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Becoming solo 'video guy'/one-man army at my company...advice?

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Joe KnappBecoming solo 'video guy'/one-man army at my company...advice?
by on Jan 30, 2013 at 3:31:24 am

My company will be dividing in two, and I'm going with the smaller company. Unfortunately, they only have room for one "video guy".

Anybody else here a 'one-man army'? I have a little budget for some additional equipment, so I'd love some suggestions on what would maximize my workflow. Also, any other tips on staying sane? ;)


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Sareesh SudhakaranRe: Becoming solo 'video guy'/one-man army at my company...advice?
by on Jan 30, 2013 at 12:22:41 pm

Work in controlled sound environments. Look at the 5 shot rule from BBC. Stick to the simplest post production workflow, with native editing. Don't shoot more than you need. Don't keep waste. Backup twice. Make it look tough, so you're indispensable!

http://www.wolfcrow.com - Workflow information and support for filmmakers, photographers, audiographers and videographers.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Becoming solo 'video guy'/one-man army at my company...advice?
by on Jan 30, 2013 at 5:08:51 pm

You should list what resources you already have as you start, and the kinds of jobs they want you to do, then we'd have more pertinent ideas.

When you're a one man band, you should be renting more things for just the time you need them, and when there is a budget to pay for them. You might also be looking at some kind of budget to hire people on a one-day basis when you need their help. Those guys often come with gear you don't have, and often in these economic conditions, the gear comes essentially free with the body so you're getting a 2-fer.


Own the basics because owning quality lights, mic, and tripod is cheaper than renting. rent the oddball things like jibs, sliders, dollies, steadicams, etc. I've never been one to care much for owning the camera, preferring to rent it as needed. What's nice about renting the camera is you get exactly the camera each job requires, and you don't take a depreciation hit when it is idle. What's not so nice about renting the camera is that you can't be as spontaneous, you need time to plan and book the rentals.


These days, the typical one man video department at a corporate works mostly as the producer, hiring the help she or he needs only on a per task basis, so they are the only full time staff there. This is easier to do in big city markets, obviously, but the saying goes you really only need a phone and a computer, everything else, you can hire. The trick is knowing what and who is appropriate for each task and budget/ deadline.


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Joe KnappRe: Becoming solo 'video guy'/one-man army at my company...advice?
by on Jan 31, 2013 at 3:17:38 am

Thanks for the tips, Sareesh & Mark. Well received. I think it's important to be efficient & lean, but effective. Good point on native editing, Sareesh.

We're still hashing out the details, but I know there will be 'some' money available. My fear is that they'll expect that I can do more than I can....as in, "Can I set up a 2-camera interview with lights and sound, and do the interview?" Well, yes...but it's a pain in the butt, and will take much longer.

Interesting what you say about renting the cameras, Mark. I'd be uncomfortable not having some cameras nearby. Never know when the next hot job is coming. Such is my experience w/ in-house corporate video. Going on 15 years now.

Here's what I'm taking with..

Sony EX-1
Kino Divas
Misc Fresnels
Misc
External Monitors & tripods
Assorted stands, flags, gels, etc.

Also, I'll be running an top-line iMac w/ Adobe CS6 Master Suite, FCPX, FCP 7, Maya 2013, and a few other things.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Becoming solo 'video guy'/one-man army at my company...advice?
by on Jan 31, 2013 at 4:27:35 am

Get some good lavs, wired, and at least one wireless. Think about a teleprompter, which can often be rented. Think about one HMI and a big roll of color-correcting ND gel for those CEO office shots where they insist on standing in front of the giant window with city view, though HMI's are big ticket items so you might want to rent that. Get a good screen recording program for the software type demos. Set up a green screen/ demo table area at your "base" . Plan to get a portable stand setup for colored backdrop/limbo/greenscreen in the field, because you might need to shoot at trade shows and conferences where the locations are crappy. If you like the Sony get two more, and think about a switcher and recorder if you end up editing a lot of multicam.

Budget for more storage than you think you're going to need. Plan an archival/library system before you have anything to put in it, starting from scratch there is a luxury.


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Joe KnappRe: Becoming solo 'video guy'/one-man army at my company...advice?
by on Feb 3, 2013 at 2:56:57 am

Thanks, Mark.

Looks like I'll have plenty of storage (local RAID 6 array, with a shared SAN backup). No need for demo areas, as most of it will be enterprise software and other "technical solutions".

Point taken on the HMI. I'm sincerely hoping that they'll find me space for a 'studio'.

As for workflow/archival, I'm planning on using the heck out of meta-tags (and possibly an online transcription service to help w/ interview subjects). I'm not too jazzed about FCPX, but the keywording and auto-shot detect really look like they could help out tremendously.

Here's to hoping that I can deliver what they expect, without getting burned out in the process. Thanks!


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James ZajicekRe: Becoming solo 'video guy'/one-man army at my company...advice?
by on Feb 11, 2013 at 3:34:41 pm

We have a 2 man production studio at our company.

What we do a lot, is let them know what we can do, the time it will take us, how much a freelancer will cost, and the "math" involved. We can do the 2 camera interview by ourselves but the cost is more time. a lot of the times our company doesn't want to wait the time for us to have to produce, set-up, tear-down, import, edit, and upload. We show where a freelancer can help and get a project down on what time lines.

It's a balancing act and there are still burn out times, but explaining things to them helps us.

James Zajicek
Media Producer

@JG_38


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Joe KnappRe: Becoming solo 'video guy'/one-man army at my company...advice?
by on Feb 13, 2013 at 3:26:41 am

Thanks, James. I know that I'll need to justify hiring freelancers at some point, but your comment just underscored the fact that I should have some kind of rough numbers chart to go from. Perhaps I'll cobb that up. Appreciate it!


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charles meadowsRe: Becoming solo 'video guy'/one-man army at my company...advice?
by on Feb 18, 2013 at 7:14:26 pm

When possible try and have freelance crew with you, even if it's a prod assistant or two. Don't try and be all things to all people, you'll exhaust yourself and your quality will suffer. Ensure you plan your shoots carefully, drink Red Bull and always have spare batteries.

"There's no point in filming if you don't have fun"
Charles Meadows
Creative Director
Incubate Productions South Africa
http://www.incubatevideo.co.za


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Joe KnappRe: Becoming solo 'video guy'/one-man army at my company...advice?
by on Feb 22, 2013 at 3:25:07 am

Appreciate the suggestions. I really hope to use freelancers as much as they allow me. And I'm more of a Monster drink guy, myself.;)


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Sam RedRe: Becoming solo 'video guy'/one-man army at my company...advice?
by on Feb 20, 2013 at 11:09:26 pm

Hi, hope all is going well and are right on track with your one man show and seems everyone else has provided great input as far as the business side, however as for the equipment "Keep it light"... I find that a few items have made life easier for me when no other hands where available.

I understand you have kino lights and im suggesting these based on their portability, form factor and cost.

ikan ID500 with the pro batt adapter(runs a long time)... these things are solid, rather bright, the CRI is good overall, can be gelled and they are rather portable.
http://www.amazon.com/iKan-Corporation-ID500-Light-Black/dp/B0084ZYAB8

if size and budget dont allow i would get the ikan id508http://www.amazon.com/Corporation-Bi-Color-Light-Black-ID508/dp/B0084ZY8HE it is smaller lighter, and seems a bit brighter. it runs on 1 or 2 sony dv batteries (just make sure you carry extra batteries)


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Joe KnappRe: Becoming solo 'video guy'/one-man army at my company...advice?
by on Feb 22, 2013 at 3:33:47 am

Thanks for the links, Sam. I'll definitely look into those lights.


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