What is an Elite Videographer?

Question: Brian, what is the exact definition of the Elite Videographer I hear so much about? I’ve spent years taking my time to create elegant wedding videos with proper color grading, great audio and a great story. The get in-get out mentality of web video production would make me a rookie all over again…right?

Answer: No.

An Elite Videographer:

  • Is technically sophisticated
  • Is experienced and highly professional
  • Is not rushed
  • Is frugal and budget conscious
  • Is efficient and organized
  • Earns a high hourly rate within the least amount of time.
  • Is sharply focused on business, not equipment or how creative they can be
  • Is a master at editing
  • Knows what to charge clients
  • Knows what clients to charge
  • Always maintains perception
  • Is a hunter on weekdays and a fisherman on weekends
  • Is aware of what social media can do and does it
  • Has a reputation for producing quality videos
  • Knows when to say no
  • Can smell a bad client a mile away

I watched some of the videos on your website and yes, the “Elite” form of production will be a departure from your artistic, carefully crafted style.

Automation is the enemy of creativity – (quoted from the webinar) – which lies at the Elite style’s core. Many veteran videographers and “filmmaking aficionados”, who want to protect “the craft”, are very offended by this style – I know because many of them emailed me! Like fine art fanatics, creative people shun this type of production. “You’re degrading the industry”, “pimping your skills to commercial production is the lowest a video professional can go” as some of the emails said.

Personally, I like producing a carefully crafted visual story and have not departed from it- I can relax, take my time editing, lead the audience to a message, a feeling, while weaving through a story line with characters, perfect angles and creative shot composition along a nice musical score to accentuate the story. I love handing a completed DVD to a client in nice packaging – a sense of accomplishment.

But it didn’t make me any money.

I would be better off working less hours at McDonald’s for a higher hourly rate.

The lack of business sense and not being able to see what I was creating had another purpose from the client’s perspective made me financially starve. I was losing clients left and right who had a demand I was never able to meet.

Rookies can’t be Elite

The “Elite” form of video production needs what many of us learned over many years- it needs the wisdom and skills gained from experience. Without experience, the Elite would not be able to move efficiently and effectively through any production.

The Elite can move faster, quicker- we can anticipate what happens next- we know what to expect and how to handle it. The element of feeling like we need to “take our time creating a masterpiece” doesn’t exist in this form of production because we’re already trained to know what to do- we have the skills to make it happen.

Getting clients and being able to pump out 5-6 :30 to :60 second effective web videos in a week for $800 to $1000 a piece single handed is FAR from what any rookie can do.

It takes experience, guts and time to be part of the Elite.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks, Brian for addressing these issues.

    After years of carefully crafted videos, this type of Elite Videography makes my basic skills even sharper than before. It allows me to crossover to the fine art of wedding films and makes those films more artistic because I’m charging more.

    This allows me be more selective of couples who I can work with because I will have incoming revenue coming from the business web videos.

    It’s just a matter of changing gears from business to artistic and vice versa. PLUS…being Elite Videographer allows me to be more picky for wedding couples and I won’t be pressured to take the FIRST couple that walks into the door.

    It made me realize that it’s a business. An Elite Videographer isn’t a starving artist.

    It’s a win-win situation.

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