Discussion on: VJs dealing money ?@?#! | VJ Tips

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Zunayed Sabbir Ahmed Author

wow, very detailed post. and great hearing your story, so inspiring. when i started mixing videos all night long in our secretive jam sessions called "speakeasy" i had not clue about VJing. i was a film maker and animator, and with vdmx, i was "making" films "live". and back then, in this small country called Bangladesh, nobody was doing this. later in 2013 i partnered and founded a company and started doing "this" for entertainment shows and started charging "production fees". surprisingly, not musicians or entertainment, rather corporate shows came up more. since then i do corporate/govt/production launchings twice more than musical shows, per year.

my backlog, we started as a big team, with big investments and training, and today gradually reached to a medium sized team with VJs LDs sound engineers SFX ppl etc. since start, i had two ways of charging the "whole new thing" called VJ service. i could add it as a part/addition of rental (led projectors etc). but i picked to run a separate company who does "contents" and "tech (vj/ld/se/etc)", and barely invest on rental gears. i cant express what i went through past 10 years, making clients of a developing country to get convinced behind spending "extra" with rental, for getting "better experiences". first 3/4 years were really harder, i really have no idea how i convinced my clients back then to do all big projection mappings, holographs, led pixel mappings, shows. but after few years, i had enough video showreels to show clients and convince them. i think my reward came from constancy and persistency. not to brag, but since we were the only team fully invested behind making experiential productions, all our corporate/govt/big shows somehow had to come to us. which is not a good thing though it might sound like.

later in 2022, i, along with my team mates, initiated a learning platform in my country where you could learn vj/lighting/etc. i coordinated many workshops to develop our existing show tech who were already using vmix/etc software to kinda reach the live visual level we were doing. also started releasing Bangla and English training contents in different channels. in one year, we managed to scatter our country with moderate number of visuals, cz there were already great LEDs, only proper trainings were lacking. now if you google "live concert bangladesh 2022/2023" if you see a huge LED and cool visual, that is the result of our community "we are vj Bangladesh"

now with finances, since we had no standard to follow, we could charge clients like a sound system company did. say - bill is 10, 8 for logistics, 2 for engineers/crew.
but since our 70% work is before the gig, in studio, i followed a different way, i'll put imaginary numbers to get u the idea:

  • contents, say $5
  • vj/tech/hr- say $5/day
  • rehearsal- $2/day

if u do the show again:

  • existing content rendition $2
  • vj/tech/hr- $5/day (maybe discount this time)
  • rehearsal- $2/day (maybe discount this time)

i take 50% adv with finalization and workorder. then i make it, take it to venue, set it up and run the rehearsal. and BEFORE SHOW rest 50% gets transferred to our acc, then the visual happens. this part might sound like an ass, but i stick to this rule as if its an asshole rule i hate but gotta follow. learned the money thing in harder ways in experience.

as i said in the video, the pay scale, supply and demand may vary from places, the yet the basics are same. i shared scene from Bangladesh. pls share your financial dealing workflow that we barely talk on the internet as Vjs.