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


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Old February 15th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #1
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Why they don't take us seriously.

Hey all,

From time to time, we see threads bemoaning the fact that video isn't taken seriously, that the Uncle Tom's out there are giving the product a bad rap, that things have changed and brides should value it because it's improved so much.

Well...today I visited a wedding show here in Montreal, one of the two big ones held here each year. It's not small, you can see the list of exhibitors here:

List of Exhibitors & Web Sites - Le Salon de la Mariée 2009

I took a quick walk around. I took a look at maybe 5 videographers showing demos. Of those five, four of them were showing videos shot in 4:3, but stretched to fill a 16:9 wide tv. So they spent hundreds of dollars to spend two days showing videos of fat people.

The fifth managed to use the correct aspect ratio, but had a video full of spinning picture-in-pictures, swirling ttransisitons, etc.

I tell you, on the one hand, it was embarrassing. On the other hand, I thought, hey, this is the competition. At least I can get my aspect ratios right, whatever my other faults are.

Sigh...
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Old February 15th, 2009, 01:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
So they spent hundreds of dollars to spend two days showing videos of fat people.
Maybe they got the aspect right and everyone was eating too much poutine... Je ne sais pas...
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Old February 15th, 2009, 01:11 PM   #3
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the last show here (Auckland, New Zealand) there were 5 videographer. 3 of them showing demo on CRT Mon and 1 of them using a 24" LCD Mon with wrong ratio. We are the only studio showing demo in HD on a 40" LCD TV.

However, we are getting similar number of business...

I guess people didn't really notice that....
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Old February 15th, 2009, 01:37 PM   #4
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Many people dont notice, they notice one thing £ or $
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Old February 15th, 2009, 02:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill View Post
Many people dont notice, they notice one thing £ or $

I have seen this too. 7 or 8 years ago people used to stand and watch my samples for up to 10-15 minutes, but lately most brides don't even watch for 2 full minutes. Many are happy with a brochure and a few short questions answered (none of which are "do you shoot in HD?")
Fortunately, this is not effecting business, as this is going to be my best year in a long time. Unfortunately, the secret of this years success....LOW LOW PRICES!
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Old February 15th, 2009, 03:04 PM   #6
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I found the opposite to be true this year. We showed our demo film on a 50" Plasma screen and focused on delivering a truly romantic story in our editing. Not one person asked about HD but we have almost tripled our business and our prices increased by $1000 bucks. One thing that someone said to me really stood out and that was can you visually see a difference between you and your competition. I took that to heart and think that at the show we were so visually different it has allowed us to higher our prices and be successful at it.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
I tell you, on the one hand, it was embarrassing. On the other hand, I thought, hey, this is the competition. At least I can get my aspect ratios right, whatever my other faults are.

Sigh...
Unfortunately, that is a direct result of the democratization of videography that makes the equipment accessible to anyone. However, as we all kinow, its not because Joe Sixpack owns a camcorder and a pirated copy of Final Cut that he knows what he's doing. So everyone thinks (s)he can do better. We've all seen the mixed results.

In the past 6 months I decided to try (healf-heartedly) to recoup my investment in filmmaking equipment by offering services to the public at large. I was approached to do a broadcast-quality recording of a press conference for a theater company, and the client decided to go with friends who offered to do it for free (the go-between, who knew just enough about videography, sounded obviously distressed by this turn of event when she gave me the bad news). Another couple asked me about taping their engagement party (I posted about this on this board) but never replied to my questions about the venue, probably thinking it was more complicated than it was worth.

It's kind of a lose/lose situation: people who don't know enough think they can just point and shoot; people who know better, well, can probably do it themselves reasonably well. You can only hope for people who know the value of a professional.


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Old February 15th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #8
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I can fully understand why wedding videography has such a bad name.. I'm getting married in August and this weekend when we were looking at videographers in the area, I would say only 2 or 3 videographers out of 15 produced "good" work.. everything else ranged from poor to laughable..
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Old February 15th, 2009, 04:28 PM   #9
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Hi Yang,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yang Wen View Post
I can fully understand why wedding videography has such a bad name.. I'm getting married in August and this weekend when we were looking at videographers in the area, I would say only 2 or 3 videographers out of 15 produced "good" work.. everything else ranged from poor to laughable..
If you're still looking I've got a few open weekends in August. Even if you just need a shooter I'd be happy to turn over the tapes...
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Old February 15th, 2009, 04:46 PM   #10
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I guess the Uncle Toms will always be there but you have to hope that the great work done by the pros (like on this site) raise the bar in the eyes of our clients. Our local newspaper had a special Bridal insert last weekend. I was dismayed to read an article entitled "How to save money on your Wedding" One of the tips was, "skip the video". Just another indicator of the perception out there - Arghhhh....
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Old February 15th, 2009, 07:18 PM   #11
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However, as we all kinow, its not because Joe Sixpack owns a camcorder and a pirated copy of Final Cut that he knows what he's doing.
I agree, Jacques, but I was dismayed because the videographers at the show are not Joe Sixpack. They are supposedly my peers, other professional videographers who are serious enough to actually go to the trouble and expense of doing a wedding show.

I have a long way to go in my own work, and try to improve all the time, but, God, it was amateur hour!
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Old February 15th, 2009, 07:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Art Varga View Post
I guess the Uncle Toms will always be there but you have to hope that the great work done by the pros (like on this site) raise the bar in the eyes of our clients. Our local newspaper had a special Bridal insert last weekend. I was dismayed to read an article entitled "How to save money on your Wedding" One of the tips was, "skip the video". Just another indicator of the perception out there - Arghhhh....
I just came back from my customer. I dropped their DVD off. And what I found out? That their photog was a total amateur and their photos are useless - they can't even show them to the friends. They were happy they had at least professional video guy, so there is video to show to their family. But I remember them when they were signing contract - trying to save money on everything.

I believe ppl do not realize how much they are missing by not having a video from their D-Day :-) They don't understand that they will be so busy that day and they won't even remember a half of what has happened. Many couples are telling me after they watched the dvd that they didn't know about some of the stuff.

Photo's are great for frames and albums - but only video can capture the drama of that day.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 07:39 PM   #13
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Lukas... Great comment on a really interesting point. I have a similar story but it starts in a different place.

I never wanted to shoot a wedding. Me married and divorced three times... I think you can figure it out. However, a friend asked if I'd shoot their wedding and since he's a friend I spend a fair amount of time here and elsewhere to figure out how to give him the best coverage I could.

Turns out the B&G liked the video better than the still pix that they paid more for. Photog was friend of the bride and me, friend of groom. My guess is that I'm a perfectionist and some of that came through in the final product.

My only conclusion from all of this talk is that all one can do is to fly as high as one can, that way you can look down on all the turkeys.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 09:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
Hey all,

From time to time, we see threads bemoaning the fact that video isn't taken seriously, that the Uncle Tom's out there are giving the product a bad rap, that things have changed and brides should value it because it's improved so much.

Well...today I visited a wedding show here in Montreal, one of the two big ones held here each year. It's not small, you can see the list of exhibitors here:

List of Exhibitors & Web Sites - Le Salon de la Mariée 2009

I took a quick walk around. I took a look at maybe 5 videographers showing demos. Of those five, four of them were showing videos shot in 4:3, but stretched to fill a 16:9 wide tv. So they spent hundreds of dollars to spend two days showing videos of fat people.

The fifth managed to use the correct aspect ratio, but had a video full of spinning picture-in-pictures, swirling ttransisitons, etc.

I tell you, on the one hand, it was embarrassing. On the other hand, I thought, hey, this is the competition. At least I can get my aspect ratios right, whatever my other faults are.

Sigh...
Vito:

This is exactly why you need to step up your marketing to planners and show them the good stuff. Even in your area if there are 3 or 4 of you that produce stunning work, put together a workshop for the planners and let them invite other people. Aligning yourself, not in a butt kissing way, but more toward an educational angle is how you begin the process of getting your work out there to the right people. Find some photographers that you honestly admire and build your reputation from those 2 bases. There is a lot of poor quality work out there but keep in mind, there is poor work in photography and other wedding related businesses. Look at the top vendors in your area in every category and see if you can find out why they are successful.

It is discouraging to see poor videography but some of us, you included, understand that we are at a threshold in the industry. A transition from "Videography" to more of a "Filmmaker" or "Cinematographer".
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Old February 16th, 2009, 09:52 AM   #15
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Good comments, John. Thanks...
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