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


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Old September 3rd, 2008, 01:47 PM   #76
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I would just like to add that some videographers don't "depend" solely on weddings. For some, it is a choice to specialize in only weddings, and they often produce a superior product because of it. I used to split myself between weddings and commercial work, but these days I'm trying harder and harder to just do weddings. It's not easy, but I like the idea of becoming very specialized at what I do. I know if I was looking for a videographer for my wedding, I would rather go with someone who specialized in wedding videos, rather than someone who does all sorts of projects. Not everyone feels that way, of course, but that's the beauty of the business. It's very dynamic and can be approached in many different ways.

I only wanted to clarify that "depend" can make it sound like the videographer is incapable of doing anything else, when in fact it may have been a determined decision to specialize.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 02:37 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
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If I have determined that it's going to take 6 months to created an outstanding product, and my clients are perfectly happy with waiting 6 months for such a product, and that is how long it takes me to produce the product, and my customers are overjoyed when they receive it, then how am I providing poor customer service?

I can only assume you refuse to answer this question because you know the answer would invalidate your entire argument.

If it actually takes you 6 months of actual editing work to create the video once the footage is in the can, then 6 months isn't too long and the time spent will be reflected in the quality of the results. But if your real edit time is 4 weeks once you begin but it takes you 5 months to get around to it because you're shooting other work booked after the couple in question, then you have placed other factors as more important than your customer and are giving them a lower level of service than you are capable of. You are putting your bottom line - maximizing the number of clients you book - as more important than giving the clients you have already shot the best service you are capable of. It's up to you to figure out how to give them the best service you possibly can and still make a profit at it. Of course they're overjoyed at receiving the video after 6 months - "At last it's ready!" - that's not the point. Think how much happier they would have been had they received the same video in time for the post-honeymoon house-warming party they had 3 months after the wedding! Good service is not just satisfying the customer, it is maximizing their satisfaction, giving them more then what they expect.

What's reasonable time is the time it takes you to do the best job you can for the client. If you are comparing a product that took two weeks to edit versus one that took six months to edit and the extra time shows in the final produuct, your statements are valid. But if you're comparing a product that took two weeks to edit versus another one that also took two weeks of actual effort but has sat on the shelf for six months waiting to be completed while you put other work ahead of it, then they really aren't.

As a side note, look back on the thread and you'll see that throughout it all I have not cast a single aspersion attacking the talents, qualifications, motivations, or professionalism of any person particpating, including yourself. I have never said of a single person here "This person is giving poor service" or "That person doesn't know what they're doing." Your ad hominem attacks are uncalled for.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 02:40 PM   #78
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This thread sounds like a bunch of old women nagging.

It was interesting to see the huge range of deliverable estimates. I like the slow boat delivery idea. You probably wouldn't even have to deliver a few projects each year because the couple already divorced.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 02:52 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
Of course they're overjoyed at receiving the video after 6 months - "At last it's ready!" - that's not the point. Think how much happier they would have been had they received the same video in time for the post-honeymoon house-warming party they had 3 months after the wedding! Good service is not just satisfying the customer, it is maximizing their satisfaction, giving them more then what they expect.
Your argument just continues to be completely ignorant to the realities of the seasonal business that wedding videography is...

Maybe you should concentrate on other areas of this board...
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 02:56 PM   #80
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What's reasonable time is the time it takes you to do the best job you can for the client. If you are comparing a product that took two weeks to edit versus one that took six months to edit and the extra time shows in the final produuct, your statements are valid.
Glad to see you're finally starting to get it.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 02:59 PM   #81
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As much as Travis and I have disagreed in the past, I have to agree here. If you have communicated well and delivered a satisfactory product in the agreed upon time frame. AND...the clients have consistent positive feedback and recommend your services to others, I would have to say you have provided them with a higher level of customer service than most American companies do. But is that where customer service ends or begins??

While this is good customer service, it isn't in my opinion excellent customer service. I define excellent customer service as a consistent effort to identify and meet what customers WANT and NEED. Wedding videography isn't a need based business like plumbing or car repair. It is a want based service and therefore a choice not a necessity. So what does the average wedding videography client WANT when it comes to turnaround time. Just because they accept what you offer doesn't mean you're meeting what they WANT. This is one reason I have gotten out of the wedding business. I found it extremely difficult to put out a quality one of a kind production, have a decent turnaround time, make a profit and not go insane at the same time.

I think this is what Steve was trying to say before he got caught up in the tit for tat. If I'm wrong I'm wrong, but it's just an opinion so feel free to disagree.

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Old September 3rd, 2008, 03:58 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
If it actually takes you 6 months of actual editing work to create the video once the footage is in the can, then 6 months isn't too long and the time spent will be reflected in the quality of the results. But if your real edit time is 4 weeks once you begin but it takes you 5 months to get around to it because you're shooting other work booked after the couple in question, then you have placed other factors as more important than your customer and are giving them a lower level of service than you are capable of.
So let's assume that we now take your advice and only shoot a wedding once we have the previously-shot wedding edited and delivered. Assuming it takes only 2 weeks to edit (which could easily be considered a "low" estimate), we would then only be able to shoot 2 weddings per month. Now given that the wedding season is basically June, July, August and September, that means we'll only shoot/edit 8 weddings during the wedding season. Assuming that $2k is the average a couple is willing to spend on a wedding video (and this could easily be considered a "high" estimate), we will now make $16,000 a year via our wedding videography business. Yes, Steve, this sounds like a brilliant business approach. I'll be sure and reflect on how well it is working while I'm looking for a 2nd job to actually pay my bills.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
As a side note, look back on the thread and you'll see that throughout it all I have not cast a single aspersion attacking the talents, qualifications, motivations, or professionalism of any person particpating, including yourself. I have never said of a single person here "This person is giving poor service" or "That person doesn't know what they're doing." Your ad hominem attacks are uncalled for.
Not true. You have stated repeatedly that delivering a video more than 3 months after the wedding is too long, and is poor customer service. My "attacks" are justified, as I am providing you with the information on WHY a video might take that long to deliver. I have also provided you with information that shows my clients are very much happy with waiting longer than 3 months for the right product. If I have been harsh or insensitive at all it is because I'm losing patience with you. You have no experience in the field and yet you're talking down to us like you're some sort of expert. It's ridiculous.

Like someone else said, please share your "advice" somewhere else on the forums where you actually have the experience to back it up. Thanks.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 04:02 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Mick Haensler View Post
This is one reason I have gotten out of the wedding business. I found it extremely difficult to put out a quality one of a kind production, have a decent turnaround time, make a profit and not go insane at the same time.
I couldn't agree with you more. Wedding videography is such a different field from so many other business, that you can't really compare it like apples-to-apples. No one really understands this until they get into it, and it's definitely one of the reasons that so many get out of it right away too. You almost have to be a bit crazy to WANT to film weddings, lol. d:-)
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 04:02 PM   #84
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This debate is going no where. Let me answer the simple question. "Turnaround Time?"

The faster the better with good quality (Thats what customer wants). I think afew months is seasonable. Anything longer is just too long. For me, the reason it takes longer because editing is BORING but filming is still fun.

Maybe fellow videographers don't want to admit that video editing is boring because of time consuming. Thats all.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 06:55 PM   #85
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Maybe fellow videographers don't want to admit that video editing is boring because of time consuming. Thats all.
Sorry Anthony but I am not one of those, I actually love the process of editing, its where I can really refine the story telling. Shooting is heaps of fun but editing I find very exciting as well because that's where I can put together all the things I had planned out in my head how the shots will fit into the edit. I shoot to edit so for me they work together side by side. Only bit boring is capturing footage but even then gives me time to review the footage. This all takes time of course and what ever the delivery time was agreed on I have delivered (up to 3 months)
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 07:05 PM   #86
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Sorry Anthony but I am not one of those, I actually love the process of editing, its where I can really refine the story telling. Shooting is heaps of fun but editing I find very exciting as well because that's where I can put together all the things I had planned out in my head how the shots will fit into the edit. I shoot to edit so for me they work together side by side. Only bit boring is capturing footage but even then gives me time to review the footage. This all takes time of course and what ever the delivery time was agreed on I have delivered (up to 3 months)
well done and good on you.

off the topic:
do you find that most of "good" wedding videographers are un-fit health wise? i noticed that of many wedding videographers.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 08:13 PM   #87
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off the topic:
do you find that most of "good" wedding videographers are un-fit health wise? i noticed that of many wedding videographers.
Good question, and a valid one. Your fitness does play into your abilities when shooting, that's for sure. I actually work out regularly, and have incorporated exercises to help me with shooting long hours. This might be better discussed in a new thread, though.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 08:16 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Peter Szilveszter View Post
Sorry Anthony but I am not one of those, I actually love the process of editing, its where I can really refine the story telling. Shooting is heaps of fun but editing I find very exciting as well because that's where I can put together all the things I had planned out in my head how the shots will fit into the edit. I shoot to edit so for me they work together side by side. Only bit boring is capturing footage but even then gives me time to review the footage. This all takes time of course and what ever the delivery time was agreed on I have delivered (up to 3 months)
I have to agree. I love shooting, but I love editing too. The only part of the process that I'm not fond of is the rough cutting. For me, it's very tedious to watch hours and hours of footage over and over to determine what you'll keep and what you won't. It's the one thing I wish I could hire out. Unfortunately I'm a perfectionist and don't yet trust anyone else to rough cut my footage for me.

As tedious as the process is, it's a really important part, and I really think it helps for the rough cutter to have been there on the wedding day. You just have a better grasp for what is important and what isn't.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 08:23 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
I have to agree. I love shooting, but I love editing too. The only part of the process that I'm not fond of is the rough cutting. For me, it's very tedious to watch hours and hours of footage over and over to determine what you'll keep and what you won't. It's the one thing I wish I could hire out. Unfortunately I'm a perfectionist and don't yet trust anyone else to rough cut my footage for me.

As tedious as the process is, it's a really important part, and I really think it helps for the rough cutter to have been there on the wedding day. You just have a better grasp for what is important and what isn't.
I have a person who I trust to do my rough cutting for me. Its quite helpful to have somebody like this :)
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 11:09 PM   #90
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I have a person who I trust to do my rough cutting for me. Its quite helpful to have somebody like this :)
I bet! Did you train them yourself or did you find someone who was already doing that sort of work?
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