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

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Old April 23rd, 2005, 05:47 PM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Belgium
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Discussion with my nephew about...


I had a discussion with my nephew tonight. Here's the thing: He mailed to 2 bands, one is very little and unknown, and another is a little bit big, and he asked if he could photograph their gig, and maybe shoot it.
The little one said yes, the big one maybe.
Now, we had a discussion about money.

He said: it's our first time, we shouldn't ask money.
I said: indeed, but we should ask money.

My arguments: I have an Canon XL1s, he has a Panasonic GS400, we have tripods and we would edit with Premiere Pro, and we both are students audiovisual arts, in high school. For me this is my last year after 3 years, and now I'm going to filmacademy. He and I want to make our own little production company and we thought we should make our money with events/weddings, to earn some money to buy material for our movies we want to make.
There will be a lot of expenses also if I go to filmacademy, the first year is something of 1000 euros.
Second is 2000 euros, and your last year, the forth one, is just the expense of your end project. That can be 1500 euros, but it also could be 15.000 euros.
Mostly it revolves around 7500 euros (but you are sponsored, but not everything is paid for you)
And I don't want to ask a lot of money for that first time, I was thinking about 100 euros. Then you can pay your tapes, and if you split it you both have 30 euros... You can maybe buy a cd for that, and you would have to edit the gig off course.

So, he had the principle of: we should do it to learn and not for the money. I said: I know, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't aks any money at all, people will use you.
So we left it at that, and I wanted to have your opinions.
Because I don't want to feel like a hypocrit or egoistic, I just think: it's our time that goes in it, we offer a service, but we should have (even a minimal) compensation.
But I just want some honest opinions.

Mathieu Ghekiere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2005, 07:37 PM   #2
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Location: Albany, NY 12210
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There's something I don't get here -- neither of these bands have requested to hire you for anything. You guys approached them. What exactly would they be paying you for? Live footage? What would they use that for? Wouldn't they hire their own people if they figured there was a market for it? I don't mean to be snotty, but I just don't get what you're trying to do or why you think people should be paying you for it. If you simply intend to try and sell raw footage back to the bands, that should have been part of the original pitch you made to them. To bring it up now strikes me as rude.
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Old April 24th, 2005, 04:35 AM   #3
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Yes, well the thing is: he approached them, I didn't know about anything. So he just came to me: hey I mailed a band, and they replied we could shoot them!
So I didn't know about any agreement or anything.

And off course if we would just film them, we couldn't ask money, but my opinion is, if you film a gig, you should edit it, make a dvd, and give it to the band, maybe they can put it on their website, use it for other things...
They don't have their own people I think, they are a really small band. Don't know for sure though.

Hmm, maybe I just shouldn't ask money...?

EDIT: I replied to my nephew - also because I don't like to have argues with hem - I would do the first gig for free, but only the first. Because I would make plans with the band, a storyboard,... plan everything, that it aren't just a 2 static camera set up.
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Old April 24th, 2005, 06:58 AM   #4
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Location: Melbourne/Palm Bay Fla
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Do the gigs for free, edit and give them 1 song on tape or DVD. If they like what they see, they may ask you to do more. That is when you give them a decent price. Use the experience to further your resume, and your contacts. I have found most bands are narcissistic enough to want video of themselves, but don't have enough money to buy video AND beer. Beer usually wins out ;)
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Old April 24th, 2005, 09:56 AM   #5
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Location: Venice, FL
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There is no right answer to paid or not. You should decide what you want before you start talking, and your nephew DID know that. His intention was to do it for free, so now you have to do it for free or not do it at all. Asking for money is the worst thing you can do.

If you do not have a reel, doing free projects is a good idea. If you have not yet discussed what you are going to give the band for their participation, then it leaves many possibilities. It could be as little as a low-quality web version of the final video for their website. OTOH, having your work out there leads to getting more work. So if you just give them a DVD ready for printing and they really use it, you are getting your work out. There is nothing wrong with making your name more prominent than usual in the video when you give it away for free. I did a couple of free projects like this, and put my name at beginning and end, as well as watermarking the rest of it. If you are shooting it for YOUR demo, then the band can just get acopy of whatever you produce, watermarks and all. OR, you can earn more goodwill by doinga really nice project.

FOr teh famous band, you shoudl rethink your whole plan before you talk to them again.

And it sounds like you and your business partner need to have a discussion about committing yourselves to projects without talking first.
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Old April 24th, 2005, 10:48 AM   #6
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You are right. It's good we now had this discussion (albeit a little bit late), and the idea is to indeed not ask money, but to do it in the future because we then have something to show.

Good idea about the watermark by the way!

BTW: I should have said, but it wasn't clear to me either, that he didn't really said to the band it was for free. He just didn't speak about money with them.
But I told him I want to know it in the future if the does such things, or else he will have a partner less.

Thanks for the opinions
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