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


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Old November 26th, 2005, 09:44 AM   #31
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I think differentiation is critical. Every industry is overwhelmed by knock off competition. Those companies that stand out are the ones that can prove they are different in some marketable way. Figure out what your strengths are and play to them.

I think stressing gear right now is a mistake. My partner is a scary good camera operator. I would rather edit his cam work on a Hi-8 camera than most peoples stuff shot on true HD. I am not kidding or overexaggerating here. Our skills as ops and editors far outweighs format at this point. Yes, in the not too distant future we will have to move to HDV or HD once there is a way to distribute to the consumer. Even then though, it is the footage shot not the format that makes a bride smile.

There are so many other ways to differentiate your product beyond the technical that are far more powerful marketing tools. We tend to be gear heads and get very excited about the new gizmo that is improving our work. None of that matters if you act like a pinhead at the wedding. It is not just your finished DVD that people are watching........


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Old November 26th, 2005, 10:10 AM   #32
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I usually get into an argument with a fellow videographer about this same topic.

He thinks the low charging producers are wrecking the industry but I disagree. The way he wants it seems like wedding videos should only be for the wealthy. Only they can afford a video for $2,500.00.

I try to remind him that when he started with VHS cameras in the 80's he wasn't charging $2,500.00 for weddings but he just doesn't see it.

He thinks the lower priced producers wreck the industry because they use inferior cameras and give a bad product.

I think it is not a big deal and is kind of like cars.

I'm sure most people realize a BMW is a high quality car but not everybody can afford one. Many would love to buy a BMW but it just isn't in their budget. They end up going with a Kia that is in their budget even though they know they are taking risks and it isn't as good of a car. This is the way everything is from cars down to laundry soap.

If you have a middle to lower class group of people getting married with a certain budget how can you expect them to pay the same $2,500.00 as a wealthy family and feel the same about it? Forcing people into a certain this price only market forces only the elite to have wedding videos.

I'm sure just like with the car most clients realize the higher priced producers may give a higher quality product but they really may not care. Just like with the Kia they will feel for the cost savings for the Kia is more bang for their buck. The car might suck but it for the most part will get them from A to B just like the BMW will. Their budget wedding video may not be as good as the nice wedding video but it will still at least be some level of coverage.

One thing I like to point out to my friend is that even if their wasn't a cheaper video option those clients still wouldn't hire him. They would just go without a video and have uncle Bob do it. A budget is a budget.

Forget about the lower end clients. They wouldn't hire you anyways. If the option is to go with a cheaper not so good video or not have a video at all I say go for the cheaper video. Maybe when wedding videos can cover every segment of the market then perhaps wedding videos will become one of those common things everybody knows they need. At this point people will start to add a budget for the video and start to think about what chunk of the budget they want to use for video instead of making it the last resort.

If we ever want video to surpass photography we need to stop treating video as a luxory item. As a luxory item most people will never want it. If we saturate the market and make video as important as the dress then we might start to sell people on making that much desired item the highest quality possible. At this point people will start to look at the craftsmanship.
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Old November 26th, 2005, 01:02 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy James
If you want to break into the $5000 dollar wedding market may I suggest moving on up to the Canon XL-H1 high definition video camera. At $9000 the camera is pricey and there are cheaper cameras however the shoulder mounted form factor is critical in order to be taken seriously at the $5000 price range. DVinfo has some footage from this camera that you can download and view in full high definition quality on your computer.
I don't know... although having HDV is a tempting proposition, in the end I don't think that will do the trick. Right now no one is asking... so there is no need for the extra money. I feel that your work dictates your worth; this is regardless of the camera you use. In particular I offer a true "steadicam" operator for the day with our xl2's. For those that know what this is, is obvious that were high-end. A real steadicam operator can get $1-3k per day for onsite studio work.
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Old November 26th, 2005, 01:10 PM   #34
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"No one is asking" ?

They don't know to ask. They might have a big screen TV, a receiver for DTS and all of the toys, but they don't know that a $250 DVD player can provide them with the technology to see their wedding in HD instead of a blown up SD. They may be planning to uprez it.

They are not asking? Offer it! Let them know that for only $1K more, you can shoot it in a format that will make them proud. (Then throw in the DVD player for free!) And you will provide a letterboxed DVD for the rest of the family.
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Old November 26th, 2005, 01:34 PM   #35
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HD or HDV?
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Old November 26th, 2005, 02:18 PM   #36
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"Our competiton for this (our) type of work in so cal starts at 4k & up but its rare (blueskiescinema.com are our corona neighbors). A decent videographer ranges in the 2-3k's."

Hmm... So talent does not always equal to success in business. I've just viewed their clips.
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Old November 26th, 2005, 03:49 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Lee
"Our competiton for this (our) type of work in so cal starts at 4k & up but its rare (blueskiescinema.com are our corona neighbors). A decent videographer ranges in the 2-3k's."

Hmm... So talent does not always equal to success in business. I've just viewed their clips.
LOL :)

So what are you saying...? I mean I think I understand.. but I didn't want to be the one to say it! At least not publicly.

BTW - they were just featured in EventDV mag. ??? go figure.
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Old November 26th, 2005, 08:13 PM   #38
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Wow, they don't care at all that they are using copyrighted music on their site. They are looking at thousands or millions in fines if someone decides to go after them.

Do they do anything but slo-mo? Don't get me wrong. I like slo-mo. But....

Hey! I just decided that I'm going to triple my rates, stop using micropohones, shoot only slo-mo, put every other clip in B&W, use only crossfade transitions, and get rich!
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Old November 26th, 2005, 09:20 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault
Wow, they don't care at all that they are using copyrighted music on their site. They are looking at thousands or millions in fines if someone decides to go after them.

Do they do anything but slo-mo? Don't get me wrong. I like slo-mo. But....

Hey! I just decided that I'm going to triple my rates, stop using micropohones, shoot only slo-mo, put every other clip in B&W, use only crossfade transitions, and get rich!
let's be professional guys. the company in question is not here to defend themselves, nor did they wish to be a part of the conversation or ask for critique. and no, i don't know who they are.
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Old November 27th, 2005, 12:19 AM   #40
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Agreed.. obviously they are doing something right in order to get 4-6K even if it doesn't exactly show up on the footage.

That's what we have to learn i guess, isn't it?
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Old November 27th, 2005, 01:36 AM   #41
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To be fair to them, I'll tone down the sarcasm.

To be fair to myself, they put that footage on the web for all to see. They are charging $5500 for two cameras at the ceremony and reception edited to about an hour. That's a lot of money for less than a week's work. They only cover for 7 hours on their $3500 package. Neither package includes any other coverage days like rehearsal.

They are also shamelessly violating copyright law.

I do admire their courage to demand these prices. I need to get some of that bravado myself.

I hope you guys don't shoot like this. It is agonizing to watch all that slomo. I'm not being sarcastic about that.

Perhaps the $1000 wedding is a bad way to run your business, but it is also clear the flip side of that is not the way to go. How do reasonable businessmen/women find a balance?
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Old November 27th, 2005, 03:54 AM   #42
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i think the ton of some of the last postings is 100% out of line now.
how about all those crititcs post a demo of their work, so we all can see why they are not getting those jobs. talk is sheap.

my understanding is that they posted here to get professional advice. video professionals advice, not so called lawyers and tax/ financial advisers.

greetings
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Old November 27th, 2005, 04:24 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault
They are charging $5500 for two cameras at the ceremony and reception edited to about an hour. That's a lot of money for less than a week's work. They only cover for 7 hours on their $3500 package. Neither package includes any other coverage days like rehearsal.

Perhaps the $1000 wedding is a bad way to run your business, but it is also clear the flip side of that is not the way to go. How do reasonable businessmen/women find a balance?
a good business person will charge what their market will bear. here in southern ca, the videography market can go as high as $7 - 10k, with the mid-range being $1.5 - 2k and the upper range being $2.5 - 4k. in kansas or north dakota, it's probably not the same. price according to your market.

in this forum, i'm always hearing about how videographers are not commanding the respect and prices that photographers charge (i once worked with a photog that charges up to 11k). now i'm hearing complaints that someone is charging too much? which is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault
I hope you guys don't shoot like this. It is agonizing to watch all that slomo. I'm not being sarcastic about that.
a lot of brides really love that stuff. you have to remember, we're shooting for them, not for us. if during the consultation, the bride says she wants a lot of slow-mo, guess what i'll be doing in post?

still disagree? i'll tell you what i think to myself every time i talk to dj's who complain about playing the same love songs over and over again: if you don't like it, you're probably in the wrong business.
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Old November 27th, 2005, 06:14 AM   #44
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"...you're probably in the wrong business."

You know what? I think you are right. That would explain my exacerbation over this topic. I think I am completely out of touch with what brides want.

A.J., to answer your questions on whether videographers charge too much or too little depends on the quality of your work. If you do good work, I don't see a problem with charging $2-3K for a few day's work. If you put in extra hours with pre-events and spend a lot of time in post, go even higher. If you shoot a short day with less than two cameras rolling the entire time and then spend about a day in post and charge several thousand dollars, you are hurting the profession as much as the low-ballers.

If I posted some of my work (I own none of my recent work), it wouldn't matter because I have never charged $3500 for a single-day shoot with no overtime. It would not be sensible to compare works that have such a vast difference in prices.

I couldn't conceive of taking that much of someone's money for so little work when my expenses are so low. It's not like I'm a caterer who has to buy hundreds of dollars of food and hire a dozen employees to work the event.

I am going to take your advice and seriously re-think my career in video. I'm not being sarcastic.

I am also going to defend my statements in earlier posts, except my obviously sarcastic comments. Sarcasm is not really professional and doesn't really translate well over the web. Regardless, I am truly shocked that people pay top-dollar for video that I consider unwatchable. I think it is perfectly fair to criticize work that is out in the public.

Perhaps I won't be posting in this branch of the DVinfo forum anymore, but I really do appreciate yall's advice/knowledge.
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Old November 27th, 2005, 08:47 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Padilla
I don't know... although having HDV is a tempting proposition, in the end I don't think that will do the trick. Right now no one is asking... so there is no need for the extra money. I feel that your work dictates your worth; this is regardless of the camera you use. In particular I offer a true "steadicam" operator for the day with our xl2's. For those that know what this is, is obvious that were high-end. A real steadicam operator can get $1-3k per day for onsite studio work.
How about just making it part of the package? Instead of trying to jack the price up for something they can't use now you just throw it in and tell them they have a HD copy too. I think it would make a few peoples minds up on who to hire.
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