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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

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Author Topic: Almost landed my first paid gig....almost.  (Read 12296 times)
waverz
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« on: June 13, 2016, 09:35:03 pm »

It's funny how I was just doubting the affectiveness of having a Facebook page for my new rental business and today I get a message from a guy looking to do a public viewing for their town celebration. I gave him my quote and he said that sounded like "a great value".

An hour later he messages me saying they had a meeting and they decided a guy on the BOD was just going to build a a screen instead of hire me. I am a little bummed but the guy did say if the screen build didn't go well they would still consider using my service.

Ya can't win them all I guess.
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rich92069
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2016, 05:15:57 am »

what did you quote ?
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waverz
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2016, 07:57:30 am »

what did you quote ?

$250 for the 16x9, media center, and 2.0 audio for 1 film.

Setup, teardown, and the operator also included.

As much as I wanted the business I really don't think I would do it for any less.

Who knows?  Maybe the DIY solution doesn't work out and they call me back.

There will be more gigs, this is just the beginning.
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11visions
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2016, 04:16:57 pm »

In my experience, they'll be back. Renters dramatically under estimate the amount of effort required in putting on a professional looking event. I once had a customer quote a rental and then change their mind because they thought they could do it cheaper themselves. They rented from me for the next event after it took them hours to put together a shoddy screen and wire up a bunch of cheap electronics on top of a folding table. Apparently the sound was terrible as well because they didn't have speakers suitable for the size of the crowd.

Also, I wouldn't be sending out a 16x9 screen for anything less than $300. If you do so for promotional reasons, be sure the invoice notes the "actual" price and that they are getting a discount so that it doesn't appear that you are raising your prices as business picks up.
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Phillip Hullquist
I toured the U.S. showing outdoor movies in 2010 on Carl's 16x9 screen.
Now I own eight commercial rental screens ranging from 9x5 to 30x17!
waverz
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2016, 08:24:54 pm »


Also, I wouldn't be sending out a 16x9 screen for anything less than $300. If you do so for promotional reasons, be sure the invoice notes the "actual" price and that they are getting a discount so that it doesn't appear that you are raising your prices as business picks up.
  That is an awesome idea.  I was wondering how I was going to do that.  Thanks for the tip.
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rich92069
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2016, 10:42:21 pm »


Also, I wouldn't be sending out a 16x9 screen for anything less than $300. If you do so for promotional reasons, be sure the invoice notes the "actual" price and that they are getting a discount so that it doesn't appear that you are raising your prices as business picks up.
  That is an awesome idea.  I was wondering how I was going to do that.  Thanks for the tip.

and I was going to say not to rent a 16ft  less then $500.00. The reality is that you should be charging $600-$800 range. I dont care who or what you have near you doing it for less. You guys are leaving money on the table. I have the experience to lay the law down on this topic. Tired of people coming up with excuse to leave money on the table and why they have to be the cheapest or compete with some idiot who is doing it for less then they should...


And your right they will be back next time 90% of the time especially if they rent or build a frame screen for temp use.  Most often your going to be price shopped against FunFlick. The thing about FunFlick is that the way the licensing works. More is not better. Usually funflick owners stay pretty small and have a limited number of screens available for rent. There is to much over head plus licensing fees for the guys to grow a business at the prices Funflick makes them charge.

9 out of 10 times if someone calls you for price quote and then says "Well Funflicks does it for less". They only say this because Funflicks has already booked the screen they want for that day. Hold your price!!!! Dont buckle... 
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11visions
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2016, 11:40:50 pm »

I completely agree with Rich, but when I was getting started, I rented out my 16x9 Airscreen a few times for $300 to help get the ball rolling. I always noted on the invoice that the price was $500 and that they were getting a $200 discount. It does help to have a few people who will recommend you when you don't have any experience under your belt. I no longer have the 16' screen and my "big" event rentals start at $750 for a 20' and go up from there. Backyard "birthday party" screens obviously rent for cheaper, but you need to set an anchor in the customers mind about what the real cost is if you're discounting anything. I'm so busy now I rarely ever discount screens anymore.

I rent a storage unit almost right next door to my Funflicks competitor and their little wrapped trailer hasn't moved since March so they're not doing any big events that would require use of the trailer. Funflicks hires college students for their staff and I get calls every single year from someone who was cancelled on at the last minute because the crew backed out (hungover probably) and they weren't able to replace them in time. My staff has been with me for years and they show up on time to setup a system. That's important for your business reputation. I'm cheaper than Funflicks, but not by much. I'll do around 200 events this year and raise prices again next year just to cut down on the event demand. My regular customers won't care because they love the quality of the equipment and the service. Once you have the ball rolling, you don't need to undercut the competition on price AT ALL. There's small operators in my town renting 12x7 screens for $99, but I still can barely handle my own demand. As Rich said, HOLD your price. The cheapskates tend to be far more work than the renters who appreciate the quality of the service I provide. I run the biggest outdoor movie event in my city (22 years going) and they pay a small fortune to have me produce it because with 2000+ people present, you need someone who knows what they're doing at the helm. If something does go wrong (and it rarely does), I can usually resolve it without anyone noticing. That's the experience that you're building as you get started and you're only going to get better at it with time.
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Phillip Hullquist
I toured the U.S. showing outdoor movies in 2010 on Carl's 16x9 screen.
Now I own eight commercial rental screens ranging from 9x5 to 30x17!
movieman
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2016, 01:12:06 pm »

Bor! did Rich hit the nail on the head.

DO NOT give away your product. It will bit you in the A** down the road. Pick a FAIR price an go with it.

rg
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rg
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rich92069
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2016, 12:29:16 pm »

lol.... there was a time I use to get $2000 - $2500  for a 16ft rental... then it was $900 - $1200.... and now $600 - $800. I will be honest.... Every time I lower my price I downsize my equipment. No more A/V stacks, just a projector, media device, and daisy chained powered speakers. Recently I went wireless sound making it even easier and faster setup.

When customers have the budget I pull out the A/V stack and big guns for a more traditional A/V setup.

I also do 99% drop off rentals for screens as large as 30ft. Gigs dont pay enough to have staffed events anymore.

« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 12:32:14 pm by rich92069 » Logged

waverz
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2016, 05:16:06 pm »

lol.... there was a time I use to get $2000 - $2500  for a 16ft rental... then it was $900 - $1200.... and now $600 - $800. I will be honest.... Every time I lower my price I downsize my equipment. No more A/V stacks, just a projector, media device, and daisy chained powered speakers. Recently I went wireless sound making it even easier and faster setup.

When customers have the budget I pull out the A/V stack and big guns for a more traditional A/V setup.

I also do 99% drop off rentals for screens as large as 30ft. Gigs dont pay enough to have staffed events anymore.



Rich,

It's starting to look like I need different  gear so I'm able to do drop offs and not rely souly on staffed gigs.  The problem is I need to get a few paid gigs before I can do that.  I've had a few inquiries about birthday parties for kids.  I think i would do better with something like a 10' screen and small a/v that I can just drop off and pick up the following day. People around here wanting to have movie night for their 10 year Olds birthday party just don't have the income to support anything more than that. I think adapting my equipment for what the economy can support is key.

With that said I need gigs. At this point in order to get jobs I need to use the equipment I have on hand and charge "promotional prices" until I can get some smaller, more cost effective equipment better suited for smaller gigs that more people can afford.

Hopefully once that starts happening word will get around and I can start doing larger better paying gigs with the bigger equipment I already own.

Do you mind sharing what wireless av equipment you are referring to? Or do you have any suggestions for equipment on the smaller scale you could recommend for drop offs?

Also, thanks for pointing me to Josh and Pam at Super Size Screens. I have been in contact with them and they have been very helpful with my questions about their business



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11visions
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2016, 06:27:44 pm »

I created a buyer's guide of exactly what gear I use for small portable setups. It's easy to use for all dropoff events and takes 15 mins to setup once you have the gear unloaded on site. I posted it here a couple days ago, but the admins removed it because it had affiliate links. I'll post it elsewhere and share with you if you'd like. I've bought and tested a ton of gear over the years so I have refined very well what works best. I can fit three full setups in the back on an SUV.

In my market, I get $200-$300 for small dropoffs. They take on average 20-30 minutes each and I can do up to four in a night if they're close enough. Even if your market pays slightly less, it can still be profitable.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 10:44:14 pm by 11visions » Logged

Phillip Hullquist
I toured the U.S. showing outdoor movies in 2010 on Carl's 16x9 screen.
Now I own eight commercial rental screens ranging from 9x5 to 30x17!
rich92069
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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2016, 09:24:35 pm »

In my market, I get $200-$300 for small dropoffs. They take on average 20-30 minutes each and I can do up to four in a night if they're close enough. Even if you market pays slightly less, it can still be profitable.
wish I had the ability to like a post
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movieman
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2016, 05:43:39 am »

Rich,

What type of wireless sound are you doing and what size crowds will it handle?

rg
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rg
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rich92069
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2016, 04:02:34 pm »

Rich,

What type of wireless sound are you doing and what size crowds will it handle?

rg

I have wasted a ton of money over the years in search for wireless audio. Its all been crap!!! .. until now. Only limitation is this is for active/powered speakers only. If I remember correctly I think you can connect up to 26 speakers. If im wrong.. not by much. As long as you have good electricity to each speaker.. the sound is great. If the speaker is starved of electricity because its over loaded... sound sucks.  It ranges in price from $400 - $700 for main box and two receivers. Expansion packs for additional speakers are purchased separate. 

http://www.altoproaudio.com/products/stealth-wireless
http://www.altoproaudio.com/products/stealth-wireless-pro

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11visions
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2016, 11:24:33 pm »

Thanks for the tip Rich. Do you think the price is worth it for saving time? I don't feel running two cables to be that much of a time saver in the context of large setups, but I suppose if you had a lot of speakers it would make a difference. All my "small" (16' and under) use passive speakers so I'm just running one speakon cable to then anyways and there's no power cable at all.
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Phillip Hullquist
I toured the U.S. showing outdoor movies in 2010 on Carl's 16x9 screen.
Now I own eight commercial rental screens ranging from 9x5 to 30x17!
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