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Visual Production as a Business

  • Entrihub chats to Tashinga Mutakwa, Founder of GreenBack Media Group. Tashinga talks about visual production as a business.

    Question 1: Tips to start a video production company

    Tashinga: Okay, I'd say the first thing you need to do is to know who you're targeting. There's a lot of space for visual constant creation. There are blogs, there are music artists, there are corporate companies and within that space, and corporate companies have different things that they need in terms of little content creation. You find that there's a commercial space and then these events that they do these activations that they do and so forth. I think it's about identifying the space that you feel like you can sort of entering. I mean I'll tell you now commercials for a lot of companies are done through agencies that then work with certain companies that already have their own director so work trying to get those. There's a lot harder when you're starting out but you will find that there's a lot of companies that have a more open space to do different things in terms of when they having an event or activation or even if it's just like a quick promo video for a documentary or something. I wouldn't call them a client per se but we have worked with Allen Grey. As a company that's only been running for about five years, it's not something that would be expected that you'd work with a company that big in terms of doing something in their original content creation side of things. Obviously, it wasn't a commercial so that what I'm saying is we kind of targeted companies and went in what we did on my side is we went into space where we tried to find what we can do for companies. What they don't know that they need so a lot of companies need internal videos that they need to put out information to the rest of their staff and that's how we approached Allen Grey and that's how we got that. We've been doing that for a few companies so the adverse out givers identify your space and take it.

    Question 2: How broad is the scope of visual content production?

    Tashinga: Okay, as a visual content creator which is what we do. You've got a lot of sort of space to work and you've got a lot of things that you can do. I'll start with photography. We do club photography mainly but you can do that's event photography in its own way that's clubs, festivals, and all that. Then you do get corporate clients who also want photography, you get clients that want photos with their website and stuff. There's a space that a lot of people haven't really thought about but then it's actually been working out pretty well now that's a start I mean stock photography. When big news companies and I mean big news media companies are looking for photos of like Cape Town and stuff. They actually pay for that. They don't just download it and use it. A lot of people don't know that's a lot of Africa hasn't been covered. There's actually a move right now where people are on this website they're starting out and they're trying to get as much content of Africa as possible photography and videography so that these companies can then use it. A lot of when it comes back going back to the video. A lot of Hollywood films are also doing the same thing but doing the same thing now instead of having to come down to film in Africa. They're just getting stock video footage that's already out there so creating that is a whole other space and people from working with videos as well there are music videos, there are event videos. When I say corporate videos that's pretty much company profiles and stuff. There's a corporate video in terms of conferences and all. There's a lot these days. There are promotional videos for artists' albums, there are EPK videos, there's out I mean now with what radio is also becoming visual in a way through the 3d websites and social media and stuff. There's also a way to start creating videos in a space that people didn't ever do videos. Newspaper company companies are no longer just newspapers they've gotten websites, as well magazines are also starting to do that so yeah there's a lot.

    Question 3: What resources are needed to start a production company?

    Tashinga: There are different ways to go about it. One would be to get a team involved and have your pre-production team, your production team, and your post-production team that could be one person. If you're starting out you could be the one that does the concept, the one that shoots, the one that edits, and the one that delivers the product. It could just be you but at the end of the day, you need to have a full working structure from when a job comes in because some clients don't know what they want. They think they do but they don't. They just like we need a video to market this and then you need to sit down and conceptualize how are you gonna do that. There's a delivery of it as well. When you're on see it obviously you do you need the whole team, you need a sound person, the camera people you need a director, but again sometimes it can just be you depending on the size of the job. There are resources in terms of the people and then in terms of equipment. The reason I say there are two ways to go about it is you could buy the equipment you could buy your cameras, you could buy your lights, and your sound equipment that's usually the three main things that work out. What camera you're using, what lighting, and do you need sound if it's a music video. How we've gone about it because of how many different things we do and the way they differ the requirements and everything. How we've gone about it is we haven't bought equipment because the job we do this week might need a Raid, that's a very expensive camera. It might need a Sony 700 and next week it's just an event figure that needs a Canon 50. If you buy one of those cameras it won't really work in all the spaces and then you're gonna end up still renting out cameras. First thing, I do have a camera but as a company, we'd rather just bail it on the invoice and rent the camera because it works for that job. I would say you could actually start this you can start a visual kind of sorry a visual consecration company without any resources.

    Question 4: How to keep it running and growing?

    Tashinga: I think what's important to keep a visual content creation company running or what's important to keep it growing, is delivery. I always say we don't over-promise and we don't under-deliver because at the end of the day. If someone comes through with the R2000 budget for a video that's supposed to be R20 000. If you say yes, you're never gonna be able to deliver it the way it's supposed to be. The thing that you should do as promised what you can deliver and deliver all the time consistently. I believe that the most important thing is consistently delivering so that the people that you've worked with can go out and tell other people that this is the person that did my video. I've been forgetting to mention wedding videos and stuff like that. Once I shoot your wedding, your friends that are gonna see that wedding video are all gonna ask who did that wedding and they're gonna come through. Wedding videos I believe one of the fastest spreading fires when it comes to spreading the word because again it sticks in the family. Your sister's probably gonna want me to shoot her wedding video and then her cousin like it just keeps moving like. I think consistency is a very key part of maintaining a visual content creation company or any company for that matter.