Monday, July 26, 2010

Wedding Videos: Creativity or Preserving Memories?

by Chris Harding
The current trend for the production of wedding DVD's seems to be heading towards the creative approach with more “film-like” images, slow motion shots of just the bride and groom set to romantic music.

This, of course, produces very pleasing asthetic results when first watched and the wedding memories are fresh in the couples mind, and provides the newly-weds with an extremely professional and visually pleasing result of their special day.

However, are we maybe losing sight of the most important reason a bride decides to have a wedding video, preserving memories ? On a recent survey of “Why would you have a video of your wedding” almost all participants said “memories”.

A wedding day is one of the most important occasions in your lifetime, that should forever be remembered in the hearts and minds. Yet with each passing day human memory drifts away and some things are not as lucid as they were the day of the event. A video will allow you to relive the magical moments of the day for many years to come.

Without video the vows you made to each other, the first dance, the speeches, and the whole wedding day can never be seen or heard again, they will only exist in your mind. Yet wedding trends and cinematic style filming that replaces priceless sounds and vision of people who are perhaps no longer with us often now means that all the wedding wishes, speeches and toasts will be forgotten forever, often along with the people that made them!

Picture yourself 10 years from now flipping through your wedding album. You find a picture of your chief bridesmaid giving her speech. You remember that it was so funny and nice, but cannot remember what she was saying. Look for the picture of your Grandfather proudly telling the guests of all your achievements, he has regretably passed on now. Wouldn’t you want to let your children see and hear what nice things he had to say about you ?

So many wedding DVD’s seem to now consist mainly of slow motion footage set to music (seemingly to show off the videographer’s camera skills) and the real emotion, human element and atmosphere are lost.

Surely by ensuring that your wedding is carefully documented rather than made into a creative work of art, you get meaningful visual memories that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

Chris Harding is the owner-operator of the video production company, Softweigh Multimedia, specializing in event video productions. He is located in Perth, Australia. The author is also an associate and Australia representative for Video StoryTellers!™ an international video services and branding program that focuses on the preservation of stories and memories. He is a guest writer for E.C. Come, E.C. Go a video marketing and production blog by Earl Chessher.

Coming soon: Another great article by Heidi Mueller focusing on Special Interest DVDs.

Remember: If you market, you will make it! © 2010 Earl Chessher

Monday, July 19, 2010

How To DVDs, Great Potential

by Heidi Mueller

In this post I want to show why I believe making How To DVDs is a video business with good income potential.

Basic Concept

Basically you take a topic that you are an expert at, break it down into 6 to 10 sections covering the different aspects of the topic. You then videotape yourself explaining these aspects. Finally you put the resulting 6 – 10 short video clips on a DVD with a menu allowing people to either view all the sections in sequence or view just the specific section they are interested in.

The DVD is then packaged in a library case with proper professional graphics and offered for sale over the Internet.

Income Potential
The videography is very basic, mostly shot in one location so it is very easy to do. In general you would spend one week to develop and rehearse the storyboard, i.e. writing the short sections. Then allow another week for videotaping, and another week for editing and creating the DVD and graphics. Give yourself a week to put a sales page together for your website. So this amounts to about a month’s worth of work.

Now assuming that your topic is of sufficient interest you could expect to sell about 1000 copies. If you made a net profit on each DVD sold of $20, that would result in $20,000 for a month’s work – not bad!

The principle involved is shoot once, sell many times.

One downside is that you will not be earning any money during the month of making the DVD – the money will only come in once you start selling DVDs.

The success of the concept will depend on your choice of how to topic. The more specialized the topic, the smaller your potential market. Your success will also depend on how much effort you put into marketing your DVD.

The estimate of one month will depend on your experience. If you have never created a DVD with menus, it might well take you a bit longer than a month. But as you gain experience, you will probably take less time on your next projects.

Special Interest DVDs

A somewhat similar concept is to make special interest DVDs. Again, it is a matter of shoot once, sell many times. However, special interest DVDs have other challenges that I will address in a future post.

Heidi Mueller is the owner-operator of HMueller Design in New Westminster, BC. The author is also an associate of Video StoryTellers!™ an international video services and branding program, and a guest writer for E.C. Come, E.C. Go a video marketing and production blog by Earl Chessher. Earl is a moderator and writer for Videomaker Magazine and forums, owner and developer for Video StoryTellers! (click link for info on participating in VST) and owner/operator of CorElAnn Video Productions in Southern California.

Remember: If you market, you will make it! © 2010 Earl Chessher

Thursday, July 15, 2010

WorldWide Branding Program Under Way

NOTE: If you are an independent video services provider anywhere in the world and think the equivalent of $70 US per hour is a reasonable income starting point for participation in a worldwide branding program with much more potential than that, keep reading!

ALSO, PLEASE READ: Business Opportunity Update, just re-updated today, July 20, 2010!

With Australia and Canada on board, along with U.S.A. associates in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Mississippi, Florida, Northern California and Southern California, the world-wide marketing and branding program is well on its way to fulfillment.

Among country and state associate representatives considering participation in this new video production business that focuses on a HUGE demographic with a proven need are Mexico, Puerto Rico, Germany, South Africa, Virginia, Missouri, Oregon and Texas.

There‘s a need for qualified independent video producer representation in countries throughout the world, as well as the U.S.A. While the ground floor base is fairly established, independent video producers seeking to expand their business operations into a currently under-served video market can certainly do so for a minimal investment.

The potential for R.O.I. in a very short time is huge. The opportunities for new, renewable and referral video business — along with visibility, linkage and name recognition through association with a world-wide branding program are outstanding. This program focuses on a demographic KNOWN to appreciate the basic service it offers.

Refer to previous articles: New Business Opportunity and Business Opportunity Update! here for additional information. Contact me at for further information on how to become part of a business plan, branding strategy and marketing program that is going to become very popular in every geographical location on the planet.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Top Five Video Moneymakers

In my professional opinion, based on actual experience, the top five moneymakers for independent video services providers, not in any special order of importance, are:

• Weddings

• Personal Events

• Youth Sports

• Community Events

• Web video production for small businesses

ACTUALLY? There’s probably SIX, and I have to agree with Heidi at H. Mueller Design who noted that development of special interest or how to or Do It Yourself video programs can be highly profitable. So, there‘s six in the top paying bracket for independents. I also agree with Heidi that doing video you enjoy can offset the profitability factor in many instances.


Of these...

...the highest paying based on actual possible dollars per hour earned is web video production for small businesses. This production service has the highest potential, and once a solid production/delivery system is established and in place, can be a quick turn around with serious profits. The required investment to establish a viable business plan in this arena is comparatively low.

There’s currently a high perceived value among this demographic and product is capable of almost instant delivery. These productions, when planned well, can often experience a long shelf-life making the venture economical and affordable for the client. Productions can be worked in such a way that content may be endlessly repurposed.

When the system comes together and the product works for your clients, you’re looking at a high level of repeat business, strong potential for renewables and referrals with a natural tendency among such clients to expand their perceived web video needs and budgets.


Weddings bring in the least amount of dollars per hour invested from start to completion. The investment in equipment and marketing needs can become quite expensive if a video businessperson wants to have a go at wedding video production at a high-quality professional level. It is, however, not essential that a talented producer invest heavily, or even market heavily for that matter, to gain the level of consistent business he or she personally desires.

Wedding video production requires the highest investment of time and effort, and potentially high initial investment, to produce a high quality finished product. Your average bride, or groom, or parents in most demographics in this business arena are essentially the least likely people to perceive a high level of dollar value, generally speaking, of services rendered and products delivered.

I must say that a significant number of independent video services providers who focus exclusively on wedding video production are quite successful. For many, even the most successful, like marriage itself, this can be a love/hate relationship.


What should you avoid?

Due to the tremendous amount of competition and existing valid and viable services offered via storefront, website and major chain, and at rock bottom pricing, I’d have to say it would be a difficult and expensive task to invest into the equipment needed and obtain the level of business required for R.O.I. in film, tape and general video conversion services.

Again, there are exceptions, and some business savvy individuals may certainly be able to carve out a niche here for themselves, especially in under-served areas. Personal and/or other unique services can make such a plan commercially viable, but any attempt to compete on price alone is going to be business suicide. The required volume to become a profitable business is going to be huge. It will need to be consistent, or don’t plan on this as your single-income source or a full-time business. Keep your day job.

I think it would also be difficult for a startup independent video services provider to engage the corporate sector even if the capital investment required and associates/client resources were available in abundance. This is something that, with rare exception, the established boutiques and large production houses have a firm grip on.

And again, there are exceptions. Shear determination, along with some good fortune and key clients/accounts can make some of us the cheered underdog. However “exception” is the rarely occurring key word here.


Other potentially viable startup, and even add-on video business, service and product might include development of a specialty concept.

Remember the abundance of places, especially in tourist magnets, where kids of all ages could cavort in front of a background, mime or lip synch to the cameras/audio and walk out with a 60s or 70s style MTV production of their own?

Some folks are still making this work, mostly hiring out as part of the events and activities offered at school graduation parties, private group celebrations, even at fairs and community events where there's a large public turnout.

Folks who focus on and invest in the equipment necessary to provide instant video to marching band, dance, cheerleader, flag drill team and other major competition events that have local, regional, state and national level contests can still carve a niche for themselves. There's a formula that works, and the upfront investment can be huge, but the end results for a determined and savvy business operator can be rich.

Other areas are those currently being under-served: funerals, memorials, custom animations featuring children's heads, arms, legs in cartoon, 2D and 3D environments. Also, starting your own specialty HD/SD stock footage library, or focusing exclusively on acquiring such footage and getting yours placed with any or all of the larger stock footage houses in operation.


Neither or either.

There's speciality and diversity in this business. Both work. What is required is tenacity, determination, applied effort, consistent production and a good head for business with a solid finger on the consumer pulse. Identifying and recognizing the next HOT video concept, then getting the jump on the rest of us.

Remember: If you market you will make it! © Earl Chessher