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


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Old February 18th, 2010, 03:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 18
Research Project (sorry if this isnt the right place)

Hi, I am currently a student at Sam Houston State University, and I am undergoing a research project for a personalized career plan. The career plan I have chosen, and have been working on for the past several years of being a student, is owning an independent production company focusing on events such as weddings. Part of the research project is to get opinions and information from individuals with experience in the chosen career. I am asking that anyone willing to please answer a short questionnaire (you donít have to answer all it) or just give a brief informational description of how you got where you are today. Thanks, for any consideration.

Anthony Pekowski
app003@shsu.edu


1. - How do you handle equipment failure in the middle of a job?
- How do you define your price ranges?
- Are there periods of time when you canít find work?
- How do you handle those periods of time?
- What is your annual salary like (range)? Donít have to answer if too personal.
- Do you rent or own your equipment?
- Do you have a communications degree?
- Why does this field fit your skills/personality?
- How do you handle angry customers?

2. - What are the best ways to advertise?
- How do you get your company ahead of competition?
- How much experience do you need until your company is self-supporting (how long
did it take)?
- Were can you find help or support?

3. Ė Were the best location to operate this sort of a business in the U.S.?
- Will my salary be able to afford downtown Austin living?
- Is there a lot of competition in Austin?
- Would there be a better city to move my business to rather then Austin?



I appreciate any help anyone could provide.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 11:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NYC Area.
Posts: 550
1. - How do you handle equipment failure in the middle of a job?
I always have a back up and a back up to the back up.

- How do you define your price ranges?
My prices are pretty high for my area, but thats so that I only work weddings where I know I will be valued.

- Are there periods of time when you canít find work?
Yep, Plenty

- How do you handle those periods of time?
I save enough money during times when I am at work that I just use that money when I am not working.

- What is your annual salary like (range)? Donít have to answer if too personal.
It ranges

- Do you rent or own your equipment?
Both

- Do you have a communications degree?
Working on it.. I am actually a communications student who is looking into going into entertainment law, the wedding business is something I do on the side because I enjoy it and its good money for now.

- Why does this field fit your skills/personality?
I like dealing with the brides and grooms and telling their stories

- How do you handle angry customers?
I try my best to either give them what they want or to explain why they can't have it in a very nice way.

2. - What are the best ways to advertise?
I don't
- How do you get your company ahead of competition?
I spend most of my profits on new gear and new inovation
- How much experience do you need until your company is self-supporting (how long
did it take)?
It took 2-3 wedding seasons
- Were can you find help or support?
This website is the best

3. Ė Were the best location to operate this sort of a business in the U.S.?
I operate out of New Jersey
- Will my salary be able to afford downtown Austin living?
I don't know but I make a good living here, able to get my girlfriend nice things and such
- Is there a lot of competition in Austin?
I don't know don't live there.
- Would there be a better city to move my business to rather then Austin?
I don't know.
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Old February 19th, 2010, 06:40 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Hi Anthony

Here is an overseas perspective for you!! I have skipped section 3 but if you provide a good product it doesn't matter where you live!!! As long as people get married, there is business!!!

1. - How do you handle equipment failure in the middle of a job?
I have backup gear for everything audio, video and lighting..I can switch to a backup
within seconds
- How do you define your price ranges?
Budget video for the bride who thought she couldn't afford a video
- Are there periods of time when you canít find work?
Yes
- How do you handle those periods of time?
Realty Video during the week on a regular basis
- What is your annual salary like (range)? Donít have to answer if too personal.
Around $60K nett (after overheads and expenses so it's equivalent to around $100K in a job where I need to drive to work, have lunch etc etc..small business here can deduct heaps at tax time!! so my tax is probably 50% of a working person)
- Do you rent or own your equipment?
I own everything
- Do you have a communications degree?
No- self taught
- Why does this field fit your skills/personality?
I enjoy shooting video and film-making
- How do you handle angry customers?
Never had an angry client!! If you do it right you won't have either

2. - What are the best ways to advertise?
Online directories/wedding forums and word of mouth
- How do you get your company ahead of competition?
Service, service and service!!!
- How much experience do you need until your company is self-supporting (how long
did it take)?
Around 12 months
- Were can you find help or support?
Local business Chamber of Commerce and DVInfo of course


Chris
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Old February 19th, 2010, 06:53 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: East Bay Cali
Posts: 563
1 - How do you handle equipment failure in the middle of a job?
Backups, and (like said above) backups of backups

- How do you define your price ranges?
Whatever the market will bear

- Are there periods of time when you can’t find work?
Nope always got something, even if sometimes its the last thing in the world i would want to do.

- How do you handle those periods of time?
Vacation?

- What is your annual salary like (range)? Don’t have to answer if too personal.
1/3rd that of a janitor , as actual profit

- Do you rent or own your equipment?
Yes , i cant rent because i have problems with rented stuff not working, and me not knowing how to use it. i would rather OWN less than Rent more, because knowing how to operate it can turn less into more.

- Do you have a communications degree?
Yes i have a PHD in video Phreaking Habitual Diligance

- Why does this field fit your skills/personality?
Remember that AV guy in school? that was me , then and now.

- How do you handle angry customers?
Oh My! is one of them angry? on the rare occurance I try and shut up , cool down, recognise who is paying. if that dont work i cross them off the list of working for them again.

2. - What are the best ways to advertise?
Word of mouth

- How do you get your company ahead of competition?
Competition? it takes mabey 300-400 people to have enough work for a lifetime, there is 120,000 people in this town, so what would be competition? Meaning I think people compete more against themselves , than they need to compete against others. If you got your own stuff together, you dont have to worry about anyone else.

- How much experience do you need until your company is self-supporting (how long
did it take)?
First day i got out worked hard, and charged for it.

- Were can you find help or support?
RTFM?

3. – Were the best location to operate this sort of a business in the U.S.?
Wherever you are there you will be.

- Will my salary be able to afford downtown Austin living?
Ahhh, is it easier to live in the big 2X priced city and have 2X priced jobs, or live in the 1X priced city and still charge 1.5X for jobs. i would say living in a lower rate area is better, because video prices can be similar but Cost of livings are not. on the other hand, living in a place that is "slummy" like could kill sales if they show up at your place.
Where i live the Cost of living is very high, then i have some work where the cost of living is very low, and that has to be the worst setup.

- Is there a lot of competition in Austin?
- Would there be a better city to move my business to rather then Austin?
You could believe that. like if your doing badly a "restructuring" by moving and re-advertising could be Refreshing to your human person. the requirement to GET-OUT and get known in a new place, could become advantageous, if only mentally.
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Old February 20th, 2010, 04:19 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Austin, TX
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Hey, I just want to say thanks for the responses and great information, all of your feedback will become not only a vital part of my research project, but excellent resources for my future career!

Thanks again,
Anthony Pekowski
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