Den Lennie Interview on the Business of Filmmaking: “You Have to Grow [a Pair]”

by Hugh BrownstoneLeave a Comment

Den Lennie is well-known for his F-Stop Academy, but most especially for the film work he does on behalf of clients in the film and TV industries. Some of his most recent work has been for Sony, both on the A7s and the even newer FS7.

Carl Olson conducted a nice interview with Den, and what’s especially refreshing about the hour-long conversation is that it’s principally on the subject of business development – both as a filmmaker and film educator.

If this interview is indicative of Den, then it can be said that he is an exceptionally straightforward, high signal-to-noise ratio kind of guy.

From building authority to leveraging the value of freemiums, he covers a lot of ground.

The most basic premise: pick a specialty; be the best at it; make sure the word is out; and then charge – within reason – whatever you like, because people will pay it.

Here are two of my favorite bits from the interview which drive this premise home, colorfully:

“The only thing that’s going to happen if you rode your prices to the bottom is that you’ll go hungry;” and (in order to charge the premium prices that allow you to make a real living)

“You have to grow some balls: you have to be clear on what it is that makes you exceptional.”

Definitely worth a listen on your way to your next gig.


DCP 133: Den Lennie – No Nonsense Business For Filmmakers


Via Carl Olson.TV:

I first asked Den to join this podcast because of his involvement in shooting the launch videos for Sony’s PXW-FS7 and Alpha A7s cameras. It was my intention to deep dive into a discussion about these cameras. However, as you listen to this podcast you will see that early on we dive into the fascinating topic of business and marketing for video producers. Den also talks about his new book: Business For Filmmakers (estimated to be available hopefully by January 2015).

It was an amazing experience talking with Den. He graciously shared so much practical information in this episode that I dubbed it the “Million Dollar Episode.” I’ll be having Den back on the show again!

In this episode:

  • Why working in news helped Den make better videos
  • The value of having a mentor to advance your craft as a filmmaker
  • How to price your work as a video producer
  • How doing five star work allows you to be more selective in choosing clients
  • Marketing your video business
  • How to position yourself to your customers
  • Why it’s worth paying a premium for a business consultant
  • Business Brain versus the Creative Brain
  • The value of seeking out higher net worth clients
  • Details on Den’s new book: Business For Filmmakers

Listen to the podcast at Carl Olson.TV “DCP 133: Den Lennie – No Nonsense Business For Filmmakers”

(cover photo credit: snap from Carl Olson.TV)

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