Starting Up Videography

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Starting Up Videography

Postby SQA Studios on 05/19/2014, 12:58 am

Hi all,

This is more of a technical question. Years ago I had a 'business' on the side where I would do videography work for local companies. This was mainly through business connections that I had made from various other jobs. I never really put myself out there for tons of freelance.

However, I am looking to get into this more this summer on the side of my college summer job. I am looking at targeting the Real Estate (residential; have past experience for commercial real estate companies) industry and am not sure the legal specifics of doing so. Do I need to be licensed? It will just be myself in the company, so a sole proprietorship. How would I go about doing taxes? If I keep the company name as just my personal name (i.e. John Smith Photo and Video or something like that) I have read that I avoid a lot of the filings that I need to do; is this true? (I reside in Washington state if you need to reference any state specific legalese.)

Does anyone have any advice for starting a videography/photo business on the side of a regular part-time job? I will only be doing this in the summer (3-4 months) and do not anticipate many jobs at first. Thanks for your input and personal experiences with this!

SB
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Re: Starting Up Videography

Postby mooviemakers on 05/21/2014, 12:45 pm

Hi

First thing I would recommend is getting a website. Not a Facebook page or a Google plus, but a proper website where you can post your work. It will make you look professional and credible, and not just a novice looking to play around. Either build one yourself or pay someone to do it for you. Buy a domain name that is relevant and post it places. It's the first thing people, especially in business, will expect. Get the social media pages too, but link them back to you website.

Taxes wise I'm form the UK so can't really help out there. Over here if you're just working by yourself and not employing anyone you just set up as a sole trader which is incredibly simple. It gets a bit more complicated if you expand and start employing people.

Hope that helps any way!
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Re: Starting Up Videography

Postby RickAllenMedia on 05/22/2014, 9:12 am

hi
Last edited by RickAllenMedia on 07/31/2014, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Starting Up Videography

Postby SQA Studios on 05/22/2014, 11:22 am

Thank you both for the advice!

I am only looking to do this on the side of my other job and school, so I am not looking into making this a full time career. It might vary area to area, but I have found that my specific geographic region seems to be much more willing to work with videographers. Maybe this is unique to my area.

Any other business related advice is more than welcomed. I guess for now it will stay a 'hobby' and I will progress from there if work becomes available!
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Re: Starting Up Videography

Postby LordEdington on 05/27/2014, 9:27 am

Sorry to sound like a broken record, but once again, I have to disagree with a lot of what Rick has said.

Video production jobs aren't few and far between... there's probably tens of thousands of video jobs out there this very minute, and next week there will be tens of thousands more. Sure, there's maybe a lot less than there was ten years ago, as companies are having to tighten their belts, but they're still out there.

I agree with the kids wanting free videos for their bands... that's nothing new and it will carry on long after I'm dead and buried, but there are also decent, well paid video production jobs out there. You just need to separate the wheat from the chaff and know where to look, how to filter out the time-wasters.

I've worked with nearly 150 different clients on over 250 different projects. Some have been cheap and cheerful jobs that have taken a few hours, a day, half a week... and some I've been working around 70 hours a week for nearly three months. On one project, my work won a Shorty Award, I've worked with Olympic medalists, worked on a show that had some big Hollywood players as guests, had some work of mine on House of Cards, worked on a feature with a childhood hero of mine and worked on some promotion stuff for one of the biggest games franchises in the world.

That's not to say I'm some kind of After Effects wizard though... I'm self taught, have only been going for four years and I'm no Andrew Kramer. However, I do provide a reasonable level of quality for a decent price, combined with a high level of customer service, I'm pretty easy to get on with and I have plenty of common sense.... and a lot of times, that's exactly what the client is looking for.

However, I completely agree with the products thing and that's always the way to go. You can charge $1000 an hour, but you can;t bill clients when you're asleep. There's nothing more satisfying than going to bed and waking up with more money than before you went to bed! If you're a whiz on the old After Effects then you want to check out http://videohive.net/ and see if you can produce a hit template. Some artists are getting hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars a week for doing nothing. Yes, they've put in a hell of a lot of work to get to that stage, and they have to answer loads of support questions and they've probably spent years learning their craft... but it must be a great feeling to finish a mind blowing template, sit back with a cold beer and watch your account balance going up by $5/$10/$15 every hour or two!

"The movie for sale, no matter how crappy, will pay you 100 times more money for the effort over time."

I'm not entirely sure about that one though. If you sell it, sure, but I'm not sure a really crappy movie is going to arouse the interest of a distributor. Unless you're absolutely 100% certain that you have 'the next big thing' (and at least a few other people, who aren't your friends or family and have no stake in the film, preferably with insider industry knowledge... also think it's the next best thing).... then I would never advise making a movie purely for profit. If you've done it before, and made a profit, then go for it. Otherwise, you might be disappointed, and thousands of dollars on black or red might be hold less risk.

Definitely agree with getting a website. And use the domain for your email address. Nothing worse than having dave47968 at gmail.com for a work based email address. You want dave at whatevervideos.com

Get some business cards done and take them with you everywhere. It's amazing how many times people will ask what you do and on hearing video production they'll says that they/their dad/brother/cat needs a video etc etc. You can always head out in your local area as well, drop leaflets through the doors of businesses etc etc. Make sure you have something to show them though.... on Youtube or a reel on your site. Not many people will sign up for a video if they can't get an idea of what the finished article will look like.

Look for jobs here....

http://www.mandy.com/
http://www.wooshii.com/
http://www.elance.com
http://www.peopleperhour.com/
https://www.freelancer.com

(Those are in order of how good the sites are! Some are better than others and most of the jobs there are terrible. There are still plenty of gems though, so it's just a case of finding the right ones!)

Good luck!
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Re: Starting Up Videography

Postby RickAllenMedia on 05/27/2014, 7:45 pm

hi
Last edited by RickAllenMedia on 07/31/2014, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Starting Up Videography

Postby LordEdington on 05/27/2014, 11:37 pm

Two actually. But you're right Rick, I lie awake at night in fear of admitting you're right.
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Re: Starting Up Videography

Postby capita on 03/12/2020, 7:10 am

As for real estate, I know the guys from Flatfy, they shoot video reviews of houses from a quadrocopter. And I know for sure that this activity is licensed. Thanks to such video shooting and posting reviews on their website, they were able to create international catalogs of real estate in many countries. For example, hu.flatfy is the catalog of secondary real estate in Hungary. It looks very cool
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