Creating Awesome Commercials on a Budget w/ Bo Condon


Gear Focus

Feb 13, 2020

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In the second episode of our Creator Interview series, we had the amazing opportunity to sit down and talk with Bo Condon from RL Productions. Bo explains how he's been able to build a 6-figure business working in the local commercial market all while keeping overall costs low. Bo has been doing commercial work full time for about 4 years now. Starting out as a wedding videographer and DJ, he saw that there was a need that needed to be filled in the local commercial market. The main motivation for getting into commercial work, Bo explains, is to help local businesses grow and succeed. By working with small businesses who don't have an official marketing department, Bo was able to find his niche in the local commercial and event market. Working with Budget Gear One of the main topics of discussion in this interview is the types of gear and the gear choices Bo has made. So often, creatives get lost in the gear race, or the attempt to always have the latest and greatest gear. Instead of that, Bo suggests truly learning your craft and your art with the gear that you have. Figure out ways to make the gear that you already own work for you. Working with Canon older DSLR cameras, Bo is creating awesome commercials that rival those using gear 4-5 times the cost of his. By applying basic filming and lighting techniques, Bo is able to keep costs down while keeping the overall budget for a product low. Canon 5D Mark IV The Canon 5D Mark IV is Bo's main tool of choice. As a full-frame DSLR, the 5D Mark IV makes it a great choice for anyone who needs a great camera on a budget. With a new price of $2,500 and an average used price under $2,000, the Canon 5D Mark IV is much more easily accessible than a lot of other "video specific" cameras. Canon 80D Even though the Canon 80D is an APS-C camera, it is a go-to workhorse of a camera. It is also light and durable. That makes it the perfect choice for a camera you might put in a risky situation. It also produces a fantastic image so it is an absolute must for any shoot. Another benefit of the 80D is its cheap. Even if you purchase the camera new, it comes in under $1,000. There are often several listed on the Gear Focus Marketplace. So assuming the worst happens and your gear is damaged, the 80d is an easy replacement, even for those on a budget. DJI Osmo Pocket The DJI Osmo Pocket is an underrated timelapse machine! Frankly, every videographer and filmmaker should have a Osmo Pocket in their arsenal. Coming in at just under $350, the Osmo Pocket shoots 4K video up to 60 frames per second and 12MP photos as well. It does have a built in LCD display however, you can connect your phone for a larger display. Couple all of that with the fact that you can quite literally throw this camera in your pocket, this is a must have for any one doing video. Getting Over the Stigma Oftentimes there is a stigma around budget gear. The reality is, as Bo mentions, your clients don't give a f*** as long as you make them look good. The chances of you having a client who can actually tell the difference between a RED and an 80D are very small. Of course, there will be times when you run into clients like that. Oftentimes there is a work around for those types of clients. At the end of the day, STORY IS KING. In order to have success, you need to plan ahead. As Bo explains, the majority of the work takes place before you even hit record. Make sure you have a shot list written before you get to set. Contrary to popular belief, this actually allows you to be more creative on set. Once you have all of the shots you need, you can spend time being creative on set. If you don't do this, you'll scrambling all day trying to remember if you got the shot you needed. Another tip from Bo is to take your time onset. If you are scrambling and stressed, your client will see that. You might have to spend 45 min setting up lighting. That is totally fine. If you need fresh food to be made, make sure that gets done. Communication with the client is paramount. The client needs to be prepared to close the business so that the shoot can be done properly. Summary At the end of the day, your success as a videographer is not dependent on that type of gear that you have. Spend time to learn and grow with your gear. Buy the gear you can afford and make it work. Do not put yourself in a financial hole to purchase the latest and greatest camera. Instead, you could spend a fraction on of that on used gear and still get the same end result. This is what Gear Focus is for. We are here to help you save time and money so you can FEED YOUR PASSION for creating incredible content. Head on over to our Youtube channel and watch the full interview, or listen to the podcast here.

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