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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old October 25th, 2007, 03:10 AM   #16
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Equipment means almost nothing.....I saw a video shot by Jason Magbanua on a camera phone that was better than many I've seen shot in HDV. It's all about the skill with the tools. You might have a great hammer but it's worthless if you are only capable of smashing your fingers with it.

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Old October 25th, 2007, 05:08 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Walter S. Chelliah View Post
Are you guys solely equating higher pricing with better equipment? What about skill, knowledge, experience, creativity, originality and overall non-suckageness? Doesn't that also ascend pricing?

I'm not sure how you guys operate but to me, charging $10k does not mean earning $10k.
I think if you're going to pay THAT much for a single day shoot, you deserve true pro equipment, and at the least a dedicated sound man!

As I see it, there should be a correlation between pricing and gear. There's some guy here, forgot his name, but he does nice work and charges a few grand. High end. But they've got a full time steadicam operator! and a *real* steadicam not some crap DIY. And I think their crew is using xlh1's. You should get what you pay for.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 05:12 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Scott Shama View Post
Equipment means almost nothing.....I saw a video shot by Jason Magbanua on a camera phone that was better than many I've seen shot in HDV. It's all about the skill with the tools. You might have a great hammer but it's worthless if you are only capable of smashing your fingers with it.

Cheers,
Scott
Ridiculous statement. Of course equipment matters. There's a reason Hollywood doesn't shoot in VHS-c.

Low end gear will ALWAYS be more limiting than high end gear with all else being equal.

Can a skilled operator get nice footage with a DVX100? Sure. Give the same guy a Varicam and see what looks better.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 05:23 AM   #19
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Ridiculous statement. Of course equipment matters. There's a reason Hollywood doesn't shoot in VHS-c.

Low end gear will ALWAYS be more limiting than high end gear with all else being equal.

Can a skilled operator get nice footage with a DVX100? Sure. Give the same guy a Varicam and see what looks better.
Ridiculous? Yes, I over exaggerated somewhat to make a point.....doesn't change the fact that a great story shot on a consumer cam will be better than the many of the typical blockbusters that keep coming out with all their CG and uninteresting plot lines and forgettable characters...My assertion stands...I would rather view the work of someone talented using a camera phone than many of the no talents that are using HDV cams...

Yes a person with talent can produce great stuff with great gear. But they aren't dependant on it.

"Limits" as you put it are nothing more than opportunities for creative solutions.

You get my point now?
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Old October 25th, 2007, 06:12 AM   #20
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"Limits" as you put it are nothing more than opportunities for creative solutions.

You get my point now?
No. I don't actually.

As I see it, the quality of a given production is a function of the quality of the talent and the quality of the gear. They are both limiting factors.

And unless you've got a Jessica Alba home porno reel on you camera phone, I won't be interested.

I often see this question falsely framed, that talent and equipment are some kind of "either/or" proposition. Sorry. I just don't buy it.

I've also observed a correlation between gear and talent. I've yet to see a hack on an Arriflex. But seen plenty with TRV900's. Good people invariably have good equipment.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 07:21 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau View Post
I've been getting a bunch of emails lately about selling a completed wedding videos. It is something we have been considering, and with the recent pile of emails about this, I thought I would post a couple questions here.

I'm curious who out there is already doing this, what their feedback is, and what the going rate is for a completed video.

I just got an email from Luis here on Dvinfo, but unfortunately the eail he provided doesn't seem to work so I thought I would post my comments publicly instead.

Patrick
Patrick,
I purchased a complete wedding video from a very talented wedding studio. They start around $4,000 I believe, you actually know the studio though I won't mention their name here. (You can ask me by email for their name). I personally asked the studio if I could purchase their complete wedding video and they said absolutely. I wanted to purchase it to see how they actually edited their completed wedding video. Secondly to see how it is they could actually charge so much money to start with. I only ended up paying $60 for it. That was a steal. I watched it two times, once completely through, and the second time certain parts. It was beneficial for me to do that. Was it so I can copy their style? No. I have my on style that I'm not interested in changing. Was it so I can pick up one thing to improve on? Yes. I wanted to see where I could challenge myself to get better. The big thing is in learning audio better. They're way ahead of me here cause they have a audio guy that comes to the job, specifically for audio. Imagine the relief any of us would have if we only had to worry about video and not audio. They also did a very good job telling the couple wedding story.

If you were selling to the mass I believe a going rate to the mass is between $100 and $150 with a commentary track. Glen has a complete one with audio track and subtitles at $100. If only a complete video and no commentary track, than maybe a lil cheaper.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 07:47 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
I've also observed a correlation between gear and talent. I've yet to see a hack on an Arriflex. But seen plenty with TRV900's. Good people invariably have good equipment.
I agree as well.

There is now reason why good work can't be done on a inexpensive equipment, but I think you owe it to a customer to use the best equipment you can if you are charging way above the industry standard.

And a 1/3" chip camera(s) is not that kind of equipment.

There is a reason why broadcasters use $100,000 lenses, they want a great image & their advertisers expect a lot for what they are paying for.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 08:27 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Bruce Patterson View Post
You'd expect someone to hand over their trade secrets in an edited film to you so you can emulate it and only pay them a measly $50??????
First thing's first, like Monday mentioned above, I don't watch other people's work so I can emulate it. The idea of watching a finished wedding video isn't so you can copy the entire thing. I like to watch video's of other vidoegraphers to see what everyone else is doing so I can see where I can get better. Of course, I need to get better everywhere, but it helps me prioritize. This video works because of the editing - I should work on editing first... and so on.

I dunno. I think $50 is fair when you would simply be making a duplication of an already completed disc. If a client wants an extra DVD copy from me it's $20, and the final cost is about $3. I would say somewhere in that range isn't an entire rip off considering that the production is already done.

Now if there's a commentary track, behind the scenes footage, etc., that's different because it isn't a matter of running off a DVD, it's a matter of creating a whole new one. I say I would probably pay $100 but a product like that would be worth anywhere from $100-200. It's just that in my experience, I probably not pay $200. That's just me.

I'm just giving Patrick as much information as I can to go off of. We're all the audience, right? If everyone else says they'll pay more than obviously prices will be adjusted and I'll be S.O.L. which is fine.

Sorry if I devalued the entire industry with my original post.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 09:08 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
I think if you're going to pay THAT much for a single day shoot, you deserve true pro equipment, and at the least a dedicated sound man!

As I see it, there should be a correlation between pricing and gear.
Hi Brian,

I understand what you are saying, and if you were hiring a wedding videographer for $10k, you are going to want a certain level of gear, but what you need to consider is that most Brides don't care about gear.

Most Brides want to relive their day and see all of those moments that they missed. If the videographer has a dedicated sound man or used multiple wireless mics and audio recorders, they couldn't care less. If they can hear their vows, the minister, music and vocalists, toasts and the like, that's what it important to them and not how the audio was obtained.

They also don't care if the camera has quarter inch, third inch, half inch or two thirds inch chips. They are not broadcast engineers. They are Brides.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 09:15 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bruce Patterson View Post
Not if they don't see a full-length film. They can plunder all they like with trailers, but the true test of a great wedding videographer is to put together a complete film with proper flow from start to end.
Hi Bruce,

I couldn't agree more. It's one thing to put together a great 4 minute clip. It's a totally different thing to create as you said, "a complete film with proper flow from start to end."

We had so many videographers ask us for a complete DVD so they could see how all of the pieces flow together. The problem with that is that we do not release work to videographers without a watermark. So that would require us to re encode and re author the entire DVD. It was at that point that we decided to go ahead and make the two audio commentary tracks to make it really educational.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 09:30 AM   #26
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I agree as well.

There is now reason why good work can't be done on a inexpensive equipment, but I think you owe it to a customer to use the best equipment you can if you are charging way above the industry standard.

And a 1/3" chip camera(s) is not that kind of equipment.

There is a reason why broadcasters use $100,000 lenses, they want a great image & their advertisers expect a lot for what they are paying for.
Hi Tim,

The Brides do not care what size of chips your camera has. They are not caught up in the gear. It is our responsibility to choose the equipment that will deliver a quality product to the customer while making a fair profit for our business.

I will start making that fair profit much sooner using a few $4000 cameras than using a few $15000 cameras.

At the same time, their is a balance to choosing the right gear. Single chip $1000 cameras that are terrible in low light is not the path to follow if the goal is to charge $10k.

I have not booked a $10k bride, but the bride that paid us $9200 didn't once ask us about chip size or anything about gear.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 11:25 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Walter S. Chelliah View Post
Are you guys solely equating higher pricing with better equipment? What about skill, knowledge, experience, creativity, originality and overall non-suckageness? Doesn't that also ascend pricing?
Ditto that sentiment. Its not about the equipment.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #28
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Ditto that sentiment. Its not about the equipment.

ditto on that ditto!

by the way...how are you doing joel?
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Old October 25th, 2007, 04:09 PM   #29
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Ditto that sentiment. Its not about the equipment.
Nor is it about size.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 04:21 PM   #30
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Ditto x3!

Equipment is ONE part of the equation - I saw a "videographer" demo'ing his footage from a pair of GL2's - My first thought was "there's no way one can make THAT camera look THAT BAAAAAD!" But either through inexperience or whatever, this stuff looked like a bad local cable production (know what I mean?), only worse...

What your market will bear is important - if you can't get high $$ bookings, 30K in equipment is not a good biz proposition... and you can always rent gear if your QUALITY OF WORK bags you a big gig.

Even a lowly "consumer" HDV cam properly shot, edited and rendered by someone who knows how to get the most out of the camera will give amazing results. Give a Z1 to a monkey... or an Arriflex if you've got big $$ to blow... and what do you get?

You can't start with complete junk gear that doesn't work right and expect to deliver anything decent... but spending a huge wad of money ain't going to make you an instant Spielberg either... it takes GOOD (not necessarily heinously expensive) camera/audio/support gear, and some TALENT to get the most out of that gear.

There's stuff making the TV that's shot primarily on cameras that are mostly "consumer grade" (Survivorman comes to mind)... so you going to say that's "crap" because it wasn't shot with fancy equipment?? Seems to be working fine for that show! Many others are using "consumer grade" or "prosumer" HDV cams for much of the footage nowadays too!!

Not everyone is going to have big $$ to blow (brides OR videographers), and sometimes less expensive gear gives an acceptable result at the right price point... But I guess if you can afford a Ferrari, you are welcome to sneer down your nose at my Toyota, now can I stuff my 3 kids in the back... no, well, that's why I have the car I do... !
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