It’s been a busy month for me due to school projects, videography, celebrating Giant’s World Series win and trying to stay up to watch at least one episode a night of the new TVB Chinese Drama, No Regrets, AKA 巾幗梟雄之義海豪情 (which BTW is very addicting).
This week I started thinking, how many filmmakers out there can really make a good living by making films or videography? With the recession going on, competitions are tough in LA and the Bay Area is also catching up. Maybe moving to Central America is a better choice for less competition? There are the disadvantage and advantage staying in California for film and videography, while competition is tough in the film industry down in LA, videography and television broadcasting are also tough in the Bay Area.
Being the Bay Area lover that I am, I love to do both videography and film. In terms of videography, especially for weddings, I don’t look for the big cash. Ok I lied, I do look for the cash, but the biggest pay off for me doing videography is being appreciated for what I’ve done for my clients by making their videos look good, which is stupid of me for thinking JUST that because I am a hungry and poor student filmmaker who needs more money in order to buy more equipments, so why shouldn’t money be first priority? I guess that’s how I roll…. THIS is where my weakness and disadvantage kicks in because I haven’t done a whole lot of videography until just this recent year and I tend to do videos for my friends and clients for a really low amount or for “free” just so that I can have THAT experience. Cuz in the future I can start charging $2,000+ as I gain more experience, but for now I am playing cheap Chinese guy where I’m charging clients for only $50 to $300 per event or get fed a scrumcious meal because at this economic time no one is willing to pay that much unless they are big corporate companies. So how long does it take til I can actually charge $15,000 per wedding like these guys??
Despite not being able to earn as much, I like to get paid in order to pay my crews for their hard work. Even if they volunteer, it’s only good manner that you use that money to feed them at least. REMEMBER, a happy crew = good films.
While I love doing videography and film while not having to worry about budget too much, being a student SUCKS because my time isn’t too flexible when I have class 4 days + part time job out of the week. Also, being a poor student filmmaker that I am, if I don’t get reimburse for materials from the videography jobs I do, I’ll just lose more and more money. Tapes sure are getting expensive these days >.<“
But I understand how a lot of student filmmakers feel. “If I don’t take this job, there may not be another chance”. While that statement is true on some level, I just feel that it’s only right to get school out of hair so when you graduate you will have all the time to focus on a film or video and that’s when all the networking comes together. Of all the videography jobs I’ve done so far, I am not even close in paying off my camera or even have money to buy new equipments. Sooner or later you will see me out on the street with a sign that says, “Hungry Filmmaker, Will Film For Food”. JUST LIKE THIS GUY! —>
But I wouldn’t mind filming just for food, it’s basically what I’m currently doing now, I volunteer to help out a film shoot and I get fed, which is always a good thing. Sooner or later I’ll be able to earn that $15,000 per video, just as long as I get out of SFSU in Spring woohoo!! And if Justin Lin would ever want me to help him work on a Fast & the Furious project, as long as I get roomed comfortably and fed, I don’t mind working on the set for free. Then again I’m sure someone like Justin are the type of guys who would at least compensate or pay a little just to keep crew members happy. (Fast Five is DONE and launching in April 2011!!!) GO JUSTIN!
Final Cut Pro: $700
Shotgun mic: $250
Glidecam Stabilizer: $2,400
Canon 5D MK II: $3,000
My desire to make a good film: More expensive than you can imagine.
My kindness and generosity to help you out: priceless