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Turbo: Welcome back to Shootzu, the podcast. My name is Turbo, and this podcast is all about photography and video production businesses.
Turbo: We dig deep and find out about everyone’s business at all different stages, and of course shootzu the platform is launching in Australia this November.
Turbo: Today in the hot seat, we are talking to Will Anlazark from Euphoria Films, based on the beautiful central coast of New South Wales in Australia. Will, welcome to shootzu.
Will A: You have done your research.
Turbo: I have done my research, which brings me to the next thing. I was looking up your name, and I found a montage of skateboarding videos.
Will A: Yes.
Turbo: Pretty dramatic stuff of you just crashing all the time. Is that you?
Will A: Yeah it’s all me. I got hurt a lot when I started. It was good. I’ve been skateboarding since I was about 13, and it’s kind of how I’ve got into the industry, it’s a weird thing. Started off with photography and photo and video when I was like 13, and this just continued through.
Will A: The guy that I actually skated with until I was about 20, suggested we went to film school. So yeah, I went from skateboarding to film school to weddings, which is, yeah.
Turbo: Were your parents relieved when you went from skateboarding into film school?
Will A: Probably the opposite, I suppose. When you’re looking at the career path, when you tell them you want to start making films for a living, and you’re going to study and put a bunch of money into an open foundation sort of university, they’re like “Oh, where you going to go with this? What are you going to do on, how are you going to make this money back.”
Will A: And, hindsight, I probably should have just applied to work under a bunch of big studios, which is kind of what I did directly after, sort of going through this. Put my name into a bunch of big studios, said I’ll work for free, just do as much as I can and yeah, that’s kind of how I’ve gotten to where I am now.
Turbo: That’s awesome. And which university did you go and study? What was the actual course called?
Will A: SAE institute and it was a Bachelor of film production.
Turbo: And do you think you got much out of that in terms of education in this industry?
Will A: Not really. Look, you learn the basics with these sorts of things and how to do certain things like green screen. And sort of, it gives you basics of anything. But it’s like anything. If you put your mind to it, and you work hard, and you sort of go home and you practice things that they give to you, you’ll learn it.
Will A: It’s not rocket science, and I think if I had had any structure in my own life prior to that, I probably could’ve got it there myself, but yeah. Without that little push, it probably wouldn’t have … I felt like I’ve got this $20, 000 debt over my head, I better start making some money.
Turbo: And that’s good motivator. Do you get many other industry contacts out of doing that unique course?
Will A: Two. So there’s two people that I still talk to out of the class of about 15 of us. And, yeah I only speak with two people from my class now. And they do not work with me in that [inaudible 00:02:51], but I’ve got a bunch of corporates from one of them in the past which has been good.
Turbo: Fantastic. And did that influence you? Like, yes it’s a Uni degree, you get the piece of paper at the end of it. But were you really truly influenced, other than the money over your head. Were you influenced to get into it?
Will A: I was always into film. It’s not really been … I was always wanting to do it. It’s not that this certificate’s made me want to do it.
Will A: I guess, I don’t feel like I got too much out of it, I think I would have gone the same path that I’ve gone now either way. It just would have been a different avenue on how I got into it, and probably timing might have been a little bit different. I might not have been where I am now without making a few mistakes and doing a few things the way that I did them.
Turbo: Now, going back to the university days, and after you just finished there, how did you get your first job straight out of Uni into the video world?
Will A: So I was … I suppose when anyone’s looking for anything, they started at seek, this is about 10 years ago now.
Turbo: Oh what that seek?
Will A: Seek. Which is probably not the right place to look for now, especially considering shootzu will be coming out, and the places to sort of go to look for the right sort of work.
Turbo: And just to set it up, seek is a job search site here in Australia, seek.com.au. But, you obviously found a job through that.
Will A: Yeah, so DnM wedding films, who were a bigger company about five or six years ago, when DnM was sort of at its peak about 2012. They put an advertisement out saying they needed an editor/video shooter, and I applied, went in. I started out with about another three people that they also hired at the same time, and I was the only one left at the end of that, which was good.
Will A: I ended up sort of not taking the editing role, I ended up just contracting for them quite heavily. I did about 50 in my first year with them, and didn’t take money for the first couple. Just wanted to sort of get my foot in the door.
Will A: But, Dave who is also a judge for the seek, is going to be there tomorrow. Him Ian Prichard took me under their wing a little bit, and so they taught me what they knew. Ian was about a year ahead of me in that time in point.
Will A: Just constantly asking for feedback, what I could do better, what I could do next to sort of improve myself. But yeah, he had me literally just manning recorders for the first like three or four, I felt so useless, but-
Turbo: [crosstalk 00:05:09] the way in.
Will A: It is the way in. And so they’re just getting that work done.
Turbo: Yes. So you obviously still in contact with them, pretty closely. Do you still work for them?
Will A: I contract infrequently for Dave. We probably only do about two or three a year now, together.
Will A: But, yeah, most of my contacts, so Ian Prichard is a very close friend now, and one of my closest mates. He does about 20 plus for us a year, just as a main shooter while I’m shooting photo as well. So it’s very good.
Turbo: So yeah, you do mention you take photos as well with your current business. Do you personally do the photos and the video?
Will A: It started out, maybe the first five years, we did video only, that’s why the company’s name Euphoria Films. And then we just kept getting asked and kept getting asked and I had a background in photography as well.
Will A: So, I thought I’m losing money here. I could be adding this on and, I guess a lot of other wedding videographers think, how am I going to approach this? ‘Cause I’m gonna lose contacts, I’m going to lose referrals from photographers coming through to me, because they know I do both.
Will A: And I haven’t really had that to be honest with you. It’s been … I’m in quite a good area for where I’m located. I’m also in a good situation because, I started this when I was, started wedding videos when I was 22.
Will A: So I’ve kind of been through the whole procession of my friends sort of having it happen, then younger people in that same friend group. So, all the business is carried on word of mouth, which has been good. And then you get the other ones coming through social media, Facebook, friends of friends, and it’s just continued.
Will A: I haven’t had to do too much advertising because I’ve just got in at the right time I suppose in my life.
Will A: Whereas I’d think it’d be much harder getting in mid thirty’s, trying to get into this industry. I think I’ve had a bit of a stroke of luck.
Turbo: The social media side of things, is that a huge part of it these days for marketing your business you think?
Will A: I’m terrible at it to be honest with you. But, yeah, definitely. We get … Studio ninja myself, so I have a contact form that just tells me where our runs come from. Because I like keeping track of it. I like knowing where people are finding me from, and how they’re finding me.
Will A: And, they’re coming through, and we’re probably getting about one out of every five or six saying, some sort of social media whether it be Instagram or Facebook, or some form, or they found us on Vimeo or our friends linked it on Facebook.
Will A: It tends to come up constantly in that same sort of method which has been great.
Turbo: You said that you’re not very good at social media. Why? What’s holding you back from enhancing that part of your business?
Will A: We book quite a few. This year specifically, we bought a house, bought a new car, got a dog, started fixing up everything and it’s just been one of those things that’s been a bit more on the back burner.
Will A: When things are needing to get done, it’s more priorities on sort of getting it out the door, and making sure boxes are made up.
Will A: We do presentation boxes of everything, so it’s making sure presentations of boxes are all made up, as well as organizing careers, and all the backend stuff. And I think it’s just … The fact that that’s taken a back door, is a little bit annoying, which I suppose has hindered bookings a little bit for next year.
Will A: It’s not bad in any way, I’ve knocked back quite a few, because I’ve had so many uncertain dates. But, we’re definitely down a little bit on the previous year.
Turbo: So with the social media stuff, do you share much of your personal life on that, or is it purely business?
Will A: I should. There’s people like Nikki for example, Nikki Fox who shares-
Will A: Way … Not way too much, I quite enjoy it. But, she shares everything, which is good. But, I am the opposite end of the spectrum, where I don’t share too much of my personal life.
Will A: And it’s not necessarily bad, I am very engaged with my brides and grooms. I take time to sort of make sure I’m meet up with every single one of them prior to it, make sure we’re on the same level, make sure that they’re comfortable with me prior to turning up on their wedding day.
Will A: Because, I think it’s the biggest thing, having some random weirdo turn up at the door with all their camera gear, and trying to build a connection straightaway, is very difficult.
Will A: It’s … Half the battle is sort of making them comfortable with you. And just, you can tell them to do something and they’ll do it because they like you as a person.
Will A: I know it’s an odd thing, but, I think in Nikki’s case, she … People think they know her straight away because of how much she’s delivered online. You should have that connection a lot earlier-
Turbo: People know the personality [crosstalk 00:09:27], and they see that, and she mentioned it in her podcast a few weeks ago. That she got jobs overseas because of that. People came across it for the job she did in Italy, and they booked her based on the personality that she …
Will A: I’m fully aware I need to be better at it, it’s one of those things. We’re still getting work from it, luckily that works … The work that I’m getting is based on work, which is good. Rather than my personality.
Will A: But I still want my personality to be something that people take into consideration when booking me. Because I’m the type of person you either love or hate.
Will A: I talk too much, I get very excited, I make way too many phone calls to my friends, and still chat to them on a daily basis, so-
Turbo: Phone call, what’s a phone call?
Will A: Yeah, I know right? It’s an odd thing, but unfortunately my second shooters got contacted way too frequently, and learn about all my personal life.
Turbo: So it was back in 2012, I think you mentioned, Euphoria films, that’s when you kicked things off. We all know that business ownership is a bit of a roller coaster. Have you had … Was it really hard to get that business started?
Will A: Not really. It’s really lucky in wedding industry is that, you have a means to have such low overheads. You’re not putting yourself out there taking a giant business line out building a studio straight away. You can literally run a business like this off bare bones.
Will A: There are things that come along that can add expenses like, running CRM software to make your life a little bit easy. But, getting off the ground, it’s emails, editing software.
Will A: I took out a loan of about $10, 000 when I started. Bought all the gear that I’d require to sort of get started, and took a bit of advice from a few people.
Will A: Dave told me to get a bunch of things. I didn’t like taking advice from him, so I went and bought all the other stuff. He told me to get zooms, I went and got [Tascams 00:11:13].
Will A: It’s how you go about it. But, I think this business, you have such a low overhead and you have an opportunity to make so much money without having to take off the top. As long as you keep your money for tax, and sort of have that money put away, you should really be saving quite a bit with something like this.
Turbo: Yeah, you mentioned that it’s quite easy to get into and get started up in this kind of business. Do you think that’s a hindrance in the industry these days, because there are so many new comers coming out with all of the new gadgets and equipment that’s available?
Will A: It’s an interesting one, because it makes it more competitive, but not in that way. You’re generally not competing with the new people. If you’ve been in here a while, your work should stand out and speak for itself.
Will A: If your work stands out from someone else who is starting, if it’s not standing out from someone else’s who’s starting up, you’re doing something wrong.
Will A: Your work should be able to, you should have much cleaner audio because realistically, when I got started, I remember my audio was pretty rubbish.
Will A: The people who are booking you in that lower price point, they’re either going to be friends who are helping you out like at work, or people who are looking for a budget wedding. And you really need to leap frog off that, you need to do your best work, so you can get those ones that are in a higher price bracket, and keep pushing and keep trying to push your price up to sort of account for that [crosstalk 00:12:29].
Turbo: Now let’s have a quick chat about bridal groups on Facebook. Bride and groom’s, they’re always bragging about how cheap they are getting their video and photo packages from those newcomers going into the business.
Turbo: But then after they get their content, they are usually the first ones to jump on the Internet and complain about how disappointed they were in what they actually received.
Will A: It’s a weird one, because you see comments like, oh, worse money I spent on a videographer, in some of these bridal groups.
Will A: But you spent $400 on a videographer. Of course you’re going to get a … What’s what’s the term, you pay peanuts.
Will A: You’re going to get a, what’s the term, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. So it’s exactly that. You’re buying something that’s at the cheaper end of the spectrum where if you pay a professional, they’re going to do a professional job. And you’d expect that. So something that I suggest to people, I have all my packages and pricing go out to a couple. If they have questions, and I make sure that they ask if they have a question. If they don’t understand what a documentary edit is, if they don’t understand what this is, I have a drop box folder with everything in there, each package.
Will A: So if they book … We have our packages sorted out, we’re probably gonna change it, but it’s ruby, sapphire, and diamond. Very lazy, could’ve been anything else, probably should’ve been a little bit more creative with it. But if someone asks, I can send them out a whole folder on what they’ll receive and what it should look like. They’re not getting the wrong expectation of what they should receive, all that’s my personal work or a shooter that’s worked with me. Usually the ruby, which is single shooter completely and it’s gone down to six hours now, but it shows off exactly what that is. And you’re not gonna get the wrong idea of it, it’s my work. They’re not gonna have any different opinions of it. They’ll get it back and it should be that quality.
Turbo: How much do you display on your website? If a bride and groom are looking and they jump on your website will they find prices and samples up there as we speak, or is it something that they have to then contact you and then you send it out?
Will A: Prices, no. If you’re going onto my website I’m only really holding up highlights onto my website, I don’t keep 30, 40 minute ceremonies or Catholic ceremonies or this and that. If you go out there you’re not gonna see any of that. There’s about 9 highlights, they’re all my favorite ones that we’ve done over the last couple of years. I don’t like showing off work that’s not at the level that I’m not striving to achieve each time. If you’re putting stuff up and they’re expecting that you’re expecting to sort of turn up and try to get something as good as your last one that you think’s quite good.
Will A: Yeah if they get that … The reason I don’t keep my pricing online, this sounds really weird, but I’ve had friends who have had price lists copied word for word exactly as they look. And it’s not that I’m worried about people poaching and undercutting me or anything like that, I guess it’s just I put time into thinking how that’s gonna layout and how people are gonna look at it and why I’m charging certain prices for certain things, and I don’t want people to go on and steal everything. If I put a couple of hours work into making that price list I don’t want that sort of stuff stolen.
Turbo: Yeah, we had the same issue when we started out with my video production business. Somebody did copy it word for word, absolutely identical on another website. We decided to take our prices offline at that point. We tried it out for a while, but the admin side of things just built up too much. Now it’s probably easier because you’ve got CRMs and all of that running. But these days we find it easier just to have all the prices up there, the package information, a couple of samples, they can contact us for more samples.
Turbo: But at that point that they contact us they’ve already seen our style, they know exactly what they’re getting in the package, they know the pricing. So it eliminates the time wasters for us, so we find it a little bit different to the way you do it. Just getting rid of the time wasters.
Will A: Yeah I’m probably not using it for that reason, but if they’re gonna be jumping around, I suppose they have to email me if they want my pricing rather than being around. If they’re not in that price bracket they’re probably not looking anyway. They usually have an idea.
Turbo: Do you mention the price bracket?
Will A: We just updated our website, but I’m gonna put a note in our contact us, we have prices starting from, and then x amount. Our price bracket now is starting at 35, so it’s sitting in that same point.
Turbo: Give them that indication before they contact you?
Will A: Before they waste my time, yeah a little bit. Not waste my time, but you know what I mean? Before I waste their time by getting them to send me an email and wait a couple hours for a reply.
Turbo: How much time these days do you spend on the business admin side?
Will A: Well I try and get back to my partner Anna … so I should probably start this. My partner Anna does actually a lot of the video editing. About four years into the business, or maybe three years into the business, I took on way too much work, burned myself out, couldn’t get through. Everyone knows the feeling of taking on a little bit too much work and then being backlogged with edits and just going, “Holy shit. What am I gonna do?” And yeah, at that point I was like … this is the same time I started doing photos as well so I was like I’ve got photos, I’ve got videos, I need to get this done.
Will A: Anna came on and she’s actually an audio producer for Southern Cross Austereo, well she was Southern Cross Austereo, she’s now Nova. And she’s like, “I wanna learn how to do this, I wanna help us out.” Because at this point your four years, five years into a relationship, you’re talking about being with each other for forever.
Will A: Yeah, I was like all right well we’re teach you and she sat in on maybe two edits, and by that point she was fine. She had that audio producer background, she knew what she was doing, and she brought a different vision to it. She was a lot better at the mushy stuff than I am so that makes a lot more of the cut than I previously was putting in. I’m very technically focused on shooting and making sure my little errors on the day aren’t shown in a full feature film whereas …
Turbo: And she’s choosing all the music for it as well?
Will A: She’s picking a lot of it. She picks a lot more quirky stuff and bits and bobs. I go backwards and forwards with a bride and groom, so I have a weird way of doing it. A lot of people pick all the music for the couples and don’t let them have a choice. I’m so worried that they’re gonna hate what we picked for them, and you work 30 hours on a full edit only to come away with a couple going, “I hate that, I hate that music. Why would you pick that? That’s terrible.”
Will A: So we pick out about five songs we think would fit. Most people only pick two songs for an edit, we pick five that we think will fit for a couple, email them and say hey these are why we think they’ll work, these are the reasons why we think they work. And usually we’re like this upbeat song will work really well for the end of it because you guys have some super cool dancing at the end and some upbeat stuff. So we’ll put that in, this will be the second song in this highlight edit. And we have something that’s a little bit slower at the front, to sort of, I suppose create story and sort of make it have a little bit of impact with some of the bigger role some of the establishing shots.
Turbo: With those music choices, are they something that you’ll recycle for other weddings?
Will A: Not really. We try not to, I think there’s only been one or two. If Anna’s done some contract editing for other companies, when it’s for another company we’ll use stuff that we already know we’ve got if we think it’ll fit for something. If we’re like, “Oh we used that for Shannon’s edit about six months ago,” we’ll go back and we’ll listen to it. You can put it in for someone else’s company, but we really try not to use the same music over and over again.
Turbo: Yeah I did see a discussion about this the other day, and some people were debating whether they just send them the link to this Soundstripe website where it has all of the song database and they can pick their music themselves.
Will A: I have done this, but this is usually after about four goes at trying to get them to pick the music that I want. If I get to the point that I’m like, “I’m done, I have spent 10 hours looking for music, this is not working for me.” Yeah, by that point I’ll get to it and I’ll be like this is our link to our log in, here’s what you can go through. If it’s something like Hotlist where they can only listen to 30 seconds or any of those I’ll give them my log in, otherwise Musicbed they can find whatever they need to but, yeah.
Turbo: That’s something that I do for the corporate clients because I’ve had a couple where they have just come back so many times and go, “Yeah I don’t really like that choice, try this one.” Then we try that and they don’t like that one, so at that point that’s when I’ve just sent them the link to I think it was AudioJungle at the time and I’m like–
Will A: You find.
Turbo: … you find the one that works best for you, tell me what it is, we’ll get it licensed, all sorted.
Will A: Yeah, gotcha.
Turbo: But you’ve gotta put some of that control back in their hands, and then they can figure out why it’s been so difficult.
Will A: They can make the mistake. They can pick something out that is terrible, that is really cheesy.
Turbo: You mentioned your partner does the editing, do you use any other outsource providers?
Will A: We have in the last year used one of our second shooters, his name’s [Christian 00:21:19]. He’s very talented, really, really good, but we’ve only used him twice in the last year because we-
Turbo: As a second shooter or an editor?
Will A: No, as an editor. He second shoots for us, but there was two weddings that he second shot on and I’m like, “All right he already knows the content this is good.” And we’ve just overbooked ourself and, as I said, we bought a house and we’re like we need x amount of money to do this and took on a little bit more than we could chew. And then unfortunately Anna got a bit backlogged, and at the point you can recognize, I don’t wanna ruin my delivery times to a client for the sake of my pride of holding onto something for longer than it needs to.
Will A: It’s always going to affect your business. And if you can trust the editor enough, like I probably wouldn’t send my work overseas to somewhere like Bali to get it one, I still want a level and degree of control rather than emails backwards and forwards about why this isn’t working ad what you need to do. I know if I give it to Christian I can go see what he’s done, fix some things up slightly, but he’s pretty spec on with what he needs to-
Turbo: And especially if he’s shot it, that’s it.
Will A: He knows what he’s doing. So there’s been two of those this year, but it’s literally just to get ourselves out of that backlog and that hole because we don’t wanna deliver late, it’s just staying on top of things.
Turbo: You mentioned Anna works at Nova. She’s full-time there?
Will A: Good job remembering, yes she is.
Turbo: And she helps you out. How’s that sort of juggle when it comes to that peak time of year with her working full time, coming and doing some edits for you. I’m sure the backlog still builds up.
Will A: It does. We had a stage in May of this year where we had five weddings in five weeks, and that’s not crazy for … A lot of other people I know do bach to back and back to back after that. But we don’t sit around that many. Usually what we’re booking last, well this financial year we booked about 38, and most of them are photo and video. So whatever you think that is, double the number. So it’s a huge amount. So both of us are sitting at a computer editing consistently. But that is what you need to do if you wanna make a solid living, pay off a mortgage. These are the things you’ve gotta work hard to get what you want.
Will A: But yeah, the same means we can live very minimalist and sort of only live off what we needed, but we both wanted certain things. I wanted a dog and she wanted a dog and that’s sort of what we’re doing. We’re also paying off our own wedding at this time. So we took on a lot more than we probably could handle for this year. Next year we’re culling back to around 20, but that’s still 20 photo and video. And we know that’s a number that we can easily cover over the span of a year and stay on top of targets, and make sure we’re delivering earlier than what we say we’re going to rather than right on time.
Turbo: When you are planning ahead for the following year, do you block out months so you can go, if we get a chance let’s go away for these two months in the wintertime?
Will A: It’s not even like a year and a half in advance these days. A lot of couples are like nearly booking two years out which is just nuts. And we’re still taking it, so I say it’s nuts, but we’re still taking some of these bookings. You gotta be careful with it though, obviously your pricing might go up, you might start doing things differently. I know Lance from Box Media House has put his prices up substantially recently and said he was gonna go into a different bracket and his work’s gonna be very different than what it was a year and a half ago. He’s informed all his couples that I’m doing this differently.
Will A: So I guess planning too far ahead’s also a problem, but I had a situation where I went to Canada and America only a year ago. And my friends are like, “Oh do you wanna come on this holiday, do you wanna do this with me?” And we’re like yeah we really wanna go, and we only had one wedding booked in that month. So usually these coupes expect that I’m gonna turn up on their wedding day, there’s only been one wedding ever where I haven’t turned up on my own company. And yeah, with that I told them, “Look these two shooters that I’m putting on this are incredible, I work with them all the time. This is what’s going on,” and the couple were cool with it which is nice. So they were fine, and that job we still edited, but we had Ian and my friend Troy cover that wedding and they did a great job. And no one would know that anyone else shot it which is good. But yeah.
Turbo: Are you happy with where your business is at the moment?
Will A: Very. It’s a good spot, like I’m not setting the world on fire with what I’m doing, but the work’s good. I’m happy with how the photos are going, I’m happy that I can pair both together. And it gives you a sense of control. If you can do photos on a wedding day it gives you a lot more option to direct and get what you physically want out of a couple. Whereas, if you’re at the, I say at the mercy, but you’re not really at the mercy, the photographer actually tends to run the show
Will A: …mercy. But you’re not really at the mercy of the photographer actually tends to run the show a little bit more with what they’re doing in their directing. If you’re not feeding off that, if you’re not getting things at the same time, you’re losing out on a lot of B roll and content that you could be getting. I guess it helps having a photographer that’s gearing how they’re directing into photo and video at the same time.
Turbo: Now let’s talk about some of the lessons that you’ve learned over the years. Do you have any advice for the newcomers?
Will A: I think people get bogged down gear would be the biggest thing. Everyone’s talking about what they’ll carry. Everyone’s got a Gimble, they’ve got multiple tri-pods, they’ll spend all this money on everything and I think it’s just starting simple. I’m going the opposite way at the moment. I’m trying to carry more minimal gear. I’ve had multiple four track recorders just to check in. I’m carrying two now with me. Just one as a backup, one as the main one. I’m carrying two tascam dr-10s which are Godsends for this sort of industry that records straight in. You’ve got everything in one package. It records dual tracks. You’re pretty set, and they put out great audio. It’s just less to worry about. As I said when I started at J&M, I was sitting there riding a zoom like we’re doing right now to make sure I’m not talking too loud.
Will A: With Ace other things they manage the audio for you and obviously when you get to speeches where you have time that you can actually set things up on tripods and you have a bit more control over it, it’s easier. Carrying less gear and focusing on sequencing a little bit more I suppose, and making sure you’ve got the right shots. Not getting out the drone for the sake of getting out the drone and focusing on the intimate things and talking with our couples and getting real emotion out of them rather than, I’m going to put the drone up, I’m going to run across with the Gimble here, and I’m going to do this and that and just trying to be too much. Some of the stuff I’m judging at the moment, they’ve got … They’re only in a smaller price bracket but they’re flying drones around and they’ve got three shoot. I just can’t understand how you make money on something like that, and plus your stress levels go through the roof.
Turbo: And the post production. You’ve got so many more cameras to get through.
Will A: Yeah. We generally shoot with three no matter what. Multi-cam sort of simplify for ourselves and keep it all there. Put it through pluralize and put out something fairly nice and clean and basic, but it will have a bunch of B roll through it and look quite beautiful, but a lot of the things that I’m seeing is so much lost in photo shoot and wasted time where someone’s put up a drone and they’ve got one shot where they could have 30. It’s just crazy and being at a meters distance from a couple and being able to direct them properly instead of screaming over a swarm of bees to, “Walk down a hill!”. You’re just missing out on key moments for this one big epic shot where you could be getting 40 awesome shots.
Turbo: Have you at any point consider anything that you’ve done a bit of a failure? Have you done something, you go, “You know what? That’s no good. I’m never going to do that again.”?
Will A: No. I’m terrible at dancing. I know that’s not what we think. I cut out the dance floor.
Turbo: We’re talking about video production here business here. [crosstalk 00:29:11]. We’re filmmakers not dancers.
Will A: My partner and I have been doing swing dancing for our own wedding and I am dreadful at it. I’ve been getting private lessons with her, but no, other than I’m a super competitive person. If I’m bad at something I work hard at it until I’m good at it. I am happy to pass on that knowledge if I’m working on something or I’m doing something, I’ll show a second shooter what I want and how I want it. I don’t know there’s too much of a failure. Everyone’s had mistakes that they’ve made in their own business, whether it be not having an audio channel turned on. I had a wedding once for another company where I ran my two main recorders directly, sorry, radio receivers straight into a tascam that I had plugged into a wall, like a power socket.
Will A: Instead of buttoning off I pulled it out of the wall and the internal batteries were dead. So we lost both radio tracks. This is for another company mind you, so it’s not mine so as much as I was stressed I was like I’m just going to lose how much I’m making for this company and everything’s covered, but I still had a line out and I had a line out. It was a bit furry and didn’t sound the best but they still had a nice PA line out that had a bit of a noise flow to it, but it’s about backing yourself up and making sure as many fail safes as you can possibly have on a wedding day, because you only get one shot at it.
Turbo: That’s it. Speaking of bad shit happening at weddings. Have you had any incidents where you’ve injured yourself?
Will A: A few. I think I put this … You asked for this question, I put it in my notes. I’ve had once where I got set on fire. I was doing a Greek wedding for another company and for some reason in the room with the dress, the mom had lit 40 candles and shooting away, shooting away and I back up to get a much wider shot of this big grand dress and I’m shooting being rock steady on a monopod and next minute you can just smell flames and fire and the whole back of my shirt has gone up. I was okay, just a big red mark on my back, but I was missing half a shirt and I did not have one planned for the day, so I ended up having to swing by … The first mistake, I didn’t have a second shirt in my car, a nice second shirt so ended up getting a t-shirt and I still wore the nice button up with a black t-shirt underneath.
Will A: That was the first one, and the second one this is bigger mind if you ever have public liability. It’s such a big think in our industry and I know so many cowboys running around without a staff because as I said making as much money and you don’t want to splurge on 500 a year to go give yourself 20 million, but you need it. As I said, you only get once chance at it. You trip over a cake or you make a mistake where someone’s going to take you for a lot of money, I know it’s-
Turbo: So what happened?
Will A: Oh. I was walking out of a house in the wet and I was carrying all my gear at once. I did the whole trying to take out the shopping bags into the car at the-
Will A: Yeah, overloaded. I’m carrying probably about myself plus all my gear about 120 kilos, and I was walking down a set of terra cotta steps in the wet and I slipped and smashed maybe a staircase of about 13-14 stairs and broken almost every stair on the way down and the whole family, though, lovely. Super beautiful family ran out and, “Oh my God are you okay? Are you okay?” I’m in shock at this point. I got up and you know you still try to act professional at this point after you’ve just broken your ass down a set of stairs and I got up and I’m okay but there is blood drenching out my arm. At this point I look down and my wrist is fully sliced up and this is why I’m still working for Dave, and I’m contracting for them. I’m like, “I need to get set up audio at the church.”
Will A: First thing I’ve done is I’ve text messaged Dave and I’m like, “I’ve sliced myself up. I am okay.” I wrapped it in a t-shirt I had in the back of the car, but I’m going to do something about this and I quickly ran and got a butterfly stitch on the way in went to the church. This family were super lovely. They’re actually worried I was going to sue them for getting hurt on their property. But in a different scenario if I had done that and fallen down and damaged a card, damaged something that was irreplaceable, I would have been so screwed. I’ve also heard of one of my friends, I’m not going to mention his name here, but a tripod to knocked over at a reception and it knocked out the groom’s dad’s front teeth.
Turbo: Oh my God.
Will A: With a Miller tripod. Straight through took him out and public liability covered that. It’s just about staying on top of things and making sure that you are protected and prepared.
Turbo: Shameless plug. With the [Shuitsi 00:34:06] system we’re going to be offering people to post jobs and find jobs and as part of the system, we’re actually offering the public liability for every job that’s booked through the system.
Will A: Oh, cool.
Turbo: Both the shooter and the business is going to be covered by public liability and indemnity insurances.
Will A: That’s cool. Indemnity is a good one to have. I haven’t got that for myself while I’m contracting for other people, but a lot of other people do. I guess it’s a good one to have indemnity insurance because if you’re hiring someone that you do not know I suppose and you haven’t had the relationship with prior to, how do you know they’re going to do a great job? Having that little bit of extra insurance there is probably a great thing.
Turbo: All right, time for a speed round as we wrap things up shortly. This is where we fire some questions at you. You need to answer them as quickly and as accurately as possible. Are you ready?
Will A: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Turbo: What are two words that describe your videography style?
Will A: Two words. Shit. All right.
Turbo: Already failed first question.
Will A: I’m not going to get this. Probably moody and I don’t even know what a second word would be. I know, quirky. Mood and quirky. We’ll go with that.
Turbo: What’s the hardest part of doing business?
Will A: Finding free time for yourself. Not absolutely digging yourself into a whole and I’m a type of person that would … I’m very comfortable having no free time. But having a partner and having a life outside this job is very difficult if you’re very motivated.
Turbo: What’s the best place you’ve ever filmed at? Could be country, could be location, could be venue.
Will A: I quite like down south, Barrel area. It’s really nice. It’s quite beautiful. I’m also getting married in Bilpin myself and I think that area … Anything with long, tall trees that looks like a forest, I suppose you can lean into because you’ve got generally the option for some cool light. Usually have a little bit of fog. You’ve got some beautiful tall trees that gives you some shade so you’ve go options for photo shoot. That’s the laziest answer in the world and yeah, anything that makes my life easier on a wedding day.
Turbo: What’s the best gadget that you’ve purchased for videography?
Will A: DL 10. DL 10 it’s audio. The camera is just a tool to get what you need. Anyone should be able to pick up whatever camera they want and get something beautiful out of it if you know what you’re doing with it. It’s the audio instead of simplifying your workflow that is the best way to go.
Turbo: In five years, where do you see yourself and your business?
Will A: Hopefully with half my house paid off. Myself, ideally still doing what I’m doing right now. I’m enjoying it. I don’t plan on going anywhere and am really happy with where my life is at the moment. Yeah, don’t want to change anything.