Nadia Turns 7 - My FIRST birthday shot at DVinfo.net

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Old May 9th, 2010, 03:39 AM   #1
Nadia Turns 7 - My FIRST birthday shot
Johannes Soetandi Johannes Soetandi is offline May 9th, 2010, 03:39 AM

This is my first birthday video shot and I found it very FUN! I watched Kren Barnes video and decided to follow his '(name) turns (age)' format as it looks really good. Thanks Kren :)

I'm pretty happy with the outcome of this video. Might be the best work I've done so far. But I believe there are still things to learn especially from this community. I would appreciate any comments and feedbacks! :)

Also, just out of curiosity.. how much you think parent would pay for someone to do this kind of video for their kids birthday? I'm planning on charging $200 as a starter and see if there are interests in the market.

Gears:
Canon 7D
Tamron 17-50 f2.8
Canon 70-200mm f4L
Monopod, indiSlider mini and tripod


Johannes Soetandi
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Old May 9th, 2010, 06:33 PM   #2
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Thanks for the props Johanne:) that was a very good 7th birthday video however you have to charge more than $200 ... stick with your price unless of course videography is a full time endeavor which requires you to
earn money regularly. don't sell yourself short ... from my experience of taking cheap projects, i was beginning to hate filming since it was taking away from my family time..to make it worth our while, we jacked up our prices 200% and guess what...people still booked us...


Regards,
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Old May 9th, 2010, 07:47 PM   #3
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Thanks Kren. I am still new in the market so I thought $200 just to get into the market and show them how useful and lovely a video could be. I have asked several people and even $200 would still be a bit too much for some of them. But hopefully once they saw my works they will then appreciate why the video worths so much. Maybe once I'm regular I'll put my price up higher.

Btw Kren, what do you include in your birthday package? A whole full day highlight or just a trailer? At the moment I can't be bothered doing a whole day highlight.. there's nothing much happening in the birthday other than eating, playing, and blowing candles :)
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Old May 12th, 2010, 12:00 AM   #4
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well i guess i'm not sure about your market there in Aussieland but here if they don't want to pay the required fee that's toobad ..some people you'll never satisfy
I do a straight cut and edit of the event ending with a 30-40 minute final product. but for close friends, i do a trailer....hope this helps
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Old May 16th, 2010, 07:06 PM   #5
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Hi Johannes,

a humble start is a great way to begin your journey. A lot of people wouldn't want to be paid low during their early days and I think it is important for you to do as many projects as you can even if it means its "free for friends". You will learn a lot in every project, so to actually getting paid for it, its a bonus..

You will know by yourself when the time comes to raise your price. Usually its by the number of calls you receive. When you do a good job, good things will come. works every time.

About your work, I think this is definitely your best work so far. I can see some storytelling elements in there now. I would probably have some cuts to be faster but the overall pace is already pretty good. I love how you combine beats and cuts to create edgy edit. Keep it up.

Santo
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Old May 16th, 2010, 10:50 PM   #6
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Hi Santo,

Thanks for the compliments. I'm officially a big fan of birthday filming now. It's much less stressful than wedding and the kids always wins everyone's hearts! :)

The question is how cheap is too cheap? At the moment I'm very happy to give very low price for wedding/birthdays for this year's so that I can start boosting price up for next year when I have enough portfolios on hand. But the amount of time & money I've spent so far is quite overwhelming that I sometime struggle to meet my own personal needs (maybe that's because I'm still new in this too and still working full time on another job).

You went amazingly quick in 2 years time, mate. How did you keep up in the first year?

Cheers,


John
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Old May 16th, 2010, 11:38 PM   #7
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ermm.. how did I keep up.. interesting question..

I was getting onto wedding because of a friend photographer who asked me to film for them. Basically to be their subcontractor in the video side. The deal was to give them 15% commission of my charges. So I began charging around $1500/wedding and doing some prewedding shoots for $300. Then the prewedding shoot raised to $700 because people would still pay that much and then the wedding shoot increased to around $2200.. then a few months after that we raised it to $3300 for 10 hours coverage with 2 hd cameras, 3-4 mins trailer, 40 mins highlight and full ceremony/speeches

So after commission, I was earning around $2000-2300 per wedding after paying second camera, fuel, tapes and bloody TAX..... it wasn't bad but it wasn't very good either since I was buying so many equipments with the money that I earned through weddings and also the jobs that were coming wasn't a lot. on average I was shooting around 1 wedding every month. So... I thought I'd use my free time to research, research, research and learn, learn,learn and grow. Because when you get busy, there isn't much time to learn anymore except during shoots. I watched hundreds of wedding videos through dvinfo, read thousands of threads and ask many questions while holding myself not to buy fancy clothes... lol

I also had to give up my freelance work that was doing ok (around $1000/week before tax) doing editing for corporate production houses. I just thought that if I was going to get serious in wedding filming, I have to give all I got.. so I quit.

Then I decided to build my own business which is paper cranes. With the portfolio that I got (8-10 weddings) I went and made a wedding showreel and put it up on my website, paid 3 wedding websites to advertise my business and pray for blessings...

I remember that I got really excited everytime an email enquiry comes in... and got very disappointed when the deal didn't happen.. tried to discount my prices or give more because I needed the job. Learned lessons here and there about business... got burned a couple of times with bad clients. but they are all worth it and word of mouth works like a charm and people start emailing and calling and before we know it, we are booked solid the year after (which is this year)

Sorry if its too long, I'll just stop now before I get too boring.. lol :) but yeah, just do your best in every job and try to make smart decisions for the long term, not the short term. money will come by itself if you got the very tasty bait.

Santo
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Last edited by Susanto Widjaja; May 17th, 2010 at 04:00 AM.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 12:03 AM   #8
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Its always nice to read about how excellent wedding filmmakers got their start..so this is good stuff Susanto! I once read Jason Magbanua was actually a teacher (film production) when one of his students asked him to film their sister's wedding and his business started rolling from there...(he also had to quit his F/T job and compete with a hundred other videogs in the Philippines before finding success)

Cheers!
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Old May 17th, 2010, 02:42 AM   #9
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You know what.. this thread has become so much more than just a birthday video review! Thanks so much for sharing with us Santo. That was very inspiring and so much lesson to be learnt from your experience.

A month ago I charged only $600 a wedding (my first two job was actually a mere $200 fee). Definitely got me off few bookings (obviously great for those in budget) but after my first wedding job I realized how tiring it was PLUS all the equipment that I needed.. at this rate I may never get a return.

So I decided, after several bookings that I let slip at this rate, I up my price this month by 25%. Still very cheap, I guess.. but at least with some portfolio on hand I can reason with them why the increase. And I double the rate for 2011 wedding as I wanna focus more on 2010 wedding in the meantime.

I guess as videographers we're more keen in learning the techniques of filmmaking.. forgetting that this is also a business and need to learn how to maintain it more than just a hobby. What you told us here is exactly what I needed to know mate and somehow I can relate to how you feel about getting so excited when enquiry comes in but didn't get the deal etc... and also holding off buying fancy clothes, although I just had to give in with that new jacket I saw few days ago LOL

Again, that was a precious insight mate. Thanks for being so humble.

Cheers,


John
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