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


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Old November 13th, 2008, 11:18 PM   #1
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What motivates you?

Hi guys,

I filmed my last wedding of the year last weekend and this has been my first full year doing wedding videos. Unfortunately, towards the end I'm believing it's not my cup of tea. I'm sure I can do a great job, improve a lot, and please many clients, but I don't know if I'm really enjoying it.

So I ask...what motivates you to continue doing wedding videos year after year? What satisfies you the most in this business?

And don't be afraid to give "shallow" answers like the money you get, or pigging out great food in receptions, stuff like that :)

Filming weddings are fine with me...but editing them...WOW what a tedious and not-a-lot-of-fun process! (in my world, anyway)
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Old November 13th, 2008, 11:33 PM   #2
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Chris when your ready to sell your gear e-mail me just kidding.
If you don't enjoy editing you can always out source it still shoot your weddings but i think you would have to get a second job just to cover costs

Couples telling me they loved there DVD is motivation for me, keeping an eye on my competition and i luv the technology we have to outlay for every few years now that keeps me motivated.

If your expecting someone to give you a miracle answer forget it this kind of work is not a job it's not 9 to 5 it's a passion and a gift.

It's like a footballer or a boxer once the fire is out quit.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 11:41 PM   #3
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Caveat: I'm a newbie in this business

My motivation is three-fold. First, I'm technically minded, so I get a sense of accomplishment every time I master a new filming or editing technique, or successfully teach myself to use a new program. Second, I love the opportunity to couple my technical tendencies with creativity. I love building something from scratch that is very much my own, despite the fact that I'm doing it for someone else's benefit. That fits right into the third fold- I do love making money, and what's better than making money? Feeling like you really truly earned it by sculpting a piece of art that is unique.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 03:24 AM   #4
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For me it's two things really.

#1 - I have a passion for story-telling.

#2 - I seem to have a knack for what I do.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 06:11 AM   #5
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Wow big question, for me its capturing the once of moment that lots of people only experience once in a life time and the real moments simply can't be ever recreated. As far as editing goes the challenge to tell a story line in each wedding really keeps me going and also always pushing myself to not tell the story the same way I did last time, even though the events are straight forward that happen at every wedding, there is always an underlying story that occurs and usually during filming if I catch it early enough in the day the editing process becomes so much easier as well, other things that motivate me is meeting and getting to know the couple before the production as this helps heaps during the shoot and the edit and makes it become somewhat of a personal experience to do the best for the couple, and then the final motivator is the delivery of the product, this is exciting for me as this is when I find out how well I did my job.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 06:22 AM   #6
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What it USED to be was all the usual stuff. The creativity, the fun of the day with a (mostly) happy couple, the artsy stuff, producing a top quality product, the money...Today, not so much. After 25 years and about 1600+ wedding honestly, it's the money only and even that is beginning to pale. This year I will end up doing 61 weddings. Far too many for a guy my age, it leave little time to do other things that are important to me but the money is a driver.
Do I sound negative? Sorry, I get this way every year around this time. It's THAT time of year ;-)
I do still enjoy doing weddings today, just want to and will cut down the numbers so I don't get burn out. It's still fun to be a part of the "happiest day of their lives" especially when you're older than most of the parents, your youngest child is older than the B&G and you would win the anniversary dance for the longest married couple (if my wife were there)

Don
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Old November 14th, 2008, 08:25 AM   #7
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I work full time at a television station and am moving towards shooting weddings full time.
Why? Several things. Being my own boss is a big plus. Economically, television stations are just a few years behind newspapers and the auto industry - big job losses are on the way. I like the idea of having some control of my financial situation. Also, being able to work from home is great. No commute and more time with my daughter.

Now for the fun stuff, I like the gear, I love shooting and editing. Seeing beautiful footage through the viewfinder still exhilarates me.

I like working with the brides. I've shot weddings for a long time (for other companies) and have had very few bad experiences. And since we launched our business, we've had nothing but great experiences with our clients. We end up really liking them and feel lucky to be included in such a big event in their lives.

The shoots themselves are fun. Beautiful locations, great food, people having fun, what's not to like?

I'm also motivated by the work of the people on the board, Ethan, Still Motion, Savemoment and others. Trying to achieve that kind of quality gets me excited. I don't know if we'll get there, as Robert Browning said, "a man's reach should exceed his grasp..."
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Old November 14th, 2008, 08:45 AM   #8
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As an old school wedding videographer, seeing the works of Still Motions, Jmags, Mark, Matthew, Travis, Monday and all the talented videographers in this forum keeps me motivated. Ever since I found this forum, I look at wedding videography in a new level, I am trying to evolve from a Traditional Wedding shooter to what this guys are doing (with much difficulty).
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Old November 14th, 2008, 08:46 AM   #9
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Forgive me but I only skimmed the above but this stood out to me.

Does the subject matter "matter" that much? Editing is editing, or is it?? I'm a hobbiest so maybe there is alot more cutting and splicing in wedding videos.

Curious
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Old November 14th, 2008, 09:11 AM   #10
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Don - Please don't ever leave this forum. I absolutely love having the perspective of a grizzled old vet. This industry is dominated by younger guys for various reasons so your voice stands out to me. I had to laugh a little when I read your post. Loved the brutal honesty.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 10:28 AM   #11
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my motivation is simple. I like the acquisition of the business. Every time I get a yes from a perspective bride, it is awesome! I like the praise and the buzz I get from the highlights I send out when the DVD is finished. I like seeing good footage but that is rare. But the praise is my motivator. The money comes as a benefit for doing good work, not as a goal. I also like working from home, and determining my direction.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 11:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Whitley View Post
Forgive me but I only skimmed the above but this stood out to me.

Does the subject matter "matter" that much? Editing is editing, or is it?? I'm a hobbiest so maybe there is alot more cutting and splicing in wedding videos.

Curious
For me, yeah it matters some. Take a really great looking couple in a great setting and as long as they are willing and able to try some different things and have some fun... Many if not most of the couples I work with really want more of a doco style but every once in a while you get that couple that are willing to go out on a limb and want something different. So that does make it fun and exciting. Also the music used makes a big differenct in editing.
Some time ago, I had a couple that wanted to use What a wonderful world for the highlite but they didn't specify what version. Enter the late Joey Ramone. 2minutes and 34 seconds of rock em sock em rock and roll. They LOVED it but I think many would have wanted a re-edit. I guess I read the couple right ;-)

Don
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Old November 14th, 2008, 11:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper View Post
Don - Please don't ever leave this forum. I absolutely love having the perspective of a grizzled old vet. This industry is dominated by younger guys for various reasons so your voice stands out to me. I had to laugh a little when I read your post. Loved the brutal honesty.
:-) thanks. No I don't think I'll be going anywhere anytime soon. I do have a bit of a different take on things and while some may call me a grizzled old vet others just call me a grouchy old man but when I'm working I'm like the nice old guy with the people. I actually do have fun at wedding but after already doing 59 this year I'm tired and with a few more to go for the year my personality slides down BUT I will never tell ANYONE what they WANT to hear, I will only speak the truth as I see it. (I do however stretch thetruth when the B or G asks me how the wedding was. Even if it was a dreadfully slow no energy dog of a party, it was "one of the best I've been to")
Sometimes I'm too brutally honest but that's me. It's worked well for me for 62 years and hopefully it will continue to work well for another 62 ;-)

Don
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Old November 14th, 2008, 12:02 PM   #14
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Cool responses guys!

I realized that I didn't post any motivators for myself.

After only doing this for over a year, the best thing that's happened so far was hearing from another bride (at a preliminary meeting at the time) that she booked me over everyone else because she really loved my highlights video for a previous wedding I've done (and my second one at that)...and it also almost made her cry!

Maybe that stood out because the entire meeting (around 30 minutes) she looked glum and never smiled...but when she brought that up, she looked happy for the rest of the meeting.
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