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


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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #31
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Case in point, my wife and I just met with a couple last week. They were blown away by my work .. absolutely loved it. In fact, it was obvious that they were more impressed with the videography than they were with the photography (they loved the photography too, but I think they were already expecting to love it). Anyways, they booked a $5k package with my wife, but didn't book a videography package.
I'd like to see your wife's work. I'd also like to switch to photography. Today.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #32
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I'd like to see your wife's work. I'd also like to switch to photography. Today.
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Sometimes I'd like to switch too. d;-)
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Old October 17th, 2008, 08:24 PM   #33
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Having the opportunity to work with the Stillmotion team and shoot with the famous John Edgar, I have been able to see their clients first hand. First off when you walk into the Stillmotion facility you are treated to an absolutely beautiful studio full with meeting room and cappuccino bar. The large prints are on the walls which depict stunning brides and imagery. When you sit down in the boardroom you are seated at a table which contains amazing photos and articles in DVEvent magazine which Patrick and Michael have been published. You sit down with part of the Stillmotion team and go over the details of your wedding and are asked questions about what you want to experience. The sales pitch is far from aggressive but rather subtle and upbeat, exciting, and full of vigor. Then you are brought into the screening room which houses a 120" screen and comfy leather couches and you are immersed in a wedding film which is unlike anything you have ever experienced before. Watching a Stillmotion film is just that, a film. You don't feel like you are watching a video. There is no conversation on equipment used, why you should book them over the competitors, etc. What you have experienced is complete confidence in what they do and having spent time with them, although they are down to earth guys and girl, they definitely believe they are the best in the world at what they do and in my opinion they are. Not only do they pay attention to the details but they employ the best techniques and equipment to keep them at the top. From color grading to steadicam there work is unlike anyone's in the industry. The next time you view a Stillmotion film look for a flaw, and you will never see one. Look for shake, shadows, etc... they simply don't have them. This is why they can get the prices they do...Confidence... A couple of years ago when I met Patrick he was around the $2000 mark but believed he was worth more and went after the the higher end market and as his prices quadrupled! so did his work. He has surrounded himself with talent so that there isn't a weak link in the chain. I have had this conversation with Patrick in person and I told him that I couldn't get more than $2000 for a film and his reply was if you think like that you never will get more. His suggestion was that you are worth more than you are getting and if you can't get in your market look outside your market. Ask Patrick how many weddings he does in TO compared to the people who are willing to fly his company to them and pay on top of that. Also when you charge the higher prices you will start getting a different client calling but be prepared to show them a different type of film. As long as we up our game and continue to evolve our skills and not settle your prices and clients will view them as desirable. Make sure you are qualifying your customers and not trying to close people who clearly don't value your services and are looking for a budget product, let the budget guys have them.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 06:40 AM   #34
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For a $ per hour rate that is amazing, Im sure its crazy hard work but for that pay off...

The work you produce in that short time is of outstanding quality though and Im sure the couples have something they and others enjoy (heck, just look at the view count of some or google stillmotion and see how many people are talking about them). A lot better than many UK videos who give you 3 hours of tosh... Just saw a couple today who gave us a copy of a wedding another videographer did that they dont want us to copy. 2 disks and one is nothing but the reception <eeek!>.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 02:48 AM   #35
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We charge $999 + $350 for projection for our SDEs. It's a tricky situation b/c as many others have said - it really is THE best marketing opportunity for videography since there is so much miseducation out there around what wedding videographers produce. Where else do you have a captive audience ready to learn more about what you do? If you price it too high and the couple doesn't opt for it then you've lost this opportunity.

To give you an example, we did a SDE on Sept 13th and ended up just booking the MOH for her wedding next year for a full film w/ a SDE upgrade. Her fiance said that he knew when he was watching the SDE that he wanted to hire us. They came in and booked a very substantial contract and I asked them at the end of the meeting if they were considering a wedding film before they saw the SDE and they said definitely not. So, had we not done the SDE or held out for more money for the SDE we would never have landed this contract.

We also offer a SDE only package but any clients that come in initially interested in it usually end up getting a full film with a SDE upgrade anyway.

Incidentally, our market has about 300,000 people so you don't necessarily need a city with a huge population to garner more than 1k. If you show clients a well-produced SDE and get them excited about how it works, I'm sure you'll find that they'll think 1k is more than reasonable given the amount of impact it will have at their reception!

Hope that helps!
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Old October 30th, 2008, 02:44 PM   #36
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You make a very good point Bruce. We have been charging $1,500 for SDE add-on including an 8ft fast-fold projection rear projection system. However, I may be reconsidering. My feelings have always been that for all the pressure and stress of a SDE, I want to make it worth it. You're absolutely right about the marketing opportunity it brings. Oddly enough, we have had more success with immediate bookings with our first dance add-on.

We have been very successful at selling a concept video/love story/music video with our clients that is played during the first dance. It's nice because the video is accompanied by the song of their first dance and it gives the guests something to watch while the couple is dancing. Usually they are right in front of the rear projection screen, so it works out great... because lets face it, not very many people are interested (save for the wedding party and immediate family) in standing around watching the b&g dance for an entire song... they usually start chit-chatting halfway through the second verse. It's also nice because it evokes emotion, and turns an otherwise ordinary formality into something more special. PLUS, it's a whole lot less stressful! That's why we push that option more than the SDE. Less stress! High impact! Lot's of people asking for cards at the end of the night! Still think the SDE is more impressive, but it's been a great upsell for us.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 09:16 AM   #37
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Andrew - That's an excellent idea for those who don't want to go the SDE route.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 11:41 AM   #38
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SDEs haven't really caught on in my market. They figure, why would anyone want to watch a video of something they just saw a few hours ago. It's hard trying to explain the wedding day preparations and lead-up... but they concept/love story/music video is an easier sell.

I was a wedding DJ for 5 years before making the switch to wedding videography. The first dance was never anything that special. It was special to the b&g and to the mothers usually. Everyone else saw it as an opportunity to talk about "the game" or catch up on "old times" with the people at their tables. After doing the first one I immediately had something. Everyone was silent, and all eyes where on the b&g who where dancing a waltz in front of an 8ft rear projection screen. In their video it ends on them dancing the very same dance on the beach as the sun is setting... there wasn't too many dry eyes in the place. It was a huge hit. That night we booked a wedding with the upgrade. You can check out the very same video on my site. It's called Molly & Scott's Love Story. Yes, I know it's not a love story in the true sense we are used to. It's more like a music video of them just doing what they do... hiking, doing woodsy stuff, hanging out at the beach, being outdoorsy, but it's effective.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 12:42 PM   #39
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It's more like a music video of them just doing what they do... hiking, doing woodsy stuff, hanging out at the beach, being outdoorsy, but it's effective.
There were some really nice shots in that video Andrew, I noticed one impressive shot were the camera goes up quite high and I saw a similar movement a bit later, how did you achieve such a smooth move with the camera, did you use a crane for that?
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Old October 31st, 2008, 02:26 PM   #40
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yeah.... some of the beach stuff was done on a jib (Kessler Crane) and some was just tripod stuff... ALL the woodsy stuff was done with a knockoff Steadicam made in India vest an arm system... you can really tell on some of the shots, I've long sense upgraded to a legit Steadicam Pilot and it made ALL the difference. You really DO get what you pay for.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 05:17 PM   #41
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I am a firm believer that FINALLY videographer's are getting paid what they deserve!
I think that is up for debate. Some may be charging and getting too little still but I think other may also be charging more than what their product is worth.

About your clip:
So this is something that is produced in 2 days and is supposed to be comparable to an SDE but at a lower price point? And this was shot without a steadicam add-on? How much do you charge for adding those in?

I checked out the clip. I would look into balancing that glidecam a little tighter. It looked like it could be off from some of the moving shots.

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Old October 31st, 2008, 05:32 PM   #42
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Wow

How and where do you find the time after filming a wedding all day to do a SDE?!!!? WOW, what am I missing?
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Old October 31st, 2008, 09:15 PM   #43
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How and where do you find the time after filming a wedding all day to do a SDE?!!!? WOW, what am I missing?
You have an editor meet you at the church to get the first batch of tapes, they head to the reception and start editing and get a second batch of tapes when you arrive at the reception.

:)
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Old November 1st, 2008, 11:33 AM   #44
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About your clip:
So this is something that is produced in 2 days and is supposed to be comparable to an SDE but at a lower price point? And this was shot without a steadicam add-on? How much do you charge for adding those in?

I checked out the clip. I would look into balancing that glidecam a little tighter. It looked like it could be off from some of the moving shots.

P.
Assuming your talking about mine:
No, actually this was done like two months before the wedding and was shot in one day, it's actually the same day, same location, just across the road. Woods on one side of the road, beach on the other. I typically charge $1,500 for a up to 4 hour shoot like this, but include a rear-projection system. I don't typically go into details about equipment with the bride... or upsell with equipment, I just have a price and that's it, what ever I think it will take to accomplish what I want to accomplish. Sometimes this is with a Steadicam, Jib, and Tri-pod, sometimes this is handheld only. It just depends on the circumstances. The wedding day I use the same philosophy, I start out at $3,000. So this particular wedding was $4,500 with the add-on.

You're right about the glidecam...or I wish it was a glidecam. Actually at the time I was using a cheap knockoff glidecam that I got on ebay from some company in India. I think it was the Flycam and Magic Arm. I had too many problems with it so I ditched it and got the Steadicam Pilot. Infact when I was in Glendale picking it up one of the guys there at Steadicam was telling me about you and spoke very highly of you and Michael. You must have left a really good impression on them because they couldn't stop talking about you. I ended up taking the Flyer workshop there... learned a lot.
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Old November 1st, 2008, 11:40 AM   #45
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Really what it boils down to for me:
-It's hard for me to sell SDEs in my market, but I'll do them if I can sell them and under the right circumstances.
-SDEs are a lot more stress for me. Pre-Wedding, not so much... easy breezy no pressure.
-Separate Pre-Wedding Shoots have been a good seller for me doing it as a FIRST DANCE video thingy.
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