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Starting my video business

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Paul CoreyStarting my video business
by on Sep 21, 2007 at 3:57:43 pm

Hi every one,
I read the blog Your Own Business Part 1 and 2 and I liked it. When I was taking karate 17 years ago the school I went to was owned by A student. An older guy because I was 25 years old at the time. He rented space and hired black belts to teach the classes. Now he owns 3 schools and he got his black belt.

So was thinking maybe I could do the same with a video editing/production company. I could hire experience editors to work with and for me. Some one that does not want to be the owner and just work and get a paycheck and I get to learn how to craft a story and anything else I need to know. I have the software and almost everything Walter started out with.

Do you guys think that would work? It would be a caeer change for me.


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David Roth WeissRe: Starting my video business
by on Sep 21, 2007 at 6:07:00 pm


There's an old saying in the sport of golf which says, "if you could buy a good golf swing there'd be a lot of rich low-handicapper golfers around." There aren't... Golf is just way too difficult for most human beings no matter how much money they can afford to throw at it. Production and post-production share certain similarities.

Equipment costs are so low nowadays that anyone can buy their way into the video production and post-production business. And, there's an unlimited supply of highly-trained and very talented artists available for hire as well. So, the marketplace has become very much over-saturated, making it tough for all, new start-ups and old veterans alike. Its simply a case that those who are looking for a video facility have so many possibilities available that its is essential for facilities to provide some definitive area of speciality that differentiates them from all the rest. However, even that is not a certainty of survival in these uncertain times.

I would be concerned that since you don't yet have a specialty yourself, and in fact would be just learning the craft, that you would be hard-pressed to be able to identify a niche that would generate enough business to keep your doors open and your employees (and teachers) paid, while generating an income for you. So, just buying your way is not going to be enough.

I would suggest that if you think you absolutely must get into this business, that before you invest anything, you need to get your feet wet by starting out working for someone with years of experience--someone who can teach you not just what you need to know, but what mistakes you need to avoid. Keep in mind that the only thing that often separates winners and losers is that winners are able to learn from their mistakes without losing everything in the process. Learning from the mistakes of others is a great way to do that.

I hope this helps...


David Roth Weiss
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


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zrb123Re: Starting my video business
by on Sep 22, 2007 at 6:42:21 am

[Paul Corey] "I could hire experience editors to work with and for me. Some one that does not want to be the owner and just work and get a paycheck and I get to learn how to craft a story and anything else I need to know."

It is a little more complicated then just giving them a paycheck.

Fist how are you going to ensure that you can bring in the money to give them the paycheck. Plus you will need money to cover all the other expenses. You will need commercial office space, employees will most likely not want to go going to your home everyday for work. Along with rent money there are alot of other costs of having employees.

You will have to provide insurance, and 401K to the employees as well as other possible benefits. If you don't provide it they will go work for someone who douse. Plus you will have to pay them well, otherwise again they will just look elsewhere.

I had a boss once that never understood why employees would not stick around more then a year. He would hire people fresh out of school and pay them peanuts. As soon as they had a bit of work experience they were gone, because they could get payed more elsewhere and could actually get benefits from other employers.

I have made a decision to keep my production business SMALL,I do not want employees. Sure I will hire additional people for the day if needed, but the agreement ends at the end of the day. Once you add employees you must play the BOSS. Any problems they have come to you. You will spend much more time playing boss then you will learning video production.

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walter biscardiRe: Starting my video business
by on Sep 22, 2007 at 8:44:40 am

Paul, my biggest question for you is what do you know about the business? You say you want to learn the craft, but you can't do that and be a business owner at the same time. I checked out your website and honestly I'm confused as to what exactly you do and what would qualify you to run a video production business. No offense, but that's the website in your profile.

You idea sounds a bit like the "build it and they will come" theory in my articles. What clients do you have lined up to ensure that these editors you bring in will have work to do? What will they get out of the experience editing with you that will help them better their careers?

Quite honestly, as an experienced editor, I would not align myself with someone who wants to learn the craft. As a startup business with no production experience, experienced Producers will most likely be reluctant to bring business to your shop, even with an experienced editor.

I would look to align myself with experienced Producers who are already connected with the local production market. This allows my name to spread among this group which in turn brings work back to me.

This is exactly how I built my business here. No offense to you, but I don't see the advantage for an experienced editor to come work with you to teach you the craft of editing and video production. That's your responsibility. That's what training seminars, internships and full production jobs are for. If you want to run a video production business, especially a small company, you need to know how the business works.

Having the gear is great, but pretty much anyone can get the gear these days. You have to be able to offer much more than just a steady paycheck for someone to commit to production company.

I think it's great you want to start up a production company, but you really need to take the time to learn the craft yourself so Producers will trust a project coming to you. Especially in this business, people are very protective of their work and don't trust just anyone to handle the production of their projects. Their reputation is on the line each and every time you take on an edit. Screw up one time and they'll never bring a project back to you and they'll be certain to let the rest of the local production company know all about it.

I've seen that happen more times than I can count around here.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast!

Read my blog!

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Paul CoreyRe: Starting my video business
by on Sep 22, 2007 at 11:14:34 pm

Hi, and thank you for the feedback.
I forgot I put that link in my profile and there is a typo.
It should be
I sell ski wax and I teach and coach skiing and ski racing part time in the winter.

My background in video started at Public Access TV on a TV show running the camera. The producer of the show like how I did and trusted me with more creative moves and the others he would just have them set up there shot and then switch to there camera. After a mouth or two he asked me if I would like to do weddings. I shot wedding 4 years part time and working 10 hours a day at my job. Then I got burned out and asked if I could do some editing. So I did that for 2 years. I have taken classes at a community collage and the photographer I work for close and went in the limousine business. I took two years off and now I do 4 or 5 wedding per year on my own and shoot for two other wedding videographers, no more then 2 per mouth.

I can

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Del HolfordRe: Starting my video business
by on Sep 24, 2007 at 2:05:38 pm

Hi Paul

You're getting some great advice from these guys. I can tell you are the entrepreneurial type, since you supplement your job with your ski wax business and wedding videography. My suggestion to you as an old guy (30+ years in the business) is to see if you can find some time to pursue that BS in Math. Even if it takes you six to eight years, what better use of your time is there than to get the kind of return that a BS in Math would give you? My son got a BSEE and started out making almost as much as I do. He worked a lot of overtime on his job with a defense contractor and is now back in school getting his MSEE with the money he saved. When he goes back to the real world he will undoubtedly make a lot more than I do. I love what I do in video and I make a decent living but I strongly suggest that you use your brainpower to get that degree and see what opens up for you.

With a BS in Math you could move up quickly at the company you work for. They might even help with college costs along the way. I'm sure with your skills and interests there would be several companies where the BS would open the door and then you could find something that fits several of your interests.

None of us are getting younger but you have established the ski wax and teaching business, so there will be the income from that if you maintain the relationships you have built there. You have established yourself in the wedding video field and can expand that with word of mouth by doing a great job for those whose weddings you shoot. My concern would be that you don't overreach and try to do too much. Ultimately, however, you need to analyze your assets & priorities and decide what you want to do when you grow up :-) You have some great assets. I hope you'll make the best of them.

fire*, smoke*, photoshopCS3
Charlotte Public Television

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