Who Ya Gonna Call?
I’m still in high school, but I’ve set my sights on being a videographer when I graduate with a Master of Fine Arts for videography from college, (hopefully). Since I hear most people start out as a wedding videographer, I’ll use that as an example. I was wondering, what happens if when you get hired for a job, then you get sick the day before, or someone in your family dies, or something of the sort? Do you call and say you can’t come and leave them with the added hassle of no videographer? Do you go anyway and hide your grief/sickness? Do you call in a favor from a friend, assuming you have some that are good a videotaping?
Walnut Creek, CA
Very good question, Mathew, and one we come across a lot. By nature of what we do, most of us are lone wolves without access to partners or friends who share our knowledge or interest in video production. We know of one young man with a promising wedding business who left his business in the hands of a friend for three months while he was traveling. The friend had no knowledge of the video business, and finding himself over-whelmed with the responsibilities, he blew off nearly all of the brides already booked. When the traveler returned home, he discovered his business was failing due to word of mouth by some extremely angry brides.
Bottom line, you made a deal, and you have to do everything in your power to see it through. As they say in Hollywood, “The show must go on.” So how do you do that? First, if there’s a death and if it’s a matter of being healthy and available but not in tip top shape emotionally, then yes, you DO go and hide your grief. Your personal life is of no concern to your client anyway. If you have to attend a funeral, or if you truly are sick, then you need a pinch hitter.
You should always have a backup shooter for any gig you book that can’t be rescheduled, like a wedding. In nearly every town in the country, there is more than one video producer in the phone book. You need to think of the other producers as your extended circle of support staff, not as rivals. Contact someone to see if they would like to “share” backup duties. You arrange with them to be available “just in case” one weekend, they do the same with you. If you have to bail out, they should do the shoot, and be paid for it, either by you, or by the client, and you get a referral fee.
This is also a good contact for you if you need a second camera, or second operator. We know of producers who have rented their camera to someone who needed an extra one, knowing that the favor would be reciprocated eventually. Who knows, by making contact with another producer, you may share ideas, and do some fun dual shoots together, thus strengthening the bonds even more. Doing this, you’ll also be able to share techniques tips, much like people do on forums. We know of a few guys who all had their own business, that got together for the fun of it to shoot a 24-Hour Video Contest project – and won.
We wish you the best of luck, Mathew, in your new profession.
Thank you for a Good Time
I wanted to say thank you to Jennifer O’Rourke on your editorial staff, for showing Bill and I how to set up our JVC camera for 2-channel audio recording at the DVD authorizing class. You also pointed out several features that I didn’t understand what they were used for. I appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge, thank you again,
Our “Oops” is Showing!
Excellent article. [Basic Training, “Edit-ing 101,” Videomaker December 2006] The only error I noted (oddly under the heading “Continuity Errors”), is the reference to the film “Bullitt” with Steve McQueen. The film was released in 1968, not 1977.
Um… good catch! Thanks, “Eagle Eye” Aleck. We really DO double-check our facts, but sometimes they slip past us.