Why You Shouldn’t Hire a Filmmaker

Why You Shouldn’t Hire a Filmmaker  – To Make Videos for Your Business

As a filmmaker, you might think that I’d be happy to take any business that I can get.  That is actually not true.  I am happy to take any business that will actually help a business make more sales, better share their story, or make a really great online course.  I firmly believe that a lot of businesses shouldn’t hire a filmmaker to make video marketing, local business videos, or social media videos.  I’ll explain why in a moment.  But first, let’s look at an ingrained mindset that most business owners have and why it needs to change.

Brief History of Cinema  – And The Mindset That You Have

Now, I don’t plan to write some exhaustive list of film history facts or a film timeline.  What is important to note is WHY you think the way you do about filmmaking.

The Old Mindset Pattern

We have over 100 years of history of the motion picture. There are some well established cultural and technical patterns that influence how you and I think about filmmaking for our businesses.  For much of that history, making a film required a lot of people, time, money, resources, equipment, structure, and marketing.  Sure, modern cinema still works this way but we have taken those old historic ways of making a film and morphed them into our mental perspective of video production in our businesses.  But, they’re not the same.  We don’t need that heavy to-do-list.

The Big Changes

As a young filmmaker, I remember the Blair Witch Project for one key reason.  It was a pseudo horror film that was shot on a shoestring budget with a Hi8 consumer camera in the woods.  It rocked Hollywood.  How could this small group of skilled people execute such a

great movie without all of the production, money, people, etc.?  I was elated.  It is possible to be unknown and access a worldwide audience.

Fast forward to 2017 at the Sundance Film festival.  A-list celebrities file into a theater and watch “Tangerine” – another indie film.  This film swept the festival and it was shot on a tiny budget, with unknown actors, and on an iPhone. A device that you might see EVERY DAY made millions in sales.  Why can’t you do the same?

Here’s my point!

Video Production for Business Works Best

Here are three trends in Video Production that matter for us as business leaders.

1. Video is Affordable and Accessible

why you shouldn't hire a film maker

A few summers ago, I was on a boat out in the Pacific ocean to film.  On the boat were a bunch of amazing photographers and a well-known film director who has an amazing career and has invented things that have changed the entire industry.  In a conversation with him, he lamented to me that the film industry was falling apart because making films is now affordable and accessible to the public.  Again, I was elated!

Most of us are not IMAX directors and our work can still be seen by the world!  If we have a phone, we can make most of the video needed in a business’ day-to-day production.  Sure the quality may not be the same but the STORY can be just as good.

2. Spontaneous Sharing

A lot of people talk about “going viral” -which happens when a video gets shared a lot.  Going viral is great but regularly getting a lot of video shares is even better.  It opens up the opportunities for your audience, clients and students to share more about your product or service.

3. Frequency

I already highlighted this in point 2.  The average consumer needs 16 – 18 “touches” or ad exposures from a business before being able to recognize what it is.  If you show those people the same ad 16 – 18 times, they’ll likely hate you.  So a variety of videos on a regular basis is what is required.

A few months ago, I was selling a tool on Facebook Marketplace.  As it turns out, the guy I sold it to works for Disney as an associate producer.  When I asked him what his recent project was he told me it was making 60 commercials for the new season of “The Muppets”.  60!  That’s because Disney also has to regularly market their show but without fatiguing their audience.  Of course, shooting those 60 commercials cost more than $1 Million.  But we can market every day on a device that won the best picture at THE best film festival on earth!

Why You Shouldn’t Hire a Filmmaker – To Make Videos For Your Business

There are 5 primary reasons I tell clients not to hire me.

1. Control

If you produce your own video content, you have total control.  You decide where the camera goes.  You decide what happens.  You’re not subject to the whims of someone who knows how to make films but doesn’t understand your business as you do.  It reduces friction in production and increases the time you can have to release the video.

2. People

Hiring a filmmaker to make videos for your small business can be a lot of work!  There must be communication, planning, dates and times set aside -during working hours.  Essentially, you have to manage another person in your business.  If you do it yourself you can do it whenever you want, without the need to trade 10 emails, and in small pieces each day.

3. Credibility & Authenticity

I mentioned this in my post How to Use Video Marketing in 2020.  Personalized communication and being relatable are a big deal with consumers.  By making the videos yourself, you’re showing a vested interest and a personal touch in how you share.  Sure it may not be a polished Hollywood production that you put on Instagram or Facebook but it is relatable because that is the same stuff your customers are posting and they get it.  It is real life.

4. Spontaneous

I love this point.  If someone asks me a question about film making and business I can answer it right there.  Then in 2 minutes, I can recognize that my answer may be valuable to more people so I make a quick video and blast it out on all platforms.  I can quickly and relevantly help by people with much more spontaneous than if I had to hire a production company.

5. Save Your Budget

I am used to people asking me, “Can you do any better on your price?”.  I’ve learned that this question is usually asked by small business owners who have more time than they do money -even if it doesn’t feel like it.  The fact of the matter is your business has limited resources.

If it is a small business, you may have very limited resources.  The truth is that you can leverage video from your own device instead of hiring a filmmaker that costs thousands of dollars.  This means you can also put aside a little money for those times you’ll need to hire a filmmaker to make a really high-quality marketing video or documentary for your business-future post on this topic.

“So That’s WHY?!”

Recently, I told someone that I wouldn’t shoot the videos that she wanted for her business.  She looked baffled that someone would turn down a paycheck.  Then I explained what you have just learned.  The most authentic, spontaneous, and budget-friendly video comes from inside a business.  Filmmakers like me do have a role in business -for sure.  BUT, if we do that role for you, that isn’t the best for your business.

Your Opportunity

Simply put, videos help sell.  You can make them yourself and completely change your business.  That’s why you shouldn’t hire a filmmaker to make videos for your business.

Most videos online are already poor quality because the users are not trained.  You have nothing to worry about.  It isn’t like submitting your work to Sundance where Steven Spielberg will critique it.  You have a consumer device, passion, and a story to share with your audience.  Get out there and do it!





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