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starting a new Business with Premiere

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Paul Corey starting a new Business with Premiere
by on Nov 5, 2006 at 11:29:00 pm

Hi I posted this in the Premiere Pro forum and Tim suggested I post it here in the business forum.

I was thinking of getting Adobe Production studio with the black magic-design Multibridge Extreme and renting it out to other video editors. I have room for it and I was wounding if Adobe would be good for that or would I get more editors look for Avid or FCP. I use Adobe Premiere Pro for my self. But the other studio would be to rent and maybe make money. I am not full time pro editor. I work in video part time editing weddings so I would not need a system at that level.


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David Roth WeissRe: starting a new Business with Premiere
by on Nov 6, 2006 at 12:20:50 am


I'm not suggesting that the rental biz is a great business, but if you are dead set on trying it out FCP is probably a better way to go. Your prior knowledge of Premiere is a very important consideration, however, I think FCP simply more in demand, and so it can be more of a cash cow for you. Most editors I know here in L.A. now cut on FCP and it seems we are all constantly busy because there are simply more projects being cut on FCP now.

Good luck,

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Mark SuszkoRe: starting a new Business with Premiere
by on Nov 6, 2006 at 4:43:42 pm

One of the really smart things Adobe did was give away Premiere a lot in the early days, also thet didn't fight all that hard regarding pirated copies. Back in the day, you could get Premiere bundled free with a cheap firewire card, Pinnacle did a lot to promote this kind of thing but other companies bundled Premiere free or for a low price as well. The result was tremendous market penetration. A whole lot of people got their hands on premiere before they could afford something else. Many have stayed with it and become evangelizers for it. Even shops that declare themselves Avid shops are likely to have a copy of premiere tucked away in some corner for something. It's powerful yet inexpensive, and there are many freelancers, particularly college students on a budget, with some basic Premiere skills that can be brought in on an as-needed basis. For lower-budget cable and TV news outlets, Premiere has long been a popular option.

The other smart thing Adobe did was make Premiere and AfterEffects such a powerful inter-active combo. AE now may exceed Premiere in total number of "seats" out there, but the gist is, where you have one, you usually also have the other. Frankly, Premiere is about as good as any of the other 3-4 popular editors, it is the power of it synergizing with AE that is the main attractor to the setup for power users. If I was going to offer a Premiere-based editing suite for rent, I would insist it also have AfterEffects, at least the basic version, indeed, might as well have the whole Adobe creative suite bundle on there, with photoshop, Illustrator, an audio program and DVD authoring too.

Here's the business case question you have to ask yourself: who "needs" your proposed suite, are there enough of them that will pay what you need to meet your bills and make a profit?

The problem I see right off the top is, most people good enough at editing with Premiere and AE can afford to have their own copy already. You can put together a decent system and software for five grand or less, heck, two grand or less if you scrounge a bit and DIY some.


If the editor is charging appropriately for their work, they can afford to buy their own tools with the profit from between one and five jobs, after which, they get ALL the profit from the system and don't need you. And this is what the majority of editors will do. Most especially anybody who wants to cut long-form "films" or documentaries, where they will be spending a lot of time on the project, it makes more sense to own the tools than rent. Like owning a home rather than renting it over 20 years.

The computer and the software are cheap. Storage is cheap, a buck a gig or less. The breakout/interface box you mention is not all that expensive either for what it does.

What remains expensive are the fancy decks. Especially with HD formats and other broadcast formats, the decks cost as much or more than your computer and software, and unlike software, cannot be pirated and used for "free". If I wanted to make money off of renting to editors, I'd rent them broadcast level HD decks and the breakout box. And maybe cheap drive arrays.

I am afraid that if you want to cater to new or inexperienced editors with a system they can play around and learn on, you may not be able to charge them a sufficient rate to get a good return, without scaring them off, plus, they have cheaper options available. Power users would already have their own systems. You'd be left with out-of-towners or very occasional users, not likely a big enough base to justify the investment, plus, you'd spend more money trying to market to those types.

So to me it's not even a question of Premiere vs. Avid vs. FCP. The problem is connecting the needy to the need. You have a suite now but maybe want to add capacity? Or just variety, for people who prefer Premiere to whatever ese you already have? But you didn't go into a lot of detail about your current business and why you were thinking about this in the first place, so I might be making some wrong assumptions based on missing or inaccurate data. Maybe if you could give some more details about the whole thing, I could think about it differently.

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Nick GriffinRe: starting a new Business with Premiere
by on Nov 6, 2006 at 10:37:57 pm

Mark Suzko wrote: "The problem is connecting the needy to the need."

Mark, you're right on the money here. I agree fully. If you're looking to get into the rental business then the best entry is, as Mark points out, the high end decks. But then the initial capitalization cost will be high. Maybe if the cost is high, suddenly it doesn't seem like such a good idea?

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Mark SuszkoRe: starting a new Business with Premiere
by on Nov 6, 2006 at 11:09:29 pm

Well, *I* am not brave enough to try it, but a person living in a large enough market could arrange a 2-year lease deal on the HD deck, then turn that around and rent it out to others for a day or a week at a time at a rate somewhat more than what the payments on the lease were. In essence this is what cab drivers do: buy the car and the exPENSIVE license tag, then hit the road to make it back a mile at a time.

The math is tricky, and I am not an accountant. You'd have to figure out how many times a month you need to send it out to make your nut, and if there are enough editors and shooters around to keep the demand high, or if you need to divert time and money into first marketing the thing to gin up business. If you can get some kind of tax deduction off the lease, that may tip the thing into profitability. Consult a financial professional.

Renting out gear can be kind of fun, at least it has been for my side business: guy comes to door with check, takes a box of prompter stuff, brings stuff back the next day, repeat. MUCH better than wasting every Saturday shooting other people's weddings and not seeing your own family half the weekend... S'all good! Except...

You also have to figure in what to do if the "stuff" breaks down and your renter is waiting. Maintenance. Insurance against damage or loss because they didn't tell you the job was going to be on the aft end of a bass boat. All of those add up to raise the minimum amount you need to achieve to make a profit on the deal. And enough profit to make your personal investment of time and energy worthwhile as well.

Sometimes the best business decision you can make is not to get into one to start with. Then again, you know the saying; ships are safest when anchored in a harbor, but that's not what they are built for... calculate risk versus reward and make your own decisions, in the end, that's what everyone has to do for themselves, and sometimes it works out and other times it doesn't. You learn a lot either way. Teddy Roosevelt had a good quote I'll mangle here, that he'd rather be a man who tried mightily and nobly failed than someone who never tried anything.

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shvrRe: starting a new Business with Premiere
by on Nov 7, 2006 at 2:57:07 am

You also need to target your market. I worked at a rental house in SF way back when, and we rented very low-end edit suites (moviola, viewer, clip bin, 5 gang sync etc) to college kids cranking out their finals for the film schools in the area. It was very lucrative for a short time during the year because all the edit suites at the colleges would be jammed up and the kids with a little extra cash would rent.

That's a pretty unique market situation that you'll only find in larger cities, but you may consider putting together a budget suite and advertising it to the local students - cash only of course...

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Paul CoreyRe: starting a new Business with Premiere
by on Nov 7, 2006 at 4:29:17 am

Hi,Looking for other way to make money in video editing with out doing the editing. I know some one that opened a Karate school and he never took Karate. He hire Instrutors to teach. I was think about this because have a extra room where I edit and I was going to get a PC system with the Adobe Production studio and Black Magic-Design Multibridge Extreme for 2K film and HD editing. A HD edit deck or if the client wanted some other deck I do not have I could go to HBGroup 20 mins away and they could rent what they need or I could rent it to rent it to them. Some thing like that. I would differently get atlest one high end HD deck to start with. If I was to do this. That is why I am asking this question. I tend to thing big and tire to come up with ways to start small and build up. I already went to school for BSEE and I do not want to work in electric engineering any more. I would like to work in video full time but I can't aford a pay cut working for someone else to learn from. I have a family. I learned video from cable access and I been work for a couple of wedding videographers shooting and editing for 7 year now. I do not want to do weddings forever. I would like to do action sports videos. I like Marketing and Corporate Video but it sounds like there is to much pressure. X-Dance Film Festival.

My Videos are at

shvr, I like what you said. That sound less expensive.

Thank You for the replys

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Mark SuszkoRe: starting a new Business with Premiere
by on Nov 7, 2006 at 6:16:37 am

Paul, maybe you just need to change what you are editing? It takes some work to get in the door, but working on forensic video for lawyers can be both interesting and profitable. Such projects include prospectus videos used by juries in deciding amount of compensatory damages. These are often called "day in the life" videos, because they depict a day in the victim's life so a juror can see exactly what kinds of challenges and losses they face, and make up their minds on a suitable amount of compensation for that. Other kinds of forensic videos can include creating or re-creating an event using animation and other tools to demonstrate some argument in a case. And of course there are the bread-and-butter deposition videos, which are boring in terms of creativity, but very useful and sometimes interesting. I got to work on a few of these kinds of things early in my career, and one was especially gratifying, if not financially all that rewarding. Long story but I think it's worth it:

There was this kid, maybe 4 years old, profoundly damaged with cerebral palsy by an accident in the O.R. during birth, had near-total paralysis, lots of issues, could not speak, or communicate beyond grunts. It was hard to tell exactly what his mental state was because of a lack of ability to communicate; he could be pretty high-functioning, but trapped inside his own skull and unable to reach out, nobody knew how much of him was "in there". The trial was over and fault already ruled on, all that was left were the damages to award. The video I helped out on showed a day in this kid's life, which clearly demonstrated the high level of care he was going to need for his entire life, which needs to be paid for. And that's no small thing: it is quite different to see big dollar figures on a piece of paper and try to decide if they are too much or not enough, and to see the person trying to live that life.

But we also showed an experiment done by the Rehab Institute with what was then cutting-edge technology (back around 1984) .

Cobra attack helicopters have a technology their gunners use: anywhere they look, the machine guns of the helicopter track and follow the eye movements, look at a target, you can kill it. Some clever ELECTRICAL ENGINEER at the Institute developed a breadboarded system similar to the military targeting unit. It bounced a harmless invisible IR laser beam off the boy's eyeball. The boy was fitted with large eye glasses with the laser diode and receptor built into the frames, clear lenses and tiny changeable icon decals all around the perimeter of the lenses. When he stared at an icon for several seconds at a time, and blinked, the laser would read the eyeball's position, and an early Apple Lisa on the back of the wheelchair would interpret the icon and speak thru a voice synthesizer for the boy, kind of like the device Steven Hawking uses today. We documented the device and a test run using it to allow real 2-way communication between the boy and his parents and therapists and teachers... he could now ask for a glass of water when thirsty, or food when hungry could even say if it was too sweet or salty, he could say if he was hot or cold, sleepy or happy or sad or other things, like "mom" and "dad"... and make sentences because he could also count and spell using the "magic glasses". So a world was opened up to this boy and his parents with the experimental device.

The jury watched this video and awarded a then-record amount of several million over the boy's lifetime, both for his personal care and also specifically directed to further development and refinement of the machine prototype, so he and many others could all benefit from it's development.

I only got day rate for 2 days or so for my little part in the shooting and gripping for the project, but the satisfaction of seeing a tool of war turned into an instrument of healing and communication was so very, very rewarding, I'd have done my job for free.

So why I bring this up is, don't necessarily give up on the double-E degree: there is a universe of possibility for applications of your knowledge and imagination if you think past the obvious. but if you really have your heart set on video, you can find a lot more things to do than just weddings. Just one idea to throw out: video document LAN parties for groups of high-end gamers: combining screen captures of their realtime play with their audio comments and maybe some effects to creat a hybrid documentary with elements of machinima. or what about your dojo: slap some bright tape markers to a pair of sparring guys, extract motion data from the camera, and animate their bout so it can be examined in 3-d from all perspectives and at any speed forward or back... cool?

....and I feel the Jolt Cola starting to ebb from my system, so I'm going to stop here. The rest is, as they say, left as an exercise for the reader to fnish. That would be YOU:-)

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