Mistakes People Make When Starting a Video Production Business

  • They focus too much on the “tools” and not the “technique”. These days video equipment is relatively cheap. Therefore the entry-level bar has been lowered for video production. Learn your skill set and be unique – have your own vision or point of view that separates you from the rest.
  • They skimp on the audio, tripod and lighting. The camera is just one piece of equipment you need. You also need independent external microphones to be able to capture good audio as well as a good tripod with a fluid head. If you’re going to be shooting indoors or doing interviews – you’ll  need some lighting equipment. You can either go the route of hot lights or LED panels which are portable and cool but costly.
  • They forget about the editing and output. Shooting  is one thing – editing it and getting it “out” is another. Learning to edit will make you a better shooter. You quickly realize in the editing room what you SHOULD have shot in the field.
  • They don’t diversify. This is important when first starting out. It will pay the bills and will help you get better at what you do. And it may also help you in find your niche.
  • They forget about marketing. Lots of people have equipment and even more people have great ideas but if they don’t promote their business, they’ll spend their days waiting for the phone to ring.
  • They don’t realize that business is about people – not just the tech. Work on your people skills and your business will flourish.
  • They don’t network. Networking of course is critical for  getting new business.  It’s also beneficial to network with other people in the video production business. Video production is all about collaboration, so it’s essential that you get to know shooters, sound mixers and editors. Join listserv groups and go to meet-ups in your area.
  • They under-estimate what a job will cost in both time and resources. There are many facets to video production – the shoot, audio, editing, music, graphics, motion graphics, scripts, voiceovers and delivery. If you won’t be facilitating all those facets – then you need to determine how much it will cost and present that in your estimate.
  • They don’t draw up a production schedule. This is essential to keeping a job on target. Make sure that each step of the project has a delivery date specified and signed off on.
  • They don’t realize that they are under insured. Many people coming from a still photography background don’t realize that their current insurance policy does not necessarily cover video production.
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