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


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Old May 25th, 2010, 04:53 PM   #1
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What do you produce more of HD or SD weddings?

I am in a fairly small market and don't offer HD video unless the client asks for it. I currently shoot in SD in 16x9 and have had no complaints. And in 3 years no inquiries about HD. i have the equipment to do it but i have yet to have a client ask for it.
i am curious how many of you have clients that actually ask for it and do you charge more for it or the same? etc....
-JS
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Old May 25th, 2010, 05:52 PM   #2
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Hi Jason

I moved over to using HD cameras over a year ago and still have not had one single bride ask for their wedding on BluRay!! I doubt that they even know what a BD disk is!! I would say that in the last 5 years the only enquiry I ever had was "Do you use HD cameras" ...(I didn't at that stage and they were not worried either)
I think one has to figure out whether the bride does has a BD player and also consider the fact that their immediate family are also unlikely to have one either!!! What I do at the moment is offer the wedding on BD as an extra but always tell them that the HD footage is stored on my drive if they decide on a BD copy at a later date.
I will be perfectly honest and say that very, very few couples (in fact the guy above is the only one I remember) ask any sort of technical questions about my gear..they want their wedding covered and are not really worried about cameras and delivery formats at all.

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Old May 26th, 2010, 03:57 AM   #3
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None of my friends or family own a bluray player.

I know we are a bit behind in Australia but at this point I don't think it's even a concern for most companies here. I COULD do one if they asked for it, but that has never happened so far and I think until bluray becomes far more common it's not going to be a concern.

As far as charging more for it, well you definitely need to cover your own personal costs so that you are making at least the same amount of profit. So you need to factor in extra software, hardware, expendables, and maybe even licensing (not too sure what the deal is with this)? Also if you need to do DVD and Blu-ray versions then this is extra work for you so you need to charge for the extra time as well.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:32 AM   #4
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Thing is, upscalling DVD players (and that includes all the HD-DVD and BluRay players) do an excellent job of making DVDs look good when played on a big 1080 set. On top of that the DVD can be played almost universally now, on PCs Macs, laptops, portables, in the car and so on.

BluRay is demonstrably better from a picture quality pov, but if you post it to your mum and she can't play it it's just a pretty shiny disc.

tom.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:45 AM   #5
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I shoot all my weddings in HD and so far have only delivered one HD wedding on BD. I have to say, what a waste of money setting up BD this has been. I have not had one BD production since this couple wanted a BluRay version and no corporate clients want BD either.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 05:25 AM   #6
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One good thing in using HD camera in a static position as a 2nd or 3rd cam is you can reframe, zoom or pan in post and simulate a manned camera without reducing resulution on a DVD. Zoom up to 30% is ok.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 06:11 AM   #7
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To be honest I went to HD cameras because I really had no option!! I have always run Panasonic and when I was ready to upgrade they just never had a SD 16:9 shoulder mount camera!!! They had just discontinued the DVC62 model so the only thing I could do was shift up to the HMC series so I could shoot widescreen (shooting a wedding party of 10 in 4:3 isn't easy!!!)

I actually transcode my AVCHD footage down to SD now at edit in SD..easier on the NLE and WAY faster!! That also confirms the already mentioned cost factor. It takes a LOT longer to render a 20 min ceremony in HD compared to SD so you need to charge extra edit time. The BD blanks are more expensive and then you have to buy a BD Burner and ideally a player too to test the disk!! I would suspect that doing a full wedding in HD would add some serious extra time to your post production so also bear that in mind and cost accordingly!!!

Yes, I do agree that you CAN zoom in HD and get away with it. in my last wedding I was using a static cam in the aisle and forgot to check the field of view so I left it on full wide. Shooting with the 2nd cam next to the altar my arm and camera are often in the A-Roll footage so a quick zoom of 10% fixed it...in SD I would have lost a fair amount of resolution!!!

Chris
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Old May 26th, 2010, 07:42 AM   #8
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I was shooting in SD and business was going great. No need to change a thing. Then I purchashed the Canon 7D in November. I've spent $8,706 on the 7D with all the lenses and accessories. I charge $350 extra if the brides wants her video shot in HD (no blu-ray disc included). I show the bride comparative samples of my SD (Canon GL1 and XHA1) and samples of my 7D & (T2i). So far, everybride has upgraded to HD and spent the extra money. They are blown away by the image. I've earned $9,175 by offering HD and this has obviously offset my 7D costs. All the weddings I booked prior to my purchase of the 7D are still upgrading so now the money is all gravy.

Last edited by Michael Simons; May 26th, 2010 at 07:46 AM. Reason: typo
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Old May 26th, 2010, 11:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asvaldur Kristjansson View Post
One good thing in using HD camera in a static position as a 2nd or 3rd cam is you can reframe, zoom or pan in post and simulate a manned camera without reducing resulution on a DVD. Zoom up to 30% is ok.
thats a great point. gonna remember that.

and Michael Simons, thats great you are making the money back so quickly. i dont have much money for new equipkent right now so will stick with my SD camera(s)i own and just rent some HD ones if a client prefers that. great to hear they like the image so much more tho so i won't be too timid in buying an HD camera in the near future.

-JS
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Old May 26th, 2010, 12:27 PM   #10
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We did our first Bridal Show in January, and brides were asking about HD. It's just starting to really catch. Because I just started my business about a year ago I decided to invest in HD from the beginning, although I could have gone either way. When HD delivery becomes the norm (and it will) I'm already preparing everything in HD first and can just give them a Blu-Ray version of their wedding when they want it... and get another sale off that. ;)
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Old May 27th, 2010, 01:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Michael Simons View Post
I charge $350 extra if the brides wants her video shot in HD (no blu-ray disc included).
How are you providing the video? Do they get a DVD or do you give them a HD file they can play on their computer or TV via one of those media drives?

Currently I shoot everything in HD and edit HDV material on the timeline, but my output is always DVD for weddings. As others have said, this means I can zoom or crop a little if I need to (like when the photographer jumps in the side of the shot).

While HD has been slow to enter the mainstream in Australia, 3d is getting a lot more attention, no doubt thanks to Avatar. Last night they broadcast one of our major Rugby matches in 3d for the first time, though I didn't see it as I don't have a 3d set. Even my dad, who doesn't care for HD and is happy with his Standard def 16:9 LCD flatscreen recently asked me about 3d TV's. I sincerely hope that people don't start expecting 3d for weddings because it's gonna add a whole new level of complexity - not to mention a whole new set of gear!
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Old May 27th, 2010, 01:52 AM   #12
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Here in the UK you never see a non-HD set advertised, they're all either HD (1080p) or HD-Ready (720p).

People say the World Cup will be the point at which people will start switching to HD storage as wellas viewing, but although we shot everything in HD almost all our clients take their programmes on DVDs. As Tom said, upscaled DVDs are so much better than DVDs. My guess is that the move to Blu-ray will take longer.

However, I believe professionals should be ahead of the game and should be prepared for the first Blu-ray request, not panic buy and panic learn the technology.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 08:58 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=John Wiley;1531980]How are you providing the video? Do they get a DVD or do you give them a HD file they can play on their computer or TV via one of those media drives?

The bride gets the same DVD that she would get if I shot in SD.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 10:16 PM   #14
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Here's the best advice I can give you. I'm not gonna get into a boat load of details so you figure out the workflow.

Shoot HD and archive the footage. When HD smacks them in the face in a few more years you can always contact them and let them know you'd be able to master to BR. As for me, once I have given a final SD copy I make a BD and store it when the time is right. The longer they wait the price will increase.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 11:50 PM   #15
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Ivan, when I re-read Jason's original question it seems to me that he wasn't requesting workflows or any particular load of details, so no doubt he'll find the brevity of your response enlightening.

What I would question are the economics of your suggestion.

If you don't have authoring software like Premiere which will allow you to use the same menus in your BD version as in your DVD version there's the time and cost of producing a BD version on spec.

The BD version you offer for sale when the client's have had their faces smacked will incorporate only today's authoring options - any variants which have emerged during the period won't be available, unless, of course, you also archive the HD programme files and re-authors in the future.

That will mean additional storage, and backup storage too if you're wise.

Then there's the question of whether you're still making money and if so how much. That will depend on a) the value of your currency at the future date when you sell the product and b) the cumulative cost of production and/or storage which you will have paid for with a less devalued currency.

Finally, there's the risk that it won't be BD that smacks your clients' faces but something else like Ultra High Definition for example - I'm sure you don't assume that progress has stopped with BD.

The reason I mention this in detail is because it's precisely what we do, but I do wonder if the costs of extending customer service in this way will be justified.
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