Freelance finance


Peter Savage 2 TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online

As a freelance cameraman working on varied productions, you need to be sure you always have the right kit for the job. Acquiring the latest equipment is a necessity, not a luxury; the difficulty is being certain you will be able to manage the cost. How can a freelancer be sure he can finance his equipment?

First, before discussing the financing options, there are important preliminary points to consider to put you in the strongest position possible for financing your equipment:

  1. Financial stability: Does your freelance work allow you to maintain an appropriate level of financial stability to cover the cost of new equipment?
  2. Cash flow: Will you need to accept non-industry related work to maintain cash flow during quieter times? If so, do you have connections that will bring in that other work?
  3. Business plan: Do you have a business plan that shows how you plan to progress within the industry and the steps you will take to achieve it?
  4. Risk assessment: Have you assessed the implications of financing your equipment and prepared a budget for making payments if you take out finance? If you are considering a business loan, be brutally honest about how you will repay the loan over a long term.

There are four types of finance available to freelancers: family and friends, bank loans, asset finance and crowdfunding.

Family and friends financing is probably the easiest and most flexible route, as the loan can often be arranged by discussion. There are, however, two points to keep in mind. First, be prepared for, and don't be offended by, a "no". Secondly, this is the most embarrassing form of borrowing if you can't pay it back. Trust me, a family member is unlikely to let you forget about it until it is paid back - and often for long after.

Bank loans were the traditional form of lending however, as widely reported in the press and as anyone who has tried will know, loans have almost completely dried up for small independent businesses and freelancers. Long gone are the days of personal service from managers who had an underwriting limit. Now banks almost always require additional security, making it difficult for start-ups and independents to get any affordable funding.

Asset finance is often the best route for freelance cameramen seeking camera finance. Several manufacturers run finance promotions; and a couple of specialist companies focus only on funding broadcast and photography freelancers and businesses. For example, up to September 30th, Azule is offering a Canon camera finance deal with 24 months at 0% interest. Azule says it is one of the fastest finance companies to turn deals around (including camera finance, no deposit) and that there are many no-nonsense deals to buy or hire equipment from top brands. Its finance people are not scared off by the seasonality of a cameraman's business - a refreshing approach in these cautious days.

Crowdfunding is the new kid on the block. Otherwise known as peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding has proved to be a very useful way to obtain finance. Originally devised to fund films, it is available for equipment finance but the broadcast industry is not its strength. Crowdfunding is like an unsecured loan, and it can take time to put the finance in place, but it is a good third choice with the banks coming in last.


Tags: iss115 | freelance | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Azule Finance at BVE 2016

    Azule Finance at BVE 2016

  • Five Arrows Media Finance at IBC 2015

    Five Arrows Media Finance at IBC 2015

  • Azule Finance at BVE 2013

    Azule Finance at BVE 2013

  • Kit Financing with Medialease at NAB 2017

    Kit Financing with Medialease at NAB 2017


Related Shows
  • How is the recent budget going to help or hinder the TV, film & media production industry in the UK

    How is the recent budget going to help or hinder the TV, film & media production industry in the UK


Articles
The Future of Broadcast Technology
Sebastian Richter

Spotlight on Sebastian Richter, Vice President Media Systems at Rohde & Schwarz.

We are currently in the middle of a transition phase with migration to several new technologies, from the move to IP-based infrastructure and the shift from linear to video-on-demand (VOD).
The question for all of us is how long that transition phase will last; it is going to be faster for some customers then for others – national broadcasters, for example – it will be a slower process.

Tags: broadcast | 5g | 5g broadcast | rohde and schwarz | Sebastian Richter
Contributing Author Sebastian Richter Click to read
Spotlight on James Gilbert, Director of Product and Solution Management
James Gilbert

Over the next eight years we are going to be in transition, and within that there will be vastly different rates of change among content owners and media organisations. As a technology provider the onus is on us to be flexible and adaptable to meet this wide range of requirements from our customers.

Tags: | James Gilbert
Contributing Author James Gilbert Click to read
Spotlight on Karl Mehring, Director of Professional Services, Broadcast, Amplifier and Media
Karl Mehring

How has the role of Professional Services evolved in recent years and what vision do you have of the broadcast technology business? Covering new opportunities that the move to remote brings, new technologies such as 5G broadcast & the impact on the broadcast industry, and the challenges for broadcasters and how can they overcome them.

Tags: COTS | cloud | remote production | distribution | 5g broadcast | Karl Mehring
Contributing Author Karl Mehring Click to read
The Future of Broadcast Technology
Manfred Reitmeier

Now that OTT and VOD have become more mainstream, many commentators talk about traditional broadcast methods, like terrestrial transmission, being a thing of the past. With so many new platforms and non-traditional content services carving out a growing slice of the market, you can be forgiven for thinking that linear over-the-air television is on its way out. The reality is that the industry must strike a balance between meeting consumers’ shifting habits and the business and operational needs of content providers.

Tags: Rohde Schwarz | 5g broadcast | Manfred Reitmeier
Contributing Author Manfred Reitmeier Click to read
A switch in time: how KVM can unlock the future of broadcasting
Chris Smeeton

One of the major changes for broadcasters during the pandemic has been the shift towards remote production; by no means a new phenomenon in an IP environment, yet accelerated under lockdown to accommodate travel and gathering restrictions. A 2021 report found that almost 40% of broadcast professionals now employ remote production, up 9% on the previous year.

Tags: KVM | ARGOSY | GDSYS | KVM Tech | Chris Smeeton
Contributing Author Chris Smeeton Click to read