How To Become A Videographer? (How I Become a Videography Producer)
How to become a videographer no matter what? Even if you don’t even own a camera? I will tell you how to make your dream come true because I’m the proof that you only need your passion and you can become whatever you want and make a living.
All you need to know is in this article but also more specific and practical insight is covered in my latest book which you can get on Kindle.
How to become a videographer?
I love movies and since early age I wanted to be part of making them. I can’t remember exactly what movie influenced me the most but I know I wanted to be like Steven Spielberg. I guess it was because he was the coolest one back in the 90’s.
I wanted to become a film director but I thought a director is someone who is very extrovertial and likes to scream and shout at people. Also I didn’t see any women directors so I thought, is it really for me?
Anyway the biggest reason for me to let go this dream was that my parents didn’t own any kind of camera. For a younger audience I have to explain that back in the 90’s, there was no mobile phones at all, not to say a phone with a camera – just a thought of phone with a camera was like a flying car today. Or a teleport.
How to film videos?
In order to be able to shoot some almost good quality videos, you needed to have at least a small digital camera. But my parents thought it’s completely waste of money so we didn’t have one in the family. I’m definitely going to use that in my Oscar speech one day.
Having no tool to actually shoot videos with, I decided to become a screenwriter instead. What I loved the most about films was a good story. I went to a library every week to borrow books about screenwriting and I was writing short stories every night. When I was 14, I wrote my first screenplay for a feature film. It had 120 pages and I wrote it mostly after school until 1 a.m.. Daily.
Why learn video editing as well?
It was not enough for me anyway so I decided to use our laptop and learn how to edit videos on it. I though to myself, if I can’t use my footage, because I don’t have any, I might as well use someone elses. I would sit in front of that laptop the whole day and night, only to see my project go down and erase itself. Thanks Windows movie maker!
Two years later, I wrote another screenplay for a feature film and this time I decided to enter a national competition with it as the youngest candidate in history of the competition. I knew I’m not going to win but as it took me so much time and effort, I thought I will get some good advice for the future from the most influencial film-makers in Slovakia. The only advice I got was to stop writing screenplays until I finish film school, because I will learn it at school.
Nobody can’t start writing screenplays when they’re 16 years old. You have to go to school first and learn it.
I remember these words like it was yesterday, even though it’s more than 10 years ago. This is the second sentence I will use in my Oscar speech.
Anyway, I’m very stubborn and I continued writing my screenplays and few months later I found film-makers who wanted to make a new online series for teenagers. I offered them my screenwriting skills and the next day I wrote the pilot episode for online series called Teenagers. They went crazy about it, cancelling all the other projects and we went full in with this.
The feeling that actors say the words that you created and wrote is phenomenal. Everyone is doing what you wrote. It’s definitely a nice feel of power. Filming this series being 18 years old was an amazing experience.
Should I go to film school to become a videographer?
It was that time of life when you decide where you want to go to college. Of course for me it was pretty obvious. In Slovakia, we have 2 film universities. Yes for a 5 million country is pretty good I know. I applied for a screenwriting major and went to both of exams. From 350 people in total, 30 were accepted. I was not among those 30.
You know those situations where you have a perfect plan and all of a sudden that plan crashes and burns in front of your eyes? This was exactly how I felt after I got the news. So what next? There was no school left for film-makers and videographers in Slovakia so what to do?
Let’s go North! Danish school system offered free education for me [a bit helpful considering one of the most expensive country in the world]. And I could study Multimedia design at University College of Northern Denmark with focus on video production. I did English exams, Skype interview and was accepted and ready to go. Packing my bags and moving to a country I don’t even understand when someone says hello to me. Will be fun.
The first project we had to do was a video project. Kind of. We went to Aalborg zoo, took photos and were supposed to make a video from it with some funny captions and music. We were in the groups and used somebody else’s camera, but I was the editor at least. I was the only one who knew how to edit videos easily. We had the best project from class. Well done.
Few projects later, it was actually a music video and we won again with the best video. And my screenplay structure is still used as an example for other students today.
I think it was 2011 and I bought myself the first ever camera! It was an iPhone 4!!!!!! Oh my God, I could finally make videos! I went crazy filming everything around me and then editing it. Anyway for other projects, we could use cameras borrowed from school.
A videographer with no camera?
Believe it or not, the first ever video that I filmed myself was when I was 20 years old. With my iPhone. The college was finished so what now? Let’s become a videographer, oh but wait! I don’t have a video camera. And no money.
Then I guess I get a job and buy a camera. And so I did. I got a job as a web designer and earned 300 euros monthly [Welcome to Eastern Slovakia]. My sight for the good camera buy was very far away with this job. I found another one after few months earning double. I don’t even know how I got it but good for me I guess…
I quit after 2 months, no comment. I found out why the salary was so good. Just so nobody leaves so early.
Find a job as a videographer
So again, I found myself far away from my dream and I was so desperate I even considered to film events with my iPhone 4. I actually filmed one wedding with it, for free of course. But then it was just ridiculous. I tried to find a job as a videographer in a company that actually owns a video camera.
Yes! I found it! And I started a new job as a videographer and video editor in Czech republic. The only problem was that I never actually even saw a professional camera with my own eyes. Not even talking about using it. So many buttons. SO many cables. Nothing made sense.
How can I compete with other videographers who grew up with a video camera in their hand and know how to use all the equipment? And they’re even younger than me!
Well I’m a fast learner, so I worked 16 hours per day to figure all the stuff out. And by all the stuff I mean all the lights, what’s XLR, SDI, Canon cable, how to use a mixing board and sound the whole a conference. How to assembly microphones, screens, how to make it all work. What to do when it doesn’t work. Million things. If you ever did a big event with the whole audio-video set up and screens, you can imagine what I’m talking about.
But now I had multiple cameras available and I’ve learn everything I could. And I stopped caring about what other videographers do. I was the one that decided to hire or not to hire them for events. So…
Now how to become a freelance videographer?
After 5 years of the job in Czech republic, I had enough money to buy a camera and do whatever I want. But the problem was that I was used to be working for someone and couldn’t imagine being a freelancer.
I moved to London and was looking for a job as a videographer. But after a while I met Fernando Raymond, CEO of ClickDo and he told me that I should start my own business and not work for someone else and make someone else’s dreams come true. He gave me few tips on how to get clients, how to sell and the London journey begun.
So this was my story of becoming a videographer and what you should take from this is that no matter what you do, don’t let anyone stop you.