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

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Old November 7th, 2008, 08:14 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Jason Bowers View Post
Don't mention it to the clients and just try to pull one off first. This won't set you up for failure and will give you a good idea on timing etc... If it goes well introduce it as a surprise and they will be that much more emotional and grateful because of no expectations.

You hit the nail on the head Jason. What I did was give a pile of tapes from a previously shot wedding to my editor and said "try to edit a trailer 5 hours". She pulled it off so I asked her to do it again but in 4 hours with another pile of tapes. When she was able to do it again, I knew we were good to test it on the day of the wedding. For the first 3 I invested in having her with us all day. She edited all day without the couple knowing and surprised them 15 minutes before we wanted to project it. Once we knew we could pull it off 3 times I knew were in a good position to offer it as a paid upgrade.

Since then we've had it added to almost every one of our '09 packages for $999 + projection so it's more than paid off. In fact, we just booked the MOH from our Sept 13th wedding who told us when she was watching the SDE she knew she had to hire us to film her wedding. I asked her at the consultation if she was considering video at all until she saw a SDE and she said absolutely not. It was never more crystal clear to me after that, that SDEs were a must.
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Old November 8th, 2008, 02:22 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
I've got my work cut out for me just to change their priority on GETTING A VIDEO in the first place, and that makes it really difficult to work on changing the next priority .. and getting them to value the add on services.
And this is one of the greatest challenges our industry faces. By the time any of these couples are walking through your door it's already too late, the decision is already made when it comes to video. They haven't ever been impacted by a quality wedding film so it doesn't get priority in their budget.

One way to approach this is to impact people with quality wedding videography at the earliest possible stage of their wedding planning. The reason SDE's are so effective is because they educate people before their wedding journey has even begun.

Reversing years of damage to the videography industry is not something one videographer can be expected to tackle alone. It's going to take a collective effort over many years to see change.

I'm not saying every videographer should be doing SDE's. My point is that we should be thinking "What is the earliest possible point at which I can impact people with quality wedding videography?" For some this is doing SDE's. For others it might mean teaming up with some jewellers to impact couples as they're looking for engagement rings. Maybe reception venues.

It's a matter of figuring out in your area which vendors do couples visit first.

We're not necessarily competing against other videographers. We're actually competing against other wedding vendors for a piece of a bride's budget and we need to be as high on their list as we possibly can be.
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Old November 8th, 2008, 12:43 PM   #63
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Hi Matthew,

Originally Posted by Matthew Ebenezer View Post
It's a matter of figuring out in your area which vendors do couples visit first.
Anyone that has done sde's for a while will also tell you that there are brides that know they are going to hire you even before they are engaged. In quite a few cases I've had brides say they hadn't even met who they eventually were engaged to but they knew I would be the videographer - all because they were exposed to an SDE. Many times I'm already booked but send them to another company, so those doing them and doing them well are benefiting everyone. So far, though, there hasn't been enough buzz to create a greater percentage of couples choosing a professional videographer, at least in my very unscientific method of figuring that out - I ask the photographers I work with what percentage of weddings they shoot with a video pro. Its been very steady at about 20% for the last 10 years or so. Some photographers say they've seen fewer videographers than just a few years ago. I've come to the conclusion that its immediacy that will make our industry flourish. Right now 'backlog' is the wedding videographer's four letter word. I deal with it in a big way, but I'm able to maintain momentum with same-day, next-day and same-week highlights. My current strategy is to develop the same-week highlight into a longer 15 - 20 minute film and outsource a slick-but-simple documentary cut.

Sorry for rambling...

Last edited by Joel Peregrine; November 8th, 2008 at 01:36 PM.
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Old November 8th, 2008, 03:23 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Bruce Patterson View Post
What I did was give a pile of tapes from a previously shot wedding to my editor and said "try to edit a trailer 5 hours".
I don't have that luxury. I don't have an editor that I can hand the tapes to. If I'm going to do an SDE, then I have to be the one to edit it.

I do hire an assistant to help me shoot, but they have limited experience and skills. I don't get to use the same shooter all the time because they all work other jobs. Because my assistant shooters have limited experience and skills, I also have to be the primary shooter.

So logistically, I don't have any options. I have to be available to shoot to make sure I get good footage, so I can't be available to edit.

If I had a wedding day where there was a 3 hour break between the ceremony and the reception, then I could try and pull of an SDE, but like I said already .. I typically get 30 minutes or less. The one SDE I did was a wedding where I happened to have a 2.5 hour break, but that was 3 or 4 years ago and I haven't had that opportunity again.
Black Label Films
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Old November 8th, 2008, 05:48 PM   #65
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One word travis, "CLONE" <wink>!

I think that's the challenge sometimes for the "creative genius" type - finding other skilled help that can meet or exceed your expectations (and that won't end up being next year's competition).

In other businesses, I found that you train raw talent with potential, and about the time they are really getting GOOD, they hire off elsewhere or start their own gig...

Advantage to the husband/wife "teams", hopefully not as likely that you "lose" your talent!
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Old November 8th, 2008, 06:30 PM   #66
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I hear ya, Dave. I had an assistant this past year that was my best ever, and I was just starting to imagine the possibilities when he informed me that he couldn't do weddings anymore because of his full-time job situation. Another of my assistant's had to back out a week later because he was diagnosed with Crone's disease (I have Hashimoto's Graves auto-immune disease, so I totally understood why he backed out). That left me with 2 assistants on my list. One is decent as a shooter, but isn't exactly on top of things usually .. in other words .. requires babysitting. The other is basically inexperienced and was only on my list as an emergency contact up until now. And the odds that both of these would ever be available on the SAME day is not very good.

So I look at my options for assistants, take into account how my average wedding day schedule runs, and wonder how in the world I would ever pull off an SDE.
Black Label Films
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