So last week I offered a “crazy” theory that the new Final Cut Pro X (aka FCPX) is aimed squarely at pro photographers. As I wrote in that post, based on the terminology, the paradigm shift, and the much larger market, I think this theory holds some water. But Mark Spencer of Ripple Training makes a point at the end of their 2-hour FCPX review video that suggests something that is actually in a way, more challenging: that FCPX is aimed at all those small businesses that realize the necessity of having video on their websites. These are small businesses that may not want to pay a local videographer $2,000 to $3,000 for a small promo, but instead spend $800 on an HD DSLR plus $300 on a powerful editing program (i.e. FCPX) and do it themselves. Take the low cost of equipment and software, combined with the deluge of educational content online, and you have a new landscape created. If you make a living producing video content for small to mid-sized businesses, take heed.
Same Old Story
In truth, this is the same story that has plagued all kinds of professional visual artists. It happened with photography as film gave way to more and more powerful digital cameras and editing programs like iPhoto. It happened in the graphic artist industry as desktop publishing became more powerful. Even the music industry has seen something similar. Where the barriers to entry are so low, people and small businesses are not necessarily starting video and photography companies, they’re doing their own video and photography projects sans professional. If this is the market Apple is going after with FCPX, you know they’ll be successful and reaching it. That means you need to start thinking NOW how you will be able to set yourself apart in such a way that makes it obvious to a potential client why they must hire you! Here are three areas where I see there are opportunities to stand out.
Idea and Story Creation. First and foremost, the companies with the best ideas will win. This is the main reason I changed my marketing to be more about the ideas and stories we at Dare Dreamer Media tell, vs. our equipment or the ability to shoot and edit. If you’re selling yourself based on all the cool equipment you have, be worried. Yeah, it’s great you shoot with a RED. But if more and more companies realize that a video shot on a 7D is just as good, and they can hire an intern to use their $300 FCPX, why pay you $3,000 a day for your RED package? But, ideas are not so easily sold. Apple can’t package those in a box with a nice and tidy bow (at least not yet). Do you have a portfolio of work that shows groundbreaking or memorable idea and story creation? Your ability to come up with kick a$$ ideas that helps set YOUR clients apart will make them more inclined to hire you, despite the fact they have an intern with a 7D and FCPX.
Motion Graphics. This is an area I wish I had more prowess in. Even with Motion 5, creating eye-popping motion graphic work is still pretty difficult to do. Yet, when executed effectively, they create results that get potential clients excited.
Education. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. That is, join the race to teach all these budding new DIYers how to do it themselves. Companies like Ripple Training, CreativeLIVE and professional educators like Larry Jordan are nicely poised to make good money off the coming wave of DIY filmmakers.