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


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Old September 4th, 2008, 08:08 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Anthony Smith View Post
Maybe fellow videographers don't want to admit that video editing is boring because of time consuming. Thats all.
Not me Anthony. I personally can't stand shooting weddings but love the edit. Another reason I won't be doing weddings, I lost my best shooter to LA this year. His eye was amazing and he was only 22.

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Old September 4th, 2008, 09:19 AM   #92
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Wow. You go away for a few days and look at what you miss :)

A few random thoughts from a tired brain:

- Good customer service = meeting or exceeding client's expectations

- Bad customer service = failing to meet client's expectations

- e.g. Why not hand the tapes to the bride and groom before they leave the reception? Why not hand them your camera so they can play the tapes back during the boring parts of the reception? If that's what they're expecting then they'll be happy but if they were expecting a high quality edited wedding video then I guess they'd be disappointed - i.e. Awesome turnaround time, poor customer service.

- Timely delivery is only part of the customer service equation - What about price, quality, customer expectations etc ...? None of them is mutually exclusive.

- Did you know that given an infinite amount of time, and infinite resources, 1,000 monkeys can edit together an awesome wedding video

I'd better go ... it's time to feed the monkeys.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 09:01 AM   #93
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Wow really can't belive some of the time frames given on here.

I shoot 25+ weddings a year and make sure the clients DVDs are ready as soon as they return from honeymoon!

Wedding on the Saturday, use an EX1, ingest the footage onto the mac on the sunday and make the bins, getting ready, ceremony, photos, reception, speeches, dancing and slideshow.

Start editing Monday morning, burn to dvd and get my partner to watch it and make notes for corrections. Tuesday make all corrections, colour correct, make slideshow to music, send to render for blu-ray and SD DVD. Start on artwork for DVD case and disks. Print off case artwork.

Wednesday. Make SD dvd menues/chapters, make music tracks for menues etc.

Thursday AM make blu-ray dvd menues and burn.Cut out case inserts, pop dvds in cases, check all is fine. Make 6 copies plus blue ray dvd for client. Get thw wraping paper out and pop into box awaiting their return from honeymoon.

Friday. Make sure batteries are charged, camera lenses are clean and all camera gear is in good working order.

Saturday. Head out the door for next wedding.

I have worked that was for quite a while and you know what? No phone calls graoning and moaning about when their film is going to be ready. Discipline is paramount.

I have a friend who is 9 weddings behind. Been doing it for years and gets abuse on the phone on a weekly basis because he isn't disciplined and leaves the drudge of editing to watch dvds of Heroes and the Sara Connor Chronicles.

Occassionally there might be a problem wih a peice of music but if you have a questionnaire for the couple to fill in before their wedding, asking for music choices etc, then there should be no hitches at all.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 09:14 AM   #94
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I've got 2 weddings and a christening ready to be edited, christening was shot about 3 weeks ago, wedding about 3 weeks ago and one about a week ago, not started any of them.
What have they all got in common ?
I'm still waiting for customers to supply photos for montage and what music they want, they don't even have to supply the music, just tell me what they want and i'll get it myself.
Obviously they're not in a rush.

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Last edited by Paul Kellett; September 9th, 2008 at 09:15 AM. Reason: .
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Old September 9th, 2008, 09:21 AM   #95
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Steve, what are you using to print the DVD and inserts.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 09:26 AM   #96
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Steve, you have a very good work ethic.

I am 3 weddings behind Video wise, I do make it a point to hand them the Digital Negatives, proof album, 2 weeks after the wedding. I guess if I can discipline myself to do a 1 hour edit nightly, I can finish a project in one week.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 09:36 AM   #97
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Paul, since having in my contract that filming does not take place without a plan of action sheet, bridal party names, music list and photos, i haven't had any worries...
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Old September 9th, 2008, 10:53 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kellett View Post
I've got 2 weddings and a christening ready to be edited, christening was shot about 3 weeks ago, wedding about 3 weeks ago and one about a week ago, not started any of them.
What have they all got in common ?
I'm still waiting for customers to supply photos for montage and what music they want, they don't even have to supply the music, just tell me what they want and i'll get it myself.
Obviously they're not in a rush.

Paul.
Paul:

If you don't have that three weeks AFTER the wedding, it's time to start editing without. You have poor communications of your requirements or a contract without enough detail.

You need all that before you start or they are not getting a montage. Also, what, this about wanting their music list? That's outright copyright infringement and asking for a RIAA demand letter in the USA. Around here we use royalty free music and captures from the ceremony & reception.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 12:32 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
Discipline is paramount.
I'd be careful with making assumptions about discipline. The reason I take longer to edit is not because I'm undisciplined, it's because I choose to invest more time in the editing process.

If you are only spending ONE DAY to edit the entire wedding video then you aren't producing the type of product that I'm producing. There's nothing wrong with that. Some clients want a fast turnaround and a simple edit that lacks any sign of creativity, and some editors just don't know how to edit anything creatively. But those aren't the clients that I serve and that's not the type of editor I am.

I could just as easily assume that you are too lazy, unmotivated and uninspired to spend more than a day editing a wedding.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 01:42 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kellett View Post
I've got 2 weddings and a christening ready to be edited, christening was shot about 3 weeks ago, wedding about 3 weeks ago and one about a week ago, not started any of them.
What have they all got in common ?
I'm still waiting for customers to supply photos for montage and what music they want, they don't even have to supply the music, just tell me what they want and i'll get it myself.
Obviously they're not in a rush.

Paul.
Paul, you should get all this info in the questionnair you send out. I think I will post my questionnair and everyone can download it to use if they wish. Its for a UK market but can be tweaked for anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny Kyser View Post
Steve, what are you using to print the DVD and inserts.
I use a piece of software called Surething DVD labeller. very good. I print on a Canon pixma ip4000, which has now been superceeded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Wakefield View Post
Paul, since having in my contract that filming does not take place without a plan of action sheet, bridal party names, music list and photos, i haven't had any worries...
very true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
I'd be careful with making assumptions about discipline. The reason I take longer to edit is not because I'm undisciplined, it's because I choose to invest more time in the editing process.

If you are only spending ONE DAY to edit the entire wedding video then you aren't producing the type of product that I'm producing. There's nothing wrong with that. Some clients want a fast turnaround and a simple edit that lacks any sign of creativity, and some editors just don't know how to edit anything creatively. But those aren't the clients that I serve and that's not the type of editor I am.

I could just as easily assume that you are too lazy, unmotivated and uninspired to spend more than a day editing a wedding.
A day to me is 18 hours. But this is a business. Business first and foremost. What happens if you get as busy as me and have a wedding every weekend? If you don't keep on top of it you will just sink further and further behind. Then the phone calls start. "When is my film going to be ready"? A week later and you have two other clients asking the same. Oh, and you have another wedding to shoot on Saturday. When are you going to complete that one? Treat wedding videography as a business from start to finish. Be disciplined all the way through, and you will have a full order book as the recomendations come flooding in. You will not make extra money by phaffing about tweaking a scene forever. Oh, and another point. And I don't want to sound elitist or anything like that. My films are documentary style. No smultzy tacky music, no horrible Digital Juice lovehearts raining down the screen as a transition. I keep it clean. Transitions are fade in/fade out, straight cuts and cross dissolves. Nothing more. In 20 years time it will still be fresh. Average length of my wedding films is 85-100 minutes.

Remember, no client is ever going to see another clients wedding DVD, unless I get the business through a recommendation. So I shoot a wedding the same way more or less every single time (less special requests, balloon flight, etc). I listen to what my clients want. And it's virtually the same every time.

It's a standard formula learned over the years and iIt becomes second nature. After shooting and editing over 200 weddings I can do it very quickly and almost with my eyes closed. This doesn't mean my work is of a lower standard than yours. I charge much more than any other local videographer and I am very busy because I am a high standard and reliable. This wouldn't be the case if my work was sub par.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 02:41 PM   #101
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Before I respond to anything specific I just wanted to clarify that I was not judging you, your work or your process at all. I get the feeling you are trying to justify what you do, and that's not necessary. You and I create different types of products, and we have different types of clients. My clients would never hire you, and your clients would probably never hire me. Neither of us is going about things the wrong way as long as we are making ourselves and our clients happy.

Now, for some comments ...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
A day to me is 18 hours.
Well, if you want to work 18-hour days just to provide a one-week turnaround, you're welcome to that kind of stress, lol. I don't want it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
What happens if you get as busy as me and have a wedding every weekend? If you don't keep on top of it you will just sink further and further behind. Then the phone calls start. "When is my film going to be ready"? A week later and you have two other clients asking the same. Oh, and you have another wedding to shoot on Saturday. When are you going to complete that one?
This isn't a problem for me AT ALL. I am very up front and clear with my clients that their video will take AT LEAST 4-12 weeks to edit, and possibly longer. The clients that hire me are perfectly fine with this and actually appreciate that I spend so much time on their video. They are actually turned off by the guys who brag about being able to get their wedding video done in a week. Heck, I actually have clients routinely encourage me to take as long as I want. They want the very best.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
Treat wedding videography as a business from start to finish. Be disciplined all the way through, and you will have a full order book as the recomendations come flooding in.
Again, you should be careful here. Just because I choose to sell a product that takes longer to create doesn't mean I'm not treating my business as a business, and it doesn't mean I'm somehow being undisciplined. You admit that you have a tried-and-true system for reproducing everyone's wedding the same way. I'm not on here telling you that this is the wrong way to produce a wedding video am I? Just accept that you have your way and other people have their way. Why do you think that there are paintings that sell for $20 and paintings that sell for $20,000? As long as both artists and their customers are happy, then things are fine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
You will not make extra money by phaffing about tweaking a scene forever.
Actually, you will. If you present a product to a potential client that is perfect, and they are looking for perfect, then they will pay your price and compensate you for the extra hours you spend creating perfection. If your rates are based on turnaround times, though, you're right.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
Oh, and another point. And I don't want to sound elitist or anything like that. My films are documentary style. No smultzy tacky music, no horrible Digital Juice lovehearts raining down the screen as a transition. I keep it clean. Transitions are fade in/fade out, straight cuts and cross dissolves. Nothing more. In 20 years time it will still be fresh.
I don't use tacky music or floating hearts or goofy transitions either. I like to think my work is also timeless. It is cinematic in style, not documentary, but again, we just offer different products. Nothing wrong with that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
Remember, no client is ever going to see another clients wedding DVD, unless I get the business through a recommendation.
Not true. You have no idea who will end up seeing your videos. The world can often be a very small place. I've had people in my theater watching a video and they would suddenly say "Hey, we were at this wedding!". Besides, your clients can tell if their video is personalized or not. But again, it sounds like your clients are more concerned with price and turnaround time, so this isn't an issue. For me, I make it a point that each and every wedding is approached in it's own way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
After shooting and editing over 200 weddings I can do it very quickly and almost with my eyes closed. This doesn't mean my work is of a lower standard than yours. I charge much more than any other local videographer and I am very busy because I am a high standard and reliable. This wouldn't be the case if my work was sub par.
I never stated your work was sub-par. In fact, I never attempted to judge your work. I'm just pointing out that my work is obviously going to be different from yours if I'm investing 8 weeks in editing and you're investing 1 day. You may have a system and you may be fast, but you can only do so much in a day. You certainly can't personalize your videos the way that I do, because you wouldn't have the time for it.

One more time, there is nothing wrong with your system. It just isn't for me and my clients. I have a colleague in my market who films many more weddings than me and turns them around faster. He also gets less satisfaction from his work, makes less per wedding and has more stress with all of the extra weddings and deadlines. It works for him, but it's not how I want to do business.

I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and experiences, I just ask that you not place labels like "undisciplined" on videographers who you don't even know.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 03:04 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and experiences, I just ask that you not place labels like "undisciplined" on videographers who you don't even know.
That's fair enought Travis. I am sure your films look superb. I hope you charge a fortune for them. For me to spend 4-6 weeks working on a single film, I would have to charge way north of 10,000, and there's not many people in this area, if any, who would be prepared to spend that much on their wedding film. Perhaps its completely different in the USA.

In the UK wedding videographers are down the list, way behind the photographer and just in front of the chocolate fountain guy and toastmaster. To make proper money, volume really is king. However too many videographers don't have the business sense to charge a decent amount for their services.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 03:41 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
That's fair enought Travis. I am sure your films look superb. I hope you charge a fortune for them. For me to spend 4-6 weeks working on a single film, I would have to charge way north of 10,000, and there's not many people in this area, if any, who would be prepared to spend that much on their wedding film. Perhaps its completely different in the USA.

In the UK wedding videographers are down the list, way behind the photographer and just in front of the chocolate fountain guy and toastmaster. To make proper money, volume really is king. However too many videographers don't have the business sense to charge a decent amount for their services.
I certainly don't charge a fortune, but I'm working on that. d;-)

My market is probably a lot like yours. The average bride here isn't even considering videography, and most of those that are want to spend like $500-1,000. So I think we have the same struggle, and I know many markets in the US are just like mine. Videography just isn't a priority for most brides yet.

I decided early on that I wanted to provide a high-end, high-quality product. I decided early on that showing a higher quality product was more likely to open up my market over time. I still get a lot of resistance in my market. I lose many more potential clients than my competitors because I'm offering more than most are willing to pay for. But at the end of the day I'm finding those brides who DO care about their video, and they ARE willing to pay.

I'll admit there was a time when I nearly quit the business. I just wasn't finding enough of the type of clients I needed, and I wasn't willing (for my own satisfaction) to provide a lower-quality product. Luckily I made it through that and things are looking up now.

I think the important thing to remember on these forums is that we all run different businesses, provide different products and work with different clients in different markets. It's actually one of the biggest advantages of this forum, because we all get the opportunity to be exposed to things we aren't familiar with.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 03:46 PM   #104
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Very true.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 04:05 PM   #105
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but in some cases you might have to wait for materials from the B&G Don
Here's a backlog generator if I ever saw one. Don, you should know never to put your production schedule (time) into the hands of a client. :)

I stripped out any post-wedding responsibilities from the client long ago including song choices and those silly honeymoon pics. The only thing I need from them anymore is a shipping address.

But if you're doing this many weddings you're doing something right so what the hell do I know? :)
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