So many of us work primarily as corporate or wedding filmmakers - and love what we do - but have dreams of doing more. Of pursuing passion projects and making a living from them.
It can be hard to know where to start, however. How can we set up our businesses in a way that allows us to expand and grow beyond our current client base?
Abraham Joffe is an incredibly talented wildlife and travel filmmaker based in Sydney, Australia whose work you may have seen on a little network called Netflix with his show, Tales By Light. He’s traveled all over the world and filmed some of the most incredible cultures and creatures to be found on Earth. But Abraham didn’t start out this way.
In fact, he had an established wedding and corporate film business before he was presented with the opportunity to pursue something bigger. Today he shares with us how he had already set up his business to allow him the flexibility to take his chance and run with it when it came.
He also talks about...
Most of us didn’t get into filmmaking in the first place to take on clients and run businesses. When we picked up a camera for the first time and were captivated by what we could do with it, it was because we ourselves had something to say. Our own story to share.
The deeper into the world of film we dove however, the more we realized that it seems all but impossible to bring our passion projects to life in a sustainable way. Sure, we could invest thousands of hours and vast amounts of money to complete a project, but most of us will never see enough return on that investment to justify ever undertaking another one.
This sucks. For all of us.
Patrick Moreau is racking up his Studio Sherpas frequent flyer miles and returning to the podcast to share how he and his team are bringing their new original content series The Remarkable Ones to life.
Patrick knows a thing or two about heartbreak and failure when it comes to creating original content and putting it out there. His feature...
As filmmakers, most of us spend the majority of our time thinking about how we can best tell the stories of our clients. When it comes to our own businesses however, we often neglect to think about the stories that make us unique and might help us connect with new prospects.
Bill Baker is the Founder and Principal of BB & Co. Strategic Storytelling, a company that helps brands—and the leaders, teams, and organizations behind them—work smarter by leveraging the timeless power of strategic storytelling.
Bill encourages brand leaders to look inward, defining their vision for the world, their point of view, and the story that brought them to where they are today to help them introduce more meaning to them, their workforce and ultimately, their customers.
This episode is chock full of actionable steps you can implement today to help clarify and convey to clients who you are as a brand and what you stand for. From website tips, to how to boost your sales process, to how to...
A few years into my video career I got a big time scare.
Not one, but two filmmaker friends of mine were sued by big record labels for using unlicensed music on a couple of videos that happened to go viral.
I’m ashamed to admit it now, but during my first few years making videos, I didn’t even know what music licensing was, let alone pay for it. I wanted to support artists, but I couldn’t afford to license mainstream bands like Coldplay or the Black Eyed Peas, and the royalty free music that was available… Well, let’s just say it was less than inspiring.
Artlist is one of the most exciting of a number of music licensing companies that have sprung up in the wake of a spate of lawsuits against filmmakers in recent years. They feature incredibly high-quality music at a seriously insane price, and their interface is designed entirely with creatives in mind. My companies and I use them constantly and they’ve been a godsend for our business.
Have you ever come across a tool that makes you business run so much more smoothly that you would gladly pay 5x the price for it and still feel like it’s a steal?
Yeah, me too, and for me, Wipster is one of those tools.
Wipster is something of a “Google Docs for video”, allowing for commenting and collaborating right on top of the video, where it makes sense. You can even export those comments into your Premiere timeline to keep them front of mind when doing a round of revisions. It makes collaborating with clients and other members of my team SO much easier than it was in the past. Seriously, this tool couldn’t have come around sooner for me and my business, it’s that good.
Not only does the Wipster team have an amazing product (they actually don’t feel like they even need to sell to customers), they are deeply in tune with the pulse of the industry and where it’s headed. Content Marketing Manager Hayley Jordan and Partnership Marketing...
If you’re anything like me, when you first started your creative business, literally the last thing you wanted to be spending your time on was selling. For me, it was all about creating emotional films that moved people, but as I took on more work and got busier and busier I ended up spending less time shooting and more time selling.
Besides the fact that I wasn’t spending as much time doing what I loved, the problem was that I had no idea what I was doing when it came to sales. No way to guide potential clients to the conclusion that my work was worth more than what somebody else down the street was charging. I had always assumed that my work would speak for itself, but was realizing that this was not the case.
Matt and I (Ryan) got together this week to discuss how building out a defined sales process has changed our businesses, and how it can do the same for yours. For each of us, the moment when we actually put a sales process in place was a pivotal turning point...
When most of us think about making a career shooting films, we’re only able to come up with a few routes to success. Sure there are the wedding and corporate/brand film industries, but they are often crowded markets with a ton of high-quality filmmakers vying for these jobs. A lot of us dream of landing high-end commercial clients, but have no idea how to even get started.
So what do we do?
Brad Walker is the Founder of Lighthouse Films, based in Wilmington, NC and has been thinking outside the box ever since getting out of film school. He got his start by becoming a specialist at making promo films for high-end summer camps before shaking up his business with a risky (but calculated) investment and making the jump into commercial work.
He’s worked with brands such as Ford, JP Morgan Chase, Red Bull, IBM and many, many more, always with the aim of humanizing these large companies through authentic storytelling.
Brad shares with us how thinking outside the box and taking...
Let’s face it, none of us are getting any younger. And one of the challenges that our ever increasing ages present to us in our industry is that it becomes harder and harder to keep up with what our clients expect when it comes to wedding and commercial video projects. Tastes change, and there’s always some new piece of gear or software with which to acquaint ourselves.
Jason Magbanua is a Philippines-based wedding and commercial filmmaker with more than 17 years of experience in the industry. He’s realized how much harder he has to work these days to stay atop the latest trends and technology, but why that hard work is essential to continuing to grow his brand.
His company now has 25 employees and he personally shoots over one hundred weddings every year. Amid this schedule, Jason still manages to find time to work with corporate and commercial clients and speak at wedding filmmaking events around the world.
He reminds us that while your age may require you to...
When a lot of us start out in the wedding industry, whether it be as filmmakers, photographers, or coordinators, we have dreams of working with high-end luxury and celebrity clients. I know I did when I first started, but as most of us realize pretty quickly, it can be really hard to elevate your brand to a level that attracts that type of clientele. And even if you do, there are often a host of other challenges that accompany these clients.
Sasha Souza is the founder of Sasha Souza Events and has been planning and coordinating events of all kinds, including weddings for over 20 years. In that span, she’s guided her company to becoming one of the top event, design, and wedding coordination companies in the US, the most awarded wedding design and event planning company in Napa and Sonoma, and now has offices in Napa, Sonoma, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Over the years she’s worked with a number of celebrity clients and shares with us today her mindset behind...
It’s a challenge that wedding filmmakers and creative business owners the world over face and struggle with, every day.
"When is it time to quit my job and go full-time on this? Is it even possible for me to make a career telling stories through film?? My market is waaay too small for that...”
Some of us struggle with this for months, years, or even our entire lives without ever taking the leap and giving it a shot. The timing never seems quite right, our ideal clients are nowhere to be found and there are too many obstacles that we perceive to be standing in between us and our dreams.
Sarah and Rick Pendergraft of PenWeddings have been there, and know all of the struggles associated with making the move into a totally foreign industry. Based in Broken Arrow, OK (yeah I had no idea where that was either), it’s hard to say that they’re in a “high end” wedding market, and yet they’ve steadily been increasing their prices, year after year...