How to Start a Production Company

11 Mar 2020

How to Start a Production Company

By: Rand

Video Transcript:

Intro: How to start a video production company

So, you want to start a video production company. Like childbirth, running a ponzi scheme, and most things in life, running a production company ain’t easy. And like two out of those three: it’s also lot of fun.

Pros: You get to be your own boss, Set your own hours, celebrate Man Bun Mondays at the beach. And most importantly: make videos. Now for the Cons: You get to be your own boss. Set your own hours, Realize that wearing a man bun is a crime against humanity and while you were lounging at the beach on a Monday, you forgot about an important meeting.

I’ve been doing this for 10 years, and what started out as me trolling craigslist for any type of job- that’s a sentence that could be taken out of context– has now grown to me running a 6 figure a year company where I get the opportunity to make videos for a living. With that said, I’m going to share FIVE basic tips from my own personal struggles that I’ve learned over the past 10 years running my own video production business.

#1. You will spend more money on tape than you ever thought possible. (Even though we’ve done digital, I still spent a ton of tape. Gaffe tape) Last week I bought 2 rolls of gaffe tape. 43 dollars.

-A working, solid c-stand.

-Keep your sand bags aways from your cat.

The more someone brags about their camera, the less they know how to use it.

-Whatever you have budgeted for tape – triple it. It will shock you how much you spend on gaff tape.

-Something about the only time in your life you will need 9 volt batteries.

-Bungee chord can fix anything.

Ok. #2. Understand what you want to be and what you are good at.

What are you good at? Is it making wedding videos? The high art of Youtube fail compilations? Are you really good at interviewing people on camera? Whatever it is, use your strengths to your advantage and try to focus on that. There’s a big market out there and finding out what your niche is can help you garner consistent work. It’s extremely rare to find a professional production company that does ALL kinds of videos. My Personal philosophy is that it’s better to be amazing at one type of video than just be “ok” at a lot of things. So yeah, play to your strengths and roll with it.

Ok #3. It’s not all about the gear.

I used to think that having cool gadgets and super high tech gear was the key to success. I learned over the years that- it’s not. You have to remember you are starting a business and that business relies on a whole bunch of different skills other than just having physical equipment. For example: Are you a great communicator and negotiator? Can you manage a budget? Or a contract? Can you keep your cool when the client is (rightfully) pissed when your sound op BLEEEPS up? That’s all part of owning your own company.

And #4. Refining your brand.

Once you have decided what kind of business you are running and have defined your ultimate goals, it’s now time to show the world who you are. This means building an impressive portfolio of work. Put yourself out there and show off your skills in a clear and concise manner. Remember: simplicity is key.

Which brings me to #5, Finding leads. Grab your fishing pole because now it’s all about getting the clients to see you, because just having a website isn’t enough. Ok, maybe that fishing analogy didn’t really work the way I had planned but you can’t wait for work to find you, you need to find it. Finding a way to generate leads for new business is what it’s all about. There are so many ways to do this whether through Craigslist, Thumbtack, Mandy or other creative lead generation websites. You may be disappointed to find that these leads may cost you, and sometimes they cost a lot. But running the numbers and having that cost built in to your budgets is one way to make it work. Another way to make it work is if your last name is Scorsese, Spielberg, or Coppola. Just sayin’.

So, there you have it. If you aren’t completely scared away at this point I commend you. It’s going to take skill, perseverance, talent and hard work to succeed..  But I have faith in you – faceless, anonymous internet viewer, because if I could do it, then so can you. How to start a video production company


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