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Content Production Sites: Changing The Face Of Film

Want to make some quick money for your films and gather some resume experience, too? Content production sites may be for you.

There is a new way for filmmakers to get paid for their work, outside of the studio system. Content production sites provide a steady flow of work and a fast paycheck.

Although it's been called “conveyer belt content,” many filmmakers are finding that churning out video content can be great for paying the bills and garnering clips that can move them forward in the film industry.

Demand Media

Demand Media is one of the leading content production sites on the web, producing tens of thousands of articles and videos every month. The process is very streamlined so that videos can be produced quickly and used by the site’s clients right away.

“We choose the subject, find the expert, submit the expert's credentials,” says Spencer McCall, a Demand Media video producer, “and if they are approved, we shoot an interview with them, along with b-roll and coverage.”

Sometimes content production sites will suggest a title, while others require a filmmaker to suggest his or her own title. Either way, the filmmaker creates a video based on that title, turns it in to the company, and gets paid in one week to a month. According to McCall, the titles are created from aggregating search engine information for what is popular. 

Lisa Fenderson (seen in the photo above), filmmaker for Demand Media, likes the flexibility that working for this type of site gives her. “I can work as much or as little as I want and the pay is consistent,” says Fenderson.

The company has come under fire for paying low wages, while others have applauded it for providing steady work in a bad economy. “The pricing is a tricky question, as I have been in the TV and video production business for 20 plus years,” says Fenderson, “but for fill-in work and daily work in between other gigs, it is well worth it.”

How much does Demand Media pay exactly? Here are some stats:
* Filmmakers earn $300-500 per film.
* Productive film makers earn around $3,000 per month.
* The average film maker earns around $2,000.

Other Content Production Sites

Smaller content production sites may not be as prolific as Demand Media, but they may be great for supplemental income. Here are a few:
* TurnHere has a pay scale that is comparable to Demand Media. The site has full-time and freelance opportunities available.
* Constant Content allows members to upload video content. Users can sell usage rights or sell full rights for a price that they determine themselves.
* Associated Content, owned by Yahoo, gives filmmakers a place to upload content and earn money from page views.
* Howcast focuses on how-to topics and pays $75 to $300 per video.

Although you’re not likely to make a fortune from freelancing with content production sites, these types of companies give filmmakers flexibility and additional income that they may not be able to find in the conventional film industry. 


Photo Courtesy of Lisa Fenderson