Regular Gig

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    • #43294

      I just graduated from college and as a graduation/christmas gift my dad bought me a z5u, compact flash recorder, 64 gig flash card, tri-pod Dolly and a hardcase.

      This year I really want to work on creating a good demo reel to send out to places. I have done shooting for professional wrestling both locally (with cheap consumer cameras), and hired to shoot events in boston, toronto and buffalo with a larger company with a professional camera. Unfortunately the professional footage I am not allowed to put online.

      With the local company I made a deal where I would shoot all of their shows in the local area with my equipment. The guy there said he would be willing to get me ‘work’ lights from home depot to sort of fill in until I get a full lighting kit. The lighting would be used for backstage interviews and all that stuff.

      I would shoot the event on my one camera and then splice in footage from standard def consumer cameras the best I can. The tapes and other items will be supplied to me. After I shoot the event I will do a quick edit, pretty much simulate ‘live to tape’ and plug it into a template I will make for their shows.

      Once the DVDs are made they will be sold at the shows, at $10 a piece. I will get half of all the profits, so the better they look the more money I would get. There is a crowd of anywhere between 100-300 at the shows. The shows are held typically once a month, occasionally twice a month, and rarely they’ll skip a month based on building availability.

      What would be a good rate to charge to shoot the events on a regular basis? I was thinking around $100 for each show, and then I’d get the rest from the merch sold at the show. They don’t have a regular merch table normally it’s just individuals selling their shirt. I want to centralize it and set up a table and I could make pretty much any merch I’d want to sell and I’d get the profits from it.

      I’m also going to have full accessof the footage so I can do pretty much whatever I want with it as far as demo reels or anything. I have a meeting scheduled with him next week so any advice would be appreciated.

    • #181576

      Sounds like a great opportunity for you, and a good plan.

    • #181577

      Great opportunity indeed! Just remember that if you’re not being hired as an employee, and you’re going at this freelance style, you should charge enough to sustain your living expenses PLUS SE taxes. Granted, you will be using less conventional equipment, and you may feel relatively inexperienced. However, in my opinion you are SEVERELY undercharging at a rate of $100. Is this for both shooting and editing??

      If you figure that you’ll spend at least a day of shooting, and at the very least, 2 days of editing/burning DVD’s, etc… you’re agreeing to about $3 per hour. People flip burgers for more than that. The merch table will involve additional expenses that need to be provided for, and additional time that will need to be provided for. Allow the merch table to cover those expenses, and allow the ticket sales to cover your video services.

      I recommend at the very least $300 per show. That gives you a rate of $100 a day, INCLUDING your editing time. This is very low, compared to normal camera rates of $500 – $1000 per day, and editor rates of at least $30 per hour.

      Good luck!

    • #181578

      Hey everyone thanks for the replies.

      Nathan to answer a few of your questions. The shows only run around 2 hours long give or take, the building is either 20 or 40 minutes from my house. I’ve done shows for them for free before shooting the shows and even helped set up the building (ring, gaurdrails etc). I wouldn’t need to be there until around 5 pm, take a half hour to set up my stuff. So the day of shooting would probally only be about 3 1/2 hours of work, the rest is just hanging out with my friends there.

      Editing and burning is going to be a day, he has someoneelse design the covers already so I wouldn’t even have to worry about that. The DVD menus are just going to be a template that I make up and I’ll just put each show directly in there. Working with adobe I can just import my premiere sequence without worrying about encoding.

      As for charging 300, I’m most definally sure that the guy will not be able to afford that. This is just a side job for him that he does for fun. But I’m sure I can get $100 per show. As far as the shooting is concerned. Then theres the merch sales. That deal would be seperate from the shooting.

      So suppose there are 30 units sold at a $7 profit margin thats $210. Split that between me and the owner and thats $105. So with the added shooting price, I’d be getting $205 per show. With about 16 hours of work that would come out to $12.80 an hour.

      In addition to shooting the shows I am also going to be hired to do some 30 second spots on local tv. I’ve made them for him in the past but I didn’t put a lot of effort into them because I was doing them for free.

      Even so I also want to do promotional dvds for the wrestlers themselves. So if they see the new DVDs and are like “wow these look amazing” they’ll be very likely to hire me to make them promotional dvds.

    • #181579

      That sounds like a better deal for you. It seems like a lot of this is spec, with a hope to earn better cash from it in the future. It’s great that you’re passionate about helping this guy put on the show, and if you remain passionate I’m sure it will grow into something that could put you both in a nice position!

      Best of luck with sales!

    • #181580


      This sounds like a great opportunity for you. If you want to do video for other avenues, can I suggest a franchise called Video Story Tellers? I signed up with them and they are a great company to work with. I can get you all the information or you can just go to and check it out for yourself.

    • #181581

      I’ve got a tm700, cx211, lav mic, and homemade shotgun, trying to start out for just under $1,000, and plan on purchasing a tripod.

      It doesn’t seem like I should have problems, with mine.

    • #181582

      Fred, thanks for the nod to Video StoryTellers! as another GREAT opportunity for building and expanding a video services business ANYWHERE in the world. Good to see the program’s true believers are busy plugging this awesome global video branding and marketing program, encouraging others to check it out.

      If ANYONE has ANY questions about Video StoryTellers! please do not hesitate to e-mail me at as Fred Claus and Luis Maymi (forum participants and VST associates) will tell you, I cannot say enough about the program and its possibilities.

      The wonderfully unique thing about video production services and products is that there’s NO limit to what can be marketed, or what you can make money from in this field. Although weddings are a major focus among video enthusiasts, hobbyists and professionals, it is a seriously saturated market with thousands all trying to bite into a piece of a very small wedge of the video business pie.

      While this struggle is going on, with wedding focused videographers fighting over an approximate 20 percent of the bridal market that believes it needs, or wants, or can afford wedding video production, there’s a whole slew of potential video related services and products that are being grossly under-served. Another area is funeral and memorial video production.

      Simply visiting my video marketing and production blog at E.C. Come, E.C. Go or Video StoryTellers video producers seeking to expand their business reach will discover numerous ways to do so, easily and profitably.

    • #181583

      Hey just giving a little update on this venture of mine.

      Ok so I have currently shot 3 shows of theirs, just had the third this past weekend so I’m going to be working on that dvd this month.

      I get $100 per show for the use of my camera, plus merchandise sales. The first show there was no merch table because I hadn’t produced any shows yet.

      Second show I walked away with $220, but the merch table pretty much just covered my expenses from the pervious month, (covers printed, dvd boxes, etc.) I sold 14 dvds, and I’ve gotten a lot of feed back and it has all been positive.

      This past month I put some of the money (from merch profits) back into getting more supplies such as a cash box to store the money in, I got some bnc cable with adapters to rca so I could run a wire to the locker room and let people watch the live feed. The reason I did this is people are always peaking through the curtain during matches and it really gets on my nerves as unprofessional. Another reason for doing that is it shows people how much better my footage is compared to what it was. A lot of the preformers buy the DVDs to see their matches watch what they can do better next time etc.

      I ended up selling 16 dvds at this past show, so it’s improving a little bit, I’m just looking for more ideas as to how to market it to the audience there. I’ve had them make an announcement before intermission but that didn’t really translate to sales too much.

      I’ve done a bit of a promotion deal where I put a free voucher in select copies of the first dvd where they would win 2 free tickets to their next show. I’ve brought in a DVD player with a screen to leave playing so people will come over and want to check it out.

      I’m looking into getting some table skirting, as well as some table displays etc. to really make the table look like something apealing to see.They also have a cage which they use for cage matches, I thought what if for the shows there is no cage match we use some of the fencing to set it up as a display. It would get people to come over and check out the dvds, the shirts etc.

      I’m also looking into getting banners made up, maybe even put some fliers on the seat

      I have done shooting with another company (a much larger company) that does live internet pay per views through thea web page that specializes in mma/wrestling.I’m gonna try to talk to them about taking the shows and having be available for their video on demand services. I saw they let on a company that has some pretty poor wrestling so I could definally see being able to get on there, considering I do work with a company that reguarly gets them thousands of dollars in revenue.

      But yeah there has been some progress, hopefully the word will get out and more and more people will end up buying the DVDs.

      Anyone here have an ideas to help my display presentation etc?

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