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Old March 26th, 2004, 02:08 PM   #1
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Anniversary Video...

I have never made any type of video outside of extreme sports videos. Today I was asked to shoot someones grandparents anniversary. Since I have never done anything like this before, what is a good strategy to go at it by? I mean, how should I do it? Should I do interviews of the people or what? I've never seen an anniversary video before so I dont know what its supposed to look like. Does anyone have any available to watch online for reference? The date that its happening is April 4th so I dont really have alot of time to get ready for it. Thanks to anyone who helps out.
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Old March 26th, 2004, 02:29 PM   #2
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okay I just got a bit more info on it...its going to be oudoors by the water (ocean bay probably). And in the evening. Im not sure about the lighting conditions yet, but I imagine there will be lights set up being that it is a halfway formal dinner so it should be too bad, I figured maybe I will bring a little light for interviews and such.

I thought about a plan and i came up with this....At the beginning of the video show some of the environment (the water, trees, nature, etc.) just to show the setting, then just do some shoots of the people walking around and conversing with each other and making toasts, etc. and throw in random photos as well. Then after the main dinner, interview some people. Then at the end of the whole video, maybe have a recap slide show or something. Does this sound like a decent plan?
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Old March 26th, 2004, 10:18 PM   #3
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Also, one more question...They offered pay (I was gonna do it for free untill they offered) so how much should I ask for? I'm going to have to buy some new stuff before the shoot (new battery) so I will charge that plus whatever profit, which I dont care too much about being this is my first job in video, but I'm going to hire another person to come along and help me out so I'm going to have to pay them. So what should I ask for and what should I pay the other person for the evening? Thanks alot.
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Old March 26th, 2004, 11:06 PM   #4
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you might want to get some photos of the happy couple throughout the years from one of the relatives and intersperse them in your video.

see if you can coax some nice stories out of a few of the old timers.


make sure to get whatever speech they might make thanking everyone and each other.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 12:54 AM   #5
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Kim nailed it!

GET LOTS OF PICTURES!!!

We just completed a 30 minute retirement tape for our out-going Department Director, (The Dade County Sherifff).

We had 3 weeks to complete it from start to finish.

The final product was done in 4 parts...

1: Interviews with family members. (Cuban songs...Siboney and Almendra)

2: Interviews with co-workers. (Soprano's Theme..."Woke Up This Morning")

3: A gag reel consisting of out-takes from all of the interviews. (Pink's, "Get This Party Started")

4: A retrospective using stills from when he was a baby, through his whole career. This was cut to Louis Armstrong's, "It's A Wonderful World", a real tear-jerker

We had over five hours of interviews and just one week of edit time to complete the project.

Here are some helpful hints:

Ask everyone that falls within the same "category", family, friends, etc., the same, exact question. After you ask them on tape, ask them again, a little later to get a slightly different version, also use these questions throughout the whole interview process.

Find out what the recipient's favorite songs are, find them, and use them. (I doubt that someone's Grandparents are going to really appreciate anything by "Offspring"!

I found that with a little background music, you can piece a narrative together from everyone's answer that tells the same story. It makes the story flow in ways that cannot be done with just VO, it is a testimonial, narrated by many different people.

Take a whole bunch of beauty, (nature shots that are relevant to your end story), shots that you can use as filler.

Get as many pictures, (stills), of your subjects as humanly possible, the more candid, and and the more authentic, the better.

As far as pay goes...if this is a new beginning for you, I would only charge for materials that are out of pocket. The experience that you are going to get out of this is more than adequate. After you complete this and it is well received, it will give you a better understanding as to what it takes to do another one in the future.

You also come away with a "reel" to show any future clients. Believe me when I tell you that word-of mouth is a very powerful and effective means of advertising. Do a good job now and reap the rewards...screw it up and...well, you know the rest!

I know you are running out of time, but, if you would like a copy of the video I mentioned, email me at bravo@mdpd.com and I'll get a copy out to you, ASAP.

Good luck, RB.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 07:58 AM   #6
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On Rick's still comment, Party Cams. You know, the disposable instamatics with flash that if you lost them at a party, it is no big bother (thank Caroline for coining the phrase). Hand them out or put one at each table with a note to take pictures. That has been working for weddings, but they still usually go to the bride. You could collect them. That will get you more stills. Yes, you don't know who they are, but it should get you a lot of material for your Ken Burns moments. ;)
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Old March 27th, 2004, 08:19 AM   #7
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Dustin, you're going to learn a tremendous amount by going through this process. Rick & Kim both give excellent suggestions. I especially like asking the same questions to the same segments of people -- it can really put a story together nicely.

To expand on some: to get them to talk, I would say "Tell me about when they were first married" or "Talk about some good times you've had with them" -- if you have a picture that you think you might want to have included, show them the picture and say "tell me about this." Be sure to write down your statements or questions beforehand.

Take lots of b-roll. Around the reception area, people arriving in cars, etc. You can always not use it if you don't want it.

Use a tripod (but I'm sure you know that!)

I also completely agree that you need to have a plan going in -- it will make the entire process much smoother. Good luck.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 09:07 AM   #8
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Wow. Lots of suggestions. Thanks everyone! Its a big help to hear from all of you. I will keep everyone updated as I learn more about the event and I'll post the final product when its done (If its done successfully that is).
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Old March 27th, 2004, 08:58 PM   #9
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From someone who does not do this professionally but always has lots of opinions (and has shot a few family events): ask the person throwing the party who the key figures (other than the grandparents) are - make sure they are among the interviewees and among those whom you videotape at the actual party at some point or another. (Don't find out after the fact that you "wasted" a lot of time with the one person in the crowd the rest of the family dislikes but tolerates because they have to - unless that's the favorite of the grandparents, of course.) Do as many interviews ahead of time as you can - possibly against a neutral background so the interviews can be cut in wherever necessary - you will have better control over both picture quality and audio this way. Ask about how the event is supposed to run - who will do testimonials (will you be able to get to them fast enough to set up and shoot if they're not all coming up to a central area to speak) and will they be miked/well lit? Will there be dancing? Music (possibly playing the whole time you are trying to shoot and even record interviews)? (BTW, if there is music, you may need to keep an ear out so that you don't stop shooting in the middle of a key passage - you may want that bit of soundtrack when you get to the editing point.) Consider the environment - you say outdoors by the water. Outdoors can be a killer in terms of noise: enough wind can destroy your audio (even if a speaker is miked) - which is another reason to do as many interviews as possible in a more controlled environment and to consider other audio options (which I never do because it would be just to much for me to handle and too costly). Wind can bounce your cam around a bit, too and add to jittery video...

When shooting: don't be afraid to be aggressive (though hopefully not rude). You have to be in there to get the shot, especially the ones that cannot be re-created in some way. (At one wedding, a few relatives were a bit put out because I partially cut off their view of the cake cutting. Now they are all smiles because I managed to get it on video and are happily mailing copies of the dvd to other relatives who could not attend the wedding.) Make sure the person running the party understands that - explain that once you lose the shot, that's it. (If you ever watch the still photographer at a wedding, for example, he's right in the middle of the aisle as the bride enters, right by the pastor as vows are exchanged, right there to tell them to do it again so he can get another shot as they exchange kisses. Nobody objects. They're paying him to do exactly that.)

Try to take lots of footage of people arriving (receiving lines matter for family videos) and get footage of people leaving. These can help to hold your "story line" together when you do the edit.
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Old March 29th, 2004, 09:25 AM   #10
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BTW,
The minute you take $$ for this be aware that you are in violation of copyright on every song you use. (Unless you use licensed music).

Chance of getting caught are small, but the penalties are staggering.
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Old March 29th, 2004, 09:55 AM   #11
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Hey Patricia,

Got your email but I don't have a mailing address for you. I tried emailing you but, I got a response that my email was shady and possibly SPAM.

Let me know, RB.
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Old March 29th, 2004, 10:48 AM   #12
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Re: charging...

I agree with others, since you have not done this type of thing before, the experience you get will be good compensation.

Talk to the party organizers and lay out what you expect your out of poscket costs to be (travel, meals, extra batteries, camera tapes, edit tapes, dvd's or reproduction tapes etc.) If you feel like it, add a few extra tapes to help offset intangible costs like wear and tear on you and your gear.

When they see that you are only charging for actual costs, your relationship changes... You can set expectations lower but surprise them with the great job you do. If you were paid professional prices, their expections will be high and they will be looking for a perfect product - and very dissatisfied with less.

I also agree with what others have said about tips and tricks. Good luck!
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Old March 29th, 2004, 02:37 PM   #13
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For Rick Bravo: I didn't e-mail you. Maybe Kim Kinser who posted in this thread also? (I'm posting this in the thread so she will know I'm mentioning her as a possibility.)
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Old March 29th, 2004, 02:48 PM   #14
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Okay I got a bit more info on it today. It is going to be held indoors now. There are too many boats entering a leaving the harbor at this time of year I guess so they said they have to do it indoors instead of by the docks. So far, the equipment I have to work with are a Sony trv950, Azden SGM-X mic, some cheap kodak tripod, and a home made stabilizer.

I told her I will do it for $150. This money will help pay for a bigger battery for my camera, lights, possibly a new tripod, and to pay someone to take pictures for me. Of course I'm going to lose loads of money on this even though I'm charging, but I'm not all worried about it. (tax extentions are a wonderful thing)

Here is what I'm planning on buying :

A sony 3 watt light for close up interviews http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=NavBar&A=getItemDetail&Q=&sku=116493&is=REG&si=feat#goto_itemInfo

A bescor light kit for other dark shots http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=4500&is=REG

Bigger battery http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=275105&is=REG

And possibly a new tripod, however I cant afford anything spectacular so I have to stay around the hundred dollar range. Does anyone know of a decent one for around that price? Here is the tripod I have now, think the upgrade will be noticeable? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=284622&is=REG
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Old March 30th, 2004, 05:35 PM   #15
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Sorry Pat,

Time to up the prescription on the glasses!

Hey Dustin,

That little light will fool the hell out of you. I just shot with it for the first time using both a 950 and a 2000...too much light!

I had to constantly add a "cookie" using my fingers to cut it down.

Check out this 950 kit from another post.

http://home.mindspring.com/~ricks-pi...onfigurations/

I'll try to get that video out to you ASAP.

RB
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