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

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Old December 2nd, 2009, 11:12 AM   #31
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ahh, so funny, yet so spot on...
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 09:08 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Peter Dunphy View Post
Hi Guys

I'd really appreciate any advice on the following please especially if you have found yourself in the same predicament.

Awkward predicament here where I'm only starting my business, time is precious and cash is scarce, but I've been asked by sister of my partner to shoot their wedding video in March, with the implication I feel being that they would expect it done for free, or for a massive discount because she's family.

If I were to agree to shoot their wedding, I'd want to do it right, I couldn't settle for a 'hack' job, so as far as I'm concerned, including attending the rehearsal, the day of wedding and post production including capturing and logging in Final Cut, editing in Final Cut with paper edit reference, Motion Graphics - titles and transitions, Soundtrack Pro multi-track sound and music editing, Color contrast adjustments, color correction/grading, DVD authoring and printing stills onto DVD case and covers, it will take me the guts of 3 weeks at considerable time and expense to myself.

I would be totally happy to do the video for them - it's just that I would only able to do an excellent job on it, which takes time. I wouldn't want my name associated with a video that was rushed or had quality compromised in any way. So, I would have to charge them for my time. I'm sure I could shave some cash off the total but I fear I may be an outcast if I mention cost to her!

I think the perception with a lot of people is that a videographer can just whip out a camera for a wedding and that's the end of it, but the reality is that there is a lot of post-production work which has to be labored on - if there are any shortcuts to do postproduction faster I'm not aware of them! :o)

What do you think guys? Any advice whatsoever about how I could gently handle this would be really appreciated.
If you're just starting out and need the portfolio piece I would suggest that she cover your hard costs and in exchange you will do a highlights trailer. I beg you not to commit to a full film or you'll regret it! :) If she's not a blood relative, then I wouldn't offer to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars out of your own pocket just because you need a piece to promote yourself. She should be happy to pay your expenses, to me - that sounds like an amazing deal.

Hope that helps,
Bruce Patterson- Cloud Nine Creative Inc.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 06:56 PM   #33
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Thanks for all the great advice guys. I will keep it all in mind for future 'favors' asked by family members.

As it turns out, the wedding date was put back and now falls on my 33rd birthday in August! So I think I've got a 'get out of jail' on that one! They all know I like to take a drink (or several) on my birthday, so luckily it hasn't been mentioned since.

Her father required a little bit of video work done today (just took a couple of hours) so I was very happy to do that for him...also makes me look like less of a 'scrooge' hopefully!

Thanks again for all your valuable, excellent feedback.

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Old March 24th, 2010, 09:54 PM   #34
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My simple rule of thumb in life is no monetary transaction of any sort with family and friends.

Personally, I think it's good to keep the two separate to avoid unnecessary consequences.
Jawad Mir / Cinematographer . Filmmaker
Film Style Weddings Jawad Mir
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Old March 25th, 2010, 01:50 AM   #35
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Peter, my advice is not to do it. I have been exactly the same situation with a cousin. We ended up having some bad blood. Due to chinese culture, I was unable to raise the topic of some form of payment. I was expecting a token sum in which I would be happy to return some of it as a wedding gift but the final amount should be left to my perogative IMHO.

However it turned out that she expected it for almost free. I even did a pre wedding shoot with SDE and documentary edit for the actual wedding. It took me 4 weeks to do and we ended up with some unhappiness as the photographer (another relative) also had the same problem.
Firewerkz Films SGP
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Old March 25th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #36
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Since you are just starting, Id suggest you do it for free. If its gonna cost you extra out of your pocket, (for example buying props and renting equipment. Kindly asked them if they are willing to cover the cost for you. Big chance they will agree, coz this is fair. I dont think they would even argue with you why they will pay for you gas, props, or your rentals.

If they dont, then still do it.

You want to build up a good porfolio, and it means having a capital. If there is a videographer here that have charged their first client their current full price now, I salute them.

If your next client asks you : How many weddings have you done?
Wouldnt doing your relatives be a plus to your resume?

Im a newbie too, and Ive done a wedding for a friend and they agreed to cover the extra cost around ~60. But hey, it opened a lot of doors and opportunities.

just my little advice.
Bay Area Wedding
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Old March 25th, 2010, 05:29 PM   #37
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My advice is to do it for free if necessary but shoot it like an in-camera edit, and just clean it up in post-production with no more than a day's worth of labor. Let them understand that time is money and that two days of free labor is more than a worthy gift to them. If they don't like it, they can book my basic package for $1195. :) Somehow, I think they'll go for "free". Good Luck.
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