Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

My application to

Sun, 09/09/2007 - 14:01 -- rprice

John has been talking to me about Turn Here and their mission of using video as a medium to showcase local places and businesses for quite some time now, but it wasn't until recently that I realised my cost of living is about to increase, and therefore I need to start making money for some of this "fun stuff". One (seemingly) easy way to do that is through video. I've been saying for a long time that video is tangible and instantaneous, whereas audio takes concentration and time to absorb. I should be able to show you any frame of any video I make, and you should be able to gain some information from it. To do so with audio, you might need 5, 10 or even 30 seconds. With the same amount of video, how much more information can I get across than with audio?

Today I sent in an application to be a Turn Here filmmaker. In addition to the "Neighborhood Video Tours", they also have a healthy number of Business Videos, at least for San Francisco and the Bay Area. I've been talking about doing something like this for Orlando, but these guys seem to have the infrastructure and the business model set up already. I'm not sure what the long-term opportunities are with the company, though. My impression is that all the filmmakers on the site are still trying to "graduate to mainstream media". I see MSM as failing the 5th grade, not graduating. Maybe I should have included that in my letter.

Here's what I said to try and sell myself to Turn Here:

I think the image of Orlando and Florida in general are far too candy-coated and commercial, and I'm trying to change the world's view of my home to be closer to reality. Orlando has a very rich cultural scene, as well as a great community of do-it-yourself business owners, consultants and artists that are all just beneath the surface of what people think of when they talk about Orlando. I'd like to get into these different niche areas and let visitors and locals see a side of Orlando they've never known existed.

My coursework in college introduced me to non-linear editing, storytelling, motion graphics, audio production, 2D/3D design and web programming, and I've been working professionally as a web designer for more than 5 years. In school and my professional life, I've always had a passion for producing something that spans several forms of creativity at once, or taking a traditional idea and moving it to a new medium. Because of this, my friend John Rife, who has worked with Turn Here in the past, has been recommending I apply to the site for about a year now. I started working on a local travel, entertainment and lifestyle Internet TV show called OrlandoScene.TV at the end of last year, and while we've taped several segments, time and money have slowed down my editing and release schedule for these videos. I've reached a point now where I feel as though I've done enough work for free. We've been trying to design a business model around sponsorships, traditional ads and branded shows inside of our channel, and I wonder if we could save ourselves time and stress by hooking up with an established provider.

I got into online content production because of the low barrier of entry for myself to produce and distribute audio and video, as well as the universal access it provides to subscribers. I've been podcasting for close to two years and making video for 6 months now, and I feel like I'm coming into my own as a producer. I like working with personalities as hosts or co-hosts for all of my projects, and if you take a look at the interviews I've done through my Florida Creatives networking group, you can get some good examples conversational shows. I know there is an audience for conversational presentations of local people and places out there, and a distribution channel like Turn Here could help me find that audience.

What would you have said different if you were me? I spent a little bit of time writing this and re-ordering things. In addition to this, they asked for my resume in text format (thanks Emurse), as well as what kind of DV camera I use (Sony FX-1, Canon ZR-45, Sony Cybershot DSC-T20) and what editing software (Final Cut Pro, iMovie). They also want to know if you have insurance and lights and whether you do your own editing. Yes I do, but no insurance, sorry.

I'm hoping to hear back from them. Most of all I'm interested in talking with them and seeing what's possible in the long term. Are they doing well? Does the idea have legs? Maybe you'll be seeing an interview on this site soon. I'll provide you all with updates as things develop.

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Justbread your Ryan vs. Media piece. We are based out of West Palm Bah and are very familiar wih Inman. There are alot of opportunities for camera professional's now that video is catching on. We just hired another one this week. What do you charge for your work?

Hi Ryan, I was looking for info on TurnHere and found your blog entry. I'm curious - did you get the gig? Have you been working for them, and if so, how's the experience been? I'm curious because I'm kicking around the idea of applying myself. By the way, I liked your letter, it comes off as intelligent and sincere. Too bad I can't hire ya.

Hi John,

I did get in touch with Ben from TurnHere - it turns out most of their business really comes from creating video brochures for small businesses or individuals, and that's what they pay you for. They have a set price for doing a shoot and another for doing a shoot and edit - there are adjustments for travel, etc.

They're really big on making sure you'll be able to get all the information captured on tape and that you know how to compose the shot in a manner consistent with their style - which is a good style for the sort of videos they do. There are some sample videos on the site that pretty much lay out what sort of results they're expecting.

Hope this helps.