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Old 05-03-2012, 10:17 PM   #1
Texan 593
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Idea So you have $10,000. What do you purchase???

Here's the scoop:

A pal and I are looking to make a show on the internet that hopefully could generate revenue/business for us as well as do some short films and other works.

The show part: Something like Sons of Guns on Discovery. Same style, format etc. Say what you will about it but it's only one aspect of many things we'd like to do.

What we own now: Canon t3i, GoPro HD Hero (for in-car dashcam type stuff), a super-fast PC with Intel I-7 processor and 7200 RPM drive, Avid Studio, Adobe Premiere and After Effects.

With $10k, what would you add to this? We do want a couple more GoPros, another T2i or T3i, proper sound equipment (lots will be filmed 50 yards off of a 70MPH stretch of highway), steadicam, shoulder rig, a couple of good tripods etc.

Our skill level is average or a bit above average (not by much!)

I do enjoy filmmaking and putting short stories to film. This equipment will be used for that as well.

Thanks in advance for all your input!

Tex
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:32 PM   #2
Alcove Audio
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Don't buy sound gear, hire someone who knows what they're doing. You're talking about creating content that will generate revenue; DO IT RIGHT!!!

And try to find a better location than right near a high speed highway; even a professional with great gear can't perform miracles if you insist on a crappy sounding location.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:35 PM   #3
Texan 593
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcove Audio View Post
Don't buy sound gear, hire someone who knows what they're doing. You're talking about creating content that will generate revenue; DO IT RIGHT!!!

And try to find a better location than right near a high speed highway; even a professional with great gear can't perform miracles if you insist on a crappy sounding location.
Totally agree about getting a sound guy. The highway issue is a pain but this location is my buddies business that we want to film and most of his operation is outside. Totally sucks. It may not be a workable situation!

Thx for your input!!!
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:17 AM   #4
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My personal feeling would be to hire a few key crew who know what they are doing and may have their own equipment. Sure, you have to spend money to make money but if you spend $10k on equipment for a (self-admitted) average production with the hope it might bring in business, and then it doesn't bring in business - you've just outlaid $10k for absolutely no gain. At least hiring people, you can hire them on an ongoing basis and as (if) you start to bring work in, their fee ends up being covered by the work you're bringing in.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:12 AM   #5
GuerrillaAngel
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Originally Posted by Texan 593 View Post
make a show on the internet that hopefully could generate revenue/business for us
I wouldn't spend one dime until you figure out a business plan that shows how you'll have at least a reasonable chance of getting some of that money back. More gear and top-notch sound guys are not going to make you stand out from the background noise that is the internet.

Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:28 AM   #6
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Yeha, you need someone who has a business brain. Going out and spending money on a production in the hope it might get you business is a recipe for disaster. You need a business plan if you want to launch yourself as a viable business.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:08 AM   #7
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1) get a good insurance

2) make a pilot at the lowest cost possible to find bottlenecks and to check you can pull it off without investing too much to earn back.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by GuerrillaAngel View Post
I wouldn't spend one dime until you figure out a business plan that shows how you'll have at least a reasonable chance of getting some of that money back. More gear and top-notch sound guys are not going to make you stand out from the background noise that is the internet.
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Yeha, you need someone who has a business brain. Going out and spending money on a production in the hope it might get you business is a recipe for disaster. You need a business plan if you want to launch yourself as a viable business.
I second both of these positions.



If you wanna spend money just because it's burning a hole in your pocket just give it to me.
Just joking.

Seriously: You need to identify, contact, and have a sit-down with a distributor, TV or other, that can BEGIN monetizing your effort.
A person or persons in a position to give you a contract on deliverables.

Spread your financial risk to those who will drink your kool-aid.
If no one wants your kool-aid then... that's kinduva big hint what you got isn't what anyone wants.
At worst they can tell you "The bar is 'this' high. Meet it and we'll talk again."

These decision makers are in positions to know how to get from A to D.
They will best be able to tell you "Buy this and that".

And even if you get a little action going...
http://www.google.com/webhp?source=s...w=1599&bih=809


Best of luck, sincerely.
(This sh!t ain't easy.)
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:11 AM   #9
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Are you actually trying to start a for-hire production company? If not, don't buy! Rent and Hire Professionals!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcove Audio View Post
Don't buy sound gear, hire someone who knows what they're doing. You're talking about creating content that will generate revenue; DO IT RIGHT!!!
+10000 I did this for my last short I would have it no other way in the future!
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:42 AM   #10
Texan 593
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Thumbs Up

Good info everybody! I really do appreciate it. We are sitting down this weekend to draw up a business plan. Hearing the advice from all of you is golden and means alot! We are at the beginning of the first step so all the info and opinions I can gather is quite welcomed!
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:12 AM   #11
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The problem with saying "Hire a XYZ-guy" is you'll never learn the skills.
Sound gear, lights, and glass depreciate the least.
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:29 AM   #12
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The problem with saying "Hire a XYZ-guy" is you'll never learn the skills.
Sound gear, lights, and glass depreciate the least.
Yes and no. If you want to be a 'jack of all, master of none' type then no you won't learn the skills. Most larger productions, however, hire people who are experts in their field. The camera guys know some about audio and could probably set something up if there was no sound recordist, but they're not experts like an audio guy is. And vice versa. A first AD or Producer isn't a camera expert and so you hire a camera crew. You need to be open to the idea of hiring people who have more expertise than you. A friend of mine knows how to set up a DSLR and shoot some interesting shots, but he's a Director and so generally gets me to shoot his stuff because I have the technical expertise he doesn't. That doesn't make him any less of a Director, it just means that at the end of the day you have a Director and a DP working on something, focussing on their seperate areas and bringing together a better production. I'd personally rather that than someone trying to Direct, DP, record audio, set up lights and dress the set because in the end, the production will suffer.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:17 AM   #13
brianluce
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Originally Posted by jax_rox View Post
Yes and no. If you want to be a 'jack of all, master of none' type then no you won't learn the skills. Most larger productions, however, hire people who are experts in their field. The camera guys know some about audio and could probably set something up if there was no sound recordist, but they're not experts like an audio guy is. And vice versa. A first AD or Producer isn't a camera expert and so you hire a camera crew. You need to be open to the idea of hiring people who have more expertise than you. A friend of mine knows how to set up a DSLR and shoot some interesting shots, but he's a Director and so generally gets me to shoot his stuff because I have the technical expertise he doesn't. That doesn't make him any less of a Director, it just means that at the end of the day you have a Director and a DP working on something, focussing on their seperate areas and bringing together a better production. I'd personally rather that than someone trying to Direct, DP, record audio, set up lights and dress the set because in the end, the production will suffer.
Yeah it's a bit of a Catch 22.
I wouldn't advocate a one man band approach to narrative production, but nonetheless, there many and good reasons why a filmmaker should acquire a baseline of skills such as audio, lighting, shooting and performing. Ultimately you ARE responsible for all of them. Further, it plays in to the collaborative nature of film, you might have an ace DP, but they're human, you might get an idea or make a suggestion that works -- that kind of synergy won't happen unless you yourself have knowledge of the fundamentals.

B
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:25 AM   #14
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After all the great advice I suddenly realised something.
The thing that's often overlooked.

Promotion.

Set aside half of the money to promote it.
(It doesn't mean you must spend it all.)

Put the promotion part in the business plan as well.
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