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


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Old December 22nd, 2009, 10:16 PM   #16
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 11:02 PM   #17
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 11:10 PM   #18
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Hi,

My name is Andrew. And I'm addicted to buying video gear.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 11:15 PM   #19
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Hi Guys

Just to put the cat amongst the pigeons I get the DVD to the couple within 7 days!! We have quite a few weddings where they have overseas guests and allowing them to see the DVD before they leave makes a difference.

OK, some may say WHAT?? 7 days but I try to streamline my workflow so that all shoots done on the weekend are cleared by the next weekend, otherwise I have chaos!!!

I must admit that I take my hat off to those who take 3 months!!! Unless you are only doing a wedding or two a month then I would be in complete disarray!! Over 3 months I will shoot around maybe 25 weddings mid season and to have that sort of backlog and have 25 folders of raw footage would need an awful amount of organisation!!! Being able to edit in the first few days of the week for me is an advantage!! I can remember what happened on the day and also anything that might need special attention. Gosh! After 3 months I don't think I would even remember most of the details unless I made copious notes!!!

I would be interested to know exactly why it takes 3 months to produce a DVD of a wedding unless of course people are shooting a month's worth of wedding before starting to even review footage.

I guess we all do things differently???


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Old December 22nd, 2009, 11:35 PM   #20
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but having a full time job AND a two kids (one with issues) has really taken its toll. By the end of the evening, I am way too tired to stay up 3 more hours and feel motivated to try and edit.
I think this honest explanation speaks VOLUMES - if you want to be seen as a professional, you need to devote REAL time to making deadlines and delivery dates - the whole "editing around other commitments, personal or otherwise" excuse doesn't fly when you have taken people's money.

I can't begin to speak to what a TRULY appropriate timeframe is to edit a full featured wedding package but I offer this:
-IF you are doing wedding videography as a sideline to another job DON'T try to pass yourself off as a FULL TIME 9 - 5 video production house. This sets up one set of expectations.

And to be frank, as your client I could care less what other obligations you have in your life - I paid for my video, I would like it in the shortest REASONABLE timeframe.

This coming from a longform doc guy who has been known to go 4 days straight on 3 hours of sleep staggered over each day in order to make deadlines. Does it suck? YES. Who's fault is it that I got backed into that corner? Mine. Either I didn't use my time appropriately OR I agreed to TOO tight a delivery deadline.

One week, one month, one year... I'll leave that up to you event folks to dispute BUT as a potential client, I don't want to hear ANYTHING about YOUR commitments competing with your obligation to my product.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 12:42 AM   #21
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Hi Shaun

That is the crux of the problem here!! Too much over-committment and the client suffers!!

If you want to shoot weddings part-time then treat it as a hobby and do maybe one a month!! To have a full time job and a family etc etc is really too much if you are shooting 2 weddings a weekend too!! I limit myself to a max of two shoots on a weekend and I run full time AND from a home office so I CAN edit in the evening too!! Even that is tough!!!

If I was getting married and the videographer started talking about thousands of dollars up front and I STILL had to wait 3 months for the DVD...would he (or she) get the business??? Absolutely not!!! I think before we start quoting huge lag times for delivery we need to put ourselves in the client's shoes as well.

Buy yourself a brand new RV and lay the cash on the table for the dealer...seriously, what would you say to them if they said "We will deliver your purchase in 3 months, we are a bit busy at the moment, so you have to wait " ????

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Old December 23rd, 2009, 02:30 AM   #22
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Hey board. I need a little advice on how to handle a particular sticky business situation.
You stated to the couple that your delivery time was 4-6 months. At 3 1/2 months they were unhappy and wanted the video?

Your delivery time is NOT too long. It's within the range of what they agreed to and signed a contract for. There is a reason they chose you despite not initially liking the turnaround time. Maybe it was the quality of your work? Maybe it was your price? Whatever it was, THEY decided to book YOU, so it's on THEM to patiently wait the 4-6 months for delivery.


To answer your other question, we quote couples with a 3-6 month delivery time (not guaranteed), and we shoot for 3 months or less. Almost all of our weddings are booked between June and August because of the weather here in Idaho. So it's almost impossible to not have a backlog with the style of editing we do. Often we are able to turn a wedding around in 2-3 weeks, and that just makes the couple ecstatic. d;-)
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 04:57 AM   #23
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I completely agree with you Travis. We too can deliver in short period but only the weddings that are at the beginning of season. After that, as said, since you explain to the couples the delivery times and they decide to book you, they have no excuse whatsoever at making complaints.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 04:57 AM   #24
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I am well within my quoted delivery time for my clients, but it still bothers ME i can't
get them out sooner. AS much as I hate to do it, I am positioning to outsource editing
next season and take the pressure off.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 05:22 AM   #25
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I'm interested in where the extended timescale comes from. If it was originally a month, but pressure of work means you are working flat out and it keeps extending, then you either need more staff, more equipment, work harder/longer, or don't take so many booking to catch up.

A doctor near me took over a practice where getting an appointment took on average a week. He opened the surgery for three weeks working until 9pm, rather than 5pm. he now doesn't have a backlog at all, and people simply walk in, take a ticket as in a delicatessen queue and people wait for their turn.

He worked out that the actual number of patients being seen each day was a constant, and the excessive wait was just due to poor time management, NOT too much work. Customer (patient) satisfaction went through the roof, and the workload of the staff went down because they didn't spend any time on attempting to slip urgent cases in ahead of non-urgent.

I can't help feeling that if I was a customer, I wouldn't understand the wait - even if there is a solid production reason for it. I'd be very concerned if 3 months after shooting, I discovered a problem and had to tell the client - they are going to be getting stressed with the wait anyway, so any small issues become huge ones. After a couple of weeks they would remain minor.

It appears that for many people, wedding video is seen as a hobby, to be carried out alongside their main source of income. If this is the case, how come the wedding industry seems to charge so much? We're not saying that the high charges are because a quality product takes 3 months to complete are we? Editing and handing over in a couple of weeks for the same price might make people think it was overpriced? Just a thought?
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 06:32 AM   #26
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simply put, most people don't understand that editing video is a tedious and time consuming process. They see the samples, but in their mind don't have any clue as to the thought process involved in producing a quality product. they think it's magic and the software does all the work.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 08:03 AM   #27
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This extended timescale also interests me!!

If you do a HUGE wedding which involves say 10 hours of shooting and 40 hours of editing then that's feasible to do full-time within a 7 day period ... at an average of $100 an hour you SHOULD be getting in $5,000 for the weeks work!

Gosh, I'd me quite happy to work my butt off every week with just one shoot each Saturday for $5,000 a week income!!!! My weddings are more in the range of $1500 a shoot which allows me to allocate no more than 20 hours to the job to make it economically viable so I can deliver within a week.

On these 90 day delivery times even if you allocate a mere 60 minutes a day to the client's video you need to charge a whopping $9000 for the job ...!!!

I would LOVE to be enlightened as to why there is a 3 month delivery time ... what do people do for 3 months on a wedding video or is this merely a part-time effort where you can only do a tiny bit at a time over a long period due to other commitments??

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Old December 23rd, 2009, 09:01 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Guys

Just to put the cat amongst the pigeons I get the DVD to the couple within 7 days!! We have quite a few weddings where they have overseas guests and allowing them to see the DVD before they leave makes a difference.
I think you have a fantastic business model. You're right - barring any missing resources from the wedding couple (such as images,) you should be able to sit down in the edit suite on Monday and spend the next few days editing the wedding you just shot.

It seems the longer I put off projects, the longer they take. This is my full-time job, there is no reason I can't start cutting a video the next business day after a shoot.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 10:01 AM   #29
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I wish I could but all it takes s two or three big events to
start the season and your behind. Being a one mand band I
have to stop and print and ship, take calls, meet clients and
shoot Corp stuff and photo during the week as well as
share trips to the pediatrician and other kid stuff
with my wife. I also have two other crews shooting
on weekends and I edit everything myself. So far 90 days hasn't
been a problem, at least not yet.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 12:23 PM   #30
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There are so many things to take away from this thread... I love it!

Abraham Lincoln was once quoted as saying, 'Give a man 6 hours to cut down a tree and he'll spend the first 4 sharpening his axe.'

Basically if you give yourself 4-6 months to return a video, chances are best that you'll use every bit of that time.

But I think 4-6 months is a VERY FAIR amount of time for return! There are some places here in town that boast a turnaround time of 30 days or less. But the quality (or lack there-of) of their product is pretty obvious as to why it takes no more than 30 days.

When I meet with a couple and show them some clips, I always point out how long something took if they really like it. For example, one bride loved a highlight video I showed her. It was a 3.5-4 minute piece. I mentioned that it took a little more than a week to edit.

'Wow, really?!'

So I work at laying the groundwork about the time well before we even discuss what their video could be. They tend to be a bit more respectful of your work and time knowing that a LOT goes into the editing process for weeks (and months) following their wedding.

But here's another little interesting thing you could throw at your next couple who are whining about the 'delay' in their video:

a) GOOD
b) FAST
c) CHEAP

Pick TWO.

If you want it good and fast... it won't be cheap.
If you want it cheap and fast... it won't be good.
If you want it good and cheap... it's won't be fast.
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