The Business of Video Yearbooks

By Eric Hammer

There are two ways to start a business producing video yearbooks. The first option, which most people work with is to simply do the work behind the scenes. This means that when a school contacts you to tell you they want to have a video yearbook created, you will guide them in what materials they need to collect from the students and from their own archives. They will then scan photos and copy videos into digital format.

You will then take all that raw material and make it into an exciting video with background music and fades and video transitions as needed. It's really no different from taking raw footage from a wedding for example and crafting a video from that footage.

The other option is to actually offer a full package, including videography services. The problem of course is that unless you spend 8 or 12 years with a particular group of students, you will only have material from the time when they contacted you and then only from the days you actually were contracted to come to the school.

How Much Can You Make?

Most video yearbooks are actually entirely produced in house these days since the software required to do it is relatively inexpensive. However, companies that do offer the service typically charge around $300-$500 to gather the material together and edit it into a video. They then charge a per DVD fee for each DVD they manufacturer, which can be as little as $10 or as much as $50. Typically, a minimum purchase is required as well.

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As previously noted, one of the best ways to make additional money from video yearbooks is to offer to actually videotape the students in school so that they can have professional video included in their video yearbooks.

In addition, just because video yearbooks are usually done for schools doesn't mean you can't do the same for individuals or families. Many extended families hold large annual get togethers and would pay good money to have a video yearbook compiled for the annual family get together.

Similar services can also be supplied for life events such as communion and bar/bat mitzvah celebrations where you may provide the videography but also cut together older material from the person's life.

Qualifications / Requirements

The only real requirement to start a business making video yearbooks is that you own software which can edit video and you know how to use it well. It also helps if you can handle a professional video camera so that you can offer additional services of actually recording material for schools.

First Steps

Start by offering to do a video yearbook for your child's school or the school of a friend or family member's child. This way, you'll gain the experience you need in order to make video yearbooks for others. Then, start a web site for yourself and advertise in teacher's union newspapers as teachers are often the adviser for yearbook committees and may be in a position to suggest professional services to their students.


Check out these helpful resources to find out more about the business of video yearbooks:

VideoMakers: Projects that Pay - This is a basic overview of the idea of creating video yearbooks for profit. Note that you will need to sign up for a free trial in order to see the entire article.

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