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


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Old February 14th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #1
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WARNING! Beware of Potential Scammer

We recently received this email. I have removed his street address to protect him. Has anyone else received a similar request from Jay? So far it seems that Jay is getting married in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Indiana and California. Jay really gets around.


We are not able to view the samples on your web site due to the fact that are computer is old and dial up just will not hack it when it comes to showing the quality of your work. Could you please send us a demo on DVD and a Brochure if you produce one that showcases your abilities? We are getting married in Tulsa in March 2006.
Thank you,
Jay
Jay Blood
xxxxx xxxxxx xx xxx xxx
Palm Beach Gardens, Fl. 33410

Hi Jay Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. The video samples require a high speed connection to view them. What venues will you be using in Tulsa? Do you have family here? Any specific date in March 2006? Just to check our availability.
Trisha Von Lanken
Picture This Productions Inc.
www.TulsaWeddingVideos.com
918.258.0258

Thank you, My Fiance and her family are from Tulsa. We do not have the venues as of yet but we do have a date that we are shooting for of March 23,2006.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 02:53 PM   #2
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Interesting.. what would this scam entail do you think?
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Old February 14th, 2005, 03:01 PM   #3
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Keith

The scam would be getting free demos and marketing materials.

If a videographer doesn't watermark his work it would be very easy pass it off as your own.

If someone would lie about getting married they may also lie to Brides about what they are capable of producing.

All My Best,
Mark Von Lanken
Picture This Productions
www.TulsaWeddingVideos.com
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Old February 15th, 2005, 02:08 PM   #4
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EDIT NM, I seemed to have missed the very first line.

Poo on my reading comprehension.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 08:15 AM   #5
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Real or legit?

I received the following message shortly after Mark posted his warning:

"Hi. My name is Derek and I found your website. I will be getting married in October in Indianapolis. I am in Tennessee right now for School. I want to see your larger demo, but only have dial up, therefore it would take forever. Do you have a sample dvd you could send me here in tennessee? My address is XXX royal garden dr.
murfreesboro, TN 37130. THanks"

Since reading Mark Von Lanken's post yesterday, I'm a little paranoid. I'm more inclined to think mine is a legitimate inquiry because the sender provided an e-mail address and phone number. I will contact this Derek both by phone and e-mail before I do anything. If he can give some specifics and genuinely seems familiar with the area, I'll send him a watermarked demo DVD. I put my logo dead center so even if someone tries to letterbox, they can't remove my semi-transparent logo from the middle of the screen.

I just read a great article about demo snatchers in EventDV magazine. I highly recommend you read the article by Doug Graham.

Be careful out there, folks.

T.J.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 09:15 AM   #6
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Tim

If Derek has a date and a location for his wedding or reception it is very easy to confirm those type of things. One of the first questions a Bride or Groom should ask is, are you available on my date.

When someone doesn't have a date secured with a venue and they want a demo, well that's when I get suspicious. How do I know if I will be available if there date isn't set. Sure they could say they are getting married at house. I would just ask what other vendors they have reserved.

If someone wants your demo bad enough, they will find a way. I just prefer to make it as difficult as possible if they are lying to me. Any fellow videographer can see my work on the internet. If they want to see it in person it's just as simple as being honest and making an appointment.

All My Best,
Mark Von Lanken
Picture This Productions
www.TulsaWeddingVideos.com
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Old February 16th, 2005, 12:26 PM   #7
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Greets!
Now I feel a little wierd! Recently, I sent a couple of emails and also posted in my own thread asking if anyone would be willing to send me a full wedding they had done. Stealing someones work had not even entered into my mind in the least. I'm just wanting to see how people are handling setups and getting shots before I launch into doing my own (which is coming up very soon!) wedding video business. It strikes me as a completely logical way of learning. I sure hope none of you have gotten the demo thief vibe from me. Anyone who might be willing to send me a wedding (Im honestly not really wanting a demo, but rather a full example!) can surely send me an email requesting my contact info, and Id be more than willing to give my phone number and address, allow you to speak with me for any comfirmation of my legitness you'd feel comfortable with.

My main reason for posting this though, is to let you guys whom I've emailed know that I had no idea that demo thievery was a problem. That makes no sense to me anyway as it would catch up with someone pretty quick (especially in a little town like mine) when the videographer was not able to produce results on the level of the demo. I just dont want you guys to hold me suspect of such intention.

Gracias!
Daniel Runyon
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Old February 16th, 2005, 09:37 PM   #8
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The problem with demo stealing is that ONE, someone could use your demo as their own work and it wouldn't matter if they could match the quality because they would get paid anyway and if it wasn't as good, too late. TWO, some people think they can watch a few demos and learn the craft. WRONG. It's best to at LEAST go out with another videographer on a few shoots rather than experiment with paying clients. Even if it means you get the job, and hire someone experienced to help you. You will be much better off in the long run and your clients will appreciate it. Weddings are a very different beast. THREE, wouldn't it be more honest to just ask someone for some advice upfront like "hey, do you have any samples I can look at because I want to get into the business and was wanting to get an idea of what others are putting together and what clients are likely to expect, I'd really appreciate the help and advice." That would probably get you all the info you could want and more.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 10:13 PM   #9
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Checking out the competition is just business. Frankly, as long as you've watermarked your footage so that it can't be outright stolen, I don't think you should worry so much over whether someone is an actual customer or just someone checking out out the competition. It's gonna happen no matter how much you try to prevent it. And after all...does it really matter? You are you. Focus on your own craft, on making your own connections, and doing the very best you can every time--and the business will be there.

Not long ago, I had a Mac laptop hard drive crash. I took it into the local Mac shop in Mobile, AL, the city I was in at the time (there was only one Mac store there), and the very first thing this nimnod who worked there said to me was "We won't even touch this until you can provide proof of purchase." Wah? Huh? I responded that I'd do that just as soon as he showed me the proof of purchase for the watch he was wearing...and then I walked out and sent my computer directly to Apple.

The moral of the story is... don't make your potential customers jump through any hoops or go through any verifications if you want them to be paying customers.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 11:08 PM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rhett Allen : THREE, wouldn't it be more honest to just ask someone for some advice upfront like "hey, do you have any samples I can look at because I want to get into the business and was wanting to get an idea of what others are putting together and what clients are likely to expect, I'd really appreciate the help and advice." That would probably get you all the info you could want and more. -->>>

To all of your comments, more or less agreed.

BTW, in my email requests, and also in my thread, the approach you mentioned as quoted here is exactly how I myself asked them, so I also dont want people getting the impression that I was doing anything like the alleged scammer using some type of rouge. Just wanted to make that clear.

Also, I do not propose to learn my craft solely by watching clips, demos and weddings, but it does make a heck of a lot of sense that it would be a big help to see what is considered somewhat the standard, and I cant see any way that doing that wouldnt make a serious degree of sense, and I would have thought that to be such a normal part of getting started that it wouldnt even raise an eyebrow! Now, if I were anywhere near someones area I could fully understand not wanting to send out such things, but I am far from anyone here's competition...I'm in a little ol slice of Deliverance here in GA!

Anyway, more than anything I'm just commenting here since this scammer situation came up about the same time as my requests, and I just dont wanted to make sure I didnt get lumped in with him if I could help it. I wasnt trying to say it's "ok" for people to rip off someones demo, just that people doing that type of thing shouldnt stop people from helping another fellow out with a completely legit request for some help. Though I also understand how hard it can be to tell the difference, especially using such a fairly anonymous meeting place as the internet where standups and boogaboos alike have equal access (bandwidth aside)! Speaking of which, I really wanted to address this because I too had mentioned only having 56k, so I'm really hoping you guys dont think I'm in anyway attached to this other fellow...I'd be willing to swear an oath on me manhood!

Daniel Runyon
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Old February 17th, 2005, 12:31 AM   #11
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It's all good Daniel. I actually have a friend who wanted to get into wedding photography a while back and was asking me about doing it. His logic was that he had looked at a lot of other peoples work and said he knew how he could do it. Mind you, this guy knew NOTHING about photography and wasn't really a "people person"! I quickly pointed out to him that it was a little more in-depth than it appeared and eventually talked him out of it (good thing too, he couldn't handle it). I've been shooting off and on for over 20 years and have all my own gear including studio strobes and "I" wouldn't shoot a wedding. That's just a different breed as far as I'm concerned. Mucho respect for those.

It is nice to look at other people's work and admire the different styles out there. Heck I've seen TONS of wedding demo's and not only am I not getting married, I don't want to shoot weddings. It's just interesting to see all the stuff. Occasionally you see something really different and cool. I've even got some on my computer. Isn't that bizarre? I've got a wedding video on my computer, of a couple I don't even know, and I've watched it a few times at least.
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Old February 17th, 2005, 07:19 AM   #12
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Daniel

I don't consider what you did to be wrong. The difference between you and Jay Blood is this. Jay lied when he said he was getting married in March of 2006 in at least 4 different cities. Jay may have had the same intention of you, to view other people's work as a way of educating himself. He just went about it all wrong.

All My Best,
Mark Von Lanken
Picture This Productions
www.TulsaWeddingVideos.com
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Old February 17th, 2005, 07:59 AM   #13
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Rhett,

I'm with you: I have NO intention of getting into the wedding video business, but I still like to review the wedding video samples posted in this forum. Watched a really good one posted here just this week and even though the guy said it was only his second edit ever, I had to admire the work.

I know you can't learn it all by watching someone else's product, but it can spark your imagination. Between posted clips and the Sundance site's Veggies, I found a wealth of ideas to let me experiment with editing capability I would have never used otherwise. No I've just got to learn when NOT to use all those ideas and K.I.S.S.
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