Letter to Video Shooters Around the World

Published on August 13, 2010

Video shooters, did you know you can change the world, make a big impact, help people achieve their dreams?

I'm dead serious about this. If you can shoot video, you can change the world for the better. Here's how...

When you have a video camera and a microphone, it's like having access to the printing press back in the day. You have the ability to produce something valuable. All you need are ideas and time.

My challenge to you is to forget about day rates, hourly rates, and project rates. Not completely -- but occasionally forget about them, and think in a new way. Be willing to work for free up front. You already have the gear. You're already making a living from your other paid gigs and projects. Why not try something new?

Team up with someone who dreams of making something video-related, and don't charge them anything. Offer your video skills in exchange for a percentage of the profits. That way, if they don't make anything, they don't owe you anything. But if you help them make something awesome, then you'll both potentially benefit.

People tell me their ideas all the time. For example, there's a lady that wants to make an instructional video series on how to belly dance. Great idea. There are people in the world who would buy it. She doesn't have the money up front to pay my day rate, so why not offer to split potential profits with her?

Another person has amazing welding skills and wants to show the world how it's done. Another great idea. People would buy it.

Everywhere you go, there are people with great ideas for video products, but they don't have the money to pay you to shoot it.

My challenge to you: Be willing to help them make their dreams come true. Shoot the video for them for a percentage of the profits.

If you're a video shooter who already makes a living, it's a viable (additional) model. It's reasonable that one of the projects you shoot could do well.

Where do you go from here?

  1. Listen to people's ideas. Choose which ones you have time for, and then help them produce their video products.
  2. Get additional skills. Want to do an even split with them? You can justify it if you offer more. These days, it makes sense for a video shooter to learn how to produce great video on the web. Among other things, this means learn how to encode for the web. Learn how to host it and post it. Learn how to distribute it via the web, through RSS and other means.

If your video gear is just lying there, it's like the printing press has stopped printing. That doesn't make sense, does it?

If you have the gear and the skills, you can help people's dreams come true. Why not give it a try?

All the best,


This article was last updated on August 13, 2010


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