4 Tips for Navigating a Videography Side Hustle in College

Kaila Mathis

CLLCTVE hosted CLLCTVE University: The Ultimate Creator Accelerator for 10 Weeks of Spring 2021. Each week came with its own upskilling workshop hosted by a CLLCTVE Creator.

Sam Wichhart, Advertising and Film Major at Indiana University, hosted his workshop on Growth & Efficiency: Video Production in College. It’s now available to all to watch for free on CLLCTVE’s YouTube channel.

“Through my session, creators can learn how to further their creative skills and approach by learning how I have navigated attending a university while creating engaging video content for organizations and portfolio use,” said Sam.

Sam provided four steps to help creators best prepare for his workshop on how to navigate a videography side hustle in college.

4 Tips for Navigating a Videography Side Hustle in College

1. Utilize productive pretending, finding influences and becoming them:

“I’ve read many angles on the concept ‘Look at where you want to be. Who is there? Now pretend you are them.’ Although I find the fake it till you make it mindset to be quite two dimensional, I believe that there is a strong and effective method behind it. One great way to make sure your brand, skills, and deliverables have a strong trajectory is to manifest exactly how you would act if you were closer to your dream. How would your emails sound? How would you treat deadlines? If studio execs and international brands saw the final version of this project, what quality would you ensure?

Doing these changes all at once can be daunting, but slowly taking time to adjust your attitudes and pipeline will get you to your goal much faster than you think. One change for each project in this mindset will be an extra step closer to becoming the creative you want to be!

2. Read the market and find where you can fit

“To specialize or not to specialize. I have found that the further the indie film industry has been pushed, the more aspects of video production you need to know to separate yourself from the noise. College is a time to try things out without your salary on the line. Make sure to put in the effort to learn all aspects of video production before you try to specialize in something. Specialization gets more important down the line, but the best Directors, DPs, Colorists, etc., are also great at every position.

Building a foundation for producing an entire video with solid pre production, production, and post production, is very valuable to small brands because it lowers costs. Take advantage of this and once your skill set is built wide, you can figure out exactly what you love and start to build your skill set tall as well.

3. Invest in yourself, a change in mindset

“We are all college students, so for most of us it is difficult to stretch finances to accompany that new 8K Mirrorless camera or a kickass set of prime lenses. What I have learned is as you acquire more jobs and raise your prices, you need to approach that money as a possibility for investment. It may start out by putting aside a fraction of birthday money, but placing a small percentage of money (no matter the actual $ amount) you make into savings for new equipment is vital to exponentially increasing your value. Recently, I have invested in these things to up my value as a videographer:

  • Digital storage (Dropbox) — Better file sharing and backups
  • Higher-resolution camera body — 4K video delivery and slow motion
  • Brighter lights — be able to capture a larger variety of scenes
  • Computer upgrades — increase productivity and hit deadlines

Figure out what can increase your value (depending on what you already have) and invest in that!

4. Push, pull and ponder to know your worth

“Giving a client a price can be very scary at first, but trust the process and take some time to think about what you’re worth. Initially, it can be logical to calculate your price based on hours, but this method often underestimates what you should charge. Keep in mind how much time you have in a day, how much wear your equipment goes under, the invisible costs like adobe subscriptions and file storage, and risk. Risk is an important factor as it represents how many people will view your deliverable and how sensitive the video is to mistakes.

Think: If Coca-Cola (your pretend client) creates a bad public video ad things could go very poorly, but if a local sandwich shop (your other pretend client) creates a bad Instagram post, the damage may not be so threatening to them. Your price should accommodate for the size and risk of a client so: more risk -> higher price. These considerations when determining your price will ensure that you are charging a client’s video based on a variety of factors and you can illustrate where you got your price from clearly. From your first quote onward, keep tweaking your price to reflect the new circumstance you are under.”

Expand Your Skills With CLLCTVE University

CLLCTVE University features Sam’s full workshop as well as nine others in skills spanning across mediums. 

Throughout the accelerator, you’ll gain access to exclusive workshops with high-level industry experts, connections to brands for paid work opportunities and a community of Gen Z creators to grow with.

Let’s shape the Future of Work economy, together. Watch now!

Kaila Mathis
Kaila graduated from Villanova University in 2021 with a B.A. in PR & Advertising and Journalism, with a minor in Spanish. She is now the Growth Manager at CLLCTVE and a Freelance Writer for Adweek.
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