Two ways to go here: hobby


Two ways to go here: hobby or profession. If what you’re doing is a hobby, like any other hobby you do your thing, suck up the incidental costs and enjoy. Even if it’s just a hobby, though, I’d draw up some kind of letter of agreement, even if it only says “I’ll come to your house on Tuesday and shoot two hours of interviews with members of the band. In exchange I expect to have my parking paid for and a limitless supply of coffee. I’ll deliver the edited interviews as soon as it’s convenient for me to do so.”

If it’s a professional move, several other factors kick in, not the least of which are your costs. You’ve got real, out-of-pocket expenses: gas, insurance, utilities used in editing the work, amortization of equipment costs, etc. Then you’ve got to consider a wage for yourself. After all, you’re doing this to earn income. Ask yourself this: If some guy came along and said “I’d like you to work for me; pick up gear, take it to a site, assemble it and tape an interview (which has to have excellent video and audio;) then come back, edit it, make a couple of DVDs and put it up on You Tube too. Oh, and by the way, you’ll be involved in this for a whole day,” what would you expect to be paid? $25, $35, $75 per hour? Only you can decide what your time and expertise is worth; just be careful not to undervalue yourself because you think that will help get jobs.

I don’t work for anybody without a contract. The purpose of a contract or letter of agreement is to insure that each party knows precisely what’s expected of the other. In the long run this reduces squabbles over expectations and performance to nearly zero. Unfortunately we live in a litigious society and you really do have to protect yourself.

Finally, get business/liability insurance; enough to protect your net worth. You may be doing this for friends, but that relationship will change abruptly when one of them trips over your light stand and breaks a leg.

Grinner has laid down some excellent advice regarding pitching a show. Just be careful that in your enthusiasm you don’t neglect your vision of video production as a business, as a means of making a livelihood.


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