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


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Old May 24th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #16
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I just finished a double weekend a few hours ago and it went great.

Two things that helped were:
1. I dropped almost 15 pounds in about 2 months
2. Took up golf last year and am in much better shape

Another thing is I really lightened my gear load.
I was shooting with XL1s and a quite heavy tripod, which I used to carry with me all day.
Now am using A1 on a Glidecam on everything but the ceremony ( I got a quick release plate for the glidecam that matches the tripod, so as soon as the bride hits the front of the church, I pull back to my pre-positioned tripod and in by the time they say "We are gathered here..." I am on the tripod.

Another thing I do is make sure the 2nd wedding is a bare minimum package. No extra reception time, no bridal prep time. Just the ceremony and reception. If they are not OK with that, then they should look elsewhere.

In august I am booking 2 in one day (and no, I do not have multiple crews!) I am quite confident I can pull it off. I will be using car adapters for recharging the batteries, but I have found out that on both of my weddings this weekend, the battery that came with the A1 was capable of powering the camera for the whole day!(one of them was a 6 hour shoot)
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Old May 24th, 2009, 11:51 PM   #17
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I just returned home. No major problems, but my feet are on fire! More of a report after I crash or 12 hours or so.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 09:25 AM   #18
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wow mark please tell us how you can shoot two weddings in one day!?
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Old May 26th, 2009, 05:07 AM   #19
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Hi Mark, 2x the ceremony and reception in one day, how can you pull that off. The first reseption can drag on forever and then you have a problem with the second cermony.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 07:41 AM   #20
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Just recovered after my 1st QUADRUPLE header!

Like many have said above, drink plenty of water, eat plenty of snacks (energy bars etc...)

I've done lotsd of doubles, a few tripples over the past few years, just done my first 4 in a row (fri, sat, sun, mon)

Went to sleep last night at 2am, had to drag myslef out of bed this afternoom at 1pm!

I'm not a morning person, so I always make sure everything everything is packed and ready to go for the next day before I go to sleep (except batteries that are chargin)

Lightening your load is also good advice, as I start to feel it in my lower back towards the end of the 2nd day.

I'm now taking today off and gonna catch up on 24 and lost!

Hope it went well

James
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Old May 26th, 2009, 08:35 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Schuurman View Post
wow mark please tell us how you can shoot two weddings in one day!?
hey David, it really depends on the territory/location I think. When I was still in the Philippines, I do 2 weddings a day ( Breakfast Wedding starts at 6 am ends at 12 noon) and do an afternoon wedding starts at 3pm ends at 11:00 pm. When I did my first wedding shoot in Canada, I was shocked that I have to shoot 12-14 hours. Maybe Mark has the same set-up.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 11:14 AM   #22
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Yeah, thats about it.
My first wedding will be 10am to 3pm and then #2 wedding will be 4pm to 9pm.
I have done overlapping jobs before, which meant leaving my wife at the reception with 1 camera, but I will probably not do that again, I do not like splitting up my cameras. I have decided to hire another videographer if I need to.
My reception coverage is usually pretty basic. I generally do not do "party" videos. when all of the structured events are over, I may get a little general dancing footage then I am outa there!
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Old May 26th, 2009, 02:40 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Jason Robinson View Post
This weekend I have my first ever double header wedding shoot. As in, wedding on Sat and on Sunday. That means the 9am rehearsal on Sat for the Sunday wedding comes right in the middle of the bridal prep time for the Saturday rehearsal.

Any advice from those of you that have shot back to back weddings? I am a little concerned about getting enough sleep for wedding #2 due to being up late from wedding #1. I usually crash into bed for 12hrs of sleep after a 14hr wedding day. No time for that this weekend because 9am sunday is prep filming for wedding #2.

Also, it will be quite a rush Sat night to unpack all the gear, find the batteries nad charge them up and then re-prep the gear for the next day!

Unfortunately for my allergies the reception for #1 is outside, which means I might be in the middle of my allergic reactions when attempting to shoot wedding #2!

It will be interesting to see if I can still be technically competent and come up with artistic shots after roughly 30hrs of filming in two days.
Hopefully you are almost recovered by now!

I get a lot of my work by freelancing second wedding shoots for a buddy. I shoot the gig at a moderate fee and he edits and delivers the shoot. I reciprocate or give him shoots I don't want to do in return. You need to find a trusted freelance partner.

I also don't include bridal prep or rehersals, so my workload is lower and more focused. One last thing, my wedding contract provides for a maximum of 8 hours and it spells out where that time will be spent, including travel time. Of course additional time is available.

You are working at too low a cost point IMO. Nobody wants to give up work, but it's not worth it to me to give your work away for almost free.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 08:29 PM   #24
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You are working at too low a cost point IMO. Nobody wants to give up work, but it's not worth it to me to give your work away for almost free.
I agree about the price point. But in order to get a call in the first place I have a "no hourly charge" selling point which is what gets the father of the bride's attention as compared to the 1/2 dozen or so "one man with a cam" outfits here in the valley.

Also, the first gig was essentially a gift for relatives (about 60% off of what I would have charged them).

I've recovered from the shoots, but I'm in full on edit mode from a long overdue client's production that I hope to delivery tomorrow.

The gist of it was: I might be able to swing two full days of shooting but my assistant (aka wife) cannot. So I emergency called up a friend to have him help babysit gear, point the B/C cams, etc. I haven't looked at the footage yet, but each wedding generated 7 tapes. Yikes! Not all of them are full, and some times I forgot and left cam C running, so I'll watch it when I log footage and skip storing useless minutes of nothing.

I also on a last minute whime, rented a 3rd GL2 from a friend and used it for groom's cam. That freed up my GS320 for wide angle aisle shots. This will make these two weddings the first I will always have a safe aisle cut-away no matter what the op for cam B does. Even if the quality is less, it will be something.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 11:58 AM   #25
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I'm able to shoot multiple weddings in a day because of the way my order form is set up. Everything we do is ala carte and priced accordingly.

Wedding Day Preparations
Formal Photo session with your photographer
Ceremony
Reception
Slideshow w or without SDE highlights
etc..

This way, the couple can pick and choose, and customize their wedding to whatever they want, from ceremony only to full coverage of the entire day. This way, I don't have to spend 12-14 hours for every wedding we book.

For example, on Saturday I had a ceremony/reception coverage for couple 1. Ceremony was at 1:30pm, reception at 6pm Couple 2 ordered ceremony coverage, plus SDE of the ceremony only at 4pm. After shooting and editing couple 2's ceremony and SDE, I went to couple 1's reception. I had an assistant there on standby just in case I was late with my editing for couple 2's SDE. My wife set up and played back the SDE for couple 1 and I stayed at couple 2's reception the entire night.

On Sunday we had ceremony/reception coverage plus SDE of the ceremony only, so both my wife and I stayed at one location the entire time from 3pm-10:30pm.

On Monday I had my outdoor volleyball tournament, but it was so hot in the sun that I drank 1/2 gallon of water! We came in second place, so we got no trophy....

I thought I would be dead tired on Tuesday but surprisingly I was ok.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 02:58 AM   #26
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My story

Look like you guys have everything planned out. Have any of you done a Vietnamese Wedding before??

I kept thinking about how am i can do a wedding just one in one day and get enough coverage to make a video.

most your your wedding is like this. groom prep then you run to bride prep then to the church, then the ceremony and go to reception.

Well this is what i have to cover. Any advice a much appreciate

6am have to be at groom house for his prep (if everyone come to his house on time that easy but what if not). 6:30am everyone start heading out to go to the bride house.

7:30am have to be at the bride house( it take around 30min to bride house if lucky i'll get 20min) for the traditional ceremony at her house. What happen to bride prep well most of the bride are not done dressing up until the groom are at her door step. So one man band can not pull it off.

Traditional ceremony take about 1hours if they are fast. But no so from 7:30 to 8:30 traditional ceremony done then head back to groom's house for another tradition ceremony by the time they done it about 9:15 then they head out to church at 9:45 and from 10:00am to around 11:45 done ceremony at the church. If lucky the reception is not untill 5pm and they don't into the party untill 6:30pm and they not done untill like 9pm. Most of the time the reception is at 12pm and last untill 3pm.

and they want there wedding dvd to be around 2 to 2.5hours yeah 2.5 hours and how much for the work done $800 yeah freaking 800 and some time they will said "why too much for a wedding video".

Sorry for a long post i have more to share so i can a better idea what to do. I'll tell you more on the next post. Sorry
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Old May 28th, 2009, 06:53 AM   #27
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I'm sorry but if I read your post correctly, let me politely suggest you get out of the business and find something else to do. I say this with all due respect but if you are doing what I think you are describing for $800.00 how in heaven do you earn a living??????

I have done Chinese weddings with prep, tea ceremony ceremony, post ceremony, reception and some interviews and believe me I know it is a very long day but I charged a whole lot more than $800 and if they didn't want to pay then they could get someone else. 2.5 hours?
I'd shoot myself. i give a short form but for certain weddings I adjust. For instance, Chinese and Indian wedding you end up with a lot of footage so maybe it'll run a bit over 1 hour in edited form but I'll give them cleaned up RAW footage on a seperate disc, but again not for $800.00. That price is about right for a simple ceremony only and post ceremony.
You need to raise your prices and if they don't like the price too bad-let them go elsewhere. What you are charging is way way too low for the amount of work you are doing. Either that or adjust the amount of time/work you will do on wedding day and then if they want more charge more.
Good luck
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Old May 28th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #28
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Thank Don

Thank you Don. I have some other income beside Wedding. But i love to create motion picture. Thank you for your advice i think i should find something else hahah. I have increased my price to $1600 for 5 more wedding(and 1 already on the list of 5 already for October) after that will be $2400 and then $3200. I need to educate my cheap ass client in my town for them to see my real work. It just pain in the but that it impossible if i want to do a double weeding even on two seprate day. I'm not even thinking bout SDE or hire an assistance or another vi-de-r-graf-fer. Any advice will be thanksfull heheh. Sorry if i happen to hijack this thread but i think it fit to how to overcome a crowed schedule.Thank you
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Old May 28th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #29
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good, glad to see you've raised the price and are getting paid for the work.
I got scared there for a while when you stated the original price, unless you're living at home with your parents and have no bills or live in a cardboard box ;-)

Seriously though the pricing you have laid out makes very good sense.
Good luck
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Old May 28th, 2009, 11:12 PM   #30
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i am

Thank Don
Yeah i have been doing 800 for while but i think it not worth anything. There's someone here do it for 600 and client keep compare it with them that why i can't sell them more than that but i have to move up cause it wast my time doing it for 800. Yes i am living at home with my mom and dad appearently we take care of them too so that why they have company at all time. No cardboard box they all in recycle over here. I need to built my profile too so increase my price twice after every 5 is a good choice i think.

Just wondering how long from the wedding to deliver your DVD 3months 6, 12?????

Thank you all
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