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


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Old August 9th, 2010, 09:21 AM   #1
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Two unrelated questions I wanted to get some feedback from everyone on.

1) Do you film by yourself, always have an assistant, or sometimes have an assistant?
2) Do you include the number of hours of coverage for the day in the contract, or leave it open-ended?
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Old August 9th, 2010, 09:44 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Michael Clark View Post
Two unrelated questions I wanted to get some feedback from everyone on.

1) Do you film by yourself, always have an assistant, or sometimes have an assistant?

If it is more than static views, always a second shooter/assistant

2) Do you include the number of hours of coverage for the day in the contract, or leave it open-ended?
What I have been paid to do, doesn't specify hours, more based on events to be covered, so guess somewhat open ended.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 10:09 AM   #3
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To answer your questions

1. No, i have a partner that always shoots with me...we also always have an assistant specifically for filming the ceremony...we assign the assistant to shoot b-roll and focus on the bride...

2. No, our package indicates all day coverage so they have us from the preps to the bouquet throw at the end of the night...i'd hate to tell the couple that their time is up and they have to pay us more money to stay especially when the program is running late...

Cheers.]

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Old August 9th, 2010, 12:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kren Barnes View Post
To answer your questions

1. No, i have a partner that always shoots with me...we also always have an assistant specifically for filming the ceremony...we assign the assistant to shoot b-roll and focus on the bride...

www.verticalvideoworks.ca
Excuse the thread hi-jack, but this response interested me. The Assistant shooting the ceremony ( I assume the wide shot), is a good idea which I currently do.
With him shooting the B-roll, I was curious what you and your partner are doing/shooting during this time. I find myself personally shooting a lot of B-roll myself, so I'm wondering what I would/should be doing if I wasn't doing that. (Do you guys deal with SDE and such?)

Thanks
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Old August 9th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #5
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Hi Michael

I shoot everything on my own!! It's a two cam shoot at the ceremony and speeches but one is on the tripod up front running audio from the mics and concentrating just on the B&G ...I use the 2nd cam on shoulder for wide cutaways and guests.

My packages actually indicate the number of hours but in real life I either "stay to the end" or "leave after the first dance" ... sometimes you have to be a bit flexible as most weddings seldom conform to the carefully prepared running sheet!!

Chris
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Old August 10th, 2010, 08:11 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. What prompted my questions was a recent wedding. I always shoot by myself, and like you Chris, have something in my contract but am flexible. I arrived at the hotel where the groom/groomsmen were getting ready first, as instructed. That ran way later than anticipated, so by the time we got to the bride's house, they were already finished and I got no footage. I followed their instructions, so I don't think I did anything wrong, it was just frustrating to miss that. I guess as long as they're happy I should be too though. Regarding the hours, it went about 3 hours longer than I had planned for. Actually, I left "early" because they were going to shoot more photos at another location after the reception. I don't have these types of experiences often, but it just made me wonder how everyone else handles things.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 08:25 AM   #7
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Just as a slight enlargement to question one. Those of you who do work with an assistant is it your spouse or a family member, equal business partner or a hired assistant?
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Old August 10th, 2010, 08:40 AM   #8
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Hi Michael,
Our contract states what we will film but we never set a time limit as weddings never seem to go to plan,
if we are filming up to and including the first dance then it doesn't matter what time it happens we just stay on. A recent wedding had the first dance delayed by nearly an hour so guests could arrive and then on another wedding the speaches didnt start for over an hour late as the Priest had suffered a punctured tyre on the way over to the reception,
it would be interesting to see who includes a finishing time in the contract.
We always have 2 camera men so that we can split up to film the preps and one can go to the reception while the other covers the bride photo shoot if its at another location.
My assistant (hired) gets a set fee for a days filming be it 8 hrs or 13 the fee depends on the package booked not the time spent as we dont know how long each day will be.
cheers John
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Old August 10th, 2010, 09:37 AM   #9
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1.) I started using an assistant (second shooter) this year and won't go back. The extra content and quality of footage has helped improved my product signficantly and also reduces stress and physical workload. Also - having a better product has allowed me to raise my rates to more than cover the cost of an assistant.

2.) We don't charge by the hour. It's a fixed price for our deliverable. We feel that makes for a more worry-free arrangement for the B&G
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Old August 10th, 2010, 10:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alden Miller View Post
Excuse the thread hi-jack, but this response interested me. The Assistant shooting the ceremony ( I assume the wide shot), is a good idea which I currently do.
With him shooting the B-roll, I was curious what you and your partner are doing/shooting during this time. I find myself personally shooting a lot of B-roll myself, so I'm wondering what I would/should be doing if I wasn't doing that. (Do you guys deal with SDE and such?)

Thanks

What's up Alden, actually its a her :) We pretty much give her the camera and instructs her on the type of shots i need whether wide or close ups but at the same time we give her the freedom to come up with shots of her own.....Once we figure out the cam placements, she and my partner are pretty static in terms of position... while i do the specialty shots (gliding and slider) during the ceremony...all of us shoots B-roll given that you can never have enough and also comes in handy...As for SDE's we've done a couple but we deal mostly with a lot of love story videos that is shown during the reception...
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Old August 10th, 2010, 10:21 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Art Varga View Post
1.) I started using an assistant (second shooter) this year and won't go back. The extra content and quality of footage has helped improved my product signficantly and also reduces stress and physical workload. Also - having a better product has allowed me to raise my rates to more than cover the cost of an assistant.

2.) We don't charge by the hour. It's a fixed price for our deliverable. We feel that makes for a more worry-free arrangement for the B&G

That the way to go if you ask me... less stress and physical workload, not to mention the freedom to experiment knowing that you have 2 other videogs filming...
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Old August 10th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #12
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I've been making wedding videos here in rural England for many years but only recently delved into this site. I have become almost addicted to reading the various threads relating how you go about producing wedding DVDs.
One thing that comes out of it is that there is no definitive way to make it or to market the service. What works for me here in a country town in England may not in a large US city, or even in one of our major UK cities. It seems that quite a number of you go as a team with a plan of action whilst others go one their own on a wing and a prayer.
I'm intrigued to know how those of you who have a high value offering with set pieces built into your contracts, ie. multi camera in church, how do you deal with situations where you are unable to provide it. For example many of the churches in this area insist on only having one camera record the ceremony.
Also, do any of you turn down weddings because you don't feel that you'll be able to produce to your standard. For example a ceremony in a back street chapel (do you have any of those in the US) or reception in a village hall, or heaven forbid an ugly bride?
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Old August 10th, 2010, 03:32 PM   #13
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Hi George,

we have a clause written into our contracts that specifically inform the B+ G that we cannot be held responsible for poor lighting unless we are allowed to use lights and a clause regarding restriction on filming. eg only one camera.
I wouldnt turn the wedding down but make sure they know the limitations and what to expect.

We use lighting when required normally for the first dance when the venue deided to turn the lights off to make it romantic.

o/t what part of the midlands are you from, i'm originaly from staffordshire and still visit whenever I can.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 10:34 AM   #14
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Does it count as hijacking if you started the thread? ;)

Since this is a mini-survey, I wanted to also ask one more question. What pictures do you use for the DVD case and label? Do you coordinate with the photographer and give them credit on the case, do you use screen captures from your footage, do you take some of your own pictures, or do you go another route?
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Old August 11th, 2010, 05:51 PM   #15
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Hi Michael

Good question!! I have lost count of the many photogs who have promised me photos for the DVD cover. Never, ever has one ever sent me a pic!!!
I use stills that I take on my HMC cam during the photoshoot video. I usually stop them in a nice location and zap two shots of them smiling and looking at the camera, two shots of them looking lovingly into each other's eyes and a final two shots of them kissing. That usually gives me enough material for the DVD menu, the disk pics and the case cover. Ok, they are only 1920x1080 stills but they print out nicely on the covers (onto premium inkjet paper) as well as the DVD's.

If I'm really stuck I use screen grabs from the raw fooatge which is also 1920x1080 but I find that taking some dedicated stills is much easier!! Yes, I do have a fairly decent still camera but the stills shot on my b-cam work great!!! If I relied on photogs I would wait forever!!!

Chris
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