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Richard CardonnaPost Business
by on Apr 28, 2008 at 7:00:34 pm


I want to setup a service where i rent the editing suite by the day and the producers bring in there editor of choice.

(I am a producer/editor with exp in liquid.vegas and Premier (mostly my own projects for cable and events)
I don't want to edit for anybodey else just my projects and maybe some shooting.

If you wanted to serve local independant film and video producers where budgets rarely go over 1 million, usually in the $300 to $8ook and many in the sub $150K Most of the work is done in dv-hdv and some hd.

I am thinking of about $1500 for all a week mayabe offering fcp/adobe or avid mc

What set up would give the best bang for the buck. ( the market is not in the top 20)

Thanks for your input

RC



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David Roth WeissRe: Post Business
by on Apr 29, 2008 at 3:31:56 am

Richard,

Although many will strenuously argue the merits of one platform or editing system over another, few can deny that FCP is the NLE that generates the most demand by paying customers these days. Avid may command more per hour than FCP, but it can't compete in any market any longer with the sheer numbers of potential users and clients demanding FCP. And, while Premiere has a huge user base, larger even than FCP, it simply doesn't draw paying clients to facilities.

Now, as to investing in an edit bay and hoping it will generate outside traffic when you're not using it yourself... That's a whole different issue. I would say that, while it's possible the concept can work, in most instances it usually doesn't. You might be able to get the occasional customer, but if you're hoping to cover your overhead month in and month out, you probably won't get close.

Most editors either work for a facility or can afford to own their own gear, so unless your place is either very cool or very technologically advanced, what's the draw? You're competing against places that offer talent, but you're just offering gear that anyone can afford and a room to put it in. That's not typically enough these days.

That's my 2-cents at least.

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Todd TerryRe: Post Business
by on Apr 29, 2008 at 4:06:35 am

[David Roth Weiss] "Premiere has a huge user base, larger even than FCP, it simply doesn't draw paying clients to facilities."

Fairly true, but also a generalization... just depends on who you are and where you are.

Despite what I think is my senior editor's secret wish that we would go FCP, my little company has had three suites cooking and pretty much booked for 11 years now... and we have always cut exclusively with Premiere... starting back on 4.0, and now up to PP2/CS3. Ok, maybe an exaggeration, three suites aren't always constantly booked, but two defintiely are. At least in our market here (which I admit isn't huge, I think we are the 80th DMA), people are happy to line up for Premiere.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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David Roth WeissRe: Post Business
by on Apr 29, 2008 at 4:43:23 am

[Todd Terry] "Despite what I think is my senior editor's secret wish that we would go FCP, my little company has had three suites cooking and pretty much booked for 11 years now... and we have always cut exclusively with Premiere..."

But Todd, you have a facility with a history, and talented people, and cameras, and three edit bays, and a senior editor. All of that adds to the allure and clearly helps draw people to your place. I assure you, its not Premiere that draws them in. Hey, if it did, I'd be editing with Premiere.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Tim KolbRe: Post Business
by on Apr 29, 2008 at 6:11:53 am

[David Roth Weiss] "I assure you, its not Premiere that draws them in. Hey, if it did, I'd be editing with Premiere."

Much as I hate to say it as I'm a long-time Adobe user, david is right. If you're renting out a suite, Avid or FCP are what is going to be expected. If you have editors...having them get the job done is expected.

The key issue here is how many hours of rental will it take to just buy the system in the first place? You could put 10,000.00 USD into an FCP system with a lot of solid I/O, drive space, etc., but you need to keep it up to date, so you need to pay it off quickly. What's the hourly rental rate going to be?

If the rate gets high enough, a customer will go out and spend their hourly fees they would spend with you on buying their own...that didn't often happen with 100,000 dollar Avids...



TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

CPO, Digieffects


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Richard CardonnaRe: Post Business
by on Apr 29, 2008 at 4:56:05 am

Actually I plan to have a Mac with both OS and XP I will have fcb plus premiere or avid.

I plan to offer it to independent producers who will bring there editor of choice, or editors without equipment or serve other overbooked post houses and Ad agencies or in-house setups.. My service business will not compete with any post.

I will be offering them a full 40 hours of the system with everything included plus a comfortable room. (payment in advance of course) any time over 8 hours per day would have an extra charge.

Of course I want to offer something more that what they have available within there budgets plus give them greater control of hours.

I could include the whole adobe or fcp package with a top G5 plus a couple of 30 inch screens an IO/HD or a adobe matrox. But what else can i offer

I just want your opinion as to what type of equipment setup I could have that would attract the type of clients I have mentioned . Clients that want control over everything including time , who would normally aggravate me if I where sitting in the edit chair.

Clients can be film makers,commercial, broadcast...

I want a set up that can also pay for itself. I have been working as an editor and producer for my projects and clients hardly ever taken any outside jobs, my personal equipment have been dell precision stations with raids sony decks and z1 and canon xl2. which works for me.
But I know that I have to offer something different even though my setup can do the work

As I said I do not want to edit anything for anyone (I don’t want to murder any client) I just want to start working on my project before I get to old. So I will probably have an office close to the edit bay and what ever system I can use be it fcp/vegas...

Thanks for your comments


RC



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Craig SeemanRe: Post Business
by on Apr 29, 2008 at 2:52:24 pm

[Richard Cardonna] "Actually I plan to have a Mac with both OS and XP I will have fcb plus premiere or avid. "

[Richard Cardonna] "I could include the whole adobe or fcp package with a top G5 plus a couple of 30 inch screens an IO/HD or a adobe matrox. But what else can i offer "

You're not gonna do this on a discontinued G5. I assume you mean an Intel Mac Pro.

Here's some things in a nutshell:

If people are bringing in their own editors the bulk will either be FCP or Avid and I suspect there are more FCP freelancers these days.

If some part of your "package" doesn't include something they can buy on their own, they'll probably buy their own.

If you offer a "finishing" package (stuff they can't buy on their own) you might get finishing work. You might want to provide on staff finishing service. For example, many FCP editors can't color grade, make project to broadcast spec, output to broadcast format, prepare files for film, Blu-ray, etc.

You may want to include on staff work flow consulting as an additional service.

In any case you're going to need a loaded room to attract outside projects with their own editors . . . OR some very low budget producers who can't afford to buy a Mac Pro (or even an iMac) with FCP.





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David Roth WeissRe: Post Business
by on Apr 29, 2008 at 4:38:15 pm

[Craig Seeman] "In any case you're going to need a loaded room to attract outside projects with their own editors . . . OR some very low budget producers who can't afford to buy a Mac Pro (or even an iMac) with FCP."

Exactly! A "facilty only" model without a talented editor typically appeals only to producers at either end of the financial spectrum. In the end, its all about time or technology. Its either got to be a great bargain or fully tricked-out. Both situations have constant overhead and maintainance costs, but neither typically generates a consistant cash flow. That's never a good recipe for a facility with a goal of paying for itself.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Mike CohenRe: Post Business
by on Apr 29, 2008 at 5:03:48 pm

Back in the mid-90's when I was occasionally involved with taking an offline AVID edit to online, the edit bays for hire were either in the FOX affiliate in Hartford or the studios of various insurance companies, or production houses.
In other words, these outfits have an income whether or not they get the outside post work.
If you are not in a top market (LA, NY, Dallas, Chicago, Austin?, etc) where film and video production is hot, is there a palpable need for the service you are proposing to invest in?
You often read in Film magazines and here on the COW that film productions will rent AVID or FCP systems to have on-set or for post in general, however those rental systems are likely to be sourced locally to the production.

Just a few thoughts for you before you mortgage your house.

Mike


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Richard CardonnaRe: Post Business
by on Apr 29, 2008 at 9:56:15 pm

Ok so what would what would be be a loaded room (for the market i seek) both in technology and applications?

Thanks
RC



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Adam DuplayRe: Post Business
by on Apr 30, 2008 at 4:37:09 pm




Generally speaking, FCP and AVID bays that only cut DV or HDV are so cheep to set up and run that the rental demand for these suites is very low. Why would I spend $3000 for two weeks in your bay, when that is half the cost of setting up my own.

To be considered as a viable rental facility, I would expect you to have several flavors of HD decks, as well as Digi-Beta, Beta, Broadcast monitors, external waveform, etc...

The DV only edit bay can work as a rental bay, but for a much lower price.


Adam

Adam Duplay


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Richard CardonnaRe: Post Business
by on Apr 30, 2008 at 7:57:09 pm

True but i am also offering a profesional place to work that includes a kitchene and other furniture plus broadband connection. It beats workinh in someones house,me thinks.

Richard




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Ron LindeboomRe: Post Business
by on May 4, 2008 at 3:01:16 pm

[Richard Cardonna] "True but i am also offering a professional place to work that includes a kitchen and other furniture plus broadband connection. It beats working in someone's house, me thinks."

This is hardly a compelling enough reason to think that it will draw a steady source of income, especially when you are aiming for the DV/HDV market segment. As Adam and others have said, it takes very little time in your suite to pay for most or all of their own set-up.

You'd have to have some mighty nice furniture and one of those dream kitchens on the HGTV channel -- oh, and Chef Emeril from the Food Network popping in to entertain and cook for your clients -- to give a compelling enough reason to draw a crowd.

It's the "value add" as others here have said, and when considering what value adds most people are looking for, it is the heavyweight gear that most people don't own -- the HD and DigiBeta gear, etc. -- not fancy furniture that they want. Oh, they want the nice furniture but only as the icing -- first, you have to give them the cake.

I don't doubt that you could rent out your studio from time to time but I highly doubt that the present recipe is going to be a formula for financial recovery of expenses, let alone one for financial independence.

Just my two cents,

Ron Lindeboom


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Brendan CootsRe: Post Business
by on Apr 29, 2008 at 4:45:38 am

I tend to agree with David, FCP is the way to go. Avid systems are very expensive and many studios are getting rid of them in favor of FCP's lower cost of entry AND operating/upgrade cost.

The only problem is, good luck renting an FCP facility, especially to any production with a budget even close to those mentioned being in your target range.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Terence CurrenRe: Post Business
by on May 4, 2008 at 2:16:37 pm

Richard,

You don't have a viable business model. As others have said, you have to add value. What market are you in? Do a search in your local papers and CraigsList for your area. You can find folks renting out FCP rooms for next to nothing! You need to do your research in your local market.

We have a lot of FCP / Avid rooms that switch what they are depending upon the startup drive you use. We also have all the facilities a producer could need from hi bandwidth internet to a FAX machine, copier, conference room, receptionist, Tape Vault, etc.

We also have all flavors of decks, in house talent for graphics, audio, offline and online editing. Don't forget shared storage for those jobs that need more than one system.

Most important, we have the tech staff to fix any issues that come up and we have redundancy in equipment to get a session back up and running in short order if something dies.

And ALL of that is provided in the range you are talking about billing. I don't know your market, but I doubt you will get anywhere near that amount without all the above. And that is a big nut to carry every month.



Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca


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grinner hesterRe: Post Business
by on May 4, 2008 at 9:14:07 pm

a bigger bang for the buck cannot be had than a nice FCP suite.
Because it does what it advertises (bonus) and because it can grow as your needs grow without a do-over, it somply is the wisest decision one can make with almost any work flow.
It sounds like your wanting to be middle man so stability is a great assest. Offering some offlining with a used (and very cheap) Meridien-based Avid may be the perfect way to test the waters. Maintenance is a non-issue. If it became one, just hit ebay and replace the thing, billing it back the very next week. You could then market a nice fcp online suite to accent that offline suite.
Double billing rules.



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Richard CardonnaRe: Post Business (oops i posted in wrong thread)
by on May 7, 2008 at 2:33:19 pm

Thanks all for your input. I will carefuly consider your thoughts and experiences in my final decsion.

Thanks

Richard



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