Tom Ramcigam (magicmarmot) wrote,
Tom Ramcigam

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Poodles with noodles

The decided-on course of action is now official: Haunted Commercials.

Many years ago, I realized that I never wanted to retire. To that end, I wanted to work toward having my own business so that I could keep working basically until I die, and making sure it was something that I enjoyed doing so that I'd want to keep doing it.

The video production idea has been with me for a long time. I remember first talking about it with the ex-wife back in the dark days. The goal has grown somewhat to include filmmaking, but it's basically the same concept. And truly as my life has progressed, I've been working toward that goal, to the point where I now have the equipment and experience to actually do it. I've produced successful TV commercials (The Dead Zone, Fright Farm), with happy clients.

Now I tried it once before, with Success Stories, which was a partnership producing sales training videos. It tanked badly. I also tried doing production services as a home business part time one year, and it was a bad experience; of ten projects initiated, eight of them were cancelled due to lack of funding, and of the remaining two, only one paid in full. I burned out doing a lot of preliminary work and trying to chase down clients.

So the new idea is to produce commercials for the haunted attraction industry. That would include primarily Halloween-related haunted houses, hayrides, corn mazes, etc. It's a small market, but it's very passionate.
Rather than producing commercials specific to any one haunt, I'm producing comercials that are generic enough that with a relatively easy addition of graphics and/or a voiceover, the commercials can be used for any haunt. That way, I expand the market to pretty much cover North America.
Advantages of this idea:
o I get control of the production, so I'm not having to chase down clients.
o I can charge considerably less per commercial, to make them more attractive to clients.
o The commercials are re-sellable for multiple years.

o I have to fund the production in advance.
o I still have to advertise, now nationally.
o I have to set up a business model and deal with clients.

On the good side, I have a lot of friends who are willing to help out with getting this off the ground. And there are two big industry publications that have reasonable ad rates, and I have a lot of contacts in the industry. I also have someone willing to do front-end marketing at the IAHA meeting. Unfortunately, he's probably going to be unavailable for a couple of years because of George's War.

Then there's the quandry of trying to start a business in a depressed economy. Never an easy ride.

But I need to do something.

And have I mentioned how difficult it is trying to arrange time around everyone's schedules? Aargh.

Feeling squidgy. Mostly the income-lacking thing. Fear and stress. You'd think I'd get used to it.

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