnerRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 1, 2011 at 7:24:25 pm

Yeah well a lot of guys were great at 3/4" cutting and shooting Betacam too. Those that didn't adapt went out of business or into another.


Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.

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Andy jacksonRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 1, 2011 at 7:29:11 pm

I was one of those brave ones.

Went from umaticsp and betacamsp to digital. Had to go with the times and never looked back.

Problem now is anyone can afford the gear even at hobby level.

And that causes problems for all video professionals

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Mark SuszkoRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 1, 2011 at 10:11:16 pm

Are you doing this because you love it, or just for a paycheck? For the level of commitment involved, if you don't love what you're doing, you really should change careers. You wanna put food on the table, bin man as you call it is not a degrading job and pays steady. All work, any work, is noble. The current market calls on you to step up your game, or get out. Either way to go is valid, nobody can judge you for the path... as long as you pick a path.

I have read where the kids of todays' generation can look forward to six or more separate, unrelated careers in their lives... not six odd jobs, mind you, but six complete CAREERS, where you come in at entry level, and move up to management level. In my youth a resume' or CV with a lot of different jobs on it, all with durations of less than five years each, was considered "damaged goods" and a thing to hide. Today, it's not only typical of applicants but perhaps expected, as it shows drive and ambition to advance, (in a world where there is no more "social contract" between worker and employer) Complete with re-training and additional education to distinguish yourself in each of those careers.

In my dad's day, you found a place with one firm, pretty much for life, until pension age. I'm on my 24th or so year on this current job, and I would find it difficult indeed to jump back into today's job pool, or live like a freelancer, not because I can't do stuff, but because that constant churn, uncertainty, and needing to be on the hunt for the next gig is an alien way of life to me, I like some stability, and I need to give it to the family I support. The family, however, doesn't really care directly about what I do to support them. It's cool that dad works in TV, but it's cooler that dad brings home a check every two weeks.

If I couldn't at least match my current salary doing video someplace else, I would look into something completely different from video, just to put bread on the family table, long as it paid well enough. Then I'd still have video on the side in some capacity as something I do that activates my creative muse and makes me happy and self-actualized. I wouldn't want to grow to hate it or feel jealousy towards it for no longer being able to sustain me financially. If I hate my job, I do it badly. If I love it, I excel.

My teenaged son is having a hard time finding work of any sort, particularly doing things he feels most comfortable doing... which narrows his range quite a bit. What I tell him is that taking a step in any random direction, good or bad, particulalrly at his young age without responsibilities, is better than just standing in one spot, hoping something will change for the better. This goes for jobs as well as relationships. If you don't like where you are, and don't know which direction to go, take a random step in any direction, and at least you will have your life back in motion, and a perspective you didn't have before. You already know where the spot you're standing still in now, leads you. Take a brave little step into something else. Nobody can fault you for trying. Only for doing nothing but standing there, bitching about it all. The kid with the camcorder that is killing your business took a step: he acquired the tools and is learning something new (to him). You are on a different place in that continuum from the kid, but like him, you should be trying new things, until you hit on something that works and makes you happy.

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Andy jacksonRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 2, 2011 at 9:38:29 am

Thanks for your input but you note you have been working for a company for 24 years and you would never go freelance as you enjoy having the guaranteed paycheck.

Its easy for someone like yourself come up with the suggestions you have in the situation you are in.

Im 41 and probably around the same age as yourself so some of your advise has gone out of the window.. sorry if it sound rude but im not looking for a life coach.

I enjoy what i do and it has been my full time career.
All i was asking is if anyone else feels the same as me who are self employed and probably going through the same difficulties

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Andrew RendellRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 2, 2011 at 5:15:23 pm

I don't even attempt to compete with the one man band doing stuff on the cheap. I've always enjoyed the teamwork/collaboration aspect of the job and the fact that I'm always learning. I compete on the quality of what I do rather than the price, so although there is an aspect of devising ways to do things more cheaply, any cost savings will be in the way the job is organised, not through lowering my fee.

I had a few quiet months in the first half of 2010 (then it picked up last July and I've been reasonably busy since then), but really the only time I got depressed about work was on a job a couple of years ago where there were two co-producers (a USA broadcaster and a UK broadcaster) and a load of internal politics and I wasn't allowed to really contribute - I basically spent the thick end of two months sitting in an edit suite pressing buttons, doing what I was told to do, and I got frustrated over having some excellent footage sitting there but not being allowed to do anything decent with it!

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Noah KadnerRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 2, 2011 at 5:42:26 pm

In my experience freelancing is hustling and it's not just in one area. When I freelance I'm able to make a living by doing shoots, consultation, writing articles/books, offering my own training courses, creating apps and videos. But yeah focusing on any one of those could easily lead to starvation when markets shift/clients depart/technology changes. I.e. don't put your eggs in one basket.


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Andrew RendellRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 3, 2011 at 9:31:54 am

I take a different approach to Noah - I sell myself on a very narrow focus rather than claiming to do everything, so I mainly work for production companies that don't have every skill at a high level in house (who therefore need to hire it in when they have a big job), rather than directly for the client.

[Actually, my single biggest source of work over the last couple of years is a major broadcaster so in that case I'm working directly for the client, as it were, but almost everything else I do is for a production company, whether it's for broadcast or corporate, and I'm known by enough that when any particular production company is having a quiet time, I'm probably getting work from another one.]

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Eric AddisonRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 4, 2011 at 4:32:10 pm


I hear you...I turn 41 next month, and I've been doing video production pretty much since college.

I was let go from the place I had worked at since college back in 2003. I'd always wanted to have my own production company, so I figured it was time to give it a shot. It was a rough go at first - I had some industry connections here where I live based on my previous job, but no clients. But I kept at it, and today things are pretty good. It took time and effort to get out there to make the connections I needed, which is something I struggled with.

I was very blessed to have landed a couple good clients for who I just poured every ounce of creativity I had into their projects. This lead to other clients through word of mouth, and things just grew. While I'm not the biggest player in town, and I'm still technically a "one-man-band" production house - although I have a great network of freelancers I call on when I need help, I'm doing well. I've been able to survive, and even in this brutal recession, things have been steady.

It is hard, and as someone who hates getting out there and networking to get more business, sometimes you have to just push yourself. I love my job - as hard and frustrating as it can be, I don't want to do anything else.

Good luck!

Owner | 100 ACRE FILMS

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Mike CohenRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 13, 2011 at 4:21:24 am

Find a niche I always say. College kids with a camcorder and an iMac don't have a niche.
Wedding guys have a niche that pays very well, which is why there is usually 1 or 2 wedding guys per town who do very well.
Most towns have a video company that specializes in corporate video, training, commercials, education, government - sure you need to convince local businesses to use your services (think factory vs chip shop), but as you have learned, sales is 50% of the battle.

There are numerous articles and similar thread on the Business and Marketing forum from folks in your boat.

Good luck - keep your chin up.

Mike Cohen

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Martin CurtisRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 4, 2011 at 4:52:24 am

[Mark Suszko] "You can't afford to compete with that. The "answer" is to work harder to find the clients that will pay you what your work is worth. They could be in other fields, in more specialized niches."
My next opportunity may be in Policy and Procedure shooting, particularly with a WH&S focus. It needs to be precisely done, is customised for the client (heck, it's customised for each policy/procedure), requires expertise in analysis of the existing documents so you get exactly the right thing and can't be done by a novice with a Flip and a netbook. This sort of stuff has legal ramifications so it must be done right.

If one video prevents one workplace death, the whole program will have been worthwhile.

Just a thought.

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Aaron CadieuxRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Oct 12, 2011 at 12:20:14 am

I don't have much tolerance for the "but the student with the cheap camera and the PC can do it for less" complaint. Amateur is amateur and professional is professional. If someone needs a professionally produced video, they will seek a professional. If someone is looking for a professional video from an amateur or a student, then that client wouldn't have been worth your time in the first place. Even if a student or amateur were to own a DSLR and a robust NLE, it still doesn't mean that they will match the quality of a professional. Look at it this way, a kid can spend $300 on a baseball bat, but it won't make them a good hitter. If you do quality work and put in the time, you will see results no matter how many low-end video producers are out there.


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Scott CarnegieRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 5, 2011 at 1:35:58 pm

Consider diversifying and moving towards creating your own intellectual property; films, documentaries, training videos, mobile apps etc. This is exactly what I am starting to do, working on my first documentary ( and starting to develop some iPhone Apps. If there is no corporate coming in then this is something to think about, using your skills to create some passive income.

Check out this blog for ideas on creating passive income on the net.

Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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Noah KadnerRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 6, 2011 at 7:40:23 pm

Heh- same here lol.


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Andy jacksonRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 8, 2011 at 8:23:30 am

This just proves my point about the state of the video business.

We should all be producers making videos, not diversifying into different sectors to make ends meet. If thats the case its not worth doing.

You dont see most industries having to do this.

The media and arts industry is dier.
You can`t plan from one week to the next as the work may not be there in whatever you do.

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Noah KadnerRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 11, 2011 at 12:10:51 am

How about you do what works for you and I do what works for me? :) I was just offering what works for me. If that works for you that's great. But please don't try to apply a one size fits all to making it in the media business or you're more likely to head for disappointment or worse.

And also I forget to mention, I personally find doing one thing well- incredibly boring. I happen to love diversification. If I had to just be a shooter, or just make apps or just write magazine articles or just travel to conventions- alone- I'd be unhappy. Variety is the spice of life. And if your variety is to focus on one thing and perfect it- good for you.


Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.

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John YoungRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 11, 2011 at 10:06:21 pm

[Andy jackson] "You dont see most industries having to do this."

What? I think the correct statement is "You see ALL industries having to do this." Every business has to change as the landscape changes i.e. "diversify" their business as you say.

Ask the land line telephone industry if they have had "diversify" their business to keep up. Ask the newspaper industry if they have had to "diversify". Ask the TV repairman if he has had to "diversify". Ask my grandfather who has run a farm all his life if he has had to "diversify".

Yes, I think technology is changing faster and faster and therefore industries that rely on technology are changing fast as well. But the fact is that the way that people are consuming content is changing and the way that people are creating content is changing. (As it always has been going back to the the Lumiere Brothers).

I know it can be frustrating at times, and maybe it is because of my personal situation but most of the times it all this changing that makes this industry so exciting to me. I actually would make the argument that the creative industry has never been healthier.


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grinner hesterRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 13, 2011 at 3:20:52 pm

It may not be worth it for you anymore, Andy. Burnout is a mighty thing. You and I are the same age and started in the industry the same year. As I climbed my way through the ranks over the years, I was always thankful. I was thankful for the interships that paid me a little to learn a lot more than when I was paying a lot to learn a little in school, I was thankful for every five figure raise I gave myself by moving my family to a bigger market every other year, and thankful when I was able to start my production company 10 years ago. Yes, the economy tanked and because gear is so cheap, every client's kid and their dog totes a DSLR and a macbook pro. Does it make it hard to compete? Well yeah, but no harder than when I had to prove myself as a young buck in a network of veteran editors, no harder than getting and keeping that first client, and no harder than any other goal I've set then grabbed. Do I make a couple hundred grand less now than when things were booming? well, yeah, I sure do... but I am thankful that I still get to make little movies for a living rather than get a joe job I have no passion for like so many drones do. That passion, my friend, is what will always make it "worth it." Without that, man you may as well clip on a tie and do what upper management says under flourescent lights that cook away all creativity.
At the risk of sounding harsh, man there are too many kids eager to take your seat for you to be whining while sitting in it. Cheer up or make room for new blood.

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Andy jacksonRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 27, 2011 at 9:48:38 am


Just checked it out on the internet.

I think you may be right grinner. Seems like I may have the symptons.

Better pull myself together and start thinking like i did in my younger days.

I still have hell of alot to offer.

Chin up eh!

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Andy jacksonRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on May 21, 2012 at 11:07:01 am

Update on my recent position within the industry.

I`ve quit!
Had enough!
Thrown in the towel!

So much competition who are doing projects for next to nothing.

Clients are no longer interested in real professionalism and quality anymore.
There is also no loyalty.

Information i have recieved from some companies i have contacted say the following.

"We have purchased a HD camera for £300 and editing software for £60.00 and a couple of work lights for £15.00 each and some mics and stands for £50.00 . Maximum of around £500.00"

We can do loads of video with this setup and it will payfor itself on the first video.

They have then gone on sites like youtube, vimeo etc to get information on lighting, sound and editing tutorials.

Also it seems that the universities are also doing videos for free for showreels etc. Poor guys don`t realise that when they get into the real world they will have a reality check.

Another company i spoke to expected a 2 day shoot with travel and my equipment and editing, with an authored dvd and mpeg4 copy for website for a total of £350.00.
I mean come on.
When i take out my fuel, cost of tapes,food, tax, ni, equipment costs, around 5 days work in total I would probably earn around £5.00 hr if that....Less than the minimum wage!!!!

They told me that there are so many people doing videos nowadays that they can pick and choose which one they want to go with. They also stated that they know most video companies or one man bands are struggling to survive and will probably take anything.

I will now probably get some other professional video producer saying that all clients do not want or will do this but in reality this is what is happening.

Anyone else having the same problems.... I would love to know.

Cheers Andy

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Mark SuszkoRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on May 21, 2012 at 5:00:33 pm

That's cold, but, well....

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Andy jacksonRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on May 24, 2012 at 8:40:40 am

Hi Mark.

Your answer was not very helpful.
Could you please elaborate.

Due to the lack of response to my thread I`m beginning to think that everyone else is in the same situation.

I could do with some honest true answers to the following.

How many of you are doing this full time and earning a guaranteed descent wage or salary and never having to worry where the next penny is coming from.

Or are you doing it part time and also have another full time job.

Please be honest to me and yourself.

Cheers Andy

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Eric AddisonRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on May 24, 2012 at 2:35:01 pm

[Andy jackson] "How many of you are doing this full time and earning a guaranteed descent wage or salary and never having to worry where the next penny is coming from."

Well, I'm doing it full time, and doing fine - getting all the bills paid, and keeping a roof over our heads. Am I getting rich? Not really, but I've been blessed with some steady clients who provide me with a lot of work.

When you work for yourself, there's always that fear about what if the work dries up, but you can't focus on that. If you have work, just focus on that and do the best you can. Use down time to sharpen your skills and network. I'll often reach out during slow times to other production people here locally and see if they have any projects they need help with, even if it means taking a small cut in pay - work is work, and you never know what it'll lead to.

I think that the video production landscape, much as you pointed out in your first post, has changed a lot over the last 5 years...really over the last 10, but the last 5 as seen things change a lot faster in my opinion. The ability to buy a decent HD camera at a very low price point coupled with editing software that is both powerful and inexpensive has created to huge flood of cheap talent. That shouldn't really be that big of a surprise...didn't this all happen when desktop publishing came along back in the 80's and 90's?

I wish I had some great advice to pass along, something that could help you. But all I can say is that there is work out there. If it's not your area, maybe you need to move. The key to surviving in this new production world is being able to be flexible and to adapt. You're right in that the competition can be cheaper - much cheaper in some cases. But I've found that experience and quality still matter. Clients who don't want to pay a lot are often clients not worth having.

That being said, I took a job once from a client that wanted to pay next to nothing for an editing job. I reluctantly took it (it was Christmas time and I was feeling generous), and now 2 years later, they are one of my best clients and they pay me a much higher rate then that first job. I treated that first low paying edit as I would any other edit paying my normal rate, and they were impressed with the final product. They wanted me to do more for them...I told them only if they pay my normal rates. You never know what things will lead to - don't be afraid to take that low paying job every once and awhile.

Owner | 100 ACRE FILMS

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Andy jacksonRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 21, 2012 at 2:42:33 pm

Hi All..

After 27 years I have now made the move and joined the lowballer association.

Had no choice...
Sorry fellow shooters, who are now going to ridicule me.

Reason: Can`t make a full time salary anymore in the business!
Always being undercut!
Competeting with part timers who just want quick cash!

Can`t beat them so may as well join them.

I would like to congratulate Eric who has a few fish helping him keep the sharks happy.
The fish will dry up though and then the fishing will have to start again.

As Eric also said there is work out there..
I agree there is, but it does not mean you will get any descent pay for it.

Anyone can be busy working for nothing!
And this is what is happening!!

Too many people now in video production.
More competition will bring down the costs... Buyers market.

So got my myself a proper job with a guaranteed salary and now doing this on the side.

Upsetting but had no choice.

This is the reality of the business.

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Juris EkstsRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 24, 2012 at 6:45:52 pm

Sorry I'm very late to this discussion, but Andy, can I quote you from your very first post:
"Obviously I worked for free with the first company for 6 months"
I think there is no difference between that and the newcomers now doing it for a very low price, so who can you blame?

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Andy jacksonRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 25, 2012 at 10:56:52 am

Hi Juris.

You are correct I did work for free for six months only.

I worked for a reputable production company who was giving me some training in-house, but I was not going out with their equipment doing jobs for free or next to nothing and the company wasn`t either.

My training was short term (6 months with no pay) but the problem now is that most will keep doing jobs for free or just for beer money.

This is where it is getting out of hand.
How can this industry stay an industry. It is not sustainable.

I know of 13 video professionals who have been in the broadcast industry for more than 15 years and have all moved on to other professions saying that video (like the music business before it) is now rock bottom and has no future for growth.

The only winners are the equipment and software manufacturers praying on the vunerable wannabee Speilbergs.

I never upgraded my camera equipment in the last 14 years. I just rented cameras as they were required.
I still have the first model canon XL1 camera which has served me well with regular service.

It has been used on broadcast, commercial, corporate and been encoded for video on the web.
I know its SD 4:3 and not 16:9 but i was not going to spend another penny just to get the wide screen look for internet video use and I was not going to go HD to then down convert to web video sizes.. Just does not make any sense to me.

I could of gone ahead and purchased a new HD camera with all the bells and whistles with todays technology. "BUT WHY".. Just another overhead that needs to be payed off.
Also how can i pay it off if no one wants to pay for my services anymore.
They will probably go for the free or beer money student using university equipment which I/WE paid for through our taxes.

I`m lucky that I was able to save some cash in the early years when times were good and paid off my morgage and now I`m debt free.

YOU MAY NOW ASK ... Maybe you could go out and do things for beer money and just for the fun of it due to your situation.

Maybe I could. But I`m not going too. I need to live.

What the newbies have got to realise that doing videos for free or pin money will not be good for your future.
How are you going to bring up a family, have a roof over your head, feed yourself, clothes, holidays etc etc etc.. need i go on.

The only winners are the clients and they dont give a S**T about your financial situation only their own.
They know its a buyers market and will screw you as deep into the wooden plank as they possibly can until we drop out the other end achieving nothing.

Something has got to change soon and hopefully for the better. I can`t see it but hey...... WHO KNOWS!!

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Andy jacksonRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Jul 27, 2012 at 6:06:49 pm

Im in a theatre at the moment filming a show.
Two cameras plus backup to two harddrives. One for each camera.

Will probably be here for four hours. Full day editing and copies produce.

Sales arnt brilliant. Orders up front about 25 and only a cast of 50.

Probably lucky if i make £200 profit.
Again had to reduce prices to get this gig.

What is also worrying me is cloud services now available to the masses.
Animoto. Sinage software. Even editing.

When the cost of cloud editing storage comes down in cost this will also be a big blow.

India will take over the whole industry with extremely low rates that none of us will be able to compete with especialy when broadband fibre speed increases.

Were completely screwed

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Andy jacksonRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Oct 23, 2015 at 5:46:55 pm

Is the video business as bad as it was when I was doing it full time. Would love some honest answers.

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Eric BuistRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Oct 29, 2015 at 7:10:05 pm

After reading your post about what equipment you own/use, I realized why you weren't finding clients and why the young kids (like me) are... Clients want something new and shiny, they hear about HD and want it, they hear about 4K and want it. They don't understand it at all, but it is new and they see it as showing their company/product/service in the best light.

Is the industry cut throat? Yup. Do I have to fight to find client work? Yup. But, I carved out a niche and made it work. Paid off the 15,000 in equipment that I purchased and worked my way up to find great clients, now making a great wage without having to market myself, since it is all word of mouth.

Part of me wonders if you had kept up on the changing times, would you have made it?

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Joe KnappRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Nov 10, 2015 at 2:08:43 pm

I know it's been a few years since you originally posted. The landscape was changing dramatically when you posted, and continues to do so: 4K, super low-light DSLR, drone, web series and 'viral videos. Software is cheap. Computers are cheap. Cameras are cheap. Heck, even the iPhone has a capable imager. Times are still tight, and people want to stretch their budgets with things they can do themselves, so they can have a YouTube presence.

Just remember: Everybody has a kitchen. Not everyone is a chef.

Love that phrase. But Eric does have a point. Even chefs have to adapt to new food stylings (gluten-free? Vegan?). Or if specialized, they need to make sure they are in a big market. Sushi chefs don't play well in Cooter Creek, Arkansas.

It's worth addressing, because I've been the corporate in-house guy who hires you for jobs. I'm also nearly your age (45 now), so I can speak to the experience and change of landscape. What do I look for?

A recent reel with HD material. Seriously, the moment I see SD, I move on. And I've seen it very recently. It doesn't matter if we intend for distribution sole on the web. Most players are 1080 now, with 4K as the upcoming resolution.
Professional style. This is subjective, but to me, I want: shallow depth-of-field, dolly/jib shots, 4K (to future-proof content), non-flat lighting, great sound. The editing should feel up-to-date (generally quick), and the music choice can't be cheesy. Similarly, graphics should reflect recent trends, and not look
Competitive rates. This isn't a race to the bottom, so don't want dreck. I have budget, and would rather have an experienced veteran with up-to-date skills at competitive prices. Inexperienced kids don't know to hold a shot longer for the edit, or can't employ the wisdom you've gained as readily.Yes, they can charge a song for their work. In my experience, that's about all their stuff is worth. But, some are very capable, and their pricing throws the curve.
A decent website This shows me that you care about how present your work, and that you are aware of certain visual trends. It can be simple, but nicely laid out. Your video shouldn't be embedded as a QT file, but be embedded/streamed from a site like Vimeo.

Note about the young blood: We need to realize that these guys grew up with this stuff. They had/have nothing but time to peruse YouTube, and try out their skills with their iPhones and pirated and/or education-priced software. They are passionate and juiced about video production, and they've not been beaten down over the years, depending on it to make your bread. They are having fun in an industry which (we often forget) is fun. Of course, companies want that 'fresh young creativity' combined with technical savvy and low-pricing. If you can bring wisdom and "experienced creativity" to the table, then that might be a trade off for low-pricing. But you need to sell it.

So what can you do, should you rejoin the industry? Here's my thoughts:
Get current. 4K camera with a nice wide aperture, LED lights, current software, current look & feel.
Rent equipment where possible
•Sell your wisdom and experience.
Have a wider variety of skill sets. Shooters/editors are a dime a dozen, but a good producer with organizational skills are gold.
•Rather than compete, join forces with some of these young bucks. Your experience, their skills.
•Ensure that your market isn't too dry/saturated
Demonstrate to companies that want to do DIY videos how they can make it better. By spending money on you, you shouldn't just give them a video product. You should give them a video solution.
Remind companies that by tasking out current employees to do video, they are taking away man-hours better spent elsewhere. Video production is like cooking or home repair: you can do it yourself, but it takes longer, and the results are always lacking.
•Finally: video is part of a company's brand. Remind them that if the quality is mediocre, that reflects on the brand.

Admittedly, I'm an in-house guy, so experiences vary. However, if video is what you love to do, maybe this break will recharge your batteries. Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do.

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grinner hesterRe: " Worth It Anymore"??
by on Apr 9, 2016 at 7:10:26 pm

Man if people got into video for the money, we'd have consumer electronics more capable than six figure gadgets pros purchased 6 months prior.
Either one loves it to a point they have never and would never question their field or they make way for those who do. If it feels like a job, man their are far more lucrative jobs to dislike out there.

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