Right now, things are different. While some businesses have reopened or may open soon, in-person events will likely be one of the last things to get back to normal. That sets up the challenge of those of us who depend on event work to make a living. What is a wedding videographer to do?
More than just weddings, there are so many events that depend on people gathering together in close proximity. That might even be what makes them special. Even those who don’t focus solely on events often rely on event work for at least some of their income — it happens to me at least once a quarter. We hope we can all get together again soon, but in the meantime, we need to look to other types of production to support our video production businesses.
As creatives, we should address our challenges with creativity. This article is for those who need to expand their video offerings. We’ve collected some ideas you can start working on today.
Create stock media
There are a few ways to look at stock footage right now. First, you can be a producer of stock footage. This can start with any extra footage you have from the events that you own. This is low hanging fruit. Research where you want to sell your content and make sure it aligns with the kind of footage you have.
Next, you can create new stock for others to use. Take advantage of towns and cities being mostly empty, stock footage of an empty main street will be needed for other visual storytelling uses. Think about big landmarks that always have people, seeing them empty is very compelling.
Outside of that, lean on the things you have available to you. I have needed stock footage of someone taking a spoon out of a drawer, and if I could find a shot that fit the work to complete the project, I would have bought it. Stock media is there for the times when shooting is more expensive than buying a shot.
Focus on aerial and timelapse shooting
Timelapse and drone footage both make for compelling content. Showing people things from an unfamiliar, bird’s-eye perspective is great subject matter. With timelapse, the things that you see every day can become breathtaking. And you might be surprised who is looking for a sunset in a setting you have great access to.
Plus, timelapse and aerial shooting are each a craft that requires experience to nail, so doing it, even if you don’t get your shot, will sharpen your skills for the next time.
More footage for later
The next idea in the category of stock media is to create a private stock collection to keep for yourself. With a rich, original back catalog of content, your future self will appreciate having access to unique and compelling footage when times go back to normal — or when they don’t. This is an investment in your future. You’ll get to continue your craft and benefit from the time spent later.
Create everything in the box
Buying stock is the other side of the coin. This is where you can transform content other people have made to make into something new, without shooting one frame. If you write a script with the stock footage you have available to you, the final content could turn out greater than you could have imagined.
Even if you have a small budget, getting some stock photos and animating them will fill the holes in a production that couldn’t otherwise be accomplished during social distancing. Additionally, there are loads of After Effects and Motion templates out there that can suit many different messaging needs, or bridge the gap for telling a story. Your imagination is your roadblock.
If you can’t find a stock video to represent something, you should go out there and make it yourself (see point 1).
All of the events that went on in the past will still have technical needs — and it’s likely your existing knowledge and skillset will come in handy. Weddings will need to be broadcast to their loved ones. Sure a phone will do, but a phone would always do — it’s not just about getting it done, it’s about getting it done and liking what it looks like when you’re done with it. People want to invest in their events because they want them to be successful. In many cases, the goal wasn’t just to get a bunch of people together, but to create a memory of a big occasion in their life.
Some events happen every week
The weekly live stream is a production niche that is expanding rapidly, with houses of worship across the world needing to reach their members. Education is another sector with similar pain points when it comes to implementing video. Consulting in the application of video production for a live setting just exploded and there are lots of opportunities to help people and get paid while doing it.
Things will get better
The demand for video has not diminished, but the context in which it is produced has changed. We will find many ways to continue our craft and support our families. Challenge yourself; even if you fail, you will have learned something. This is just a temporary thing and with enough passion and hard work, we can do more than just survive — we can thrive and grow.