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


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Old July 20th, 2009, 03:55 PM   #16
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Wow, what a day. At least you've got a story to tell for years to come...

My very first wedding shoot was outdoors in a record-setting heat wave. And I don't mean just record setting for that date, but a record setting heat index at that location since records have been kept. People were passing out all around. One elderly lady toppled down a natural stone staircase right in front of me - I thought for sure she was gone, but they bandaged her up and she stayed through the whole event.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 04:13 PM   #17
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Good job on a tough day!

Believe me, it can be far, far worse, like when not everyone makes it to to the reception venue.

Your wedding was actually somewhat humorus although it wouldn't seem like it at the time.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 06:44 PM   #18
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Does it make me a bad person that my initial reaction to you saying that someone died made me giggle?
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Old July 20th, 2009, 08:41 PM   #19
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I'd offer them to cut bait for 1/3 to 1/2 the base fee (to avoid having to fix a mess that can't be fixed). Neither you or they will be happy and I'd want to be gracious to them and cover some of your base expenses for being there.

Sounds like this was an even better captured by stills. Perhaps you could work with B&G and still photographer (yeah I know, tough....) and see if you could automate his stills or something for the full fee.

Time to cut bait or make lemonade!
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Old July 20th, 2009, 09:40 PM   #20
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I, myself, don't know how the parents could live with themselves knowing they wanted the show to go on instead of rescheduling. Money talks, bull sh!t walks I guess.

If I was the bride, I wouldn't know whether to laugh or cry...I did notice that when the crazy puppy lady came into the scene, everyone laughed as though they were thinking "you gotta be kidding me!"

Anyway, Rodger, I'm going to try and make lemonade.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 10:05 PM   #21
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Hey Tom,
Just my .02 but I think the worse thing you could do is use a really slow sad melancholy song for your video! It was already depressing enough with someone dying along with everything else that went wrong! I've had my share of weddings where the bride just couldn't get anything to go her way! Every song I used in her video was upbeat & happy! Her and her entire family loved the fact that we did that for them! We also then had the Bride and Groom come over to watch the DVD and kinda commentate the whole thing! They loved that! Just an idea:)
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Old July 21st, 2009, 12:48 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Roger Shealy View Post
I'd offer them to cut bait for 1/3 to 1/2 the base fee (to avoid having to fix a mess that can't be fixed). Neither you or they will be happy and I'd want to be gracious to them and cover some of your base expenses for being there.

Sounds like this was an even better captured by stills. Perhaps you could work with B&G and still photographer (yeah I know, tough....) and see if you could automate his stills or something for the full fee.

Time to cut bait or make lemonade!
I might be in the minority on this, but I wouldn't offer to cut their fee at all. I'm in this to make a living and just because someone's wedding goes badly doesn't mean I shouldn't be paid in full. Tom could have easily been at another wedding that didn't go bad. Anyways, just my business logic I guess. I'd feel really bad, but I wouldn't cut my fee at all.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 01:59 AM   #23
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A persons' reaction to the highlights you provide will surprise you sometimes. In this case, I just got a call from the groom. He told me he was going to come over and shoot me.

His wife is running the first video through the computer onto their widescreen tv on a continuous loop and it's keeping him form getting to watch any tv. That's a good thing I guess.

Part 3 of their Houston experience is here:

www.bluestarvideo.com/videos/part3.wmv

Now I just need to finnish part 2 that has the voice-overs of the ceremony.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 02:03 AM   #24
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I might be in the minority on this, but I wouldn't offer to cut their fee at all. I'm in this to make a living and just because someone's wedding goes badly doesn't mean I shouldn't be paid in full. Tom could have easily been at another wedding that didn't go bad. Anyways, just my business logic I guess. I'd feel really bad, but I wouldn't cut my fee at all.
I agree with Travis on this. Besides, all of the elements needed are there for the video. There is just some other un-expected events that also happened. But hey.. that's why we get paid to edit, right?

Tom, I think your idea of bringing them back to do voice-overs is great.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 02:19 AM   #25
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I think as someone engaged to perform a duty, it doesn't really matter if the subject material is good or bad as long as you do your best.

Not always video, but I'm a theatrical production manager and many shows I work on are grim. I shot one music event - 3 manned cams and a couple of static effects ones. The venue lighting was grim, the audience were unresponsive and the band tired. The artiste knew it was a poor show and asked me to just edit 3 songs which she picked. After she saw them, she told me not to do any more, just invoice the office. I did, for the full fee as arranged. They paid, AND booked a new date to get it done again. I don't think it matters about the actual 'event'. It isn't like we're being engaged to take a risk, is it? We are just there to do our best.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 03:13 AM   #26
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Considering all the things that happened that day, you did a good job picking up the pieces! One thing in the video bothered me though.. you had one black and white shot of the crystals hanging from the tree. What was the significance of it being black and white? I didn't get it.

How long did it take to set up the last crane shot? Good job on that one!
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Old July 21st, 2009, 06:41 AM   #27
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I agree with Travis on this. Besides, all of the elements needed are there for the video. There is just some other un-expected events that also happened. But hey.. that's why we get paid to edit, right?
Tim,

My thought was it may be best to get paid for the time and effort already expended and avoid the work to try and make something out of nothing that won't please either party. I guess there is also a dose of the Golden Rule in there as well. If I'm in the B&G's shoes I'd appreciate the option of helping the video guy to break even for his efforts and cut my losses and print a few good still photos and hope the other disastrous memories will fade with time.

To be clear, I'm not proposing Chris reduce the fee and finish the job. Rather I'm suggesting he offer to discontinue the work and cover his losses in time and effort to this point. Think of it like when the mechanic charges you $250 to find out that the transmission will cost $2,000 to fix and the car is only worth $1,250.

Last edited by Roger Shealy; July 21st, 2009 at 11:27 AM.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 06:53 PM   #28
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Tim,

My thought was it may be best to get paid for the time and effort already expended and avoid the work to try and make something out of nothing that won't please either party. I guess there is also a dose of the Golden Rule in there as well. If I'm in the B&G's shoes I'd appreciate the option of helping the video guy to break even for his efforts and cut my losses and print a few good still photos and hope the other disastrous memories will fade with time.

To be clear, I'm not proposing Chris reduce the fee and finish the job. Rather I'm suggesting he offer to discontinue the work and cover his losses in time and effort to this point. Think of it like when the mechanic charges you $250 to find out that the transmission will cost $2,000 to fix and the car is only worth $1,250.
I saw in another post that you have only produced one wedding video. After you do quite a few, you realize that pretty much every wedding has some kind of disaster. Yes, I realize this is pretty extreme. The families could have canceled and/ or postponed the wedding, however, they chose to continue with the ceremony and the reception. Therefore, we must do our job also. Offering the bride and groom to not finish the job is a very amateur move in my opinion.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 08:32 PM   #29
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Part of being a "pro" is rolling with the punches - wedding video is not for the timid, and it appears Tom has already pulled off a good "save"... That's what separates the pro from the amateur!

I'd still like to know how the reception could possibly have gone downhill with a runup like the ceremony... will we get that story after Tom recovers?

"Wedding" and "disaster" seem somehow fated to be in the same sentence sometimes... yet even with the craziness, ya gotta love it! Car accidents, florists that "forgot" to show up, officiants who forget the names of the couple, those are a few "moments" I've encountered - no fatalities yet, but I suppose now we can all be prepared...
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Old July 21st, 2009, 08:51 PM   #30
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Tim,

I don't hide the fact I'm not a wedding or pro videographer. It's incredibly tough, frantic work and I respect those who do it for a living. My comments come from a general life and business perspective. If you treat people graciously and generously it has a way of coming back to you many times over.

However, given this is a wedding group, I'll step aside and listen to others that have to deal with the pressures of your business. I found the post one of the more interesting posts I've read on the forum in a while.

Last edited by Roger Shealy; July 21st, 2009 at 10:22 PM.
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