In London, UK
I'm a freelance videographer based in London, UK. My experience covers all aspects of film-making but with a speciality in brand funded, PR, social media orientated content, charity films, corporate video and news based content. I'm happy managing a production single-handedly or can easily integrate into your team.
My videography skills include directing, camera operating and editing. Often I'm contracted as a videographer for all roles on a production but I'm more than happy filling individual roles as well.
My experience covers many different camera systems and setups. As an ARRI Amira and Sony FS7 owner/operator, I tend to shoot most of my work on these. I'm also familiar with the Sony FX9 systems as well as the RED Gemini and Dragon-X.
Based in London but happy to travel nationally or internationally.
What is a Videographer?
The term videographer (also known as filmmaker or multi-skilled operator) relates to the process of capturing video content. This is often done in small teams of 1-3 people, which whilst being more cost effective, often leads to more practical results in shorter timescales.
Videographers are often used on jobs for PR agencies, brands and charities. For example, a PR agency may have a launch of new product or a point of brand activity. A PR Videographer will then be responsible to capture the event, tell that brand story and produce content related to that. In a world of social media and brand captivation, a videographer often has to understand how that content they are capturing can be adapted for different social media platforms. For example, YouTube tends to suit quite long form content in widescreen HD or 4K, where as social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook tend to favour shorter videos in a square (1x1) aspect ratio with captions.
Charities often use videographers as it can be a lot more straightforward than using a larger production team. With limited budget and potentially vulnerable contributors, videographers are often able to approach the situation in professional and friendly manor which won’t scare the person in front of the camera, ensuring better results. This is often more budget friendly too as a single person can capture the content that 3 or 4 maybe required to do through more traditional routes.
A freelance videographer often has their own equipment which they know inside out and can use this to capture content where it would be impractical to send a large team into. They are then responsible for maintaining and managing that equipment which in larger production companies, often requires a whole team to do.
One of the most important aspects as a videographer, is understanding how to direct and manage onscreen contributors, talent and actors. Coming from a background in directing corporate videos and producing content for news channels, this comes naturally to me but it can be challenging. Often you’re focusing on lighting, composition and audio levels and thus shaping, coaching and moulding what the person in front of the camera is doing or saying can be quite hard!
Videographer that edits
In my case, I’m capable at capturing the content myself (usually with a camera assistant or sound recordist), directing talent/contributors and then editing it all together into a package for delivery. This method tends to be quicker and more straightforward than sending content off to a separate editing team, as I already know the content and understand the sequence I imagined when I shot the content.
However, not all freelance videographers are also editors. Sometimes it can help allowing a separate editing process as, if time allows, a second pair of eyes and ears can often find different angles and approaches that aren’t necessarily so obvious to the person who filmed it.
How to become a freelance videographer
To become a freelance videographer can be challenging. My route in took over 10 years and was not planned. Some people will go to university to study the subject but will have mixed results when leaving. The key to becoming successful is experience, knowledge and good personal skills.
Whilst there are a variety of routes in, a more traditional way of becoming a videographer would be to have a basic understanding of the process and the industry. This can be done from reading online articles, watching YouTube films and reading forums. Once you’ve got a basic understanding of the industry and you’re 100% sure this is what you want to do, you start at the bottom and work your way up.
Often the entry point into the production industry will be via working for larger companies or broadcasters. Equipment hire companies, big production companies or broadcasters are a good place to start. Here you may start by just driving a van and delivery kit, you may then get promoted into the kit room prepping equipment for jobs and then this may lead up the ladder to more involved positions - camera assisting, assisting directors and producers or even editing.
Student productions and no-pay gigs can be a good way of gaining experience. It’s important to make sure you’re not being taken advantage off but if you get an opportunity to see how the production industry works, this can be helpful in your quest to becoming a freelance videographer.