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Amateur Video: Business Fail

DBS Interactive

What do these three situations have in common: a flooded basement, a blown transmission, photography at your wedding.

While all three likely suggest that you’ll be spending some money to fix the problem (I say this facetiously with respect to marriage), the amount of money you choose to spend depends primarily on one decision…whether you choose to hire a professional or an amateur? It is a choice that one should not take lightly, especially with situations as serious as the three described above.

If you consider yourself a gambler, you may decide that the potential cost savings of an amateur are worth the risk. But be prepared, because an amateur plumber can do just as much harm to your home as he can do repair.

In the creative world, amateurs and professionals are a dime a dozen. Amateur photographers, videographers, and web designers may be less expensive, but you run a greater risk of your expectations not being met. Nowhere is the gap between “amateur” and professional more apparent than in video.

Let’s define Amateur

We have no intention of demeaning all who aren’t “professionals.” When we say amateur, we primarily mean the style or quality of videography, rather than whether you receive a W9 for your camera work. In our eyes, you can still produce professional work without making a living off of it. So what do we consider to be amateur videography. We’ll let this example speak for itself.

The Problem with Amateur Videos

With such a strong demand for content, many businesses have begun experimenting with video, which over the past decade has helped to rapidly grow the supply of video content available on the Internet. As of 2014, YouTube reported that 300 hours of video are uploaded to their servers every minute. To have your video stand out against this intensity of competition, you are going to need an advantage. Often times, that advantage comes in the form of professional producers and creatives. While any attempt at creating an original video is worthy of at least some praise, one must note that the finished product will reflect the quality of your business in the minds of consumers.  After a business hires an amateur to make their video (a relatively small, low impact investment), they often see little in return and conclude that using video for marketing simply doesn’t work.


What they failed to consider were the questions that need to be asked and the planning that needs to be staged in order to put forth an effective piece of video content.  Currently, the best way to ensure you receive the results you want is to hire a professional creative team to handle your project for you.  They will be there every step of the way, helping you navigate the journey through client expectations while building the association that will exist between the finished product and your brand.  Beginning with a detailed strategy and continuing through crucial phases such as copy writing, principle photography, design, and editing, the team you hire will make the feel and the tone accurately reflect your company’s wishes, something no amateur videographer can guarantee.

The Importance of Pre-Production

Many of those who are scrambling to create videos and quickly get them online are not taking the time to carefully think through what it is they need to create.  The content you produce must be effectively tailored to those you are trying to reach, incorporating both what you would like to tell them and what those people are actively searching for.  A professional team will ensure that the most important questions get asked before filming ever begins and will use that information to explain and grow your business within the video.  Often times, these questions go unasked and therefore unanswered in amateur productions.  The benefits of having a well-organized and detailed production schedule cannot be understated either.


Your hired guns know how to properly coordinate planning meetings and address concept development, all while providing quality input and making revisions based on the goals of your business.  From there, the team will use their specialized talents to craft a script, complete with gestures and actions, to set up the best possible impression.  This effectively eliminates all of those awkward pauses and “umms” that can prove distracting during amateur films.  On top of the development of the script, the writing, and the review phase, the production team can audition and hire capable actors to bring your company’s vision to life.  The level of planning and caretaking offered by a talented and experienced production crew makes the investment well worth it before the first scene is even filmed.

Filming Your Masterpiece

The beauty of having a professional creative team handle your filming is the attention to detail that is put on display.  Too often, amateur videos fall victim to things like poor lighting, poor audio, or shaky footage.  Not so with a seasoned team that has years of experience behind them.  You also don’t have to worry about too much zooming and panning or a lack of cut-a-ways and alternative angles like you might with a rookie videographer.


Your excellent creative crew will also be bringing some heavy duty equipment with them that amateurs can rarely hope to afford.  And although the quality of the equipment used by amateur producers has been steadily rising over the years, the best equipment in the world could never substitute for training and experience.  The ability to deal with glitches or changes while keeping the project both on time and on budget is how professionals make their living.  That peace of mind regarding cost and time commitments is a luxury mostly absent when dealing with inexperienced producers.

The Post-Production Process

The last step of the production crew’s creative process is the post-production phase.  This is when your dedicated team will pull all of the highlights of your shoot and utilize the very best moments to be included in the final video.  The editors will effortlessly incorporate and mix interviews, acting scenes, stylish graphics, and a soundtrack to make the finished product a knockout. Any miscues, background noise, or lighting issues that made it through the initial filming will be erased during this step.


These mistakes can easily be missed by an individual with little editing experience.  Furthermore, amateurs generally lack the ability to create unique animations or cards that differentiate your video from those of other businesses.  Why spend time or money on a product that could very well end up resembling one from the company down the road?  Though it might be tempting to cut costs by cutting corners, it is very important to consider these issues before passing on a gifted production team.


A Professional Investment

If you are considering creating video content for your business in the near future (and you should be), recognize all of the factors that determine an effective finished product from a flop.  Amateur producers can often over-promise what they plan to deliver, a mistake that can turn into quite a headache for your organization.  Falling behind schedule, running over budget, or simply receiving a sub par product is enough to drive a marketer mad.  So while skimping on things that appear optional may seem appealing, such as script writing or a detailed post-production, be sure to ask yourself if the finished product is guaranteed to be good enough to represent your business. If it’s not, a professional team is out there waiting to make that promise.