Freelance Videography: School Prom Videos
Many challenges are presented when working as a freelance videographer. If there is a large span of time between one job and the next one, freelancers are encouraged to tap into other video markets. Making school prom videos can allow freelance videographers to gain extra income. They can also provide a greater amount of income when working with multiple schools. These videos are one of the easiest event videos to create. It provides the freelance videographer with more creative freedom. Many shots can be recorded spontaneously, which creates a special look for each video.
Although many school proms take place in the spring, you must contact the administrators of your chosen high school in advance. Contacting the principal and the person in charge of senior and junior activities is a must. By contacting these individuals, introducing yourself and telling them what you are offering, you are creating a relationship that can last for the duration of the following school years to come. Before contacting the school officials, create a video package for the junior and senior high school students. Set an advance price for each video. This price can range from $7 to $20. Also, try to line up another videographer to assist you with recording the day of the prom.
When you meet with the school officials, show them your proposed video package which includes your demo reel, the advance prices for each prom video and the order of which the prom orders will go. If you are approved as the schools exclusive videographer, sign a binding contract with the school’s officials that allow you to collect orders for the video on specific dates prior to the day of the prom. You can also have a selected school official collect all of the orders and then give you a complete bulk order before the prom. The latter requires less time for you to spend at the school and less administrative tasks to complete. If you want to collect the orders yourself, set up a table in a designated office or area in the school and let a selected official make an announcement to the junior and/or senior class.
Determine the dates on which you will be taking the orders and verify that with one of the school officials. You can spend between 3 and 4 hours at the school taking orders, over the course of one week. You can also select various dates and come one day a week for four weeks. When taking orders, you should collect all important information for each student on a separate sheet of paper. I recommend making a form, specifically for the school, in a word processing program on your home computer or at the library. The information to be gathered should include each student’s full name and their contact information or their school’s contact information. The form should also include a section where you can record the balance paid for each student, so you will know who paid in full and who didn’t. This will help you to remind students before the last day that orders are to be taken, if there are any balances that aren’t paid in full.
Keep the money in a safe account during the months leading up to the day of the school prom. During this time, you must make sure to keep in touch with the designated school official who is handling the event. Find out the time that the prom starts as well as the location where it will be held. Determine what is going to be shot, with your second videographer. You can shoot certain things, while he or she shoots the other. This will take less time and enable you to have enough footage to produce a great video. On the day of the prom, arrive 2 hours early. Begin recording the atmosphere of the location. Record decorations, table settings, food, the dj and other prom related pieces. As the students arrive, capture their appearance. Get nice shots or interviews of teachers and parents who may also be in attendance. Capture the students while they dance, and also as they take their official prom pictures. While recording the students taking pictures, be careful not to get in the way of the still photographer and his or her equipment. You should be able to get a good shot while standing at a relative distance and zooming in on the students as they pose for their pictures. Interview the students during the prom and make sure to capture the announcement of the prom king and queen.
After the prom, set a date when you will deliver the videos to the school. Inform the school official of this date. You can then begin editing. There is no need to add lots of music, if any. Lots of quick cuts and nice transitions will make for an enjoyable prom video. Be sure to add titles that include the name of the school and the date of the prom. These videos usually take about 4–6 hours to edit. When you have completed the video, you are ready to begin duplication. You can either duplicate the videos yourself or send it to a duplication company. Since you probably have about 100–200 orders from the number of junior or seniors at the school, it would be very time consuming to do them yourself. Order enough videos to cover each order per student, plus an additional 20 videos. The additional videos will come in handy when you deliver the videos to the school. Some students may want to buy more videos, so you can sell additional videos on the spot. They can also come in handy when you are trying to get a contract with another school to do their prom. The additional video can be used as your exclusive prom-related demo reel.
Making school prom videos can be fun and profitable. You must be prepared and contact high schools in advance. Securing a second videographer early on to assist you with recording will enable you to have a variety of footage to work with. Producing school prom videos will net you about a few hundred dollars at the minimum. Freelance videographers can generate a significant amount of income from school prom videos.
For more helpful tips on becoming a videographer, check out 2Bridges.