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


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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:03 AM   #1
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How do people deal with it when you are told that someone decides not to book you anymore because they are just going to have a friend do their video for them? Someone was going to book me, but the bride said that the groom doesn't think that they are ever going to watch it and put the kabash on the idea and he's just going to have a friend of his do it for them instead because it doesn't make a difference to him.

One of the reasons is also financial and everyone knows that the video is always the first to go when that is the case, but how do you deal with that? She is really nice and I understand the reasons and have no problem with her, but personally I am really frustrated because, a- it has been really slow lately and, b- I can't do anything other than hope the groom changes his mind at some point.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:19 AM   #2
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Thing is Daniel,
If it's not meant to be then it's best for you. I wouldn't want to work for a couple that didn't value video. That is what you have here. You'll be better off without them. Put your energy to getting the phone ringing. Volume is your issue, not this couple. There's nothing you can say. Nothing. I have focussed on getting non-wedding work and it is helping to keep me busy. Now my wedding calls are increasing and it is all good all around. Get out there. Beat the street and it will get the phone ringing. That will make the nos easier to take. Good luck.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:22 AM   #3
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Hi Daniel,

It happens a lot, although it's frustrating there's nothing you can do about it. Free vs. $$$$$$, that's not a hard choice to make.

What really pisses me off is a relative/friend who "thinks" they can shoot wedding videos, offers the shoot for half of what you are charging and suddenly they are wedding videographers because of that one shoot. I have one client from a few years back, who opted to hire one of his relatives and from what I heard the relative came to the shoot with a Video8 Handycam & a sun gun (photographer told me).
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Daniel Fessak View Post
How do people deal with it when you are told that someone decides not to book you anymore because they are just going to have a friend do their video for them? Someone was going to book me, but the bride said that the groom doesn't think that they are ever going to watch it and put the kabash on the idea and he's just going to have a friend of his do it for them instead because it doesn't make a difference to him.

One of the reasons is also financial and everyone knows that the video is always the first to go when that is the case, but how do you deal with that? She is really nice and I understand the reasons and have no problem with her, but personally I am really frustrated because, a- it has been really slow lately and, b- I can't do anything other than hope the groom changes his mind at some point.
You're experiencing the reality of being a pro wedding videographer. Some people are going to want video and some aren't. Some people will hire $8-10k+ videographers and some will hire the $300 Craig's List shooter.

As far as what you can do about it, put this one in the past and go out and market and find new customers. While the industry is undeniably slowing down for most wedding videographers (and photogs), people are still getting married and having videos made.

Put your best work out there, price it fairly according to your market and go visit 5 new venues that you've never shot at before and try to strike up a relationship with the venue coordinators and get them to recommend you. Next week, go to 5 more. And the week after that go to 5 more. You'll get business.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:42 AM   #5
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I think of it like this: Not everyone wants a professional video, and that's fine. Some people just want a shot of the bride walking down the isle and a static wide shot of the speeches. For those people a friend with a camera will do the trick, and I'm not going to try and convince them otherwise. I would rather a couple have a home video and be happy with it than spend the money on me and regret it later.

The people that Noel has described, however, are another story and get under my skin.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:49 AM   #6
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The only advice I can give is, ask the bride to have the groom watch your demo. It could be he as an impression of what videos used to be - bad cameras, cheesy Video Toaster effects, etc..

I go to WeddingBee.com and TheKnot.com message boards to see what brides are talking about. Many have no idea what a contemporary wedding video can offer. Then in one thread, one of Still Motions former clients posted a like to her video and it changed a lot of minds

Who know, once he sees what you can offer, it may change his mind. If he sees your work and still isn't interested, as others have said, you're probably better off.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 11:42 AM   #7
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I understand that stuff like this is part of doing business, it happens, can't do anything about it, expect it. Whatever. I am over that and it doesn't bother me.

My problem is that I have 10 years experience as a writer/producer/editor. I lost my job unnecessarily over a year ago, and when that happened I decided to go from doing weddings on the side to devoting myself to it full time. I'm an editor at heart, I like doing them, they give me a chance to be creative without having some producer change something I spent all day to build just to justify their position.

In other words I love the freedom it affords me. If I'm not happy with something I do, I will just trash it and start over again. I am very proud of my work and even if you don't like it, you can't deny that it is very polished and technically correct from start to finish.

But yet there are people out there who think that just because they pirated the latest version of Final Cut that they know how to edit and can do just as good a job as me. My wife has a friend who is planning on starting his own business as well. He says that he is qualified to do it because he does videos at home of his kids with his camcorder. Not kidding. I have talked to people who have never edited or shot anything professionally a day of their life speak to me as though they know everything there is to know about video production and the "right" way to do things.

And those people are dragging those who are professionals down. There is so much bad stuff floating around that poor quality has become the standard. The average person can not tell the difference between good and bad. People just go and throw up a bunch of effects and pre-made backgrounds and pass that off as "editing". They charge more to use these things to give their client a better video, when in fact they really use them to try to distract the person from noticing the lack of actual editing. I have spoken to brides who after telling them that I don't use a lot of effects or any graphics look at me like I was crazy.

That's my real problem with things. I wouldn't be surprised if most people here start yelling at me, tell me I'm a bitter old ass and try to ban me from the forum after Googling me and seeing how bad my work probably is.

Maybe I'm just venting because I'm annoyed right now, but that's what I think.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 02:06 PM   #8
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How do people deal with it when you are told that someone decides not to book you anymore because they are just going to have a friend do their __fill in the blank__ for them?
I edited your original quote slightly to make my point. This is not unique to video, but it encompases life in general. Some people are always looking for a deal or a freebie. It doesn't matter if it's video, plumbing, painting, landscaping, dog grooming, or whatever.

Our business provides three services - video, website development and graphic design. At least 50% of our work is web related. I get frustated when people on this very board post messages like "I don't need to hire a web designer because my brother can do it" or "what is the best free service to build a website?" But I understand that a website may not be worth much to some of you.

Everyone has an upper threshhold for the value of a service. Take my dog for example - the best grooming in the world is not worth more than $35 to me. I don't care if you've groomed dogs for kings and celebrities, nobody is getting more than $35 out of me. Some people feel the best wedding video in the world isn't worth more than a couple hundred, so that's all they're willing to pay. You need to simply accept that you're not the provider they're looking for.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 02:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Daniel Fessak View Post
... but the bride said that the groom doesn't think that they are ever going to watch it and put the kabash on the idea and he's just going to have a friend of his do it for them instead because it doesn't make a difference to him.
Sounds to me as if they might have split up before you got the chance to deliver to final edit anyway. I wouldn't put any money on them staying together if that's what the groom is saying before the wedding!
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Old December 1st, 2008, 02:36 PM   #10
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My suggestion is that you have to plant the idea in the bride's head that this is a one time (hopefully) lifetime event. After it's all said and done there's only photos and videos to show it off.

Use examples that induce emotional response more than logical to counter the idea that they won't watch it. "Yeah, you may not watch it for a few years but think about 20 some years from now sitting down with your newly engaged daughter and reliving your wedding as she plans hers."

Ask if there's friends or family who won't be able to make it to the wedding. Remind them that a well produced video is the best way for them to feel like they were there when they watch a DVD of it.

A wedding video isn't just a little add-on. It has an infinite shelf life that verbatim relives the moment. Nothing can emulate that.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 03:00 AM   #11
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Daniel -
I'm sure it's frustrating to have a job drop out from under you, particularly when it's pretty obvious it's going to end up in the hands of an amateur...

The advice you're getting here is good. It's not worth losing sleep over. In the end, it's the couple's loss. Maybe send a demo disc and ask the bride to sit down and let the groom see what level of quality you offer? But if the budget's not there, it won't matter, and in the current economy, well, it's not about you, so don't let it bother you.

I'm sure it's frustrating to be coming from a professional video production standpoint in a "U-TOOB" world. Probably like a master chef watching fast food preparation, eh? Nauseating I'd suppose...

I'm coming from the direction of having some video production I was working on, and so I got the equipment, gagged heavily at the lousy results, and over time have honed the gear and the technique to where the gag reflex is minimal. Of course when I see some of the garbage out there now, it brings back memories!

Concentrate on being the best you can be, honing your technique and your personal vision, and as long as you can drum up enough biz to pay the bills and stuff some under the mattress, don't let one client get you down... it's a waste of time. Take the time to consider how you might improve your sales message, to be sure, but you won't EVER land every client, so just use the experience to see if there's any ways to improve your delivery next time around.

Oh yeah, and get ready for the "can you edit this tape my groom's friend shot... and make it not suck...?" phone call... UGH.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 04:09 PM   #12
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What about your contract & deposit?

Daniel:

No one asked about your contract or deposit.

Even if you are doing this totally small time "on the side", you need a contract & at least a token deposit.

Of course you should have a business set up with insurance and all the legalities, but even if you have none of that, you can still find and use a very basic contract.

How do the clients even know what you are charging? Hopefully not verbally.
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