Filmmaking vs. Video Entrepreneurship

By L. Scott Harrell, Executive Editor of

By traditional definition a filmmaker is “A person who directs or produces movies for the theater or television.” However, I prefer the new, more enlightened definition I read recently on Preston Kanak’s blog:

“I believe filmmakers are individuals who attempt to tell a story in a visual way, no matter the format and no matter the audience. Our goals as filmmakers is to entertain, educate and make viewers question something about the way in which they live their lives. If you produce educational videos, short form documentaries, wedding videos, corporate videos, YOU ARE A FILMMAKER.”

We regularly define the video entrepreneur, or vtrep, as a creative professional who is capitalizing on the unprecedented business opportunities that digital video and related services present. Entrepreneurs, in the purest sense, are those who identify a need, in our case video related services, and fill it. It’s a primal urge often pursued with considerable initiative and risk.

So while filmmakers are notoriously passionate about the process of creating and producing video content, and will opine at great lengths how their professional reputations are at stake with every film they produce, video entrepreneurs are in the very same boat. Vtreps, however, must also accept the very real personal financial risk that comes with our fanaticism for being at the helm of our own business or start up. In short, video entrepreneurs are, in fact, Filmmakers who see commercial opportunity beyond Hollywood and regular television programming. Vtreps are involved in all or some aspects of video creation, video marketing, video editing and final production with the goal of selling these services at a more individual level that serves the wants and needs of our clients.

Yes, I believe that video entrepreneurs are in it for the money as well as the satisfaction of owning their own businesses.

I’m not trying to change a generation through obsessing over visual perfection and a believable character arc. Instead, I obsess over brevity of communication, clarity of the message, connecting with the intended audience and developing marketing velocity through a strong call to action. For me, video-based entrepreneurship is not necessarily about the “art” behind the process of making videos as much as it is about making money by serving a quality product to an exploding population that is starving to consume video content online.

There is a demonstrated need for video content for which businesses, people and other organizations are willing to pay filmmakers. The question that defines the singular difference between a filmmaker and a vtrep is simply:

Are you willing to step up to fill that need and accept the risks for daring to be great?

This article was originally published here, and is republished here by permission.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *