Moving from student to graduate to full time Videographer (all during a global pandemic). This is Alex’s story. She’s sharing her experience of very enterprising entrepreneurship!

I am now a freelance videographer after graduating from Canterbury Christ Church University studying Drama, Film, Radio and Television.

It hasn’t been easy, and it never was going to be. Even without a pandemic.

Having plans at the beginning of 2020 to search and apply for internships and job roles in the film and television industry was one of the most exciting and nerve-racking times of my life. I was starting to complete my final projects at university, planning how to use the equipment available to me and where those projects would take me.

Then, Covid hit.

I was pulled away from resources and equipment that could have developed and completed my portfolio ready to showcase my knowledge to the world.

Instead I had to think quickly about how I could still complete my degree and then progress after.

So, with 2 years of my degree under my belt I realised that everything I had used previously was already enough. I had already utilised so much from being in university, for example, taking advantage of the TV Studio and developing shows with TV Club.

“Just because the world had stopped didn’t mean I had to.”

During the first lockdown I developed my own freelance website. I had no idea what I was doing but with help from university and other creators I had a site that represented me well and social media pages that were starting to build. One thing I will say is never be afraid of asking for help or advice! Just remember: always listen to constructive criticism.

Next Step – Develop show reels. It doesn’t matter that you’re not in front of or even holding the camera. You still had a role to play. Make sure you put your role for that project on there. Developing my show reels helped me to then promote myself as a creator and then the business started to come in. People could see I had knowledge in creation even when I hadn’t done any paid projects yet.

Haven’t got anything for a showreel yet?

Well, here are a few tips:

  • Get in contact with student actors and create showreel for showreel ‘short films’ / ‘footage’.
  • Make mini film shoots in your own home, get a pen and make a B-Roll film out of it.
  • Get BTS (behind the scenes) footage and photos at uni when you can, this will be helpful to use later down the lines on social media for example.

My advice is don’t do projects for free! Or if you do don’t make it public. Too many people go online and offer free services for showreel footage. Don’t. You may end up in a cycle of free work and then not focusing on the paid stuff. If you want to offer free work do it for charities or other students. Never for people who will earn money from your video. If you are looking into weddings, then sure to have a beginner’s reduced price but never work for free.

“If you are scared about pricing, don’t be.”

You are worth the knowledge you have and the equipment you own. If you will be shooting on a phone, then of course you would price cheaper than if someone has a full scale DSLR.

The basic thing to remember:

Your hourly rate X how long you think it will take to = project price.

Your hourly rate will vary dependant on your previous experience and the equipment you are using.

Things to remember when becoming a freelancer:

  • Insurance (varies on the role you are taking)
  • Constant Social media
  • Networking
  • Planning / Time Management

If you want to discuss any more about my experience in developing from student to freelancer then please do get in contact or follow my socials below to see what I get up to!

Alex Durham – Freelance Videographer


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