Should you hire a full-time filmmaker?

Are you thinking of hiring a full-time video professional for your internal team? I’m not here to talk you out of it, like you may assume.

As some of you may be aware, Votary initiates partnerships through clients taking our Story Acceleration Workshop. The workshop is designed to help align the leaders of a company towards the same goals, sort through marketing video ideas that help them accomplish those goals through storytelling, docu-films, and other content.

After a few years of doing this, we’ve found that the result is extremely helpful in gaining clarity, therapeutic in it’s process for leaders, but also can be overwhelming with the amount of content ideas they leave with that would have great results for them if completed. Common subjects arise such as “we don’t have the budget to create all these videos this year” or “I look at this list and I don’t know how we can accomplish it” or “what video should we make first?”

Sometimes partners want to walk before running, and we pick a flagship film to produce for them that will never go out of style, like their brand story, why story, or origin film.

But then what happens to all the other content we prioritized? Sometimes they decide to hire a full time videographer. It makes sense – for the amount of budgeting it takes to create several films with us, they can pay a full time content creator / filmmaker to produce on-going social media content, website videos, service videos, product commercials, event videos, podcasts, testimonials, or more in order to reach their goals.

So what’s the problem?

We’ve seen a lot of brands hire internal videographers full time only to find that there’s a high turnover rate, low quantity output and quality assurance. The fault does not always lay with the organization or the videographer, but lack of clear process, management, and content variety. There are many reasons someone may quit their job, but we’ve definitely noticed a pattern here and a gap needing to be filled.

How do you get the Votary quality and creativity with the budget of what it costs to hire a filmmaker? How do you even find the right person to hire?

Well, Votary has started the Story Acceleration Staffing Program that is specifically geared towards helping our partners find their full time filmmaker, continually improve on projects, increase quantity of output, and make sure every project is at a high caliber of creativity and quality. The idea is that we find your filmmaker hire that you’re still able to bring on full time, and then we manage the storytelling and strategy making sure it hits the goals that we established in the workshop with a designated Votary Producer.

I created a poll on LinkedIn specifically geared towards freelance videographers asking if they would take a year to work with an organization if it meant narrowing their focus. See the results here.

Roughly half the people seem open to this if they love the work. Less than half of the people would simply love the stability. How do you ensure that they love the work? We believe that continually sharpening a creative and challenging them is necessary. They need leadership from people who speak their language. They need feedback that allows for improvement on every project. Most orgs know they want high quality, but aren’t able to speak to all the specifics of what that looks like project by project. We do speak that language.

We plan on 12 month contracts, because we can assess if this filmmaker would benefit from being swapped out with a new person in order to make sure things stay fresh for both parties. This eliminates the risk of the high turnover that seems to be the norm for a lot of organizations.

Why start the program?

Why use Votary to find and manage a good filmmaker as a full time on-site contractor? Here’s some of the benefits of building a storytelling team.>

Organizations who are dedicated to building a video/storytelling team face a few big problems:

  • Management accustomed to good/service, not production
    • Gauging quality and quantity of output 
    • Filmmaker language, inability to communicate effectively
  • Creative burnout – turnover of staff
  • Understanding how to lead and manage video work effectively
  • Understanding how to lift the creative aspects of video work


What does the Votary Producer do?

The ultimate goals of the Votary producer are to

  • Facilitate the design and execution of the storytelling strategy 
  • Nurture the relationship of director and client 
  • Continually lift the quality of creativity 
  • Improve the quantity of output. 

Remember that highly creative types need variety and praise in order to continually “feed their genius”. We are able to maintain influence, because we understand them, we speak their language, and because they respect us as filmmakers.

This partnership gets an added boost when you are able to hire Votary to produce a few larger flagship projects because we involve your on site director in the strategy, planning, and sound-bite and shot sourcing. They truly feel appreciated as a part of the greater team and mission.

So should you hire a full-time filmmaker?

If you’re a bit overwhelmed by the amount of videos you know you need to produce and are planning towards this anyways, consider chatting with us about your goals. We can source through our large network to find your person. We can then decide whether you’d benefit from entering into the partnership and have a designated Votary Producer guide the process.

Or, if you’re looking to get started on a project, Votary has a passion for telling compelling stories through the art of filmmaking. We specialize in producing brand stories, creative commercials, and documentary series. If that sounds to you like we might be a fit, then let’s talk. Start a Conversation.


Jed Burdick
Jed Burdick

Father, Husband, Entrepreneur, Storyteller.