CES: Our top picks for video content producers

Content producers: hide your credit cards. CES 2018 is off to a great start with smarter smart products, thinner TVs and laptops, and even more Ks (8K here we come). We’ve gathered some info on our top picks promising to make your life easier, brighter, and in higher resolution.

 

Here’s what we’re paying attention to at CES

 

1. TVs

Stephen King says you can’t be a great writer if you aren’t an avid reader. If that’s true for video content producers, you’ll need to watch a lot of content. In that case, you may be able to justify one of these TVs for your studio in 2018. Among your options are Panasonic’s FZ950–a TV fit for Hollywood post production houses and the Q9S QLED TV, which “uses AI to make its own 8K content.” As for your space, why have a TV mounted on your wall, when you can just have a TV wall instead? The wall (that’s what it’s called) spans 12 feet across and is made up of smaller, nearly seamless MicroLED screens, each of which is “made of pixels that, like OLED, produce their own light.” 8K resolution is here to scratch the itch of those who look at their old 4K TVs and think, “Rubbish! That is so 2017!”

2. All the Ks

It’s not just TVs getting in on the resolution game. Sony’s $30,000 4K projector sits 9.6 inches from the wall onto which you’ll be projecting a 4K image. Among its standout features is that “the laser projector reaches a peak brightness of 2500 lumens.” At $30,000 it’ll up your home theater game to the best in the block while also making your post production house portable.

3. VR

Vive Pro has unveiled its latest headset. With higher resolution, built-in headphones, and a more comfortable fit than its previous model, HTC has taken virtual reality to the next level. If video is your world, you better pay attention to VR. It is to video what drones were in the last generation. Those who figure it out and master it first stand to make their presence known.

Where does it go from here? With VR, seeing is believing, but where hand-held controls fall short with the current simple vibration, it’s our sense of touch that still needs convincing. Companies are sure to focus on better haptics in future VR products and to answer the question, “Okay, but can it look even more real?” The verdict is already in: It can.

 

The bottom line

2018’s tech is bigger and better than ever. And in some cases, like this fingernail-sized sensor, that means smaller than ever. You can keep up with the rest of CES news here.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

This post originally appeared on ProductionHub. You can find it here.

So you want to make it as a freelancer? Here are 4 tried-and-true tips

Whether you start your freelancing career as a calculated choice or land there by accident—you’re in good company. The American economy is increasingly built on independent contractors. Together, these workers have earned a respectable $1 trillion in the past year alone.

It’s clear there’s business to be won for talented, hard-working independent contractors, but that doesn’t mean it’s just going to happen without you making an effort. It’s important to have a plan if you really want to make a viable career path of freelancing.

4 ways to make independence work for you

1. Nurture and develop your network

Many freelancers strike out on their own because they’ve had just about enough of the corporate grind. But, even if you’re unhappy as you pack up your cubicle, avoid having a “take this job and shove it” attitude.

From my experience, business connections happen in funny ways. Someone from your old full-time gig could end up referring you to your biggest new client. Don’t lower your chances of capitalizing on your network by being a sourpuss on the way out.

Get the word out by updating your social network profiles to reflect your new pursuit. Reach out to any contacts who might have work that fits what you do now. Let everyone in your existing network know what you’ll be focusing on and be ready to discuss your work with new connections, too.

Whatever you’re doing, you need people. They’ll be the ones to hire you, rehire you, recommend you, and refer you. With a large portion of the economy built on people like you, you can bet there will be a lot of talented people to compete with. Even with highly technical skills, it always comes back to relationships.

2. Do great work

Networking is a good start, but no matter how much people like you, they also have to be happy with your work.

Like so much of freelancing, how you go about establishing yourself in your field is a bit of a balancing act. I believe in finding your niche, getting really good at your craft, and sticking to it. After all, being able to take the work that interests you and decline the work that doesn’t is a huge perk for the established freelancer.

However, I also believe there’s something to be said for branching out. Projects that aren’t as comfortable or easy push your creativity and force you to learn new things. Even when you’ve found a niche that feels right to you, make yourself available for new opportunities. You never know where they may lead.

If you find yourself doing something that isn’t a good fit long term, just turn the next similar opportunity down. That’s one of the benefits of being in the driver’s seat! A bonus is that it actually builds trust with potential clients when you acknowledge you’re not the right fit for what they’re looking for. If you can, refer them to someone in your network who will nail the project. That builds rapport on both ends of the deal.

If you do great work, people will find you. Let your product speak for itself. When it does, your contacts will talk, too.

3. Master time management

Many freelancers say time management is one of the biggest challenges of launching out on their own. Having full freedom over your schedule requires infinitely more self-discipline than showing up at a designated time every day. You may find that being able to decide whether you approach each day like a weekend, a workday, or a little bit of both ends up being more taxing than having it decided for you.

It’s true that having a work/life balance of your choosing is one of the major perks of independent contracting. Just don’t forget that it should be just that—a balance. One day, you may decide to take advantage of your flexibility for the life part of your work/life balance. Another day, you may use that time to work on business development so you have the long-term work to sustain your business. The idea of “having more time” as a freelancer is misguided. It’s more of a constant exercise in weighing priorities.

While you strive for balance, set aside some time to be available for last-minute opportunities. Being fully booked is a blessing, but if you turn down enough gigs from a potential or returning client, they’ll stop calling. While you’re on call for bigger opportunities, take advantage of the down time to do the back office work of running a company. If you’re worried about being bored; don’t. You’ll always have plenty of the unbillable, not-so-glamorous variety of work. A well-organized calendar is a freelancer’s best friend. I find the most successful (and sane) self-employed folks schedule their time with military-like discipline. They block time on their calendars for existing projects and even schedule time for generic tasks like emailing, invoicing, prospecting, etc. Such an approach keeps you from overbooking yourself or disappointing clients with late or substandard work.

4. Get your books and business details organized

The rewards of freelancing are immense. The risks and uncertainties are, too. Just like managing time is a totally different challenge when nobody is telling you when to clock in and out, managing finances is a whole different beast for the self-employed individual.

Whether you choose to hire an accountant or DIY, you need some sort of system to manage the famously feast-or-famine nature of your new business pursuit. Freelancing is inherently a gamble. You may find yourself stacking your chips when business is good, and then making tough choices just to stay in the game when business slows down.

Get all your paperwork, processes, and procedures in order. Get your website, financial operations, and company name established. Design and order your business cards. Learn your way around Quickbooks, Toggl, or other project management tools you plan to use for day-to-day business. Your process will evolve, but feeling comfortable up front sets you up for sustained success.

The bottom line

Successful freelance careers are built on talent, hard work, and a positive attitude. The rest is up to you. It’s difficult work, but the payoff is huge. If you produce good work, enjoy what you do, operate ethically, and treat clients right, the money will follow.

Here are some additional tips from HBR’s  “How to become a successful freelancer.

About Crew Connection

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Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

This post originally appeared on ProductionHub. You can find it here.

3 ways to perfect your demo reel and knock out your competition

The video production market is tough. If you want to become a client’s go-to crew, you have to convince them to book you in the first place. And you have 30 seconds or less to do it.

 

Here are three simple tips to make sure your demo reel knocks out your competition

Put in the Time

There’s not really a way around it: If you want to have a great demo reel, you have to produce great work. And to produce great work, you have to work hard. No matter how gifted, nobody picks up a camera or sits down at Premiere and produces great work in the first hour—or even the 100th hour. Practice truly does make perfect. If you want a demo reel that looks perfect against tough competition, you better be ready to put time into your practice.

Keep It Simple

Your demo reel is like your resume. Use it to show off your highest quality work in the shortest amount of time possible. Thirty seconds seems to be the sweet spot to highlight your skills without boring clients. Make it visually diverse. Demonstrate your macro lens with up-close nature shots and your drone skills with sweeping landscapes. Consider including a shot from an interview as well as a fast-paced action scene. There’s no formula, just be sure to showcase a wide range of your best work.

Make It Easy

No matter how badass your work or your reel may be, it won’t do you any good if potential clients can’t easily access it. Make sure your demo reel is optimized for mobile viewing, desktop viewing and anything in between. Post it on Vimeo and YouTube so it’s easy to watch and to share. Meet your clients where they’re already searching for your skillset by setting up a profile on a variety of online media matchmaking platforms. On our comprehensive online database, you can create a robust profile to market your demo reel, stills, gear list, awards and more to some of the largest clients around the world, including Disney, Oracle, and Verizon.

The Bottom Line

The challenges of freelancing in the video production field are many, but the beauty of it is you’re in the driver’s seat. When you do great work, showcase it on your demo reel and make it easy for clients to view it—well-paying projects are sure to follow.

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

Read the original article on ProductionHub here.

How to make it in the entertainment capitol of the world

What better place to go for advice on how to build a successful production house than where competition is stiffest? Mike Levy started Levy Production Group in 1987 and succeeded where many others failed—Las Vegas. We figure if you can make it in the entertainment capitol of the world, you can probably make it anywhere. Here are our top four takeaways from Mike on building a successful studio:

 

1. Get experience

The best thing young, aspiring editors, camera people, and future business owners can do is get experience. If you want to become the go-to person in your field, take online courses, college courses, and even unpaid gigs as opportunities to learn the ins and outs of video production. Learn the industry overall, not just your position. Understanding everything from production through post makes you a well-rounded teammate or team lead. Not all jobs offer glamour, but all jobs offer experience.  

 

2. Be nice

Being talented isn’t enough. Don’t just learn to be good at what you do, but also at how you do it. This is not your typical desk job. Our industry is famous for long hours, late nights, and many consecutive days on set. Tough conditions can bring out the worst in people. Those who can communicate clearly, listen well, and stay level-headed are invaluable. You’ll be remembered as much for the way you conduct yourself as for the work you produce.

Be humble. Look to learn from people rather than to be right.

 

3. A warehouse is just a warehouse

You can’t just call a large, open building a studio. Having enough room to shoot properly is just the beginning. If you really want to do it right, you have to be ready to invest in heating and cooling, overhead and floor lighting, and soundproofing, for starters. If clients have to redo a take because they hear an ambulance in the background, they’ll be taking their business elsewhere next time. You also need creature comforts so you can accommodate not just the shoots, but the people, too. Clients want to go to a facility that feels good—with nice dressing rooms, kitchen areas, restrooms, etc. Fresh-baked cookies (a Levy Production Group signature), goodie baskets, meals, snacks, candies, sodas, and gourmet coffees and teas go a long way toward making people comfortable and earning repeat business.

 

4) Find your niche and do it well

It seems simple, but most of the important things are. When you have the best resources and do the best work, you’ll get return clients. Word of mouth and reputation are irreplaceable.

After starting as an ad agency and outsourcing to local TV stations, Mike Levy decided to invest in a small stage to facilitate smaller projects like ChromaKey insert shoots and single-car shoots. Realizing that they were good at something and that they could get paid for, Levy Production Group bought their first camera and editing package and have grown along with Vegas ever since. In their current 14,000 square-foot facility, they do everything from everyday interviews to shoots with big-name celebrities, athletes, and musicians.

Building any business can feel like a gamble, but with these key practices it’s a sure bet.

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

This article was originally posted to productionhub.com. Read the original article here.

Contract work is uncertain: Here’s how to make sure you get paid every time

The struggle is real. Contract work often means gambling with each new client and gig. While you might get paid half up front, you usually work without any guarantee—billing upon completion. That means a lot of uncertainty—especially for small video crews and owner/operators who rely on each project and its corresponding cash flow to pay bills, buy equipment, and stay in operation.

For their part, clients may have a net 90 invoicing policy, a small accounting department, or an unstable financial situation. Often, you’re the one at risk if any of those operations hits a snag. So you get a signed contract, do your best work, and hope your client follows through on their end of the deal.  

The good news is that there is an alternative: You don’t have to rely on a handshake and a roll of the dice.

 

Three ways Crew Connection brings payment security to contract work

Problem one: Many companies, especially the big ones, have 90 day payment terms, meaning you could wait an extra 60 days to have that cash in hand.

Solution one: Crew Connection guarantees payment for crews in 30 days regardless of the client terms.

Problem two: Onboarding paperwork slows down the process of working with new clients. Setting up contract and payment terms takes valuable time and often, different companies have different expectations for how and when they want to receive invoices.

Solution two: Crews invoice the same way every time (which happens to be very easy, by the way) regardless of who the shoot is for. Crew Connection takes care of the paperwork.

Problem three: Unfortunately, small companies without internal legal teams often get paid last or not at all when there’s a dispute or a client hits financial troubles. Some clients never pay. Who wants to waste time and money pursuing payment for previous work when you have new work to get to?

Solution three: Crews receive money for the project regardless of whether or not Crew Connection ever does.

 

The bottom line

Crews often bring new clients to us to make sure they get paid quickly even on their first project together. It benefits clients, too. We built our online database to make finding a crew fast and easy for clients and to make getting paid for contract work fast and easy for crews. Beyond that, it makes communication and record-keeping a breeze. It’s a win-win for both parties. We take the gambling out of contractor pay so crews can do great work, get paid quickly, and move on. Save the gambling for Vegas, baby!

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

Invoicing: Tips and tricks to get paid quickly and seamlessly

Invoicing day: The day independent contractors love to hate. For any production crew without a standalone accounting department, invoicing simultaneously keeps businesses afloat (hello cash flow!) and keeps you away from the work you got into the business for in the first place. It doesn’t have to be so painful, though! Like everything on Crew Connection’s online platform, invoicing is easy and streamlined.

Here are some best practices to help you simplify invoicing and get paid quickly.

 

The invoicing process in a nutshell

Here are some simple but important keys to uploading your invoice to Crew Connection:

  1. Wait until the day after the shoot end date to upload your invoice.
  2. Click the “Upload a New Invoice” button (bottom left).
  3. Be sure to export a PDF file (no larger than 2MB) from your system of choice.

 

When will I be paid?

We pay within 30 days of the day you upload your invoice (not the end of the shoot date) and we always initiate payments on Wednesdays. The later you upload your invoice and the more revisions you have to make in order to finalize it, the longer it will take after wrap to get paid. It behooves you to make the invoice a priority the day after you finish the shoot and to make sure you avoid revisions.

 

What causes rejections?

Nobody likes to be rejected. It’s usually just a matter of clearing up some confusion, but here are the two most common reasons we have to kick back invoices:

  1. There are discrepancies between the estimate and the invoice (for instance, new line items without explanations/notes, or unexpected costs such as parking and meals).
  2. There are mistakes—the wrong date, client name, or location, for example.

 

How can I prevent confusion on my invoice?

Once a client approves your estimate, it becomes a project. Basing your invoice on your project keeps everything consistent. That means we’ll likely have fewer questions for you and more time to cut your check. (Need a refresher on creating an estimate? Click here.)

Here’s what we mean by consistency:

  1. Make your invoice look as much like the estimate as possible. If you bid the project as a package, don’t submit an itemized invoice. On the flip side, if you break down costs such as camera operator, labor, gear, audio, etc., do so on both your estimate and your invoice. Either way, pick your approach and stick with it.
  2. Be sure to include your preliminary total, less our finder’s fee, and your net on every invoice. Not sure what we take commission on? Get the scoop here.
  3. Provide proof of purchase. Spent some extra cash on the job? Include those lunch, parking, and other receipts as pages of your invoice or as separate “invoices” for the same project. Make a habit of including meal and parking receipts. Vague extra costs make clients nervous, while clear communication makes them feel more comfortable.

When anything doesn’t line up, we have to go back to the production crew and find out what changed. We notify you via email and give you a chance to fix it. That said, it still delays the whole process (and often the payment). It will just be a quicker and smoother process if you take your time and do it right up front.

 

The bottom line

We built our online database to make getting paid fast and easy already, and these little tips will set you up for success from your very first estimate. Uploading your invoice on Crew Connection is the fastest way to get it in front of our crew coordinators and get you paid. It’s easy. Promise.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

 

Featured Crew: Resolution Post production crew

Whether they’re pros at filming, post-production, stills, drone photography, or a little bit of everything—our crews are the bee’s knees. We know that for a fact because our team personally vets every single one of them before adding them to our global crewing database.

 

We thought it was about time to toot some of their horns, starting with Scott Stewart and Resolution Post.

We love working with Resolution for the same reasons our clients do:

1) They are flexible and offer a wide range of production services—from green screen shooting to editing and graphics work.

2) They’ve fully adopted our online platform which allows them to seamlessly work with us and our clients.

For the scoop on what makes Resolution such rockstars we talked with Scott Stewart, Resolution Post’s Creative Director and President, and a true gem in the industry. He’s been with the company for over 25 years and does everything from filming to post production; which includes color correction, editing, graphics animation, After Effects, and Cinema 4D worlds.  

 

Crew Connection: What sets you apart?

Scott Stewart: We can do everything in house. After we do the shoot, we take it back into the suite, do the creative aspects, and deliver the final product. That means we can accommodate just about any situation. One of the benefits to clients is that you save time in post when the guy shooting the project also edits it.

 

CC: What gear do you offer and what are your specialties?

SS: I can shoot with all the cameras. I learn the technology when it comes out. Rather than investing in several different cameras and being limited to those, I invest in the lenses and lights so I can accommodate different clients who want different packages. It’s a smooth transition from camera to camera because I just need to get the settings right for the environment.

 

CC: What are some interesting and challenging projects you’ve worked on recently?

SS: We had a client ask us to create a galaxy for them. Our Art Director, who can build a model in the 3D world, dug into his tool bag and figured out how to do it.

We also work with professional athletes who don’t have a lot of time. That means we have to pull off perfection in less than five minutes. We charge batteries, clear audio cards, and do all camera checks ahead of time so we can stay in front of everything and make it work.

One of the coolest jobs we’ve done recently is editing a three-episode run of FIFAKING (also known as Chad Johnson…also known as Ocho Cinco).

 

CC: What are your favorite tools and why?

SS: My new favorite tool is the GH5—Panasonic DSLR. It shoots 4K 422 uncompressed footage to a Ninja Inferno monitor/recorder. It’s a lightweight package that works with Cine DS Rokinon lenses. I also have a cool mixer (Zoom H6) right on the camera so we can cut out the sound person for smaller shoots.

All of that means we can match our camera packages to the budget and client while still offering excellent quality. We can do a nice corporate shoot or a green screen shoot without using a RED. The truth is that if you put footage from a RED Dragon next to a GH5, very few people can tell the difference—especially on the web.

And for bigger broadcast jobs, we can still use a RED, Alexa, or Sony F5 and hire larger crews to support the scope of the project.

 

CC: Why do clients like working with you?

SS: We focus on customer service and go above and beyond for every job. If we’re not done with a project at 5 p.m. and it’s due the next morning, we’ll stay until 3 a.m. to see it through. If I get an email at 9 p.m. that the client needs the video in a different format, then I send it to them from home. It’s all about relationships.

 

The bottom line

Resolution Post and JSS Productions are broadcast, design, and acquisition specialists with a host of Fortune 500 clients and government agencies. They specialize in creating visual content for any screen. Click here to book Resolution for your next high-end corporate piece, marketing project, awards show, commercial, promo, or multimedia experience.

 

About JSS Productions/Resolution Post

Resolution is a video, film, and multimedia broadcast design and digital agency based out of the Washington, D.C. metro area. Since its creation in 1989, Resolution has produced films, videos, and multimedia for some of the top fortune 500 companies of the world and government agencies. We are most proud of the fact that we have established long-term relationships with our customers and have earned their respect as strategic communications partners. The majority of our work consists of creating high-end corporate imaging, marketing, awards shows, commercials, promos, special effects, training videos and multimedia experiences. We help our customers define their business and communications objectives and we study hard to understand the product and what the audience needs to know.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection puts a world of video service providers at your fingertips. In just a few clicks you can search, chat with, and book vetted crews local to your shoot—all on your own schedule. Rely on Crew Connection’s team of media experts to organize the crews and gear you need for multi-day and multi-location video projects anywhere in the world. Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock if you ever need live assistance. Visit CrewConnection.com, call us at 303-526-4900, or shoot us an email at info@crewconnection.com.

 

8 business-boosting marketing tips for video crews

It’s easy for video crews to get buried in editing or lose track of time stuck behind a camera. But to build a truly profitable business, you have to bring in some new business from time to time. Take heart—you don’t necessarily need a big budget or even paid advertising! These simple steps can take your business to the next level and keep your pipeline full.

 

Ways for video crews to boost business  (the non-negotiables)

There are a million ways to reach potential new clients, but they don’t mean anything if you aren’t building on the right foundation. And luckily that foundation is pretty simple: do great work and be the person clients want to work with.

1. Do great work  

Superb work is a non-negotiable. As equipment prices drop and novice filmmakers carry filming devices right in their pockets(take the iPhone, for example), the barriers to entry for video crews become fewer and fewer. That means you have to do more to stand out. Sharpen your skills by taking on new kinds of shoots, signing up for classes, etc. No matter how much you already know, never stop learning. As Steve Jobs once advised a graduating class of Harvard students: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

2. Be nice  

The old adage remains true that people prefer to work with people they know and like. A casual conversation at an event, even if it isn’t business related, gives you more of an in with a potential client than even the sparkliest online ad. While one pleasant conversation may get you in the door, being a person your client likes to do business with will get you repeat business, and referrals, too.

Perhaps good work is the bread of your business and being a decent human being is the butter.

 

Simple ways for video crews to take their business to the next level (the nice-to-haves)

Once you’ve built a solid foundation on great work and good people skills, use these tips to build a better business.

 

1. Send handwritten thank you notes to existing clients

Getting new business is harder than just becoming the go-to crew for existing clients. Nurture relationships in simple ways to become a go-to partner for your clients. Handwritten notes and other simple gestures go a long way to express your appreciation and make your name stick in their heads.

2. Ask for referrals 

Finding reliable freelancers is notoriously difficult. It makes your clients look good when they can provide a good match for their colleagues. When you know you’ve become someone’s reliable partner in crime, ask them to hook you up with other people, too. Clients are glad to share their best solutions with their networks.

3. Have your elevator pitch ready at all times

Nearly everyone has an odd story about meeting their most faithful client in line at Starbucks or in some other serendipitous situation. You’re meeting people everywhere who may want to work with you if they just knew what you do. Be ready to share your elevator pitch (here are some tips to make a great one) with anyone and at any time. Your next big client could be the stranger you just bumped into while reaching for the same can of Pringles.

 

Three ways to use the power of the internet to reach new clients

In the video production industry, you can’t build a business on the internet alone, but the information superhighway certainly has its place. Getting in front of potential clients online can help ensure you keep paying the bills through the notorious slow seasons. Here are three ways to make your online presence effective.

1. Showcase your work with demo reels

The most effective demo reels demonstrate a wide variety of skills in a quick, eye-pleasing manner. You want potential clients to see your reel and, in 30 seconds or less, be confident you know your stuff and will represent their brand well.

2. Use social media to provide added value to clients

The most effective way to use social media is to provide content your audience cares about while occasionally mentioning how great you are. If the majority of your posts are self-promotional instead of educational, you’ll lose credibility as well as engagement from followers. You may even lose the followers themselves.

While posting only self-promotional material is off-putting, definitely capitalize on legitimate opportunities to celebrate achievements and advancements. As long as you’re doing a nice mix of other material, be sure to share when you win industry awards and/or get new gear.

3. Get in front of the right eyeballs 

It doesn’t matter how many people your work gets in front of if they’re not hiring video crews. You want to make sure people who need your skills see you. Outlets like Crew Connection, where clients go specifically to look for video crews, are exactly the kinds of places you want to invest your time because you’re guaranteed to get in front of the right people. That’s more effective than a hundred paid ads that only the wrong people see.

Sign up to become a video service provider on Crew Connection, call  the Crew Connection team around the clock at 303-526-4900, or email us here to get started.

 

The bottom line 

For video crews looking to boost business, there is no substitute for the basics: Do great work, make sure people see that work, and be someone people like to work with. From that foundation, add in a few special touches like always being prepared to tell people about what you do, getting in front of the right eyeballs, and beefing up your demo reel and you’ll be flush with high-quality and well-paying video production work. 

 


 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign up to become a video service provider on Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

 

Your money, even faster: Get paid easier and faster with Crew Connection

That first drone flight, that interview with one of your favorite musicians, that rush you get from living out your passion everyday—working in video and post production is fun. Invoicing is not.

Here are some Crew Connection best practices that’ll help you get paid easier and faster so you can spend more time reveling in that new-gear smell.

 

Get familiar with the process

You will be paid within 30 days from the date you upload your invoice to Crew Connection. The later you upload it or the more versions you have to upload, the longer it will take after your shoot is wrapped to get paid.

 

Consistency is key

Once the estimate you created is approved by your client, it becomes a project. You can then easily base your invoice off of that project. If you base your invoice off of your project every time, we’ll likely have fewer questions for you and more time to cut your check.

Need a refresher on creating an estimate? Click here.)

 

Work smarter

When you’re creating your next estimate, notice how we lump together items like transportation, tolls, etc. under the “Travel Expenses” bucket and additional gear rentals, hard drives, etc. under the “Gear” bucket. Feel free to use that same organization technique when it comes to your invoices. After all, we know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

 

Tally it up

Be sure to include your preliminary total, less our finder’s fee, and your net on every invoice. Not sure what we take commission on? Get the scoop here.

 

Hard work always pays off

And in fact it pays off even faster when you include the additional hours that you worked, like 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Provide proof of purchase(s)

Spent some extra cash on the job? Include those lunch, parking, and other receipts as pages of your invoice or as separate “invoices” for the same project.

 

You’re so close!

Uploading your invoice on Crew Connection is the fastest way to get it in front of our crew coordinators and get you paid. It’s easy. Promise.

 

There you have it! Even though we built our online database to make getting paid fast and easy already, these little tips will set you up for success from your very first estimate.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign In to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

 

Get the insider scoop on Crew Connection’s finder’s fee

If you’ve been in the video production industry for more than 30 seconds, you’ve probably noticed that there are a million different ways that a million different companies define their finder’s fee. Allow us to break down Crew Connection’s finder’s fee in one easy peasy set of lists.

As a general rule of thumb, we take a 15 percent finder’s fee on labor and gear. We don’t take any cut of travel expenses. Here’s how those buckets break down:

Items with a finder’s fee

  • Day(s)
  • Half Day(s)
  • Hours
  • Gear
  • Travel Days
  • Additional Item

Days, half days, and hours all fall into the labor bucket. If the crew chooses to charge a labor rate for travel days, which they usually do, we will take our finder’s fee on that item as well. We also take a finder’s fee on gear, including hard drives and computers in addition to cameras, lights, etc.

Items without a finder’s fee

  • Travel Expenses
  • International Items
  • Miscellaneous
  • Adjustments
  • Other Items

Travel expenses is a big bucket that includes things like mileage, per diems, hotels, airfare, cab fees, meals, etc. Miscellaneous, Adjustments, and Other Items all sound pretty similar, so if you have any questions about how to use those buckets, just contact a crew coordinator at 303-526-4900 or info@crewconnection.com. Just remember that if you’re using them, it needs to be on an item that doesn’t qualify at labor or gear.

Put your new knowledge to work!

We’ve built the Expenses section of your Crew Connection estimate to be quick and easy to fill out. The drop down menu under the Item column includes the items with and without a finder’s fee as described above. Choosing the right Item will determine what options you see in the Description drop down menu and whether a finder’s fee is taken.

Get the insider scoop on CrewCloud commission

To get a refresher on creating an estimate from beginning to end, read our step-by-step guide by clicking here.

Though we aren’t heavily involved in each job booked on Crew Connection, we do review every single invoice. We will make adjustments as needed to make sure items are categorized correctly before sending the final invoice to the client.

Automated finder’s fee calculation is just one of the many benefits of using Crew Connection to get in front of some of the world’s biggest clients. Don’t believe us? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock to share more. Sign up to become a video service provider on Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.


About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline?