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Freelance Producing/Writing/Directing as a career?

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David Conrad
Freelance Producing/Writing/Directing as a career?
on Jun 29, 2010 at 12:40:28 am

Is it possible to make it as a freelance producer/writer/director? Let me provide some background info to my situation:

I've been in the production industry for over 10 years. I spent around 6 in local tv news as a photographer, editor, feature producer, and chief photographer. The last 3 years I've been producing, directing, writing, and editing corporate videos.

I was laid off in January when my company eliminated my position in a cost cutting move (on the plus side I got to watch my little girl grow up!) and as I've been hitting the job market, I still always wanted to start my own production company. But with 2 kids under 2 1/2 and laid off, money is tight.

So I have an opportunity to interview with a company as a freelance/contract producer/writer/editor - and that got me thinking.... could I do THAT as a full time career? I love shooting and editing, but have no funds for purchasing. So I though I'm good at writing and I can take concepts from script to completion, so maybe it is possible.

And if so, is the best approach to contact local production houses and offer my services? Advertise? Word of mouth? How would one get established as an independent producer?

And maybe once I got some cash flow I could revisit the idea of buying a camera/edit suite.

Any advice and tips would be greatly appreciated.

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Rich Rubasch
Re: Freelance Producing/Writing/Directing as a career?
on Jun 29, 2010 at 3:08:52 am

I would offer that the skills you have gained over the years as a creative are truly an asset, but at the same time you will have to be a business manager and a salesperson. Much of what you will be doing in the first six months to two years is selling the idea of you as a producer for given projects.

You might talk to some prospects, the top of the list, and find out how truly interested they would be in paying you to manage the process.

Writing is a great skill so if you have outstanding examples it could go a long way. Top producers are such because they have proven themselves and others speak highly of their work, and ability to work with others.

It can be done, but these are tough times, for now, and it could be a while before the mother lode shows up.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production and Post

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grinner hester
Re: Freelance Producing/Writing/Directing as a career?
on Jun 29, 2010 at 5:26:17 pm

Short answer, sure.
One man band video is more and more the norm. It's your selling point... the ability to quote a flat price for a turn-key project when companies with bigger crews that are usually not required can't do that. It's been my saving grace during this depression.

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