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Company turn over, under a million

Got a few client that gives a couple 5 figure jobs

But then u have expenses like rent, electrcity, wages etc

 

And there are more companies starting to hiring their own video/media personnel, we have 3 clients that turn internal last year.. so yeah its definitely a changing market.

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Depends on the job, and I would advise anyone to think beyond getting a day rate. The thing about day rates is they aren’t scalable.  They are based on time, and with only so many days you can wo

In 2019: -$23,456.12 Hooray!  Self funding your own movies is fun.

The videography industry is like any other line of work.  You can work for someone else for an average / low salary, or work for yourself. If you work for yourself and you want to make money, you

1 minute ago, ntblowz said:

Company turn over, under a million

Got a few client that gives a couple 5 figure jobs

But then u have expenses like rent, electrcity, wages etc

finally someone who drops some numbers 🤣

I made under 10k on video work last year but I didn't work that much(if that wasn't obvious). Pretty much in Michigan its not that easy to get full time video work freelance or as an employee.

Building my connections here in Michigan RN. I could be doing a ton of wedding work but I am choosing not too(weddings suck)(could be making probably 30k)

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49 minutes ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

finally someone who drops some numbers 🤣

Lol, though on this field I know some ppl only earn less than 30k and some is earning 6 figures, so there is definitely quite a variety in terms of money earned. 

 

The people who earned top dollar mostly are good with communicating to people, not necessarily having top gear or top skill.

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6 hours ago, ntblowz said:

And there are more companies starting to hiring their own video/media personnel, we have 3 clients that turn internal last year.. so yeah its definitely a changing market.

That's a fascinating comment.  The photog blogs have been full of "Guess which newspaper just fired all its photographers" articles for years, so it's interesting to hear that there is some in-sourcing going on again.  For a while there it seemed like the only permanent staff who operated a camera were going to be reporters using their iPhones to shoot the front cover of the NY times.

I know that the move in the industry has been from stills to stills/video and with the rise of decent 4K you can just shoot video and take a still from the video, but there didn't seem to be the new video jobs being created.

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The videography industry is like any other line of work.  You can work for someone else for an average / low salary, or work for yourself.

If you work for yourself and you want to make money, you need to be "good" at business.  Meaning you either need to be good at business yourself, be very lucky, or have someone who is either good or lucky to help and support you. 

If have none of this, good luck. You won't make much doing anything, much less videography.

The better at business you are, the more you will make! Find your niche and go from there. I'm working my way up doing more and more corporate work. Just remember if you are freelancing you have lots of expenses you need to pay, so you can can't just charge $50/hr per project if you want to make money long term... Compensation ranges from $50 - $200 per hour per project.  Not really worth it if you are making less than $100/hr, you have to pay for insurance, gas, gear, being stuck in traffic, sometimes assistants, computer gear, music licensing, software etc... All "hidden" costs you don't deal with when employed by others. Not to mention the work isn't steady and you have to find and make your own work. Of course this also depends on the level of your work and market. If you live in a smaller market and people only pay $200 for crappy videos... You will never make any money there.

Freelancing is tough and you need to make a lot more to compete with the benefits from a salaried position (health insurance, PTO, vacation, steady income, steady income if you want to get a loan or mortgage etc etc)

Currency above is Canadian pesos and not American gold (us worth 1.3x more).

You need to find something that works for you.  If you are a social media star go for it, but I am not one, so I had to find a more old school way, just growing organically (long personal challenging circumstances).  Again like any other freelancing business, word of mouth is key! There are lots of ways to make money in this, I just prefer corporate because you can find good clients that won't stiff you on the bill and actually have some budget to make things look nice while not being full on Hollywood or advertising.

I don't have experience working for a media company because tbh you won't make much, and from what I can tell the film industry side can be a bit toxic but ymmv.  I spent most of my working life in an office so I'm more comfy with that culture.

Pricing you learn from experience. There are some great yt videos on this and I'm glad others have talked about it.  At first you take what you can get, then you realize you're not making any money, and you will need to figure out how to value yourself. Eventually think about your business like a business.  If you hire a camera op at $30/hr can you charge a client $30/hr? Of course not, you're not making anything... You have to charge $60/hr for that expense... 

But start from step one.  Do have a portfolio, is it any good etc. If you can't make it working for yourself there is no shame in working for someone else, it's just that it's hard finding a good (subjective) paying salaried job in this field. If I couldn't work for myself in this field, I would 100% do something else as unless you are in film and union your hourly is going to suck. Do not compete with Craigslist rates unless you want to be paid bottom dollar and never make any money.  That's just my experience and opinion, I'm sure it does not apply across the board.  Also dependant on living costs in your area and what you want out of life.

Good luck!

 

 

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1 hour ago, scotchtape said:

is it any good etc. If you can't make it working for yourself there is no shame in working for someone else, it's just that it's hard finding a good (subjective) paying salaried job in this field. If I couldn't work for myself in this field, I would 100% do something else as unless you are in film and union your hourly is going to suck. Do not compete with Craigslist rates unless you want to be paid bottom dollar and never make any money.  That's just my experience and opinion, I'm sure it does not apply across the board.  Also dependant on living costs in your area and what you want out of life.

Good luck!

Where abouts do you live? I agree on the word of mouth thing. Every job I get is from making a friend/connection.

 

1 hour ago, scotchtape said:

Freelancing is tough and you need to make a lot more to compete with the benefits from a salaried position (health insurance, PTO, vacation, steady income, steady income if you want to get a loan or mortgage etc etc)

You could also be like me and have no health insureance, no vacation money, no retirement money and live with 10 other people so you pay little to no rent 🤣🤣😥

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20 hours ago, zerocool22 said:

Are most of the users on here hobbyists? (not that hobbyists can't create great video's/images but they probably have less experience with the moneymaking part of filmmaking)

I am borderline hobbyist / semi pro indie when it comes to the camera side of things, but I'm not chasing or trying to improve that side of things. 

I'm professional though as a sound mixer for shoots. It is my job / life

 

20 hours ago, zerocool22 said:

But I think this should be a more open topic where we all just can benefit from, if most of us work for a certain minimum rate, it would help the overal industry prices to maintain or increase.  

I agree!

Too many people are happy to give away the house for nothing 

 

18 hours ago, Cinegain said:

I hate the idea of having to shoot weddings, so, Imma focus on real estate as the bread and butter job.

Weddings would be more creatively fulfilling than real estate!

But that means dealing with brides...
 

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18 hours ago, Cinegain said:

At some point it would be cool to get into the fashion/music scene for more creative stuff.

Fashion/music is one of the toughest to make a good living from though!

Stick to weddings / real estate  😉 :-P 

 

 

  

18 hours ago, Cinegain said:

Maybe shorts.



Even WORSE! By far
(when it comes to making a commercial living that is)

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18 hours ago, Cinegain said:

Still a bit clueless how to approach the whole doing it commercially thing and what to charge indeed.



Very important when figuring out rates to calculate both what your labour is worth AND what your rental should be for the gear package you're providing, then add them together. 

(although I show them as separate line items on my invoice)

 

  

16 hours ago, ntblowz said:

Company turn over, under a million

Got a few client that gives a couple 5 figure jobs

But then u have expenses like rent, electrcity, wages etc



Yeah you can have a turn over of a million bucks but net profit will be waaaaaaaaaaaaay lower 

 

  

16 hours ago, ntblowz said:

And there are more companies starting to hiring their own video/media personnel, we have 3 clients that turn internal last year.. so yeah its definitely a changing market.



Oh man, I should share with you a photo I took today (I just randomly stumbled across their shoot, while visiting a different company on their same street) of a MAJOR (and I mean seriously MAJOR) media company which was producing a video internally, the sound guy was doing a shockingly AWFUL job! I've been hired by them before, but not in a long long time though. 

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A couple years ago I cleared about $50k. Freelance. Not great, but I could survive. I have since moved across the US and started work in another field. Freelance just never felt secure enough to support a family and the trend I see is that, while video is in more demand, people want to pay less for it. But I know that if I kept pushing and hustling I would make it..... but I hate the hustle.

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4 hours ago, Jonesy Jones said:

A couple years ago I cleared about $50k. Freelance. Not great, but I could survive. I have since moved across the US and started work in another field. Freelance just never felt secure enough to support a family and the trend I see is that, while video is in more demand, people want to pay less for it. But I know that if I kept pushing and hustling I would make it..... but I hate the hustle.

A+

It's hard long term unless you're going to build up a company and have other people working for you.

Real estate is 80% low/no budget volume productions.  So if you want to make money doing that, good luck. The other 20% is higher margin but tougher to break into, and way less gigs. I just never found it to be a good money maker unless you OWN that niche in your area.

Weddings are fun when you're younger, but your weekends are gone in the summer, and the clients can get a certain way. 

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Weddings get tougher when you have kids because suddenly that’s every Saturday gone and pretty wiped out Sunday’s. 

But I started 5-6 years before our daughter was born 15 years ago so it’s been the norm for us for a loooooong time.

 

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15 hours ago, ntblowz said:

Lol, though on this field I know some ppl only earn less than 30k and some is earning 6 figures, so there is definitely quite a variety in terms of money earned. 

Had coffee this week with a DoP, and he mentioned that a DoP he had coffee with recently has a day rate (labour only, not counting gear rental) of AUD$3K/day! 

*AND* he is flat out nonstop very very busy. 
 

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The bottom line with all small businesses is not so much about how good you are at your actual craft, but how good you are at making your business work.

I know plenty of mostly photographers who are great at their craft, but not so interested/good at the business side. And they wonder why the phone isn’t ringing like it used to...

There is no real ‘industry standard’ because the variables are too great.

It boils down in the end to regular employment with benefits as perhaps the ‘safer’ option, or being self-employed where it is down to you 100%.

I sometimes think I’d like the former option but the reality is I am better off on most levels, though perhaps not financially, ploughing the field myself.

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17 hours ago, Oliver Daniel said:

Depends on the job, and I would advise anyone to think beyond getting a day rate.

The thing about day rates is they aren’t scalable.  They are based on time, and with only so many days you can work in the week, you can’t incline your income steadily. You could charge more, but then, you’re going to have to be a master specialist to achieve that. 

If it’s not TV, film or music videos....I advise anyone to not position themselves as a “videographer” or “filmmaker”. Instead you frame yourself as a business solution. Instead of talking about what shots you want to do, you talk about how you will get them a business result. 

This differentiates you from the over saturated  “videographer” role  - which in fact a lot of the  industry see as “low cost” and easy to negotiate your price down. You appear as a “problem solver” who can grow their business. 

Also, getting the client to think more about the business result allows you more freedom with the creative stuff! 

 

The problem with this is that you are now on the hook for results. And this is another problem I see with video is that there is very rarely a direct roi. 

Video can be very productive when it is part of a synchronized campaign thrust. So we’d need a solid marketing plan. Is that our job now?

What am I missing?

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