Dance Recitals at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 10th, 2008, 11:06 PM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,551
Dance Recitals

I'm curious about other ppl approach to shooting dance recitals and finding the right balance of service provided at price to charge.

For example, I often make my money by selling dvds to parents. In this scenario I find if I charge more than $15 a dvd, not many parents will buy. So the only way to make money is to shoot it 2 cameras by myself one unmanned of the whole stage, the other manned panning closeups. The drawback I find is if the lighting changes during the performance there is no one to adjust the exposure of the 2nd camera.

I've got an up coming gig that I'm taking over from a friend. She shoots 3 cameras all manned. The dance director will pay around $800. So that means I could hire 2 other camera men @ $100 to shoot 2 1hr performances. Then I'll have to edit the 3 camera shots together which will be a lot of work. Wondering whether I can get away with just 2 cameras? and Whats the appropriate price to charge per camera?
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2008, 09:07 AM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Salisbury, MD
Posts: 122
I charge $1500 a day for a live switched 2 camera shoot with director and master DVD. The end product is a no frills DVD with a title page and no menu. If you do spec work you will more than likely lose money or make very little. Notice I said "more than likely", there are a few folks out there who have mastered the art of selling when it comes to live event DVDs. Quite frankly if I had that talent, I certainly wouldn't be hawking $15 DVDs to dance studio parents.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media
Mick Haensler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2008, 09:56 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,123
I'm a bit confused over the price structure you have. Here, to get a decent cameraman for an evening show costs me around $250-80 converting from pounds, so two cameras and a director at that price structure is going to be $750 per show, assuming they are on two days. If they're squeezed into a single day, then maybe $1000 would cover 3 people. Add extra edit time and I can see where Mick's $1500 comes from. Even at that figure it doesn't make a huge amount of money. I don't do dance show video work any longer - it isn't the money, it's the UK's daft child protection laws that make working with anyone under 16 a real pain in the rear. We still produce the shows, doing the sound, lighting and stage management - but taking pictures of kids is really dodgy here - just having the material on the shelf is to some people, proof you are up to no good.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2008, 11:26 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Salisbury, MD
Posts: 122
I guess I wasn't very clear how my pricing breaks down. We do 2 cameras, one manned and one static. I'm the director. My shooter and I have been doing this for so long we can make 2 cameras look like 5 but I keep him hopping. We have a pattern of shots that we do automatically. In other words all I have to do is say "off" and "on" to him, he knows where to go next. There is virtually no editing except for fades between numbers. I can set my rig up in less than an hour. We don't attend rehearsal and I pay my shooter $200 just to show up and shoot, no set up or tear down. Footage is captured straight to HD as well as to tape. If the HD footage is good(sometimes have issue with dropped frames) then there is no capture. The DVD I deliver is a master with no menu and no print graphics. So all in all I might have 12 hours in each show including travel and planning time. Expenses are gas and tape stock, usually no more than $100.

I only do one or two of these a year for old clients from my "I'll take anything for peanuts" days. It's more of a favor than a money maker. There isn't much money in live events any more unless you're doing IMAG for national acts. I get upwards of $4000 a night for a 4 camera IMAG gig with no post. I usually walk with $1800 in my pocket. Not bad in my neck of the woods.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media
Mick Haensler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,772
For dance recitals the number of cameras you need really depends on the size of the stage and how elaborate the choreography is for the numbers. Little kids and beginner dance nubmers don't usually require more than two cameras, one for wide and one experienced cameraperson who can spot the improtant close ups. Having more cameras is nice but also ads to the editing time. Actually I find the difference in time between editing 2 or 3 cameras isn't much diffenent. Actually I prefer 3 cam projects over 2 cams as the write edit seems to pop out more. With only two cameras I'm always feeling like I'm compromising.

The only real money I make for recitals is from sales to the parents. Any up front payment from the studio really only covers my expenses for the days shoot and payment to my other camera operators. The price point of your DVD depends a lot on where you live and the clients of the studio. One of the studios I regularly do videos for is more oriented toward "affordable" dance productions. Their production fees usually only costs between $50 to $100 for each dancer and their instruction rates are very affordable. The first few videos I did for them I only charged $20 per video and sold a modest few. After getting some experience and some familiarity with them I now charge $30 for their smaller recital in the Winter and $35 for there more elaborate recital in the Spring.

Antother studio here in town is known for their "huge" productions in their recitals. Their per dancer production fees are usually around $150 to $300. Each of the dancers parents spend around $500 after tickets and production fees. For that dvd its' $45. For those it's usually a 5 cam shoot. One wide from the back of the house, one back of the house zooming and panning, one left and one right capturing approximately 1/2 to 1/4 of each side of the stage, and one camera close up front on a dolly for some of what I call "MTV" type shots (shot from below looking up and moving).

I do this as a "hobby" so I don't need to realy on it for a living but I can usually clear around $1500 to $3000 for each job. I know of a local shooter who does this more seriously and usually has 5 to 8 cam shoots and makes around $6k a show. He also does dance competitions which he make a "lot" from. One camera, quick edit on the spot, charges $35 for the first number and $15 for each additional on a DVD. All competitions he is the only person allowed to have a video camera and the promotors monitor this very very closely. These competitions run for 1 to 5 days and he easily sells a couple hundred DVDs per competition with an average of 3 numbers on each video.

As I said I do this for a hobby so I really just try to make a DVD that the parents and kids can go back and watch and have fun. I usually have a slide show (my sister and brother help shoot stills), maybe one extra feature, and I set up menus so that it looks like a "real" DVD.
Garrett Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Madison
Posts: 330
I 'sell' the DVDs to the dance studio at an agreed upon price per DVD with a minimum order.
They get an authored DVD with their logo printed on each disc. I use two cameras and usually have a turn around time of one month.

They can sell the DVDs to the parents for any price they wish.
Blake Cavett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2008, 03:53 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,551
Just to clarify there are two 1 hr performances back to back from 5-7pm.

What I mean about the extra time, 2 hr with 3 cameras = 6 hrs capture time then all those decisions of which has the best view at a particular moment and syncing up all those cameras. I agree you would get better choices of shots. The other thing I don't care for is recruiting good camera men, hoping they show up etc.

For the children dance recitals I do it more as a favor, because its a worthy cause of involving inner city children in the arts. But I've learned most of the parents don't have much money. They often aren't charged for dance training and tickets to the show are like 8 bucks so its hard to sell them on a $20 dvd. I require the sale of a minium of 20 dvd, the recital director buys any that falls short of that amount.

Compared to everyone else I under sell myself. I do more work than I should, dvd disc design, encasement design, menu design, extra footage of intermission, pre and post show celebration, and sometimes a high lights montage, credits and chapter markers. I guess I don't want to produce a crappy product even if I'm not getting paid much. If I get a chance to get higher end gig at least I'll have something to show them besides a crappy 1 camera style shot.

I've become more skilled but its very difficult anticipating dance moves without seeing the rehersal. Multi-camera approach would fixed that but of course I would have to charge a lot more to cover my expenses. I've also found parents are natually interested in only footage of their child so more cameras wouldn't help with that.

I would like the switching box idea but I'd have to invest in the equipment, more stuff to lug in, all those cables to run and an extra person to do the switching of course no editing if you do it right and you don't have to capture all the cameras. If i did it full time then it would be a no brainer.

I do this 4 times a year as a side thing I couldn't imagine making enough to support myself at least not with the clients I have or what I charge.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2009, 08:01 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Johns Creek, GA
Posts: 42
I have built a part time business on dance recitals and performances and I charge the most for the first DVD, and heavily discount extra copies. I typically get $35-40 for the first copy, and $10 for each additional-- regardless of whether it is multiples of the same show or a different show in the same performance weekend. I also charge $5 for additional boxes (nice quality with full color insert).

Here is my rationale: If you charge too much for each copy, you are inviting them to buy one and copy it for friends and family. If you make the copies reasonable, they are more likely to pay you for them. And the most expensive copy is the very first one you produce.

I do limit them to the number of shows in the weekend. For a 5 performance Nutcracker, they can buy up to 5 DVDs on one order. This prevents someone from buying 20 and sharing with other parents.

Of course the main reason I can charge so much is that my videos are really good and we have mastered the art of selling them on site. Anyone who knows how much CRAPPY dance video there is out there can appreciate good video when they see it. I use HD or HDV cameras and the quality is absolutely stunning. Worth the investment.

I am a one man production, two cameras. One fixed, one moving. I edit after the fact using Sony Vegas and Ultimate S. I just don't believe in the live switch-- too easy to miss stuff.

I set up a TV and play yesterday's rehearsal or performance at the table where my wife takes orders. We take credit cards with a wireless machine. Makes a huge difference. This year, we tried a crazy experiment where I edited the days video that night, rendered and produced DVDs and had them for sale at the next day's performance. I got little sleep, but it was insanely successful.

Just some of the things I do to make some decent money with very low overhead.
Jerry Wiese is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2009, 08:13 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 481
I also do some recital work, for the last 10 years. I work for 2 dance studios. The first I shoot with 2 cameras, edit and sell to parents. The studio isn't charged anything (my daughter dances there). We have 3 performances, averaging 1.5 hours each and I sell the a full DVD of each performance for $30 for 1, 2 performances for $50 and all three for $70. They have to been separate performances so people don't split packages on the same performance. I edit, duplicate and mail out. Since people can shoot video and stills during dress rehearsal, sales have went down a little, but many times I have a mother call me much later asking if she can still buy a DVD due to the quality of what her husband did:)
The second place I only shoot with 1 camera (because that's all they want) and I charge them $200 per recital, which is 3 with the first 1 being almost 2 hours but the other two just a little over an hour. I just put title graphics and and a little color correcting. I also shoot their Nutcracker each year for the same price. Again they only want 1 camera. I guess they are happy with it. They then duplicate and sell the DVDs for $25, I think. I'm thinking of raising my price, but haven't yet. I'm a sucker for a sob story.
David Stoneburner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Johns Creek, GA
Posts: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Stoneburner View Post
I'm a sucker for a sob story.
David, I am also a dance dad, and I am right there with you! Nobody will fault you for doing something to support your daughter. We did that for years at her former studio. I literally donated every penny of proceeds from Nutcracker DVD sales for two years. The studio made something like $8-thousand from my efforts. My daughter went away this year to a boarding school for ballet (HARID in Boca Raton) and now I take half the proceeds. Is that wrong? Absolutely not! The studio still makes a nice profit with ZERO effort. Don't be afraid to raise your price!

Last edited by Jerry Wiese; January 8th, 2009 at 06:54 PM. Reason: fat fingers
Jerry Wiese is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9th, 2009, 11:07 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 481
Thanks Jerry, I'm thinking of raising my price I'm just terrible at knowing what to charge. That's why I work in video production but don't have my own company. I'm not very good on the business side. I usually make just enough to keep my equipment running.
David Stoneburner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9th, 2009, 11:35 AM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,241
2-3 Manned Cameras. 2 external audio sources. Mulit-cam edit. Simple titles and menus and printed DVD in clear case.
no less than $20. ever. 2 show packs $36.
$5 flat US shipping.

what I do. :)
__________________
Nate Haustein PXW-FS5 / iMac i7 / FCPX
www.flightcreativemedia.com
Nate Haustein is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:49 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network