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


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Old June 2nd, 2009, 08:50 AM   #16
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4-6 weeks in the quieter months, and up to 12 weeks in peak months, ie, from now!

Never had a problem with any clients. Many onward referrals and bookings using this method from satisfied clients.

I do this full time and it's turning out to be an extremely busy year so clients understand this if you explain it clearly to them when you meet.

Cheers.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 09:11 AM   #17
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Typically 3 months for delivery. My agreement gives a time range and a nice explanation of the time frame. Never had a problem.

I am trying this year for quicker more boilerplate captures, formats and project delivery. And when I still remember the event, I seem to edit it a little better. So I am shooting for 3 week delivery.

Of course every event seems to present some challenge on the audio or video or both that ends up taking much longer than expected to correct. I am also going to run 2 cameras on the reception events and try that to avoid time shifting single cam footage (to get a good shot) in the editing process.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 04:04 PM   #18
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I average about 6 weeks in the off season (Nov-March) and about 8 weeks the rest of the year.

I do this full time, 60+ weddings a year.

As long as the couples know up front how long it takes, I don't see it being a problem.

As many have said previously, I always usually deliver sooner than they're expecting (my forms say 8-10 weeks, but its never usually any longer than 8.

Brides still reccomend me to their friends (about 40% of my bookings come from recomendations) so I don't see that as being an issue.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 09:01 PM   #19
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We're full time in professional wedding production and economically it would be a struggle if this was the beginning of my career rather than the end. So with that codicil here's my 2c.

The most important thing in my view is customer expectation. If you give them the impression the programme will be ready for their return from honeymoon, then make it so. If you tell them it'll be three months (end of the season etc), then they shouldn't feel aggrieved if it takes 3 months.

The second element I think is crucial is technique. If you're editing a single camera shoot, then it'll take less time to complete than a three-camera shoot a) because there's less to prepare and b) because you've got fewer choices.

We're three camera and a typical wedding means 12 hours of tape to be taken into the computer in real time plus digital sound off cards in 4x. We multicam edit most of it so the bulk of the programme is quick and efficient. But grading and sound edit and sweetening can take forever when you include rendering. Creative editing of our guest interviews (typically eight or ten people, four or five questions each) takes a couple of days. But then the truly creative summary can take days including the tricksy bits and lots of rendering on the fastest machine we can afford. I tend to agree that no matter how formulaic you make your work, wedding videos are closer to art programmes than corporates.

In comparison, the bi-monthly 60 minute training programmes we did for 20 years for one client could easily be cut together in a day. They were scripted, we had a crew of seven and a computerised shot logging system which gave us a digitising list and EDL at the touch of a button. Of course that type of corporate work can be very efficiently done, but art it ain't.

As far as other activities; we attend 20 or so wedding fairs annually, usually on Sundays. Some are "commercial" ie we pay to attend, others are to support one of two hotels who've appointed us "preferred suppliers". If the business model wasn't so depressed budgetwise we'd be able to buy in help for the marketing and admin but it's not that way. So time has to be made for those activities too.

What I wouldn't want anyone to infer is that we're complaining. Sure weddings are hardwork and we often draw on all 30 years experience to get us out of tight spots, but the environment in which we work is unique - who goes to a wedding to be miserable?

Finally, just a small correction to the impression some have, not all of us gets the full payment up front - we take a deposit and a stage payment with the balance on satisfied completion. And to the man who's doing corporate and not taking stage payments - well good luck and I hope you don't get a big one go into administration on you. AFAIK the whole TV and film business runs on stage payments.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 02:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Strange View Post
I average about 6 weeks in the off season (Nov-March) and about 8 weeks the rest of the year. I do this full time, 60+ weddings a year.
60+ weddings a year is well over one a week so my mathmatics is thinking that you must get each edit completed in less than a week James. If this is so, can't you simply shuffle them all up (after a holiday, say) so that you can deliver last Saturday's wedding edit this Thursday?

I can't get my head around the '6 weeks in the off season' bit.

tom.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 03:01 AM   #21
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3 to 5 months and they dont mind as long as i do a good job
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Old June 7th, 2009, 08:08 AM   #22
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Tom,

Each wedding, each edit is different, I'm just talking in terms of averages,

My first wedding of the year is usually edited within a week yes, but as time rolls on in the season (2 in a row, 3 in a row, sometimes 4 in a row) the turnaround time gets progressively longer, and thats not even considering the odd day off :)

When i say '6 weeks in the off season' it can take this long due to the stack of tapes still to be edited from the busy season. (ie i shoot a wedding on Nov 1st, I wont get around to editing it until say Dec 1st due to the pre-Nov weddings still to be edited (if that makes sense?)

Its kinda like a curved graph, if the weddings at the start of the year, turnaround time will be quick (as quick as 1 week in some cases) as we get closer to the middle of the year (busy season) it takes as long as 8 weeks, then as the busy season trails off, it comes back down to the stage where I just about get the november weddings edited in time for Christmas.

Then in January, I take some time off, do the marketing thing (fairs, website etc...) and edit the 1 or 2 Dec weddings I had (my dec weddings are almost always in between xmas and new year)

But hey, thats just me and the way I work, the main thing is my clients are more than happy with the product they get, and the timeframe in which they get it.

If all my weddings were spread evenly throughout the year, turnaound times may be different, but the wedding season is the wedding season.

ps, i think I read on the z5/fx1000 thread that you were thinking of getting the z5 and/or the mrc1k? I bi the bullet and got the Z5+CF recorder, best decision I've made.

Coming from an FX7, there' just no comparison, low light (which has always been a pain for me with the FX7) is just great on the Z5, and the CF card recorder is saving me an average of 5 hours per edit (5 tapes no longer needed to be recorded into comp)

So that might speed up my turnaround times a bit :)

Cheers

James
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Old June 7th, 2009, 09:55 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Strange View Post
i think I read on the z5/fx1000 thread that you were thinking of getting the z5 and/or the mrc1k? I bi the bullet and got the Z5+CF recorder, best decision I've made.
Glad you like it James, but it's not the camera to replace my Z1, simply because of the CMOS chips' reaction to electronic flash. These are early days for CMOS in movie cameras and I'm sure it will be sorted, but it sure ain't in the Z5.

OK, a bride who doesn't care hoots if her reception venue is barrel distorted may equally not be bothered by electronic flash only lighting a part of every frame. I'm too fussy for my own good :)

tom.
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