Filmmaker wanting to make sales videos

Hello,

My husband and I are filmmakers with our own production company. We’ve been in the business for 20 years, made feature films, commercials for TV, (Clients include Consumer Reports, Wall St Journal, About.com, etc) I’ve ridden most of my life and wrote a book about the horse world.

We’re interested in shooting and editing videos of horses for sale, and I’m wondering where we should advertise. We’re in Northern Westchester. Since we haven’t done these before, we’d like to do a few for a reduced fee before we advertise in a place like the Chronicle. Any suggestions? I’m also wondering if there are any examples of great video work someone could share.

Thank you,

JHL

Well, I’m an amateur, and I don’t make sales videos. But I do videos of my work with my horse that I think are pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. I don’t have a helper to video me. I do everything with a tripod and Premiere Elements 11 to edit (which is a total pain in the neck because I have a very limited laptop).

But come look at my 9 million videos! :slight_smile:

I’m not sure sales videos would be profitable? The best sales videos are as raw as possible with no music or editing. Buyers want to see the horse with as little interference as possible. But you might be able to profit from making fancy videos for kids or riders.

Honestly, I can hardly bear to watch unedited horse videos. I think a good sales video should be edited. Not editing as in CHEATING (making a bad horse look good), but zooming in, cutting out the dead time, taking out the annoying noises. There are many things you can do to a sales video to make it more watchable and to accurately portray the horse.

But would people be willing to pay a premium for that?

Nope. Editing shows me that you are cutting something out. A sales video should be made with a plan. For flat work only, know exactly what you are going to do (walk down the short side, posting trot on lap, across the diagonal, trot one lap, canter one lap, across the diagonal lead change, one lap, across the diagonal other lead change. Halt. Back. then end. the trotting can even be half a lap.

If Jumping…just do a course like you would at a show complete with opening and closing trot circle because yes, I want to see it trot. Or better yet, use a show video…but make sure there is some trot included.

OP: I would imagine this is a thinly veiled ad for services, but what do I know.

You should be able to make a good sale video of a hunter or jumper round without editing it. You should use an actual camera vs. a cell phone or Ipad. A camera lets you zoom in and there is no dead time in a round. The buyer wants to see it all without stopping. I’m not sure you could make money doing this because most people can do it and at lots of A shows the already have pro videographer there. You will see lots of parents videoing their kid and then the kids make them into videos and share them on you tube or instagram or whatever they use.

Hey OP, I feel for you!

This is what I wanted to do with my life when I graduated college in '06 (equine sales and promo videos). Unfortunately, it seems that I hit the tail end of the time period where not everyone could take videos with their sell phones and edit it them into reasonable presentations using free software available on most computers. :frowning: So, I’m now left with a $3000+ computer system I basically built myself and is now a 13 y/o relic, a $2000 non-HD camera (Cannon GL2), and $500 Adobe creative suite (thank goodness for educational discounts for that one!), and probably another $500 worth of various items and accessories that never really paid for themselves.

I did a few videos IN college that helped pay for my system, but that was it. There are so many “how to shoot a good sales video” articles out there now that most people can do a decent enough job, and like previous people have said…buyers don’t want cuts to happen in a video since it could indicate a disobedience.

You MIGHT be able to carve a niche for videos that are ok to be more commercial-based: stallion services, horse show promotion, stable/training center commercial, etc.

P.S. You and hubby sound like the type of place I would have killed to get an internship with back in the day! :slight_smile:

If I am looking at videos of horses for sale, they had better be less than 4 minutes or I will move on. We have been selling horses on fb using 30-45 second videos done with an iPhone, as have most of the other professionals we know, so I don’t know how profitable it would be for you when you have to compete against what are essentially free videos. I would look toward stallion owners who really need a professional job done, rather than horse sellers.

Horse people love their horses. Any picture/video of their horse brings out their joy in ownership and all they see are the good things about their horse. That is the only way i can explain the hideous pictures and videos most horse people share. Even when presented with a good picture/video they do not “see” the difference. Because they cannot see the difference they sure will not pay someone else to do what they feel they are totally capable of doing!