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Vidi-Entrepeneurs---Your Video Producer Niche

Starpro's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: 07/19/2011 - 12:40am

This is a spin-off from the Video Resume thread. John Sachanda, the Video Business Host wrote:

"As I explore sources of income for video producers, I am curious what niches established and emerging "Vidi-Entrepeneurs" are seeking. There certainly seems to be a great deal of reference to wedding videography, followed by industrial videos for business clients including brand & training videos. There is some reference to special interest videos where producers are producing contenet for direct sales. I would like to hear about more categories of niche producers. To the VM Forum community, can you help me validate the sources of revenue by providing a % breakdown of your revenues by service"

Since I'm new to this forum, I am also interested to hear what other Video Producers do.

My main source of income was community videos (non-profits, churches, medical) but now it's transitioning into archival work.
I'm certified in Library Media Technology (research and cataloging) and I'm being paid for what I love to do most. Finally! I work with film collections that are sold to collectors, private individuals (estate sale inventory) and buyers who license stock footage.

Here's how it all got started. I am very passionate about film preservation. A Christian film cinema put their huge inventory of 16mm films up for bid. I had no idea what I was going to do with all these films (800 of them) but I put in the bid. The guy who was hosting the event said "I hope someone picks these up soon because they are all stacked under a huge carport and the rain has already damaged some of the films sitting up the top." I won the bid, took the cargo van and brought the films back home.

Down in the basement I took inventory of the entire collection. Now I had to start watching the films. I decided to post some on Ebay and only designated I would sell them in the US. But I got an email from a gentleman in Japan. He wanted to call me! So I give him my number and he asks: "You have Paul Stookey from Peter, Paul, and Mary?" I looked at my film notes and said "Yes. He's being interviewed and they are playing segments of his folk songs." So he starts firing all these questions at me "How long are these interview segments? What songs? Is Peter and Mary singing with him.? What exactly were they talking about?" I said I would watch the film on my projector again tonight with a stopwatch and be happy to answer his questions.

I never sell my films with copyright approval given or implied. I sell them as a collector. But the funniest thing that didn't occur to me at the time was that he was buying stock footage for his video production. (I found this out later). I figured he was a super happy film collector who loved folk music and had to have the film. There were bidding wars on the film and he won.

Of course, I was so happy to make the sale! I talked to a friend of mine and he said: "Do you realize what a gold mine of footage you have in your collection?" I said "But I'm sure you can find popular footage of Peter, Paul and Mary elsewhere." He said "You forget. You have films produced by Christian film companies who taped their own programs. These are unique stories."

So over time this part of my business slowly grew. I sell a lot of films overseas. I have clients from estate sales who I pick up boxes of 16mm films from to inventory the condition and sell for them. But my personal favorite is when people are looking for stock footage for their productions. I tell people all the time: "I'm not an intellectual property lawyer BUT as a Media Librarian I can give you resources on how to find more information." And I finally, finally get paid for what I love to do most. That's great too!


John Sachanda's picture
Last seen: 2 weeks 15 hours ago
Joined: 06/10/2008 - 2:32am
Plus Member Moderator

Tara, I'm flattered you are leading the charge on Vidi-Entrepeneurs and thanks for sharing details on your unique service. I will briefly outline my areas of interestthat I am still developing. I made a connection with a talent agent who needed help with videotaping actor auditions for out of town casting. The key to the relationship was being able to offer a low cost quick edit video. While there is not much profit in these alone, I also offer the actor additional services that give them a a broader audition capability. They are known as "Personality Reels" So far interest has been good. I see this developing into other categories down the road. I am also in process of developing a travel show with the objective of sale to a cable outlet. The TV market is huge and creative content is in demand. In addition, I am always on the look out for subject matter experts who could benefit from special interest videos. the goal is to partner with them to produce direct sale videos on their subject.

While I have been in business for over 34 years outside the video world, I would like to transition to video production in a greater capacity. After looking at video production with abusiness perspective, I see plenty of opportunities within it, especially when I read about services like yours.

I have been developing exposure for my video services through volunteering services to community groups. This has lead toreferral business and opportunities for samples of my work.


Woody Sanford's picture
Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 10/19/2010 - 7:33am

Video is such a broad field that its a pretty amazing industry. I started in video a little over 15 years ago. I have been working in weapons research and development for the government and private industry since getting out of the military 20 years ago. It all started as me being the guy that drew the short straw for documenting research and led to only documenting and not researching. A couple years ago I just dropped everything and now just video.

I have expanded recently to break out into other commercial and industrial areas and online marketing. Recent economy influences have caused me to get creative and in that I found a lot of fun and creative challenges that really keep things interesting. There are a lot of small businesses out there that need help in regards to video, so I film about anything I can morally tolerate. As a veteran I support and work with a lot of veteran owned businesses and that is my core network for business at the moment.

I can't really say I do one or two things to fill a niche. I guess I could say I'm a problem solver that provides video solutions for businesses but that can go from research documentation to a snazzy 30 second spot on the internet or TV. Its a broad field but that's what makes it fun and interesting.


Starpro's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: 07/19/2011 - 12:40am

John, You're welcome! I appreciate how you extended an invitation to me from the other thread to share more about what I do as a Video Producer. I'm truly interested in the "business planning" of how people put their video productions together. I also enjoy the Pre-Production phase working with creative ideas that involve research, planning and organizing.

I enjoyed reading your business plan ideas. I love the idea of your "Personality Reels." I immediately envisioned a movie reel with the actor's character face in the center of each one for a DVD cover. (Yes, I've been working in the film archives too long!) I know how hard actors work to win an audition and I'm sure they will appreciate your support services.

Yes, the idea of the travel show sounds great! If you have a Public Access station near you it's a great place to find future crew members. That's how I got started with my first show. I took classes and volunteered on other peoples productions. This gave me a great opportunity (as a future Producer) to observe other people around me and how they worked. I made mental notes deciding who I would like to be a part of my crew on future productions.

> The TV market is huge and creative content is in demand. < I absolutely agree with your statement here! Television provided me the most opportunities to submit my content and find my audience niche. Yes, it's hard work, but I also had great fun producing travel shows for Profile! Magazine and I think you will have fun with your show too. I love to travel!

Yes, working with community groups is a great way to market yourself. That's how I got a lot of referrals. As you know, I'm working on a new "business plan" to teach video workshops. This would have to be another thread since I'm still trying to work out my ideas. I would enjoy having feedback on this. I think the great value to these forums is I can connect directly to other videomakers who can share their real world experiences about production ideas.

I want to respond to WSanford's posting too. I have an appointment I need to get to now and will be back later.

Tara :)