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


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Old January 22nd, 2010, 01:56 PM   #46
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Lowballer story

A few years ago a lady comes into the office with a proposal. She offered a 'golden' opportunity to get in early on a 'ground breaking' new medical treatment. All I have to do is produce a 15 min broadcast quality info video free of charge.

The treatment was hooking up some kind helmet to a someone's head and shocking their brain to cure mintal illness was the basic concept as I recall.

There was no budget because she had no money, but she 'knows' it works because her daughter is responding quite well to the treatment she claims.

"How much is the treatment'? I ask

"Free for me," she tells me.

"How come"?

"Because I told the Doctor I could get him a free video....."

I tell her sorry, I only do wedding videos....

To this day I wonder if she ever got anyone to make her that video.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 02:55 PM   #47
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Actually, Will, I ended up making it for her, and now I'm rich as a result.

Thank God I got in on it early, cause now it's everywhere. Can't throw a dead cat without hitting a doctor using that treatment.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 08:23 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Tucker View Post
A few years ago a lady comes into the office with a proposal. She offered a 'golden' opportunity to get in early on a 'ground breaking' new medical treatment. All I have to do is produce a 15 min broadcast quality info video free of charge.

The treatment was hooking up some kind helmet to a someone's head and shocking their brain to cure mintal illness was the basic concept as I recall.

There was no budget because she had no money, but she 'knows' it works because her daughter is responding quite well to the treatment she claims.

"How much is the treatment'? I ask

"Free for me," she tells me.

"How come"?

"Because I told the Doctor I could get him a free video....."

I tell her sorry, I only do wedding videos....

To this day I wonder if she ever got anyone to make her that video.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 09:46 AM   #49
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This just in...

Two offers came in yesterday from another videographer in my area...

Edit a birthday party she shot, 1 camera, used 3 tapes......$100

Film and edit a wedding next month, 2 cameras, the event is 8 hours....$275...oh and I have to provide my own tapes.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 10:11 AM   #50
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Rather than just say a direct "no", do it by giving them an itemised estimate (5 minutes of your time, no more) for what is involved to do their project.

The birthday party lady might have a sudden 'reality check' as to whether it's worth it.

With the wedding, they will get a proper indication of what they should be paying. If they walk away, you have still done well. If they accept your revised estimate, then you've done even better.

I've must say, though, it's a bit arrogant and cheeky for people to be coming up to you and suggest/dictate what pricing you will do the work for. Charge them 10% extra for having the gall to do that. :-D

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Old January 24th, 2010, 10:15 AM   #51
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Two offers came in yesterday from another videographer in my area...
Oh, my God, Will. That's below lowballing. That's just insane. How could another videographer who should know better come up with numbers like that?
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Old January 24th, 2010, 10:52 AM   #52
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Exactly! You would think someone in our profession would know better, right? Well, it takes all kinds as the saying goes. Any takers on any lowball offer could easily find themselves in the WORST situation in my opinion.....Busy and BROKE.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 11:59 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo View Post
Can't throw a dead cat without hitting a doctor using that treatment.
Where do you get your dead cats???
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Old January 24th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #54
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And STRICTLY to play Devil's Advocate:
There are also some videographers out there trying to get $100 an hour for their laptop based edit suite that chokes on HDV or AVCIntra material with NO decks, no I/O besides Firewire, no investment in Royalty Free anything...

The offline suites at the largest production house in my former market are setup with full AVID Media Composers with BetaSP decks resident in each suite with an experienced broadcast editor with international broadcast credits, real time performance, a comfortable edit room and ALL the trimmings at a rate of right around $100 an hour, editor included.

The Digital Revolution certainly has created it's own issues but there are a lot of junior editors out there that spend more time flying stuff around on screen than working on EXACTLY which frames to cut. Much as there are shooters out there that are so worried about making sure they use their home made DOF adaptor that they don't bother to use boom or lav audio or set up a single light.

Clients need to come to the table with realistic budgetary expenses but a LOT of people starting out in video think that just because they've "invested" $5k, they are entitled to recoup $100k a year working 9-5. Well, if you really are THAT good, perhaps but....
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Old January 24th, 2010, 07:21 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Jacques E. Bouchard View Post
Once someone pays $250 for a job, he'll never expect or accept to pay more - not so long as someone else is ready to do it. Heck, would any of us buy our tapes for $10 if three other guys in town sold them at a loss for $5?

And that's why low-baling hurts everyone.
My point was to use the person as a referral. If he wanted another video the price would have to be at the videographer's rate. I'm thinking about people filming this type of video for the first couple of times. You can't just go into a field of business charging what everyone else does.

Right now, with the position I'm personally in, I would take a job at a lower rate to get my work out there. I would never take 40 jobs at $200 to build my business, but here and there I'll do things to keep it rolling.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 03:01 PM   #56
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You thought we had competition from lowballers before? Take a look:
BBC - Earth News - Movie made by chimpanzees to be broadcast on television
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Old January 26th, 2010, 03:27 PM   #57
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Funny, sad & true all at the same time!

We all know there is a wide range of shooting styles based on info from this great forum, but I think there is also an even wider range of editing styles and more importantly, abilities. I see you understand editing as the frame accurate job it is (including audio). I think most folks don't purposely do a poor edit, they just never had a chance to learn in a production environment and are essentially home schooled. Therefore they just have no idea the level a pro production facility goes to to get things right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
And STRICTLY to play Devil's Advocate:
There are also some videographers out there trying to get $100 an hour for their laptop based edit suite that chokes on HDV or AVCIntra material with NO decks, no I/O besides Firewire, no investment in Royalty Free anything...

The offline suites at the largest production house in my former market are setup with full AVID Media Composers with BetaSP decks resident in each suite with an experienced broadcast editor with international broadcast credits, real time performance, a comfortable edit room and ALL the trimmings at a rate of right around $100 an hour, editor included.

The Digital Revolution certainly has created it's own issues but there are a lot of junior editors out there that spend more time flying stuff around on screen than working on EXACTLY which frames to cut. Much as there are shooters out there that are so worried about making sure they use their home made DOF adaptor that they don't bother to use boom or lav audio or set up a single light.

Clients need to come to the table with realistic budgetary expenses but a LOT of people starting out in video think that just because they've "invested" $5k, they are entitled to recoup $100k a year working 9-5. Well, if you really are THAT good, perhaps but....
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Old January 26th, 2010, 05:12 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
I think most folks don't purposely do a poor edit, they just never had a chance to learn in a production environment and are essentially home schooled. Therefore they just have no idea the level a pro production facility goes to to get things right.
My first year out of school, I used to advertise myself as an editor because I knew which buttons to push and where to drag stuff. THEN I got myself in over my head on an edit with someone who has since become a good client of mine. He had me do a rough cut on a project and MAN was I out of my league by SEVERAL degrees. I bowed out gracefully on the the edit and didn't charge him for my time after 6 hours of heart wrenching fear. He appreciated my honesty and worked me into his edit rotation UNDER THE TUTELAGE of his Online editor, first by capturing best takes from a log sheet, then to identifying good B-Roll, to assemble editing V/O and interview audio and eventually to offlining.

If it wasn't for a patient client and a patient online editor, I wouldn't have managed to get where I am today. And I STILL turn down edits if I'm not sure I can meet the client's expectations. You'll notice I say "If I'm not sure..." and NOT "If I know I can't..." I'd rather bow out gracefully than look like a fool who can't complete an edit.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 05:21 PM   #59
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$ 100/hour for a Videographer is insane. When we did some shoot (sit down interviews with stars) for the Toronto Film Fest we paid the Cameraman $ 35/hour, on a 4 hour minimum call. If it's a union guy they charge between $ 50-$ 60/hour. It's not good to low ball but it's not good to over charge either.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 05:40 PM   #60
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Noel: I disagree. $140 wouldn't cover my half day rate WITHOUT gear.
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