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


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Old December 20th, 2007, 10:28 AM   #16
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Now that would be making me an offer I wouldn't want to refuse. You do AWESOME work.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 10:30 AM   #17
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I only take a $250 deposit for all my wedding packages and the rest is paid when I deliver. Does that make a difference?
Were I the client I'd certainly feel more comfortable dealing with you but...

...being the irresponsible newlywed I am, I just might spend all of your money on a new Xbox, a 50" plasma and a case of cheap scotch while you edit. :)
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Old December 20th, 2007, 10:34 AM   #18
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A whole case of Scotch Rick? Slow down brother.

I take all $$ up front. Early on I had problems getting a couple people to pay me after I'd done all the work. Generally most people blow their budget and then some for the wedding so I'm more comfortable knowing that I've got the cash while there's still cash to be had.

Oh and Jessica, thanks for the compliment. Now if only I can start making awesome money.

Now I know why my turnaround times suck, I'm reading DVInfo all the dang time.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 10:36 AM   #19
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Were I the client I'd certainly feel more comfortable dealing with you but...

...being the irresponsible newlywed I am, I just might spend all of your money on a new Xbox, a 50" plasma and a case of cheap scotch while you edit. :)
haha....i hear that...sounds like something i would do too...

maybe I should start taking everything up front...
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Old December 20th, 2007, 10:41 AM   #20
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We take 50% at the signing of the contract, 25% 45 days before the wedding, and 25% a week b4 the wedding. We prefer not to bother the bride and groom on their day if we don't need to; figure they have enough going on during the day then to be concerned with paying us. On top of that I would hate to record, and take precious hours editing a wedding, only to find out when I'm ready to deliver, the newlywed's don't have the money.
We tell our clients the video will be completed in 8-12wks, but like others, we try to get it to the client sooner than later.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 11:43 AM   #21
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As part of our consultation we tell people that generally speaking there is an 8-10 week turnaround time. We preface that by explaining that there is time spent on color grading and putting the piece together. We do, however, try and get a Highlight or Teaser to them before the main video is complete. I have to agree that if you are getting backed up, it's time to get some assistance. Typically we get assistance on getting the rough cut on line and that really seems to help us out. If you are running behind a bit, be very up front with the client and keep them in the communication loop. It always seem much longer to them when they are left out to wonder what is going on.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 12:36 PM   #22
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maybe I should start taking everything up front
Heck no. Wait till you get burned once, then change like the rest of us did. :)

Really though, whatever works for you. I think most in this biz (70%?) do get 100% up front so clients shouldn't have a coronary if you do the same. There's no denying one works a bit faster if final payment is dependant on delivery but I work fast enough just to get the backlog monkey off my back. (usually... sort of... sometimes)
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Old December 25th, 2007, 03:11 AM   #23
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Thought I would chime in here FWIW- we get one third package price to hold the date. Final payment due 2 weeks before the wedding. Delivery is 6 months. Sometimes, if they drag their feet, come back and try to negotiate- 10 months- and still don't negotiate. Basically I extend an offer with a dated contract that is good for two weeks. If they don't sign then they are essentially forfeiting their place in line but this only happens for the BIG dates.

I see from all the posts here that everyone is different. If you are in position to hold your rates and possibly lose work then great- you'll live and possibly earn a reputation. If you gotta make the rent or mortgage then never say no to work.

What am I doing reading and posting at 1 AM Christmas Day/Eve?
Answer: waiting for the wife to get out of the bathroom.
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Old December 25th, 2007, 05:55 AM   #24
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I cannot see how anyone who takes 9-12 moths to edit a wedding video can be in business as at that rate of speed you would only be taking on one wedding a year which would mean charging between 20000.00 + 35000 per video and I can't see many people paying that sort of money.

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Old December 25th, 2007, 10:59 AM   #25
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I had clients come to me as they found some videographers took 9 months to finish (stated in the contract too).
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Old December 26th, 2007, 03:27 PM   #26
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I used to tell them four to eight weeks, but I never delivered a wedding video any earlier than 16 weeks.

I still have a video shot in September of 2005 that isn't finished (it was a freebie for a friend...)

Now I'm sure I've never spent more than 40 hours total time working on a wedding video, but they're too easy to put on the back burner.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #27
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I do about 50 weddings a year (along with other work) and quote 12 to 14 weeks for delivery and in most cases deliver in 8 to 10. Do I like spending 60 or 80 hours a week editing? Nope, especially during golf season BUT I made a comittment and I try very hard to keep every delivery comittment I make. While it may not be possible in ALL case 99% of what I do is out by the 10th week after shooting depending of course on the other work I have going.
I do a lot of seminars and training videos and they are time consuming. Can't edit while your in an all day seminar listening to some of the most boring material with the worst speakers you can imagine BUT I still have to be there and pay attention to what's going on so that means late nights and early mornings. if I did a 9 month edit I would have been out of business 25 years ago. In my opinion if it takes that long to edit the wedding then 1 of 2 things is happening. either it's too much work and the person can't keep up OR there is a full time job involved which means to me there's too much work and the person can't keep up. In either case either hire someone to edit the backlog or take less work OR quit the day job.
This business is hard enough without having brides and grooms and all their friends and family going to the big bridal website bad mouthing because of a extrememly long delivery time.
Of course this is just my opinion and not the opinion of management, it's employees nor the governing body. ;-)
Seriously, 9 months even if the client is told that is a very long time and frankly I cna't understand it. I generaly am working 4 to 6 days in a week,shooting or running an AV setup and editing comes after that but it gets done in what I believe is a reasonable time. It's called time management.
You get better at it as you get farther behind :-O
BTW, I get 100% of my money no later than 30 days before the ceremony-once burned twice learned. Never had an issue with clients about that either. Been doing it that way for about 10 years.
YMMV
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Old December 28th, 2007, 05:50 PM   #28
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thanks guys for all the input. To clarify...it doesn't take me 9 months solid to edit a wedding...I just get behind because other jobs come up and the wedding has to go on hold. Either way...I guess I just need to step up to the plate and say about 3 months turnaround time. A little extra hard work never hurt anybody I guess :o)

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Old December 30th, 2007, 09:45 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Jeremiah McLamb View Post
thanks guys for all the input. To clarify...it doesn't take me 9 months solid to edit a wedding...I just get behind because other jobs come up and the wedding has to go on hold. Either way...I guess I just need to step up to the plate and say about 3 months turnaround time. A little extra hard work never hurt anybody I guess :o)

Thanks
jeremiah
IMHO, that's getting things turned topsy-turvy. Regardless of the nature of the business, whether shooting video, installing bathtubs, or anything else, one should never put existing commited work on the back burner to free up time for newly arriving opportunities. Figure out a reasonable delivery time based on your customer's expectations and regional norms and after signing that contract, only accept as much new work as will allow you to maintain your original delievery estimate. You wouldn't book two weddings on the same day, why book two edits that similarly overlap? Production scheduling is always a headache for almost any sort of business but it's something that has to be done in such a way as it doesn't overtax your facilities. At some point, you have to say 'no' to new business in order to deliver proper customer service to your existing business. At some point in time all vendors and contractors have to decide on what business they're really in and can't maintain operation as a 'jack of all trades.'
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 12:40 AM   #30
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My plan for 2008 is to deliver in 2 weeks or less. I have been at 4-6 weeks all year, and now that I am full time, can spend the fisrt 3 days of the week editing and getting it ready, and Thursday & Friday marketing, preparing etc. I had someone suggest that advertising a quick turnaround is a bad idea because it partrays that I don't take enough time on the produciton, and quality takes time. Thoughts?
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