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


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Old August 11th, 2009, 03:07 AM   #1
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Another raw footage question

Hi Guys

Last season I used as a marketing tool, the fact that the bride would also be given my original camera tapes when I delivered the DVD. This seemed to be quite popular and also saved me having to carefully store client's tapes!!

I was wondering if anyone else does/used to do this??? I have at last been bullied into getting new cameras and tapes are history so the raw data is now on 2 x 8GB SDHC cards. However Pro Panasonic tapes in bulk used to cost me $50 a box of 10 so I was out of pocket around $10 when I gave away the tapes. If I give away 2 x 8GB SD Cards then I would be out of pocket closer to $130!!!!!! so of course, I have stopped the practice!!!

Is there any benefit, marketing wise or backup wise to the bride having 'original data' ?????
I usually tell them that I'm 40 years older than them so I'll be 6' under a long time before them. But then again will anyone have camcorders or access to one in another 30 years time??? I also keep their original DVD VOB files on an external drive!!

What do you provide either to the client or store yourself if the client say, lost the DVD???

Chris
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Old August 11th, 2009, 08:42 AM   #2
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Chris, I always hang on to the raw footage, especially since making the move to shooting in HD. We've haven't had that many brides ask for their weddings to be delivered HD yet, so we down convert and deliver a standard DVD.

However... I save all our projects and the raw tapes. I hope that in the next few years as these former clients purchase HD TVs and Blu-Ray decks, I can offer to re-edit their wedding in HD - something that would be amazingly easy to do. It could be a nice revenue stream in the future - and a nice thing for the couple to see their wedding in HD, even if they couldn't get it that way the first time around.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 09:19 AM   #3
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I have had some brides in the past ask for their raw footage, but they didn't have cameras to cap the tapes with. I told them that they could either buy/borrow a HD and I could transfer it or they could give me $20 and I would buy enough DL DVD's to store it on. She ended up having a small laptop drive and just stuffed it all on there.
What we have started doing is telling them that they are welcome to the original tapes if they would like them. I tell them that they can buy an inexpensive camera and use it to capture the tape. We will then offer to transfer each tape to a viewable DVD for $200 (total).
This has been working out well. Honestly, its usually one of the mothers that will contact us and want to buy it all.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 10:14 AM   #4
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At the current price of SD cards, it's not feasible to give them the original cards. However, you could burn the raw data onto a few DVDs or a single Blu-ray disk. That's probably the most viable option. You could also print back to DV tape and give them that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
But then again will anyone have camcorders or access to one in another 30 years time???
I can't imagine any media that was available 30 years ago that you can't play today. A quick look at eBay will find plenty of cassette decks, turntables, slide projectors, 8mm projectors, betamax decks and more. I'm sure it will the same 30 years from now.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 05:24 PM   #5
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You could also allow them to buy the original cards... I'd sell them for a profit too. You might not get any takers, but at least you made it available... and at the highest quality too.

I never just give away raw footage. If they like, I'll just burn it to DVD. They can pick which tapes they would like me to burn, or they can have all the tapes burned to DVD. I sell the DVD's for $20 a piece. At 2 tapes per DVD, they spend $60 to $100 to have all of the raw footage.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 05:30 PM   #6
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In my experience, brides could generally care less about getting the original tapes. I offer a higher end product, so I think that's part of it. Budget brides are much more focused on the quantity of 'things' they get versus the quality of the video they receive.

I prefer not to give out the tapes simply because I'd rather not have people watching the 'bad' footage.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #7
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I agree with Travis. We're hired to put together a video production not 'uncle bob's' footage! Even though we do offer the raw footage on DVD for about $200 (depending on how many videographers) Usually 2 videographers=$200 and 1 videographer= $100 for an ALL day wedding (flat fee), but I would rather not give it to them.

We also make the RAW dvds look good! Printed with their names and nicely presented.

And yes usually the bride's mom wants the Raw!
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Old August 11th, 2009, 06:48 PM   #8
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if my brides want the RAW footage I give it to them on DVD AFTER I do some light editing. Floors,ceilings, feet and belly buttons come out. Otherwise it is as I shot it. No CC, no audio work-plain and simple, RAW!
I really don't get many at all asking about it.
I am in the process of finally getting rid of all my old tapes. I have job bags that date back to 2001 or 2002 don't remember but frankly I don't need them anymore so they will get magnetized and tossed. (I'll have my 11 year old grandson do the electromagnet thing-like a science project). I keep tapes going back 1 year so I'll keep 2008 but in 2010 they'll be gone as well. No need for them.

Forgot to mentio that I would in no way give or even sell the cards to the couple. If they want RAW burn it off to DVD.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 07:55 PM   #9
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Hi All

Your comments are very much appreciated!! I simply asked as doing the "big swop-over" from tape to card is an ideal time to kill the raw footage to the bride scenario!!

I think if they ask then I might follow Don's route and do some light editing first..however if they don't ask in the future I won't supply!!! Actually USB drives are a lot cheaper here than cards!! so those ar a possibility!!

I think with tape it's fair enough to ditch it after a year or two if you have kept them for backup!!!

Chris
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Old August 19th, 2009, 01:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Smyth View Post
I can offer to re-edit their wedding in HD - something that would be amazingly easy to do. It could be a nice revenue stream in the future - and a nice thing for the couple to see their wedding in HD, even if they couldn't get it that way the first time around.
I can tell you EXACTLY how many couples would be interested in this! :(
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Old August 19th, 2009, 07:41 AM   #11
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Hi John

By your comment you are getting absolutely ZERO requests for HD???? I must admit that after 28 weddings in my 2008/09 season only ONE actually asked if I had HD cameras and when asked admitted that he didn't have a clue what a BluRay player even was!!!!

This coming season will begin for me in a week and I don't expect anyone scrambling for HD disks either. The only real reason I replaced my MD10000 cameras with HMC72's was because the old units didn't have true 16:9!! More than likely I can see 99.999% of my footage supplied in SD this year as well!!

By shooting in AVCHD I very much doubt also if any client will have the necessary CPU power to edit the raw files!!!

Chris
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Old August 19th, 2009, 01:58 PM   #12
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USB thumb drives (those little pocket memory devices) are pretty cheap, and 8G (basically the same capacity as a DL DVD) would probaly provide an economical way to deliver the raw files. That's what I'd offer if asked.

You can buy them in quantities with your own label on them too, so they might be a good marketing angle. USB/UMS (universal mass storage) devices are abundant and relatively cheap. It's just a matter of having playback capability on the target device, but I see USB ports on more and more consumer "entertainment" equipment, so it's a possibility!
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Old August 20th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #13
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Just a thought. If you do sell/give away raw footage on tape, supply a note on the proper care of these tapes and the fact that you can not guarantee the ability to re-edit any material that has been out of your possession. Client might store the tapes in a freezer, shoebox in the attic, or trunk of their car.

I offer copy of raw footage on DVD (which has been requested and purchased about 20% of the time). I will also sell the HDV masters when requested. Seeing as how I'm in Silicon Valley, I've had edit-savvy clients who want to put their own weddings together. In some cases, I transfer the footage to my hard-drive first and store it/work on it for my own purposes (demos and such). I even offer a hard-drive copy of the raw footage for those who wish to 'archive' in this manner.

Just this week, I got a call from a wedding client 7 years back whose DVD (she only requested a single copy on DVD) was scratched and skipping. Her VHS copy still works fine, but no other DVD copies exist (even with me). Since the tapes are long gone, I offered to transfer her VHS to DVD, but the quality will suffer. Bummer! Now that everything is HD, I'm longing for a better archival solution that would prevent this from re-occurring.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 01:35 AM   #14
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Footage storage... A major pain.

Personally I am against at giving away the raw unedited footage. When you spend so many hours editing the material, I think it's wrong to allow customers see your "mistakes". I mean, when you are doing multicam, you have the freedom to move easier. So you may change positions, experiment with angles (some times failing), lose focus, find again focus, lose balance of the monopod or steadicam. I prefer the client to see only the result he paid me for. Ok, maybe I am a bit insecure and I don't like to reveal my errors! :)

But it would be a nice alternative to the ever-growing backup. Not only we keep the tapes, but we also keep the iso images of the final products (either DVD or Bluray) on external hard drives (which increase every year, so that's a problem actually).

But I am surprised I hear that there is no interest for Bluray by the clients. I live in a small and unimportant town in Greece and we sell HD to over 50% of our clients. Of course when we are working to "big" destination weddings, we offer it as standard. But we don't offer a possibility to upgrade to HD at the future. When the client orders SD, we shoot in SD. Yes, its not future-proof, but editing HD just to export to SD is still time-consuming enough to make it worth it. Just my 2c though.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 03:04 AM   #15
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Hi Dimitris

I always have a copy of the original footage plus the wedding DVD folder stored on an extrenal drive. I used to give away all the raw footage as it was unlikely that the B&G would ever watch it!! Now it's strictly only if they insist on footage I have decided! The Bride in question wants to create her own video from bits of the raw so she has been told she must pay for "transcoding" to SD AVI and I will also trim the clips to exclude the wobbles. I seldom stop the cam during the photoshoot which is all on stedicam so that has tons of wobbles!!!

Yep, I know exactly two people who own a BD player!!! and all my clients last season didn't own and few even knew what is was!!! We struggle to sell BD's here and people who have them are the ones that bought an HD TV and got a BD player for free!!! However having at least a 42" flat screen in the living room is high on the list but it seems a BD player is at the bottom!!

Many years ago I was in a band and we always LOVED to do Greek weddings as they did everything to the best of their ability...you knew it would be a really lavish affair so I suspect the photographers loved them too!!! Money was usually no object!!!

Thanks for your comments!! It's great to get info from other parts of the world!!

Chris
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