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Pro Filmmaking – It’s Future Online!

Then the convo turned…suddenly into this discussion about how its hard to make money off making videos for the web. Apparently, more and more, brands are asking their “partners” to create mind blowing entertainment via the web for $10,000. For some strange reason, lots of people have it in their head that its all you need for a video. Then they wonder why it didn’t get a lot of hits or go viral.   We need to reset.  We need to talk about why we are making a web video and what is it’s purpose.  Does it align with the brand?  Then there’s still a whole list of questions like – What about SAG? What about Union Crews? What about the need to put some money into professional camera guys, professional cameras, professional directors, set dressing, or locations, or anything that costs money? There’s a premium for talent and I think everyone just kind of forgot. Just because Person A has a Canon 5D doesn’t make him a director or a DP. Sure, you can shoot something on it and it can probably look pretty good. But when did that become the standard for how brands use the web? Yes, you can shoot a cat playing the piano and it can look rough, but what does that say about your brand? There’s a reason the cat video cost $10K or less – it’s a cat and a piano. It doesn’t represent anything brand related (Unless Casio Keyboards are hiding their logo in their somewhere. Hmmm…)

                 Photo Courtesy of http://www.petsclan.com/entry/a-cat-playing-piano/

Just like a chain reaction, companies are adapting their models.  More “agencies” are popping up not using unions, creating smaller boutique companies.  Digital companies are starting in-house video production companies.  Media companies are starting to house production companies.    It’s the only way to make money if your video has to be $10K.  In fact, the videos themselves still cost more money, but if a company is being paid for any other part (ie.  Digital development, website, media buy), they are more likely to throw in a video for $10K.  But the quality?  Is it up to par?  I think its still permeating through and the main thing to take away is that the environment is definitely changing.  Nothing will ever be the same in content creation.  If I was the head of any major film studio, I’d probably fire half the people there.  Too much overhead.  In this day and age, you don’t need a monolith to control the content anymore.  Look at MTV.  They are Music Television.  How much of their programming is Music videos anymore?  They caught on (though almost no one is really investing that much into music videos anymore).  Time for everyone else to grow and change.  It’s okay.  Take a deep breath…

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