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

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Old June 18th, 2010, 09:16 PM   #31
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 1,212
It seems to me that this thread is as much about similarities between us as differences between our markets. I haven't been to Alaska or BC for 25 years but I have people I regard as family spread through the lower 48 so I understand why the various contributors have such different views. The fact is that HD (which in Europe means 1080p - 720p is known as HD-ready and practically given away with cornflakes these days) has achieved a significant penetration of the European market. Municipal dumps have special areas where you can leave your 4:3 tubes.

Faced with that it's easy to understand why Steve, luxuriating in the affluent South (as opposed to we introvert, self-pitying, black pudding scoffers struggling to get by amongst the wretched squalor of the industrial North - we have to say that to discourage people moving north to God's country) feels as he does.

Travis has it 100% right when he insists that we don't give technology advances away, but on the other hand we regard improving the value of our package by adding elements that cost us little to provide, a good way of remaining competitive. This, of course, assumes that like us, everyone is increasing their prices each year and if you're not, well you should be.

We've replaced tape with CF card recorders which save us a day's work on every job. But that doesn't mean we can pass on the saving of 10-12 tapes - the CF readers have to be paid for and written off.

The fact is that although, thanks to the Internet, we are able to discuss business as if we really lived in a global village, in reality our clients live in many different villages.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 06:56 AM   #32
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Location: Billericay, England UK
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Some really good points raised here amongst us filmmakers, and I reckon the best line expressed is 'know your market'. I'm of the opinion that very high picture quality is sure nice to have, but certainly not if it comes at the expense of artistry. Not that I'm saying that it does, but at the moment I'm concentrating on getting the best wedding edit done on DVD, knowing that everyone and his dog will be able to play it and appreciate it.

Here's a very small example. At the end of the wedding edit I finished yesterday I had the B & G come gently to a complete stop (using the excellent Canopus Speed Control) as the fade out started at the edges of the frame and homed in on them. This all synced with the end of the dance track which was itself the crisp CD audio that had gradually overtaken the recorded disco audio so that the film would finish cleanly.

I sure didn't need to do this. It would have been almost as good to keep the disco noise and simply apply a pic and sound fade. Full stop. All done and dusted in 2 mins instead of half an hour. So what I'm saying is this: All's well and dandy to go offering Blu-ray incentives, but in reality a DVD with your valuable time input is a better way to impress the client I'll wager.

Of course you could offer your time and your high def, but in that case your costs are higher, your audience is smaller and your prices must be higher (or your profits are lower).

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Old June 19th, 2010, 08:21 AM   #33
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Location: Dorset UK
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I fully agree that prices need to be raised every year. My prices have increase significantly in the last three years and there's another 295 rise coming into play in September when the wedding fayre season starts.

From starting out 5 years ago at a cheap 795, my 2011 prices will be 1395 + VAT. (1640 inc VAT)

Double the price of many of my competitors, yet they are lowering prices to try an entice bookings while I should hit 40+ weddings in 2011. Brides are not fools. They worry that a 800 videographer is not up to the job and would happily pay the extra for my services sfe in the knowledge they will get a great job.

I include the blu-ray DVD in the package. To charge an extra 100-150 is not good business to me and I want the bride to feel they are getting value for their hard earned money.

One thing I did notice of Phils site is that anyone can order a DVD of a wedding for 15. A great idea. Phil, how many people do you get taking up this offer? If done properly with advertising leaflets at the reception, it could add a further 200 profit in the value of each wedding.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 08:19 PM   #34
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester UK
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Steve, unless I've made a big error on our site, I think you must be confusing me with another Phil in respect of the extra copies for 15.

Although I can appreciate the desirability of selling extra copies, when you've taken the actual costs of duplicate production, copyright licence, postage, packing and tax etc into account there's not a huge profit in 15 per item. We actually sell additional copies to our clients at 10 - and make it clear that we don't regard selling duplicates as a profit centre but as a client service.

Additionally it's something else to think about on the shoot day.

One small point, I find it interesting that you are able to quote exclusive of VAT (sales tax). We've always regarded wedding video production as a retail business we have always quoted a tax inclusive price. I guess it depends how many amateurs and part-timers are in your market and who don't have to charge VAT anyway. Of course, we should be charging more than them for the same price because in reality we're almost 20% cheaper than they are in terms of the money coming in to the business..
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Old June 21st, 2010, 11:50 AM   #35
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Location: Dorset UK
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Sorry Phil I got you confused with FXfilms who offer that service. I think it's a god idea and takes the extra effort the bride has to make by people contacting her asking for a copy. She can just guide them to the website and they click on a button and pay via Paypal. 15 plus a couple of quid postage seems a fair price to pay for a copy.

I am the only guy in the area who charges VAT. The rest are not VAT registered so have an instant 17.5% advantage over me. But then again it shows I am a proper business and not a here today gone tomorrow business.

I won't include it in the price as it will look like I am much more expensive than the opposition. By stating my price ( which is a lot more) plus the VAT ( which clients look at as not money for me) I don't seem quite so pricey.

They get issued with a full VAT invoice and some can obvioously claim it back if they are VAT registered.

And I would recommend becoming VAT registered because I am certainly better of by being so. There's a lot of VAT to claim on equipment and I have certanly benefitted.
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