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


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Old August 18th, 2010, 12:53 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Buba Kastorski View Post
I don't know, I have 48 weddings in 2010 and had to refuse about 20 couples, maybe I'm just lucky
Are you serious Buba? that's a lot of weddings and editing !...Hope you don't mind me asking but do you have a team of editors or do u just use templates? and how much does your packages cost?


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Old August 18th, 2010, 02:42 AM   #17
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Dual edged sword here. Recession brides (or there parents) and mass layoffs in NEWS media resulting in an over saturation of new video companies.

I hate these "Basic Package" weddings. I don't like the low $$ and they are boring to edit. :) I keep wanting to do more in post but they haven't paid for that level of service.

It's not always the brides as much as the parents who may be fronting the bill. Most parents are older school and have no idea what video can be like today so they figure paying a few K for video is overkill.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 05:24 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Kren Barnes View Post
Are you serious Buba? that's a lot of weddings and editing !...Hope you don't mind me asking but do you have a team of editors or do u just use templates? and how much does your packages cost?


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Kren Barnes
www.verticalvideoworks.ca
I'm also curious about these high numbers. I know that there must be a different market in a city to that of a rural area, but in all the years that I've been doing weddings I don't know anyone in my locality that has ever come close to those numbers never mind finding the time to edit 55 or even 48. I can only assume that these are not all personally recorded/edited by the principal, or they must be simple shoot, trim and burn productions, or have either a team of shooters and editors, or subcontract to others. If so how is consistency and quality control achieved?

If I have missed something I'd be very interested to hear what the workflow is from from someone who does achieve such high numbers.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 06:42 AM   #19
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Wow!!

I see that Don talks about averaging 55 a year!! That's a LOT of work. Our effective season here is basically September to early May and I'm lucky if I average 25 or 30.

Gosh you guys must be shooting two weddings a weekend!!! At that rate a backlog could quite easily develop unless you in fact do have a team working on them as they come in thick and fast!!

Chris
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Old August 18th, 2010, 07:31 AM   #20
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I don't want to get forensic on this but I am highly curious as to how any single operator deals with 55 weddings a year, and from Don's post it seems that this year they are nearly all in the four months June to September.

I have looked on your website Don and notice that you do your "Layaway" option which is purely shoot and hand over, from what I read. unedited footage on a hard drive. I'd be interested to know how many of your 55 are this format.
I'm not intending to be confrontational with my questions, just interested to find out if there is something I can learn from your approach. I have in the past though of offering a similar sort of product but would be worried that if I booked that for a day, my next call may be for my full package on the same day and I'd have to turn it away. Do you find that situation occurs very often?
My other worry would be that if it were shown to friends would the full story travel with it or would the friends think that that was my standard of work and with all the very best circumstances I'd not be happy with my unedited footage; does that not worry you? (I mean what people think, not the quality of my footage).

Obviously you must be doing something right if you've been able to sustain an average of 55 for 27 years.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 09:02 AM   #21
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Hi George

I'd love to know Don's secret too!! I shoot in documentary style with almost no "frills" so my editing is pretty quick.. If I shoot a wedding on a Saturday, it's usually ready around mid-week ..if I have 2 on the weekend then I only just make it before the weekend.!!! If I had to produce cinematic masterpieces that most guys here claim take them an absolute minimum of 40 hours to edit (often closer to 80) then I could barely do two a month since a "wedding film" seems to involve a good 2 weeks in post working full time!!

With a "straight down the line" budget wedding video without anything out of the ordinary I have to allocate at least 10 hours to the edit and then there is still the fiddly bits like printing covers, making menus to deal with!! It's normally shoot on Sat, copy to drives and review on Sunday, edit on Monday/Tuesday and then package on Wednesday and deliver. I don't work a regular job either so I'm often amazed how some can hold down a 9 - 5 job and do weddings too!!!

Chris
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Old August 18th, 2010, 09:27 AM   #22
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Hi Chris.

You and I seem to be on the same wavelength. This too is my full time occupation and much as I'd like the income from 50+ weddings a year I don't see how it would be practical. I work on a similar workflow to you; dump the footage either as soon as I get back, or at least next morning, then first edit on Monday. I hate to go out to a wedding with un-viewed footage from the previous one. How would I know if there's a fault with the one of the cameras and I'll be repeating it. The only time would be if I have weddings on two consecutive days.
I spend about 30+ hours then fine tuning the edit with music, graphics and fx, then MPEGing, DVD chaptering and menu layout, burning discs plus cover and disc design & print. Each wedding is the equivalent of a full weeks work.
I do a similar number to you 25-30 and couldn't envisage doing 55 weddings in a year to a standard that I'd be happy to present. Though it's a mainstay of my livelihood I still have other things I like to do, and a family I have to keep happy.
I have to have time for other work - stage shows, seminars, etc as well as some time off.

I think that those who do other work as well must the the ones who give a six month delivery time. I'd have forgotten all about it by then. It's not unusual for me to get a phone call from the couple as soon as they arrive home, I've even had one couple call from the airport asking if they can call straight to me to collect it before they go home. Six months they may be divorced.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 10:06 AM   #23
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Well, first off the number of gigs is usually spread out from January to December but this year they really started hard in April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November with a tail off in December. Yes this year I am shooting doubles, I hate doing that but you do what you gotta do to keep the money flowing. Based on my bookings so far for next year it won't be quite so hectic but it looks like
I'll still end up with 45 to 55. Hell, 2 years ago, (2008) I did 63.

Anyway, noone actually buys the video layaway but it does attract attention. Mostly it's my standard package with some buying the prep package and a few are still buying my cine package which I don't even advertise anymore.

As for worrying about missing a higher booking because I'm booked my belief is this. I'm booked regardless of which package I'm booked for. I never go back on a service agreement.

This year has been crazy. I'm an advid golfer and this year I haven't played one time because I'm spending all of my time editing. Since 99% of my work is strictly a doco style and I have it down pretty well, I can load tapes and edit the ceremony (2 or 3 cameras) with any CC and audio work in less than a day. The rest usually comes in the next 2 days, Preceremony, postceremony, reception, highlight, author, burn print and package within a week. I've never done that before but right now with my corporate work and TV work all but gone I have to get them done quick so I can go out and meet with new clients, knock on doors for corporate work etc.

As for quality of the work, well I can tell you that the last time I had a complaint was about June of last year and I had mis-spelled a name in the credits by 1 letter. Ooopps. The bride was very cool about it and I fixed it and re-burned the DVDs sent them out and she was happy. Oh yeah, I recently got a phone call from a bride that complained that one of the DVD's didnt have music had some cmaera moves showing some of the color looked a bit off etc. I asked her what was printed on the face of the DVD and she said "raw footage". I then told her to look at the other DVDs and tell me what they said and how they looked. She called me later that day and apologized. She obviously jumped the gun. She had forgotten they had ordered the raw footage on DVD and that was of course the first disc she played. sigh, people gotta read.

Anyhow, over the last 27 years I have done an average of 50 to 55 per year and while I certainly can't put myself in the same place as say Stillmotion or Jason M or some others (and I don't mean to slight anyone but they came to mind first) my clients in my market want good stabil footage, properly compsed, properly exposed with great audio so they can relieve the day. I know my market and my style and price point fit so even though I'm old and cranky and coming apart at the seams (my body aches like you wouldn't believe) I still try to do at least 45 to 50 per year as I've become accustom to a certain income and really don't want to have to change my lifestyle (except for this year and my golf-trust me next year, I'll be playing again).

Well I hope I answered all the questions if not let me know.
Gotta go, burning DVDs right now and gotta print them.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 10:45 AM   #24
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Hi Don, good reply.
I didn't intend that you'd have to justify yourself nor mean to cast any slight on your work. It's just that I couldn't associate that number of weddings with the time it would take me to edit them. You seem to be able/prepared to work through your footage at a better pace than I do.

The mention of consistency and quality was when I thought that you might be using other people to either shoot or edit for you. Obviously not a problem if you shoot all work yourself.
I too have had the odd call-back from a client (I've done the miss-spelling things as weel).

This site, with it's wide spectrum of operators, is giving me an insight into working practices and markets that I hadn't realised existed. As I said earlier I've shot weddings for over 20 years and know most of the operators in this area, current and past, and no one has ever had over 40 in one year and that was subbing to a part-time enthusiast which turned out to be a big mistake (hence the allusion to quality and consistency above) ; the average here is in the high twenties.

And referring back to the opening post. This year is the worst I've ever had in terms of the number of confirmed bookings, cancellations, and people trying to haggle the price down. But as many others are reporting, enquiries for next year seem to be buoyant, so maybe I'll be able to hang on in there a bit longer.

So Don can I wish you all the best and thanks for the insight into your business.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 10:58 AM   #25
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Beautiful words of wisdom Don. As long as I deliver properly framed/exposed/colored/wb video plus quality audio I guess my work as a pro is done. Though I look up to Still Motion & Jmags, I just came to the conclusion that I can never be them. Of course I try to pick-up shots from them (that's why I am purchasing my first stabilizer) but to turn out products like they do being a one man team is impossible for me.

Had a similar client Don, he called me and was somewhat pissed. How come the Wedding DVD is not playing???? Can you read the label please? Oh sorry this are the Digital Negatives (Photos).

Buba throw me your 20 couples =). I have 25 booking so far. Don't mind doing another 20.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 11:33 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi George

If I had to produce cinematic masterpieces that most guys here claim take them an absolute minimum of 40 hours to edit (often closer to 80) then I could barely do two a month since a "wedding film" seems to involve a good 2 weeks in post working full time!!

I don't work a regular job either so I'm often amazed how some can hold down a 9 - 5 job and do weddings too!!!

Chris


Hahahaha! that's us Chris! Me and my partner hold down a full time jobs, both have 2 kids under the age of 3 ,and film wedding videos part-time. (Luckily too, i still have time to work on my golf game to improve my 10 handicap) We are also fortunate that we both can edit and take turns in doing so. From 90 hours editing when we first started to about 40 hours efficiency right now... However, even in this case we limit the number of weddings we do to 12 a year. We could probably to 30-40 weddings a year at budget prices with straight, no frills edits but decided that given our situation that will simply not work..
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Old August 18th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #27
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George, I never felt that you were dissing my work although I do some, I think we all do, just the nature of the business, you know you think to yourself "man why did I do that? or Why didn't I do this?" :-0
We all want to do the absolute best job we can on every job and sometimes we do things that, well, maybe don't work so well. Oh well, that's why we edit right!? ;-)

I have thought about having someone else edit but I never took the step since it's my name on it and I'm always afraid that someone else won't do what I want them to do and then it becomes a go back and forth thing. As for getting them done on a timely basis, I really have to make myself sit and edit. I'm one of those people that it's hard for me to sit still for more than an hour but I make myself do it. That's how I get the jobs done. Pretty soon it'll be a locking seatbelt and velcro on my chair to hold me still.

Thanks for the kind words, I really do appreciate it.

Noel,
Thanks for the kind words.
I also look up to those guys and many others, man I loved David Mathew Bonners work of old, I mean I really loved it but he's him and I'm me and while I do love their work and others of course and try to pick up some shots from them I still do what I do, but man I'd like to have a crew of 4 or 5 and be able to charge the BIG money and only do 20 or 25 weddings a year but unfortunately my market just doesn't support it and that's why I always say the first part of running a sucessful business is to know your market. To me everything else is secondary. If you don't know the market no matter what you charge or how good the work is, it might not fit the market and to be sucessful in any business you need to know the market. So if your market is like mine good solid stuff will always sell, maybe not for as much as we'd like but it will sell. That's how I've been able to be going since 1983. I'll bet you do the same.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 07:16 PM   #28
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Hi Don

You have always been an inspiration to me and you are never far away to help someone with problems too!!
It's so nice to actually see that I'm not the only one that does straight-forward doc style wedding video and gets it out in a week. Yes, I look up to the cinematic "big boys" with awe but I can't imagine sitting, sometimes for weeks and weeks editing just one wedding "film"

I have exactly the same requirements and as long as the client gets stable footage with good audio and it's an accurate and meaningful portrayal of their day, then I've done my job. I really think that being able to do an edit within a couple of days of the shoot is a huge advantage as the event is still fresh in one's mind. I couldn't imagine taking months and months to edit a wedding...gosh I think I would even forget who the bride and groom were!!

Keep your hopes up too..you just might get a quick 9 holes in soon!!

Chris
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Old August 19th, 2010, 03:43 PM   #29
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If Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Speilberg trust someone to edit their films, I can trust someone to edit my wedding videos..
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Old August 20th, 2010, 03:52 AM   #30
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Getting back on track to the opening question. Is this another sign of the times we are in?

Brides panic as wedding firm Confetti collapses - Walletpop UK

Have you ever been tempted to, or maybe you do, supply your services through a wedding planning company?

Where would you stand as a secondary supplier to the couple if this happened ?
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