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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 23rd, 2008, 05:52 PM   #1
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Hour Based Packages - question?

Quick and random questions for those of you out there who do wedding videos with packages that limit the amount of hours you're on location. Some packages might include 4 hours, some might be 6 or 8, etc.

When do you begin to count this time? The moment your camera is on, or the moment you arrive on location?

Do you count the down time in between?

I ask this because, for example, say a client wants your most basic package with four hours of coverage. (even if that is not true for you, just go along with it), Does this client then expect to have only their ceremony filmed and a bit of other events?

Say it is a catholic wedding, it would take up an hour of time or so, if there is a photoshoot afterwards, thats another hour of time, and that leaves 2 hours for the reception, if your not including the traveling time it takes to get from point A to point B. Your four hours is almost up, and they haven't done the cake cutting yet, do you stretch your four hours to capture it? Or do you ask the bride if she's willing to pay extra to have it included? I would just like to know how you go about a situation like this. I mean, having the client choose a package such as this, and then complaining later on that you didn't capture some later events during the reception, seems like something that might commonly happen.

Basically do you stand by these packages and stick with the hours included, or do you normally go over without complaining, or make the client pay extra?

I've never done a wedding based on a package with hours. I'm always there for precermony, until at least an hour after all of the events at the reception are through. Usually about 6-8 hours, and the prices are the same. So for those of you that have these types of packages with a time-limit, does it seem to work out?

I'd love to hear your feedback!
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 06:10 PM   #2
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I ask the bride what time she wants me there and from that time the clock starts.

I arrive 30 min ahead just to set up.

My basic package is 6 hours and that usually covers the ceremony and all the most important stuff of the reception. But my best seller is my 10 hour which covers the bride getting ready till about 2 hours into the dancing of the reception.

I never stop the clock for down times. This is important for Indian weddings. They usually have a 3-4 hour down time.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 06:30 PM   #3
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If you don't specify some kind of time limit the client can ask you to say as long as they think makes sense without paying you for that time, whereas if you do specify a limit you can control what to do after the limit. Your time is worth money so you should be charging something for it from the time you arrive to the time you leave, either directly or as part of your package rate based on a pre-assessment of the likely time required.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 09:35 PM   #4
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Yes, that is part of my concern, not having a package with set times, could require me to have a 10 hour day, for a smaller price.

But for the people who choose 4-6 hours, does anyone leave when that time is up, irreguardless of whether or not all of the nights events were captured, or do you charge more per hour without asking and just assuming that they want you to stay, or do you ask and inform the b/g that it will be a bit more money. I want to know how you go about doing this so that if I make set hours, I know what actions I should take once that time is up.

If the bride wants precermony, I would count that as an hour, even though most of the time everyones running around, no ones ready, everyones stressed and not much of the footage ends up in the final dvd, but I'm still taking the time to be there to capture the moments that do happen that are worth putting on dvd. But if the b/g want the ceremony, photoshoot and reception covered it could be anywhere from 4-10 hours, because all weddings are different.

A lot of the time I find that the photoshoot is taken elsewhere, which requires me to travel, do i count that traveling time (or even to cover the gas/mileage it takes to get me there) Photoshoots can also take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1+ hours, which takes away from the time filming at the reception..

A lot of receptions are set up with all of the events spread out, so that there's an hour of down time between the first dance and the cake cutting, all of which is still filmed. I like receptions much better when everything is done within the first two hours, but not all are like that..

My point is, you can never predict how long you will need to get everything on film, because of these factors. Do most of you just try to convince the b/g to go for the package with more hours so that it isn't a problem? and what do you do for the ones that choose the shorter packages?
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 09:42 PM   #5
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I do the ceremony, however long it may be. Then the client chooses however many hours they want me at the reception, which start when the Bride and Groom arrive at the actual reception (convenient since I film their entrance). For me it works well and I find I get all the important stuff I need within the time limits.

At the end of my time I inform the client that I'm leaving unless they want me to stay for further filming and that an upfront fee is required.

If the client chose a small package and say the dinner is going long, it just kind of depends on the night. If I haven't been filming the last hour because people are eating and nothing is going on then I might just stick around another hour and get the footage I need. Or I'll make sure the client knows my time is getting slim and ask if we can move things along. It just depends on the situation and the client.

Best thing for me is to figure out what the client wants, how the day is going to progress, then helping them pick the package and add-ons that give them the footage they desire while making sure I'm getting paid. Most clients stick to the days schedule so generally this works.

Hope that makes sense, if you feel you should be paid for your time make sure you are. Just always make sure the client knows what they are paying for.
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Last edited by Aaron Winters; January 23rd, 2008 at 10:00 PM. Reason: Becuz it was silly before
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 09:56 PM   #6
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If I'm not doing bridal prep I start 1 hour before the ceremony and stay for 1 hour of OPEN DANCING. Thats when th DJ announces that the dance floor is open to everyone. If I'm doing bridal prep then I satrt at an appropriate time to capture that. Since I charge for that time I don't really have an hourly except for overtime and as for downtime in between which does happen occassionally to me, once I know what time the various events start then I know how much downtime there will be and I adjust my charges accordingly.
Everything depends on the timeline of the event which I find out when I talk to the B&G before signing them up.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 11:20 PM   #7
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I do 3, 6 and 9 hours of time... and I tell the brides (or whoever) that the clock starts 15 minutes before the scheduled start time of the ceremony.

Wedding at 6pm? You got me from 5:45 to 8:45 (or whatever).

So far this works okay if the reception is in the fellowship hall (right down the hall) or even if they're going to have a nice sit down dinner afterwards somewhere else.

When the b & g prep video is requested, I show up earlier for that and that time isn't included in the package. I'll show up at 2 or 3pm for that part and then the clock starts a 1/4 til the ceremony.

Not sure if this is how others do it but I'd be curious to see how others go about it.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 12:11 PM   #8
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All of our packages, both photo and video, are based on a chunk of time and are continuous from the time they would like us to start. We never start at the ceremony, and since there is generally very little setup for us when we shoot the preps, we show up about 15 minutes ahead of time so we have some buffer room. We will then shoot continuously for the time included their package, minus setup time for the ceremony (which we include as 1 hour in the contract) and a 20-30 minute break to have dinner. If nothing is happening, we can usually find something to cover while we are there, but everything is also shot in our style - more of a short-form as opposed to continuous filming.

On occasion, we have included extra hours at no extra cost, if there is a lot of driving on the day. Our packages are priced with the assumption we will be shooting for the majority of it (and then the subsequent editing) so I therefore feel it is fair to add in an extra hour or so if I have 2 hours of driving after I arrive.

Patrick
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Old January 24th, 2008, 01:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau View Post
All of our packages, both photo and video, are based on a chunk of time and are continuous from the time they would like us to start. We never start at the ceremony, and since there is generally very little setup for us when we shoot the preps, we show up about 15 minutes ahead of time so we have some buffer room. We will then shoot continuously for the time included their package, minus setup time for the ceremony (which we include as 1 hour in the contract) and a 20-30 minute break to have dinner. If nothing is happening, we can usually find something to cover while we are there, but everything is also shot in our style - more of a short-form as opposed to continuous filming.

On occasion, we have included extra hours at no extra cost, if there is a lot of driving on the day. Our packages are priced with the assumption we will be shooting for the majority of it (and then the subsequent editing) so I therefore feel it is fair to add in an extra hour or so if I have 2 hours of driving after I arrive.

Patrick

This is about our speed. We have 5 hours that you can do what you want to with. If we start at the ceremony, we try to get some prep in, we are usually at the ceremony site 2 hours ahead of time, so we have that flexibility. After the 5 hours are done, we go by the hour.



Hey Patrick, we're playing with our pilot, thanks again for the advice on the other thread.
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