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How to become a Videographer to make money for individuals want to quit their jobs and start their careers as an entrepreneur are as follows:
Description of Job
• Videotape weddings, amateur sports events and competitions, parties, and
celebrations.
• Record meetings, public events, and speeches for business clients.
• Edit tapes into a professional presentation.
• Produce copies on videotape, CD, or DVD.
The Need
We live in a visual age; we are used to having photos, movies, and television to
record nearly every moment. Modern families and businesses have VCRs,
DVDs, video cameras, digital cameras, cell phones with built-in cameras, and
increasingly antiquated film-based cameras.
However, it is obvious to most of us that a great gap exists between an amateur
point-and-shoot effort and a polished, edited production by a trained
expert using professional-quality equipment. It may be acceptable to shoot
your own video of your son’s debut in the school play or your daughter’s
game-winning goal in a lacrosse game. However, when it comes to what we
expect to be once-in-a-lifetime events—a wedding, an award presentation,
or a keynote address—it makes a lot of sense to hire a professional freelance
videographer.
Challenges
You have to know what you’re doing, and you have to have reliable, professionalquality
video, audio, and lighting equipment. You’ll be shooting live events, with
no second chance in case of a technical problem.
It may be possible to take on some jobs by yourself, but most productions
will require assistants to help with setup and to stand by to help during the work
itself; some events will need multiple cameras and audio pickups.
Know the Territory
Make sure you fully understand your client’s needs and wants, and be very
careful about what you promise. In most cases you should not take on a job
without visiting the location to make sure you will be able to function properly
there.
Not every location permits installation of bright video lights and microphones,
and some may have limited electrical outlets. Modern equipment can
usually be run from battery-powered sources.
Some churches and other religious institutions may not permit any intrusion
on their ceremonies, and you should carefully look into any request for taping of
a theatrical performance to make sure you are not violating the rights of the copyright
holder.
At some hotels and convention centers, you may be required to work with
unionized employees. Any extra costs should be passed along to your client.
If permitted, videotape a dress rehearsal of the event. This will allow you to
confirm that all your equipment is functioning properly, help you determine the
proper placement of cameras and microphones, and acquaint clients and guests
with your style of operation.
Some of the dress rehearsal tape may be of use in the final video you prepare
for the client.
How to Get Started
Contact area party and wedding planners, banquet halls, community centers, and
schools to make them aware of your availability. Post flyers and ads on area bulletin
boards and advertise in newspapers and shopping guides.
Obtain permission from your clients to use portions of their events in creating
a sample tape or DVD to show prospective customers. Offer a bonus or discount
to satisfied customers who refer new clients to you.
Up-front Expenses
You’ll need at least one professional-grade video camera, plus external wired and
wireless microphones, an audio mixing board, and a set of video lights. A basic
setup could cost from $1,500 to $5,000.
Some equipment, including additional cameras, lighting, and audio devices
can be rented from professional supply houses. (Be sure to carefully test any
rented equipment before using it on a job.)
Once the video has been shot, you’ll need editing equipment. These can be
special-purpose video editing controllers and rerecorders, or you can use video
capture and editing systems for use with high-end personal computers. Plan on
spending between $3,000 and $5,000 for editing equipment and computers.
You’ll need video libraries of images, fades, dissolves, and special effects to
liven up the edited tape. Other helpful software includes audio editors and a
library of copyright-free music.
Finally, you’ll need a way to produce multiple copies of the final video. This
can be done on a professional-grade video recorder or with a CD or DVD burner
that is part of your PC.
You’ll need a van or large vehicle to transport your equipment to jobs; make
sure it can be made secure to protect valuable gear.
How Much to Charge
For most jobs you can charge a set price for videotaping, editing, and producing
the final version of the video. Include in your price the time required to visit the
location, tape a dress rehearsal, return for the actual event, and edit video. Add
the expense of any special requests by the client and for multiple copies of the
finished video.
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