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


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Old July 17th, 2008, 02:07 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Kelsey Emuss View Post
I've had people ask if they can have the raw footage.
In all the years I've been shooting I have been asked just once for the raw footage of the 'guests arriving' at a wedding as the bride hoped there was more film of someone that didn't make the final edit. I assured her that no, if the footage was good, she already had it. But she offered real money and I succumbed.

But even so I couldn't bring myself to send the real raw footage, so I quickly crash-edited that to remove the long periods where I move between locations and keep the camera running. I couldn't bring myself to show them how much junk I shoot to get the 30:1 cutting ratio of the final edit, especially with this run 'n' gun stuff.

Of course I bet she was surprised to find the tape was HDV (i.e. couldn't see it), but I never heard back. And next time I have a new table made for my kitchen I'm going to ask the carpenter for all the wood offcuts, all the sawdust, all the bent nails and screws that went into making it.

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Old July 17th, 2008, 02:21 AM   #17
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And next time I have a new table made for my kitchen I'm going to ask the carpenter for all the wood offcuts, all the sawdust, all the bent nails and screws that went into making it.

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Hey Tom - this made me laugh out loud :)
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Old July 17th, 2008, 02:30 AM   #18
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Hey Tom - this made me laugh out loud :)
Heh... that is a very good analogy.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 07:21 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
I didn't used to offer it. Then I started offering the original MiniDV tapes for a flat $50 fee. This coming year I'm adding the option to put all raw footage onto DVD, with a flat fee of around $800-900 (I typically have 8-12 tapes per wedding). The idea is to keep the option available, but make it cost-prohibitive so that most couples don't want it. For those that do, I'm getting compensated for the time.

Nathan, at $10 a tape I think you're REALLY shortchanging yourself. Even if you don't mind making only $10/hr as a skilled professional, it's going to take more than an hour of your time to put a tape onto DVD. Raise your prices and get paid for your skill, my man.
I agree Travis, when we shot on minidv, I would provide the tapes to the client at no fee and only had a few takers over the years. But now that we are HDV I can't just hand them a box of tapes anymore (especially cause we shoot 24f). I really need to make it cost prohibitive or stop offering period...
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Old July 17th, 2008, 08:12 AM   #20
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Well...... no

I gave my tapes to one client years ago when we first started. And I have regretted it ever since. Sometimes I have people ask me about selling the raw footage, but I would probably only do it for a significant charge, one probably more than the package itself. And I would only put it on a drive, not give them the tapes, that way they can pull each clip into windows media player etc.

On the flip side, when I married my wife, I bought her potrait negatives. Don't ask me if I've ever done anything with them. sigh. But for me, it was still worth the purchase.

The other side of this is I am ending up with a very large collection of tapes, in the thousands of dollars. But that's another thread all together.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 08:22 AM   #21
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I LOVE that analogy that Tom used!!!

Thanks everyone for your input! I have to admit...I'm pretty happy to hear that I'm not the only one who REALLY doesn't want everyone to see my Raw footage. I've only been doing this for less than a year and I still cringe when I upload my footage. It never occurred to me that anyone else runs to a better location with the camera running!!

Somehow I still manage to pull out 2hrs of nice footage but I can't help but wonder what the "general public" would think if they saw it raw!

One point that I took note of...is that there may be "private" conversations on there. I often have "fun/candid" convos with the photographers while the camera is running and I'm shooting stuff that I KNOW will be shown with music playing.

As well I recently videotaped a Gr 8 graduation and those kids said stuff that the parents would NOT want to hear. Best example: One girl repeatedly mentioning how 2 other girls ALWAYS make out when they are drinking (these were 13-14 yr olds and it was a CATHOLIC school graduation). Repeatedly they kept adding "DON"T PUT THAT IN THERE!!" and I promised I wouldn't...can't very well sell that to the parents now can I?
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Old July 17th, 2008, 08:28 AM   #22
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My wife is a photographer, and she doesn't release the originals because people will then take them to low-quality places to get reprints, and her image suffers as a result. Also, half of her art is in what she does with an image after she has it on her cpu, so she doesn't want to give out all of the original files and have people printing those. She wants to work her magic on anything they want printed.

Hey Travis, this is off the subject, but what lenses does your wife use, i.e. speed mm etc? You can email me if you want. My wife does the still work for our video and I'm looking for a well rounded Nikon lens idea.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 08:30 AM   #23
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One point that I took note of...is that there may be "private" conversations on there.

That's a very good point you make and one I hadn't thought of. The very sight of the Rycote Softie above my Z1 often has people gagging themselves and saying, 'you didn't record that, did you?'

So if you sell on your raw, you'd have to edit it for audio too.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 10:19 AM   #24
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I don't sell or release raw, period. I make it clear up front, though. It just ends up causing more problems than good for the types of stuff I cover.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:15 AM   #25
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So how do you handle it when you clean your digital archives, then?

We are running low on storage space, so I put together a policy of archiving for one year and then letting the client come over with a hard drive to clean off their files, otherwise we will charge them $300/year to store it if they want us to maintain it. No one has actually taken me up on cleaning off their files to a hard drive, yet. Mostly, we have just wiped them. We always have the tapes and can charge them again for do-overs....

I like better the idea of selling them the tapes rather than the digital files, however, let them work for it. They're welcome to the raw footage, especially if they'll pay for it. I sure don't need to warehouse it. I don't shoot weddings, however, but do shoot a lot of event, where the private conversation aspect is less relevant. Unlike weddings, we have repeat event clients, so there are situations where it is in our interest to hang onto the files and the footage, for re-use in their other projects.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:08 PM   #26
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We used to sell our raw footage for $150. I would cut out some of the junk, compress it all in to a file and burn it to a DVD. As of about 2 weeks ago, I don't offer it anymore and will NEVER give it to anyone again.

We have gone back and forth about this but have decided it's not something we want to do for the following reasons:

1. it takes a ton of time if you are putting it all to DVD like I was. Definitely not worth $150 once I get that going and it holds up one of my computers for 8-15 hours.

2. you never know whats on there. I know I've said things that I wouldn't want the bride and groom to hear and I would hate to accidentally do so and then give them the footage. Let's face it, we all get frustrated at some weddings and begin bitching about something to another shooter or photographer...and then whoops! I left it recording that whole time.

3. We have developed a style of shooting that would be horrible trying to watch as raw footage. I don't just point at the crowd and leave the camera running...hardly ever. We get shots and moving shots that I do 10 times just to get right. Like someone else said, they're not going to want to watch that. I'm mainly using this point as I explain to my couples why they DON'T want to buy it.


We've had a lot of people want the raw stuff lately for some reason and I just don't want to do it anymore. I never really run into any problems but I potentially could and I would rather focus on making a great video that includes nearly everything than doing both!

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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:35 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Kelsey Emuss View Post
One point that I took note of...is that there may be "private" conversations on there. I often have "fun/candid" convos with the photographers while the camera is running and I'm shooting stuff that I KNOW will be shown with music playing.
I guess I make it a point to watch what I say if my camera is rolling. I would recommend you do the same just to be safe.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelsey Emuss View Post
As well I recently videotaped a Gr 8 graduation and those kids said stuff that the parents would NOT want to hear. Best example: One girl repeatedly mentioning how 2 other girls ALWAYS make out when they are drinking (these were 13-14 yr olds and it was a CATHOLIC school graduation). Repeatedly they kept adding "DON"T PUT THAT IN THERE!!" and I promised I wouldn't...can't very well sell that to the parents now can I?
Why not? If a 13-year-old is going to be dumb enough to say stuff that they don't want their parents to hear, while knowing that a videocamera is running on them, oh well for them. You may have agreed not to put it on the final edit, but you made no verbal agreement with them about releasing the tapes. Besides, those 13-year-old's aren't your client. They aren't paying your bills. Don't worry about them.

If anything, maybe it would be good for their parents to know what they're up to, lol.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:43 PM   #28
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I guess I'm still confused. People keep mentioning "all of the problems" selling the raw footage can cause, but I'm not hearing any specifics. Honestly it sounds like a lot of irrational fear to me.

The only specifics I've seen so far is you might be saying things you don't want the B&G to hear later, and your raw footage looks horrible. Well ...

You should probably get in the habit of not saying things at the wedding that you don't want the B&G to hear. And it's not like you don't have control of when you're recording and when you're deciding to speak. Seems like a really simple fix to me. Besides, even if you aren't recording, I think it's a really bad idea to say anything at the wedding that you wouldn't want the B&G to hear. You never know when someone else might be around to hear it. Just make it a habit to keep your mouth shut and you'll have no problems with that kind of stuff.

As for raw footage looking horrible, that's the point. Once the B&G start watching it, they probably won't finish watching it. If someone wants my raw footage, I'm very clear with them that it is unedited and generally uninteresting. If they still choose to buy it, and then find out it's no fun to watch, oh well. They just paid me to take their tapes out of my storage. Seems like a win-win situation for me.

If these are the only real fears with selling raw footage, I think it's a pretty weak argument for not selling it.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:48 PM   #29
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Don't get me wrong Travis...when I say fun/candid conversations I don't mean that I make fun of the bride, swear, say racial slurs etc. But I may at an Indian wedding comment casually to the Photographer that I'm gonna starve because I hate Indian food. Now is/was the camera rolling? I dunno but I don't feel like searching my footage to find out! I know you were being helpful (which I appreciate!) but I'd hate for you to think I have a foul mouth or something! lol~

I've also found that weddings are "emoitionally charged" events. After hanging out with the bride at her house for a few hours I sometimes find myself privvy to conversations between her and bridesmaids about how annoying her Mom was when she tried on dresses etc. Again I don't feel like searching for that footage either.

All in all I think I've decided to NOT make my footage for sale. This is a very interesting discussion!
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:56 PM   #30
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Don't get me wrong Travis...when I say fun/candid conversations I don't mean that I make fun of the bride, swear, say racial slurs etc. But I may at an Indian wedding comment casually to the Photographer that I'm gonna starve because I hate Indian food. Now is/was the camera rolling? I dunno but I don't feel like searching my footage to find out! I know you were being helpful (which I appreciate!) but I'd hate for you to think I have a foul mouth or something! lol~

I've also found that weddings are "emoitionally charged" events. After hanging out with the bride at her house for a few hours I sometimes find myself privvy to conversations between her and bridesmaids about how annoying her Mom was when she tried on dresses etc. Again I don't feel like searching for that footage either.

All in all I think I've decided to NOT make my footage for sale. This is a very interesting discussion!
Well, saying you hate Indian food isn't something I'd worry about your client seeing. I mean, do they like EVERY kind of food? Probably not. As long as you aren't saying bad things about people, I don't see any potential problems. And like I said, the chances of the couple actually watching all of the footage is also pretty slim too.

As for what other people say on the video, don't take responsibility for them. It's not your job to police what other people are saying while you're filming. If the bride is talking badly about her mother-in-law, and she wants the raw footage, and she chooses to show it to her mother-in-law ... after you've already told her it's completely unedited ... that is HER responsibility. Don't take that on yourself. Again, I think this is really just irrational fear at work. If the bride isn't too fond of her mother-in-law, she probably isn't going to sit down and watch 10 hours of raw footage with her, right?

Either way, it's not really a big deal whether you offer the footage for sale or not. My point is simply that there shouldn't be any reason for videographers to be afraid to sell it. And my other point is that by offering it for sale, at a substantial price, you're only creating benefits for your company.

Now go do what you want! d;-)
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