Is this once or twice a year opportunity do-able…

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums General Video and Film Discussion Is this once or twice a year opportunity do-able…

Viewing 21 reply threads
  • Author
    • #43079

      Here is the situation, I actively participate in a high school marching band booster club. We host two very large hs band competions every year. In the past we have used a professional video company to make a video of each band (which is given to each band director at no charge), and for this service we give the video company (who specializes in band competitions) the rights and space to sell the videos to band fans.

      the company that we have used in the past would make a very simple video, just one camera angle, no edits, no zooming in or anthing special, not even any credits or titles, and they would duplicate these on the spot for customers. Each video will last approximately 10 minutes, just one band per video. Band nerds, I mean fans, typically order just one video and just of their band. At our first competition last year I believe they charged either $10 or $15 each, our second competition I think they went up to $20 (they tried to justify the price hike because our second competition is an official state event).

      So this year we recieve a email from them telling us that they are going to charge us $10 per band for the videos that we give to the band directors. 30 bands competing times $15 each means we will be paying them $300. All of our other vendors pay us for rights to be able to sell their wares out our competitions (about 8,000 visitors at each competition). I am thinking that we are getting jerked around as they probably sell a minimum of 300 videos @ $15 each at each competition. At a cost of goods sold (disk, ink. generic jewelcase) of only about a buck, they are netting about $4,200 on each one day event before the additional $10/band fee.

      I am thinking that we (the booster club) should look into doing it ourselves.

      Now here is the part where I expect to get flamed. It seems to be that it is a pretty easy task. Just setup two cameras on tripods just below the press box, press the start button when the band starts marching onto the field, and press the stop button when they start to leave the field. Then we have a “runner” to take the media to our reproduction/sales booth, duplicate and printa few, send oneto the band directors hospitality booth for distrubution to the band director,take one and have it playing so that the band fans can see it prior to purchase (always creates a crowd), take orders and tell them to come back in an hour for their videos, and the booster club makes an easy $9,000 (between both events). It would take two volunteers doing the recording, one volunteer (probably a band student) transporting the disks from pressbox to sales/duplication booth, and a couple of volunteers to do the reproduction and sales.

      Just seems to easy and simple and profitable. So tell me what I am missing here. Is there some special difficulties that I am ignoring? Yes, this is your opportunity to go ahead and flame me if I am making this sound way to simple. By the way, I own a screen printing company, a sign company, and a offset printing company, so I am used to dealing with problems. Any reasons that we should not take this on?

      And, here is the fun part…help me figure out what type of setup would work best. Do I really need high end professional cameras, or could we make do with $250 cameras from Best Buy? I am thinking to keep it simple, maybe we could get two of those cameras that record direct to dvd, that way we just do a direct dvd to dvd duplication. The reason for two cameras is just so that we have a backup. Is there any reason that we could not use a couple oflow end $250 (or so) stand alone duplicators? Same question for a couple of $250 ink jet disk printers. Looks to me that the investment would only be around $1,500 (plus media and supplies). But even if it cost us four or five times that amount we would still have a fantastic profit.

      Any equpment that you would recommend for this project? Anything that we should stay away from? I looked at some of the posts here but I did not notice anyone doing anything that is quite like this.


    • #180579

      I think it’s a rip off if they are only shooting from one or two static angles. I don’t think that’s worth anything. That’s not professional video. The average consumer could probably do a better job.

      If you don’t mind the static video, then certainly do it yourself, but if you would like a more dynamic video with multiple angles and nice editing, well that would require people who know what they’re doing (probably not the people who you currently use).

    • #180580

      Point blank, the average consumer is going to have a heck of a time duplicating a true pro quality video. Plus, it can be costly. On another forum I was asked to come up with a great video package for six grand or less, and I was hard pressed. Additionally, editing is a lot more challenging than it looks. If you have never edited a multi-camera live event before, you’re in for a greuling learning curve. Lastly, a pro video producer usually has years of experience with taking the best possible shots. Shot composition is very important, and being someone who trains video camera operators, I can tell you for a fact that nearly everyone who starts shooting and thinks they know how to shoot doesn’t. If you don’t know the 180 rule, the rule of thirds, and how to set up aperture and white balance, you’re going to have rough times.

      So there are the cons. On the pros column, those who do video for a living will tell you they love it. It’s a lot of work, but I love it. If you decide to go this way though, MAKE SURE you get some good advice, or you may wind up buying a bunch of stuff that doesn’t suit your needs, only to have it run by people who don’t know how to use it. The last thing you want is to be out of a lot of money and still need to hire someone to do it right.

    • #180581

      Do plan on charging people 15 bucks a DVD still? Your clients would NOT be getting their money worth if you plan on doing it the way you are.

      How are you going to capture the audio? Off the $250 Best Buy camera? Eeeeeeewwwwwww, it’s probably going ot soundhorrible, especially if you’re getting the audio from the wide shot camera.

      The 2nd camera is only a backup? Or is it a 2nd angle? One wide shot makes for a very boring video.

      A $250 camera is going to look like a $250 camera. The people your using (hopefully) are using $2,000+ cameras and now how to use every option on the camera.

      How many DVD’s do they really sell? I’ve had events where I was ‘promised at least 100 DVD’s to be sold’, and we sold 25.

      Just some stuff to think about.

    • #180582

      Sorry, I should have mentioned this, but for this pupose, we actually require a single camera video. Tne band directors want to see the entire band simultaniously, they use itto “clean up” their drill along with copies of the judges audio tapes. Plus, with bands schedualed every 20 minutes, obviously there is not time to edit the videos and produce them on-the-spot. A “plain jane” single camera angle with absolutely no editing is just fine for our purposes, and that is all the professional video company sells “on the spot” anyway. The purpose of us getting two cameras is to have a backup.

      For the “official” competition, the “state” has a contract with a company to produce high end videos (for which they charge about $100 each) which are pre-ordered and the buyers recieve these by mail a few months later. We have no intent in competing with that – only the “instant” videos which are provided to the band directors and sold and produced instantlyon-the-spot.

      One of my biggest concerns is if we can reproduce the videos fast enough with just a couple of 20X reproduction units. The event is about 12 hours long and I would expect to sell around 300 videos, so we would need to be able to replicate each 10 minute dvd in about 3 minutes. How manyduplicating units would we need to do this? I would assume that a 10 minute dvd could be duplicated in just a couple or three minutes – am I wrong about this?

      We could pre-print some of the disks (a few for eachband)and have them on hand ready to be used for duplication. And, I noticed this morning that Epson has a ink jet printer that comes with an adapter and software to print ink jet printable cd’s – it’s less than $100 – would this do or should we invest in a higher end printer? Would old fashioned lables be just to tacky to use? All the disks really need to have printed on them is the date, the name of the competition, and the band name. Remember this is just a once or twice a year need.

      And, are their any fairly inexpensive cameras (less than $1,500 each)on the market that would allow for us toplug in some type of wireless audeo reciever so that we could pick up the sound from the field instead or in addition to the sound at the pressbox?

      And, it would be awsome to provide a wide screen video (since football fields are kind of wide screen anyway) but not HD as not all of our customers will have HD capability. Any thoughts on how best to handle this (in the past the company that we have used has not provided wide screen format for the instant dvd’s).

    • #180583


      you brought up a lot of my concerns.

      I just tossed the $250 best buy camcorders out there to see who would bite. Realistically we could probably afford a couple of professional cameras, but last night I reviewed the other companies instant video and honestly, it looked no better than one I shot with my personal toy camcorder. Any advice on a lower cost but yet still “professional” camera?

      We have about 8,000 visitors at each event, I got my estimate of 300 videos based on guessing an average of 10 per band. I am sure that some of the smaller bands may not even purchase one, but we have a few larger bands (150-200 members) who are national level competitors and I would expect to sell more like 30 or 40 of them.

      A lot of people cant afford the edited $100+ videos that are sold at the state sanctioned events and don’t want to wait two or three months, so the $15 on the spot videos are a good alternative for them and even if my 300 guestimate is out of line, I would eat dog doo-doo and bark at the moon if we did not sell at least 100.

      It honestly seems like a waste to purchase equiment for two days a year – so my next line of thinking is – is it possible to rent this equipment?

    • #180584

      This is a link to a youtube video that is similar to what we need:

    • #180585

      Point blank, the average consumer is going to have a heck of a time duplicating a true pro quality video.

      If we already have a dvd, and we have a dvd duplicator, is it not a matter of just putting in the master and a blank into the duplicator and pressing a button?

      On another forum I was asked to come up with a great video package for six grand or less, and I was hard pressed

      We may not need a full package nor a “great” one. We need no lighting as we are taking this video from 100 yards away. Do we need anything other than a camera, a disk printer, and a disk duplicator? I already have tripods, all we do is video and reproduce – no special effects or editing nessasary for this project.

      Do plan on charging people 15 bucks a DVD still? Your clients would NOT be getting their money worth if you plan on doing it the way you are.

      Sure, thats what the “professional company did” Remember that these are “instant” videos.

      One wide shot makes for a very boring video.

      I agree, but thats the way it is done, for the reason I explained above.

      The people your using (hopefully) are using $2,000+ cameras and now how to use every option on the camera.

      I cant tell that the quality is any better than my $250 camera, and since the video is static, and while they probably know every option, they are obviouslyonly using one setting on these videos.

      How many DVD’s do they really sell? I’ve had events where I was ‘promised at least 100 DVD’s to be sold’, and we sold 25.

      A lot of people cant afford the edited $100+ videos that are sold at the state sanctioned events and don’t want to wait two or three months, so the $15 on the spot videos are a good alternative for them and even if my 300 guestimate is out of line, I would eat dog doo-doo and bark at the moon if we did not sell at least 100.

      If you don’t know the 180 rule, the rule of thirds, and how to set up aperture and white balance, you’re going to have rough times

      For our purpose, all we need to do is get a shot of the entire football field. Does not have to be artistic, we let the bands be our artists.

      How are you going to capture the audio? Off the $250 Best Buy camera? Eeeeeeewwwwwww, it’s probably going ot soundhorrible, especially if you’re getting the audio from the wide shot camera.

      That is a concern of ours. Whats our best option?

      I think it’s a rip off if they are only shooting from one or two static angles. I don’t think that’s worth anything. That’s not professional video. The average consumer could probably do a better job.

      Thats what I am talking about!

    • #180586

      I’ve been doing this as a videographer for 20 years and as a band parent i can tell you that the best way to go is to give the directors copies out the day of the event, but mail ordered copies afterward. Less work for you to do at the event. You can print dvds on site, but unless you pre-printed disc fronts, you will be waiting for ink to dry. The big boys who come with production equipement that mix 3 cameras on site come with a ton of generic cases and discs and use a duplicator to make copies on site at $30 bucks a pop for a single band and over $100 dollars for “top ten” and over 200 for the show. they limit the number of copies they produce on site because at competitions like that, you have 50 bands and a lot of parents or students that may want copies. One company I have dealt with in the past at a championship in the northeast would charge $30 bucks regardless if it was the single camera or the multi cam dvd.

      You can accomplish what is needed with a decent camera, tripod and shotgun mic. Just be sure to use proper shock mounting on the mic and if it’s an outdoor competiion and good wind muff on the mic as well to deaden wind noise.

    • #180587

      One of the reasons your cheapo camcorder probably looks comparable to the pro’s video (and not knowing what cameras you pros use, They might be using cheap cameras themselves) is potnetially because of lighting conditions. If you’re outside in full sunlight, even a $200 el cheapo camcorder gets “pretty good” color. It’s still not as good as a pro 3CCD unit, because on a standard single CCD (or sometimes CMOS) camcorder, color is created by sampling a different color (either red, green, or blue) on every other pixel. For example, on a pixel-by-pixel level, where a 3 CCD camera will give you true color on each pixel, and a big box off the shelf camcorder’s will in each row only give you a green pixel, blue pixel, red pixel, green pixel, etc.. So you get a pretty close color, but it won’t be a perfect replication that 3CCD models give you. Additionally, as soon as you get out of full sunlight, even so much as a dark overcast day, cheap cameras start losing quality really fast in comparison to pro models. If you can control the weather and manage a sunny day every time, a Chep camera might suit your needs. Otherwise, a pro model is a good idea.

      Another possible reason your video could look similar is that your pro company are losers who can’t operate a camera. I hate to say that, but what you’ve said, they don’t sound so reputable. I personally couldn’t sell a one-camera angle video for that price and respect myself in the morning. 5 or 10, maybe, but $15 for a pretty much static shot? really? I do live event production myself. I have a live switch, pro audio, the whole 9 yards. For $20 to $25 bucks, I have live edited 3-5 camera angle DVD’s that people can buy on the same day of the event. And making a special “one angle” shot for a band director would be incredibly easy. Just split the feed off your wide angle cam, send one to the switch, and send the other directly to a portable DVD burner. The band director gets his static cam, and the fans actually get something a little nicer. And they all get it on the same day, to boot.

      In closing, I will bring another point up. By hiring someone, you reduce a lot of headaches. Even if they’re charging you a few hundred bucks, surely it’s worth it so that you don’t have to deal with logistics, set up and tear down, doing piles of the work. I mean, it’s great that these folks gave you a free ride for so long, but even if they’re only doing a lame 1-camera shot, it’s a lot of headache that they deal with. That’s got to be worth something.

    • #180588

      Yeah, it is all fairly simple, really, a lot of hard work, but simple…

      …if you know what you’re doing.

      The people who know what they’re doing often make is appear to be easier than it is. Quality equipment, regardless of how the video is produced, and experienced help makes things go right more often, but even with the pros things can go wrong in a heartbeat. They are usually equipped to address those snafu situations.

      So, be prepared for some serious problems regardless of your approach the first event, and each event after will continue the learning curve. What is being compensated for by the professional with experience is the knowledge, experience and equipment to make things run as smoothly as possible.

      ANYBODY can do video, not everybody can handle all the elements of getting it right – not even the pros.

      There’s a guy, Bob Andersonm, back east, very possibly the one providing the current services, who has years of experience with doing these and he often discusses things he STILL runs up against at Video University forums. Somewhere on the splash page for VU is an ad offering an insightful and informative book & dvd regarding his approach to doing these – could be worth the $70-something price he’s asking to order and do some research. There’s another guy in Arizona who specializes in this as well, and even fields crews to videotape and produce events throughout several of the western states, including California – I cannot recall his name but he (or Anderson) would very possibly be the national guys doing the premo production mentioned on this thread, as well as the down and dirtys on location.

      Again, anybody can do it, but not everyone can do it right, cheaper, faster or better.

    • #180589

      Earl makes a GREAT point about being ready for things that can go wrong.

      One of my favorite TV shows is “Dirty Jobs”. One of the reasons I like the show is that Mike Rowe often turns the cameras on his crew, giving us a glimpse of how they make the show. In probably more than half of the episodes, things have gone horribly wrong behind the scenes. Cameras have vanished (or been destroyed), boats have tipped, things have gone different from planned. These folks are probably one of the higher paid TV crews on cable, and even with that, they have near-disasters on the bulk of their shoots, and sometimes even these guys can’t “fix it” for the final show. I remember seeing one episode where they discussed lost footage from some of their favorite shoots. And these guys are way better at their jobs than possibly every video producer here on this site.

      Admittedly, there’s a lot less that can go wrong for a band shoot than for shooting some of the dirtiest jobs on Earth, but things will still go wrong. Somebody will forget to charge your batteries. You suddenly realize that your bag of blank tapes and media is empty. a camera will malfunction. When you pay someone to do the work for you, they’re 100% comitted to the video, so they’re usually better equipped to deal with problems. Typically people doing the work “in-house” are doing 5 other things, and video is just added on. It’s going to be tough to make an emergency run for tapes if you’re busy with other things.

      Like I said, it’s great that you guys have essentially been getting this work done for free, but even if you have to pay for it, it might be worth it just to avoid headaches that happen on EVERY shoot. And believe me, there are headaches on every shoot. I’m not trying to dissuade you from doing this, but I am trying to warn you that it’s a lot of work, more than most folks realize. If you go for it, that’s great, and we’ll try to equip you to do that. As Earl mentioned, you should look at some of the books out there. It’s a good place to start.

    • #180590

      AS former band parent I have shot several band competition videos with a consumer level camera. I do understand that request for a one cameral wide shot because I was asked for this countless times. One other thing that you will need even with a good pro-sumer cmera is a wide angle lens. Even in some of the college stadiums that I could get up pretty hight I was never able to capture the whole field.

      I also agree with the taking orders for the dvd and shipping them after editing. It would take alot of pressure off if you have any problems at all.

    • #180591

      Thanks to everybody who replied. I think you guys as a group offered a lot of really good advice. We will be bringing up this issue with the other club officers and discuss if this is something that we really want to undertake.

      Hmm, wide angle lense, sounds like what we need, and I really like the idea of only having instant videos for the directors and mailing out the rest.

      One thing is that it is my gut reaction that the video company has not actually been doing us a favor – I feel that we have been doing them a favor in allowing them to profit off of our event – without the booster club getting any compensation. So this is not really about the $300 fee, that would be very reasonable in itself, but it is the fact that we spend thousands of hours (over 100 volunteers for this event) putting these event on (the two events combined netted the boosters only about $20k last year), and yet we are expected to be thankful for not charging us more? Shouldn’t they be paying us like ALL of our other vendors do? Hey, can you imagine Coke sending the broadcaster of the Superbowl a bill for allowing coke to be sold at the event for for the privoledge of having Coke advertisments on the tv?

      I may need to just see if we can negotiate a better deal with the video company – like maybe asking for $5 royalty for each video that they sell, and then maybe we can justify paying them $300 bucks for the director videos. If they won’t bite, it may be in our best interest to look into renting a good qualitycamera (I googled that and found a very wide variety of options in the $300-$500 per day range), and purchasing a $500 printer/duplicator combo. And although it sounds like a lot of work, it would only be a fraction of the work that goes into these events, so that is no biggie with us. I still tend to believe that this has potential to be an excellent fundraiser.

    • #180592

      I am an independent professional video services provider. I experience the loss of large, event-based clients on an annual basis. I also fortunately experience new business blood coming in every year, replacing and increasing what drops off.

      The lost business is primarily based IMHO on two things: parental/booster club, etc. politics, or sombody cuts the price. That’s fine with me. I can cope with the competition, but…

      …I have to tell you that for the most part I wind up getting the large event-based clients back after a year of doing it themselves, trying to cut costs using volunteers and a host of assorted consumer gear, or suffering from major disappointment, even depression, after seeing what the “other guys can do for cheaper” – we don’t get them ALL back, but a significant number return. Some, we have to reluctantly pass simple because the schedule we usually hold open for them as a courtesy gets filled with other, occasionally more lucrative, gigs. When this happens it’s “nothing personal, just business” to quote the formerly VERY rich guy with a toupee.

      Even if I knew every facet of the specifics needed for your “takeover” I have to say I am not so sure I’d deal you in on all the requirements necessary to make your endeavor a success. One thing that sort of kicks sand in my face is your statement about who is doing whom a “favor” regarding provision of professional video services. At best, I am often doing my clients a “favor” by offering them a way to absorb costs that run much higher than you would expect, but may be learning soon if you pursue the course. This is done by individual sales, instant sales, direct sales to parents and those attending, instead of charging the fees it would require for an individual, organization or booster club to cover the total costs, plus make a bit of profit. Nothing inherently wrong with needing to make something over and above what it actually costs (realistically) to do the job. Right?

      I have had this perspective shared with me over the years by various clients, and while I cannot argue with their logic, I can certainly see it from MY side of the fence. Considering all the elements I am responsible for, all the things that can go wrong, all the experience and investment into quality equipment, and the special service, production, order fulfillment, and more that goes into provision of large-scale production gigs…

      …for the fees I get sometimes I’m not so sure anybody is doing ME a favor. I am positive that I am doing THEM a favor.

      Your analogy about “everybody else” paying for the priviledge might be true in many insteances. In others it doesn’t hold water. There are many instances of professional service where the question “who is doing whom a favor” might be asked regarding the organization and the professional services provider. I don’t expect to SELL you on my perspective, but just felt I needed to lend a voice from the other side of the fence.

      There have been large, major dance organizations in my career experience who have done the research, purchased the equipment and found an effective way to move video production “in house” to bring in a few extra dollars. Some have actually paid me a consultation fee to help them get it set up. Wow, I got paid for doing them another favor πŸ™‚ Some succeed, others have failed. Some come back while others are too embarassed to do so, hiring instead another area video services professional, or not.

      We live in an era where just about anything is possible with video production. I’ve written many articles on my blog related to getting into this business, making money and successful marketing. No reason why people in booster clubs reading these articles wouldn’t come up with the idea they could learn to do things just as well, and perhaps less expensively, and pocket the receipts.

      I have no problem with folks trying to do it themselves, or with the concepts of free enterprise and capitalism, etc. What I do know about video business, and just about anything else that can become the basis for a business – nobody can be all things to all people. The cliche about being a jack of all trades and master of none became a cliche because it most obviously fits the explanation for so many failures along the business enterprise highway.

      When the topic of my business comes up I invariably hear from restaurant servers, bartenders, hair stylists/barbers, martial arts instructors, dance instructors, preachers, even doctors and dentists “Yeah, I was a videographer.” I don’t always say anything back, but I just wonder why most of them are now doing hair, or serving tables.

    • #180593

      EarlC, I appreciate your point of view. Since I own three similar businesses, I can relate. I also spend a lot of time on forums that are specific to my industries, and I see a lot of people posting the same type of post that I made on your forum, and they all irritate me. Seems like everyone assumes that everyone elses profession is easy and skill-less.

      But at the same time, with all three of my businesses, we have potential customers who deside to “do-it-themselves”, and some of them do a pretty darn good job. It always “chaps my you-know-what”, but if they are happy with home made business cards, or those cheapo crappy cards that you can get from, then fine. There is nothing that I can do about it. And although I percieve a homemade sign or business form or occasionally homemade screen printed t-shirts as being tacky, sometimes those homemade products actually fit the consumers needs better than a professional product. Actually, one of our largest customers PREFERS really tacky looking business solititation, not because of money constraints, but because their customers actually respond to it better (this is a small consumer lender – like the ones who make $300 loans at 125% interest).

      In our particular case, we could care less if our attendees actually purchase videos or not, unless we were actually getting a cut of the profit. We do have a contractual obligation to provide one video for each band director, and we would loose competitors if we did not provide that. $300 is a rediculously low price for us to pay for those 30 ten minute videos, I actually have no objection to that, but it has in the past always been understood that we recieved those videos for free in exchange for allowing the video company rights and space to sell additional videos. It was a trade-off. Now, if we have to pay for those videos, which by the way are not anything that I would consider professional, then why should we give away the space that we could otherwise rent to another vendor.

      You may be intirely correct that videoing our competition may not be very profitable for the video company. I have no way to know how many they sell. There is always a crowd of people around their booth, but that does not mean that there is a pile of actual orders.

      So, from the standpoint of someone who is in your profession, do you think that I would offend them if we asked them how many videos that they sell, or in some other way if we asked them if our competition is not profitable for them? This particular company specializes in doing band videos and does them over a pretty good size geographical area. Since both our competitions are among the largest in the southeast, typically withbands from three different states,I would assume that if any band competition is profitable our would certainly be.

      Their email stated: “we have implemented a new policy, we will be charging $10 for each band director video at each high school competition.” It goes on to explain that this policy is not in effect for state sanctioned competitions. We have one of each type, both competitions have 30 bands. There are a lot of other band competitions that if I were them I would not bother with ether – like competitions that only have 6 very small bands. I can understant that those competitions may not be worth their while. And I kind of feel that they are grouping our competitions into that catagory of small unprofitable competitions, based on the fact that one of our competition is not “state sanctioned” – like they came up with the policy for smaller competitions that really should not apply to either of ours, but yet they are applying it to ours, maybe in their mind that is fair. Butfrom my point of view they are trying toabuse acompetition that may possibly be a cash cow for them.

      If making saleable videos is to expensive or complicated of an undertaking, maybe we should just make the directors videos and lease the video booth to another vendor rather than giving it away for free. Some of our visitors have limited funds and may prefer to spend their $15 on anevent shirt rather than a video, and the shirt vendor would actually be willing to pay us for the opportunity.

      Again, I appreciate everyones response, I will take what everyone said into consideration when I meet with the booster officers, and we will try to make a rational decision and not an emotional one.

    • #180594

      I too disagree with the sentiment that you’ve been doing the videographer any “favor” by “letting” them “profit”. (I had to put all of those in quotes because I find tem all ironic). When I do a professional event or wedding video, I charge the client an upfront fee of as much as $5000, and if they want more copies of the DVD than the half-dozen or so I include, I charge $20 per disc. A professional video producer who agrees to do an event from prospective DVD sales is actually the one doing that organization a favor, since 1-There’s no absolute guarantee that anyone will buy any product, and 2-You’re not being asked to foot any money upfront for the actual production of the product, where every other group on earth that wants a video produced is expected to pay thousands if not tens of thousands, upfront for this. If you want to be fair, here’s a great idea: Pay your videographer $2000 for his services, and $4500 up front in exchange for 300 DVD’s at your current $15 price each. You guys keep the rights and manage the list of who wants what. If more than 300 discs are sold, you duplicate them yourselves and keep the surplus cash.

      I’ve done several shoots for organizations where I waived my fee and charged only a “per disc” charge. Let me tell you: It’s a gamble. Assuming that the average flat rate I’d ordinarily charge for an event is $5000, sometimes I make way more than that, and others I make way less than that. Some have been complete bombs, where I worked my butt off and made a couple hundred bucks. The idea that you’re doing a video producer a favor by asking him to do a lot of work with no guarantee that he’ll even break even is a little bit off, in my humble opinion.

      Here’s a suggestion, and I say it not to be rude, but to help prevent you from looking like a jerk. Don’t insult your videographer by telling him you’re doing him a favor and asking for a kickback. If you’re even going to consider that, just fire him and do it yourself. I’ll even help you by giving you a list of gear to purchase. Assuming you’re alright with Standard Definition 4:3 video here’s a grocery list:

      2 Canon GL-2s 4100*

      2 Manfrotto Tripods with 501 head 800

      2 12 hour capacity camera batteries (buy them on ebay tons cheaper) 60*

      2 decent shotgun microphones – 600

      1 Set of Audio Technica Studio Headphones to monitor audio – 60

      1 XLR adapter for camera 200*

      1 58mm super wide angle lens adapter 250*

      1 58mm UV filter 20*

      1 DVD duplicator (10 bays) 1100

      1 Live DVD recorder 120

      Cables, connectors, and media (tapes, DVDs etc) 400

      The *ed items are things I own, and Id sell you for a total of $3000

      So there it is. Assuming you dont need to buy a new PC and/or editing software, youre looking at a startup of about $7700, or $5680 if you buy my gear. Assuming that you sell 250 DVDs at $15 a pop, youll recoup your investment cost on your third event if you buy new, or on your second event if you buy my gear that Ive got for sale. Before you shoot, you should do a lot of practice though, so you dont mess up at the main event.

    • #180595

      I’d add that if you threw in my airfare to your location and the hotel stay, I’d deliver the gear in person and throw in free training for anyone who wants to learn how to shoot video. Sure, it’s a few hundred more, but it’s about what you’d pay for formal training anyhow, and it’s a spit in the bucket compared to six grand in startup costs.

    • #180596

      jimcvideo, that sounds like a fair offer and we may end up taking you up on it.

      I understand the risk that the video company takes, heck, the event may even be rained out, but risk is just part of running a business. And I understand why the videographer has to charge enough to justify the risk.

      I do have one question about the 12 hr batteries. Since we have power available, and since the cameras will be static, do we really need batteries or even “good” tripods? I was actually thinking about rigging up a box made of 2×4’s, attach a couple of camera mounts and just shooting from that. That way we don’t have to worry about the cameras getting knocked down 62stadium steps.

      And, would a couple or threeof single disk duplicators at $200 each not be productive enough to crank out 25 disks or so per hour? I was just thinking that having redundent equipment may be more relieable than a single higher end piece.

      The shotgun microphones sound the way to go, a couple of people have mentioned that to me.

      And this may be a stupid question, but what is a “live dvd” recorder? Is that something that would plug directly into a camera to produce a “master disk”? Sounds cool and reasonably priced.

      I should have mentioned this before, but one of the advantages that we would have over using the current company is that we have free labor and no one will have to make a long drive or an overnite hotel stay. I am sure than the logistics help to run up the operating cost of the professional company and thus make our event less profitable for them than it may be if we do it ourselves.

    • #180597

      Imagep, you have been a member for less than 24 hours, so it is evident that you came on board specifically to learn what you can to take on this project. There is certainly nothing wrong with doing that, and it is the first step to finding out what you need to know about a service business with which you are not particularly familiar.

      Be careful about purchasing someone elses used equipment – not that there’s anything wrong with that either, but like free labor, volunteers, you often get what you pay for and the price you pay can often amount to much more than your current expenses with the so-called professional service provider (being a businessperson yourself you know). Purchasing unknown used equipment, or making “educated” purchases of equipment with which you are not totally familiar, can extract a painful cost and a frustrating experience.

      You asked me about approaching your current service provider. It appears nothing has been said to this company, owner or rep regarding your (and I assume the booster group’s) unhappiness about the heretofore unrequired additional fee. It would seem that if the video production company involved is any kind of business person he/she would realize that keeping a lucrative agreement at some cost or compromise is far less expensive than replacing it with a new client/gig. If that business person is at all savvy about the current economic climate, competition and that you (like the airlines love to say) have choices he/she should be willing to listen to your side, your counter offer and come to some amicable arrangement. I would like to think that is your best approach to developing a satisfactory solution without creating a major new set of problems you and the boosters have to deal with.

      After all, as a last resort, your thoughts about D.I.Y. are ALWAYS available, but at what cost? Not just in dollars.

    • #180598

      I NEVER rely on the availability of AC power. For example, what happens if during a show the circuit powering the outlets gets blown and nobody with a key to the breakers is handy? This has actually happened to me at a play. Someone plugged a couple 500 watt bulbs into an outlet and blew the circuit, but since the stage power was still there, the show just went on.The bands can and will still perform, and once your half hour batteries the cameras ship with die, you’re toast. If AC is there and it’s not a trip hazard, I can use it, but I always have the batteries. $30 a pop is a cheap insurance policy against problems.

      You can definitely build a rig for your cameras, and it might be advisable considering the unique terrain. All the same, you’ll still want to get a tripod head to attach to whatever rig you build. You’ll really want the pan/tilt ability, even if you want a mostly static shot, you may ned to move some. The heads are a hair more than half the cost of the sticks, so I’d just buy the whole set.

      With the shotgun mics, get em as close to your bands as you can, and run XLR cables back to the cameras. Shotgun mics do well, but you still want them clos to the talent.

      A live DVD recorder simply records your audio/video feed onto a watchable DVD, live. I got one for 90 bucks from Walmart, and it works nicely. You may not want to use those for final deliverables, but they do a pretty good job.

      You can get a much smaller duplicator. It all depends on capacity. a 10 bay unit will do 10 in a couple minutes, which wold be nice for “on the spot” sales.

      Just some ideas.

    • #180599

      And as always, earl makes a GREAT point. Before you start buying, talk to them, and let them know your thoughts.

Viewing 21 reply threads
  • The forum ‘Video and Film Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.

Best Products

The best audio and video recorders β€” 2021

In this article, we’ll cover the best external recorders for both video and audio recording. Then, we’ll go over the specs we considered when making our selections so that you can choose the best recorder for your specific situation. The...

Need help making a stellar first video?


Download our free eBook with 8 tips to get on the right track and create a video that you can be proud of.




Given away to one lucky winner

Competition is open worldwide