Viewfinder: Making Video in an Economic Downturn

Some may think that making video during a recession seems frivolous, but consider this: during the Great Depression, a higher percentage of the population went to the movies compared to times of great prosperity (though there was no television at the time and movies were only shown in theaters). It’s unclear what will happen to the motion picture industry during 2009, since now we can watch movies and TV shows at home, and now you can watch videos or movies on the internet instead.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US, people began cocooning: socializing less and retreating into their homes. This current recession may have people spending more time watching video at home. If you feel like cocooning, realize that you actually make video and now is the time to do it!

If you are not making video for profit or as part of your occupation, I encourage you to escape into your hobby but don’t cocoon. (Well, of course I realize it is indeed hard to edit video while socializing. Editing video demands so much of your mind’s attention that just about anyone editing video cocoons during this process.) Shooting video is another experience altogether. Planning or shooting video are fantastic group activities. This is a perfect time for you to make more video than you ever have before!

During a recession, most people worry and tend to alter their habits. They stop buying things and they may socialize less. If this is happening to you, this may be the perfect time to produce a video that is not related to money or your job. It is time to make some video on a topic that you’re passionate about but you haven’t had the time. Invite some friends to help you.

While making video for profit or on your job, it is important to remember that the need to communicate doesn’t change during a recession. In fact, efficient communication will become even more important. This is a great time to get creative and recommend ideas to your employer about how to use video to blunt the impact that the recession is having on your company. If you are self-employed, now is the time to break into new markets.

We actually need a little stimulus package here at Videomaker so I will take this unprecedented opportunity to use my column to send a message to our advertisers. In spite of the recession, Videomaker‘s community continues using your products. Our community remains ecstatic about making video! While some of our community members may be purchasing less these days, this winter we learned that 71% of our web site visitors purchased a camcorder within the first month of it hitting the market. Videomaker is still the best place to advertise.

We will all make it through this recession. What does not kill us only makes us stronger!

Matthew York is Videomaker‘s Publisher/Editor.

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