What equipment for video prod. at marketing firm?

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    • #37684

      I work at a creative marketing agency an we are going to start some video production. What basic equipment do we need to get started? We want our videos to be high quality with good lighting and sound.

      What type of camera, mics, lighting equipment do you reccomend if we want to keep it in a 10,000 budget?

      We will be shooting things like short films, local ccommercials, video blogs, videos for client websites, corporate videos.

    • #167038

      While you have many options with equipment and software, if you really want high quality video maybe you should consider bringing on a professional as a consultant to train your staff on how it’s done – Just becuase I buy PhotoShop that doesn’t mean I can create a good ad campaign…

    • #167039

      There are GREAT, affordable services “out there” where the companies do not charge an arm and leg, or your first-born, in order to provide a timely and professionally produced video presentation. There are, as has been implied by Birdcat, elements of production that are easier to get from qualified service providers whose final product will fall well under the expense of investment and time taken to learn the process. You will come out of the gate looking better and being less frustrated by going this route unless, of course, you DO have qualified personnel on staff – but then if THAT were the case you would not be asking these specific questions.

      Where are you located. My company, for example, provides experienced, qualified professional service, quick turnaround and affordable rates. πŸ™‚

      Or, if NV stands for Nevada, then there’s a company called Shaw Video Productions, reliable and professional – ask for Joan and tell her Earl sent you.

    • #167040

      I currently haven’t done much serious work with my video production skills. I’ve also heard of numeroushard situations of employment, seeming to indicate that an employed job may not be the best way to go at this point. I’ve considered going freelance every now and again and begin withcharging cheap rates. After nearly one year and a half picking up skills online, I figured that I might be ready to step into a somewhat serious business. My small realm of equipment consists of a JVC GZ-MG505 camcorder, Sony Vegas Pro 9 editing software, a homemade (yet fair peforming) shotgun mic, and a consumer tripod.I”m currently on a tight budget in terms of purchasing more.

      Does anyone have more advice on attaining a good video career, or any of you guys who are willing to share your story?

    • #167041

      IF you have not yet checked out my video marketing blog, or Jay’s (AspyRider), *you probably have, but…) you might take the time to do so. Both blogs contain a HUGE amount of information, especially E.C. Come, E.C. Go, regarding how to make money producing video. Jay’s In the Viewfinder not only offers marketing and video product ideas, but scads of links and recommendations regarding video essentials from stabilization to editing and everything in between.

      Essentially, YES, with your current equipment, knowledge base, and some determination and effort, you can make money, if not a living, doing video productions. It really is up to you and the amount of effort you are willing to invest. My mantra is “If you market, you will make it!” 2009 Earl Chessher.

    • #167042

      Thanks for your input on this – I have thought about going freelance in the small town that I live in. May not generate the best income, butfrom what I’ve heard,most pros are earning $100+ an hour on their productions.It would sure bebeneficial for meevento earn a fraction (e.g. less than 1/5th to start)of that amount.Your articles do look good as a broadsource of information for starting a video business.

    • #167043


      Having started my Co’ in a small market, I’ve been down the road you’re headed. Small markets are a ‘female dog’ to make money in with a video biz, particularly if the town or city doesn’t have it’s own TV station. However, it can be done but you’re just going to have to be more resourceful. When setting your pricing, first go to your state’s business development website and find out what the standard rate for services per hour are for video camera work, editing, etc. Then do a cost per hour estimate for shooting & editing projects with the gear you have. If you don’t have a primary source of income to support you while freelancing, then you need to include your ‘survival costs’ (rent, utilities and stuff) into the estimated cost. Once you have your cost per hour then you’ll need to adjust it to what your market will bear yet still leave you with enough profit to cover operating costs.

      Most likely, you’ll have to start really small then over time work your way up to larger more profitable projects. In the meantime, you may find it necessary to do some ‘freebies’ or ‘far less than cost’ projects to get your name and work out there. Do those projects sparingly.

      As for 2step, you’re not going to get much ‘High Quality’ for $10k. You’ll spend that much just for a camera and a proper amount of support gear or a computer and software capable of handling ‘HQ’ video. For $10k you can get ‘Good Quality’ video. By virtue as a marketing firm, you’ll have higher requirements for gear. You won’t be able to get away with ‘guerrilla’ lighting and sound setups. Your clients will definitely cast questioning eyes upon you if you show up with a dinky consumer grade camera setup (“Why are we paying this guy all this money?”)

      Now you don’t have to spend more than $20k to get a proper setup, but up front it may be cheaper to roll with Earl’s and Birdcat’s suggestion of outsourcing the production work. Company’s interested in adding such capabilities to their services immediately figure it’s cheaper if they do it themselves. It’s not. You have to pay for the gear which can get expensive doing it on a learning curve. Then you have to pay someone to do the work (thinking you’ll get a worker to double as a video producer will cost you more than just hiring someone to do it so you’re not getting out of it.) Whereas, if you outsource it you just include it in the cost of the project and when its done you don’t pay anymore for personnel waiting around for the next project, training and so on. After your firm has built a profit margin where it becomes a profitable option to start your own properly funded production dept. then by all means go for it.

    • #167044

      Marketing firms can reap huge benefits by having a basic video production kit….and yes, you can get very good quality. MArketing firms are doing a lot of online work these days, so would it be safe to assume the internet is your destination for most of your video? We have a small video production kit in house at Widen for shooting customer interviews for example.

      You need:

      camcorder:Lots of options here, lots of opinions. HD or SD, tape or tapeless,….At the time I made my purchase, I chose a Canon XHA1. It shoots HD on mini DV sized tapes. The tapes are not expensive at all, and they also serve as a cheap archive. If you go tapeless, you will need to figure out how to archive footage. The Sony HVR-V1U is the cheapest 3 CCD HDV camcorder available…and is $2800

      tripod: tons of options for under $200

      Computer for editing: Any newer computer will do fine for basic editing. If you have one great. If not, a $1500 iMac or PC equivalent will be just fine.

      Editing software: If you are PC based, either Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere, or Avid will do
      fine. Vegas is $540. If you are Mac, Final Cut Pro or Express will work
      fine. Express is $200.

      Microphone: Wireless Lavalier Azden 105LT $280

      Small light kit: Lowel Light kit under $500

      Headphones: $75

      If you add all that up….$5,895. You can shoot and edit basic video. Interviews, quick demos…Oh, you should probably buy a nice case for the camcorder too. $200 (Pelican)

      There are many options for each of these categories….I have simply given you some simple options.

      Good luck!

    • #167045

      This all seems like a far too big of a leap from amateur to hobbyist, but I guess I should be taking the right marketing perspective. I’m not looking for an immediate ‘pro’ title – just looking for a clearer path into the job of freelancing without spending hundreds to thousands of dollars at this point.

      I’ll probably end up getting a tripod that is closer to prosumer grade, and maybe even some auxiliary lighting/proquality set of microphones. Right now I live in a small town that is also small in demanding. It’s got radio, but I highly doubt it has a TV station or anything budgeted for the production of video. The up side is that I may build up income faster due to the lack of competition.

      Camcorder: I currently own a JVC GZ-MG505 (HDD 3ccd camcorder MSRP-$1,300) that produces a very sharp image display for the price. The color reproduction is also great, but is overexposed and oversaturated. This can be fixed by manual exposure and altering the saturation levels in post.

      Tripod: Currently a consumer tripod – $40 from Wal-Mart. Possible attachments to handle may create smoother turns.

      Computer: Dell Inspiron E1505 – 1.66 GHz Dual Core, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB 4200 RPM hardrive, 1 TB Maxtor USB/Firewire external hardrive.

      Editing software: Using Sony Vegas Pro 9 – quality and performance is great (certainly outstanding compared to my experience with Cyberlink PowerDirector 7). Working on the timeline is essentially lag-free.

      Microphone: Currently only a homemade Shotgun microphone made out of PVC pipe with a windscreen – with two mic components purchased from DigiKey. For something built at home, the quality was impressive, though the sound autogain on my camcorder is overamplifying dramatically. I plan on purchasing an external (hook-up)mic attenuator.

      Lighting: I currently have no auxilary video lighting, which might be in my budget plans later for around $300-$700.

      Headphones: Right now I am using a set of Sylvania wired/wireless switchable set of headphones. The sound reproduction is good, but seems a little flat in the midrange levels compared to most expensive ones.

      For now, this is all I’ve got, but the biggest cornerstone of quality video is good skills. I’ve honed up a lot of skills as far as amateur production goes, and I also foresee a great learning curve (I’m also happy with doing it) for starting a video business.

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