James Britt, owner Britt Films, a freelance cinematography & filmmaking business (creating videos cinematic technique & look)
I shoot digital videos for hire. I guess I would say, all kinds of things. So, anything ranging from businesses; to commercials; to web ads; to web campaigns or ad campaigns; organizations who need promotional videos; interviews; personal services like, let’s say, wedding videography; I shoot music videos for bands—all kinds of things. Specifically, I identify as a cinematographer, which a lot of people don’t know what that is, but I’m sure they’ve heard of a videographer, and usually, when you think of videographer it’s just someone that’s capturing a video. A cinematographer would differ in that, more than just capturing video, they are trying to add an element of cinematic technique, cinematic look to it. So, the angles, the shots would be a little bit “prettier,” to put it more simply.
“How easy is it?” and the answer is, “It’s not very.” It’s very difficult actually in a number of aspects. It’s difficult from the perspective of it’s gonna cost you a lot out of pocket. So, unless you just happened to have some financial backer who’s supporting your dream, prepare to max some credit cards, or to pull some extra shifts if you can, or some odd jobs, but whatever you can to get that equipment.
From the perspective of using this skillset to gain money, you absolutely can but you really have to work it. You have to market yourself, brand yourself, put your name out there, be producing good work consistently and letting people know that that is something that you do.
For that budding businessperson/videographer/cinematographer, what would be the target market that may be the top two or three markets that you would pursue to try to take and start creating cashflow at first? As far as entry-level markets, I have found churches are actually an excellent market for newer cinematographers because of the rise of social media, things like YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…
What was the benefit that that business owner might have garnered from you doing a high-quality cinematography project as opposed to me with my cell phone, shooting a video instead of in front of this business? There’s a particular band when I was first getting started, and this would actually be one of the other markets I’d say that really works for up and coming, you know, newer cinematographers. Bands, much like any other organization or group, are all about advertisement.
We did it….. I was so eager to get this finished product to them, to just to work on it, to edit it, and it worked exactly as I thought. By the time it was done, I had people asking me like, “How many cameras did you use?” It was just me, one guy or one camera, so many takes, until 3:00 in the morning, we’re shooting. I had that video done inside of, I wanna say 48 hours. I was shocked. But they posted that video and, not only did it get tons of views, but they were able to share that video. It was their first professional anything that was not music related.
A cinematographer would differ in that, more than just capturing video, they are trying to add an element of cinematic technique… a cinematic look.
Bob Roark / businessleaderspodcast.com
James Britt / brittfilms.com
LinkedIn / https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-britt-0575183b/